#FemaleFilmmakerFriday – Special Oscar Edition… What Are You Wearing?

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What’s your take on the controversy over whether to ask women what/who they’re wearing in red carpet interviews?

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I think there need to be other questions asked in addition to “who are you wearing”. 

The question comes from a relationship that actors / talent / Hollywood has with designers; designers provide these expensive garments for free for the exposure and the name dropping. It’s an old relationship that Hollywood has used for years and years; it’s not for me to say whether or not I agree with it, it is what it is. 

However.

who cares who we’re wearing!

It is exclusively women who are reduced to questions about their appearance. Men rarely, if ever, have to field “who are you wearing” questions because their persona does not revolve around their appearance. And that’s fucked up. 

Red carpets interviewers receive limited time — sometimes very limited. Stars are ushered from stop to stop and bigger outlets receive more face to face time with bigger stars. So “who are you wearing” tends to be the first question because it’s part of the wardrobe deal — the talent needs to name drop. They need time to do that. If you don’t get it out fast, you’ve missed an opportunity to do your job and if the interviewer doesn’t ask, odds are that the next awards show that celeb is going to be ushered right by that news outlet by her publicist. See the problem?

I personally don’t mind asking about an ensemble; for centuries, women have been limited in their self expression to their dress (if that, in some cultures & places) and fashion absolutely has artistic merit. It is not MY personal art form, but I can appreciate it. But “Who designed this” should be followed by “what do you like about it” or “what drew you to this”… and then (call me radical) THE WORK THE WOMAN ACTUALLY DOES. Or a book she’s reading. Or, or, or. Don’t just pan up & down her body and call it an interview. 

#FemaleFilmmakerFriday – Battle of the Writers

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I suppose it does happen that the director and screenwriter are two different people? In such case, is the writer required on set, or is his job limited to just the writing? — Spidernana93

The director and writer are VERY OFTEN not the same person. And this question has two completely different answers based on whether we are talking about film or television. The golden rule is:

On a film set, the director is king. The writers are either not invited / allowed on set at all or they aren’t really giving much feedback. Their job, at that point, is done. 

On a television set, the writer is king. Writers, on TV shows, are also producers (after a certain level), which means their word is …not law, because they have bosses too, but you get the idea. A TV director is a hired hand and he absolutely has a lot of say in a lot of things, but at the end of the day, Writer = Producer = Big Cheese.

As film & tv get blurrier and blurrier, I imagine there will be a shift, if there hasn’t already been. I think TV writers will start to expect more of a say in film and film directors doing episodes of TV will want more authority over their sets. Years ago, film & tv didn’t really mingle; it was really hard for a TV actor to “make the jump” to film. Big directors didn’t take the step down to work television. But now… everything’s different. I think right now it’s still a “big get” for a television show to invite a film director on, but I don’t think that will be the case forever. TV is big money and it’s prestigious now, so there is ever more competition. I’m curious to see how this winds up shaking out!

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Top Five Reasons to Support Artists

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The Final CG!

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We’ve been really hard at work with this CG — Tom and Alex (our programmer) have been killing themselves to make sure they get all the notes incorporated and Anthony (our editor) has been plugging things in OVER AND OVER AND OVER and I can’t thank this team enough. I’m blown away by how hard […]
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#FemaleFilmmakerFriday – The Unequal Pay Debate, part two

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Thank you so much to my supporters at patreon.com/katehackettwho help make videos like these possible. If you’d like to join me on patreon, I’d love to have you: you get BTS, weekly posts about the industry, and way more.

We left off with the question: wtf is a name actor.

A name actor is someone who is recognizable. I am not a name actor. I have a name! My name is Kate! But I am not A NAME. Matt Smith is a name. You know him, which is why his representation was able to negotiate a higher rate of pay for him than Foy’s reps were able to negotiate for her. It’s A LITTLE bit comparable to experience in the workplace, but exacerbated. He had recognizability she did not. And this happens a lot – and it skews male because men have more opportunities than women (bigger roles, more visibility, etc), so it’s just a cycle that goes on and on.

I don’t begrudge Smith’s reps (or Smith) for wheeling and dealing. I don’t begrudge anyone for doing his or her job – and it is Smith’s agent’s job to get him the highest rate of pay they can. I also don’t really begrudge producers for not trying to offer Foy more money; their job is to keep overhead low, and that means keeping pay to a dull roar. 

That said, obviously it’s not fair – it’s not fair from the lowest rung straight on up. I think the most proactive way to handle this, however, is not to ask production to go against everything it represents. We need the actors’ union to take a stand and protect its underrepresented members to ensure that pay is commiserate with job AND experience (or, you know, my favorite term: NAME). SAG should be stepping in to assist those contract negotiations and actors need to be more vocal about their pay. If Foy and Smith had discussed it, I doubt we would be.

Sundance Labs Application

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Sundance Labs offers an episodic programming lab, which sends you off for a week into the mountains of Utah to study writing with other emerging writers. The applications for 2019 open on Wednesday, so I’ve been getting mine ready — thought my patrons might like to see it! Sundance Submission Packet – Kate Hackett — First five pages of script […]
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#FemaleFilmmakerFriday – The Unequal Pay Debate, part one.

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What about unequal pay? – part one.

Thank you so much to my supporters at patreon.com/katehackettwho help make videos like these possible. If you’d like to join me on patreon, I’d love to have you: you get BTS, weekly posts about the industry, and way more. 

I know we all read about The Crownlast year – how Claire Foy made less than Matt Smith – and I imagine we all have OPINIONS on it. I bet your opinion is probably HOW COULD THEY.

Let’s slow our roll and go a little deeper. 

I know The Crownepisode actually wound up with an apology and a promise to give Foy backpay to close the gap (ALTHOUGH. https://www.glamour.com/story/claire-foy-not-given-back-pay-the-crown) but Hollywood pay scales are actually kind of … flibbertygibbity. It’s not just “she is on set for 1000 hours this season, she gets 1000 * 100$/hr!” and there is no set amount everyone always receives. 

Let’s start at the bottom: SAG Scales. 

SAG sets its rate sheet every handful of years, when they run contract negotiations, and it’s always better than minimum wage. Commercial and theatrical are different rates (as of right now, commercial pays something like 650/day and theatrical is 980 for a single day of shooting; weekly performers get more). That scale is what it is – men and women are making the same amount. If your agent isn’t negotiating above scale for you, you probably aren’t hitting giant pay discrepancies. 

KIND OF.

I’ve been on sets where I have ALL the dialogue; my male counterpart has ZERO LINES but is reacting to stuff on camera, and he’s still making the same rate as I am. Is that fair? No. And that’s where your agent MIGHT MAYBE want to negotiate above scale for you, though there’s not always much wiggle room for it. 

I have also RUN sets where everyone’s making 100/day (new media rates from a bunch of years ago) and someone on set for 12 hours makes the same amount of money as someone who pops in for 2. Is that fair? No. But you know what I do not feel like fucking around with in the interest of “fair”? 100 dollars a damn day.

So – actor money isn’t based on an hourly rate, nor is it based on the actual amount of time you’re working. If they call you for the day, you’re paid for the day, no matter what your call time is — which does make sense; you’re asking an actor to be available, so you have to pay for that time. 

But when you get to bigger roles and bigger paychecks, that scale goes out the window — you may way more per episode, your reps negotiate (remember the 2.5 million or whatever it was the Friends made? PER EPISODE?), and you agree to that pay rate for X number of seasons. It’s all contracted, it’s all negotiable. And salary negotiations are typically not shared, which is where we get into trouble.

Moreover, a huge part of actor pay is based on something that has absolutely nothing to do with how much you’re working:

Your “Name”.

(come back next week for the EXCITING CONCLUSION and explanation of wtf a “Name” actor is)

Monster & Ship Update

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Here’s a basic look at how they’re shaping up … Monster Shot 6 https://www.dropbox.com/s/cp3wak0f90y8ks4/Monster-Shot6-v1.mp4?dl=0 Airship https://www.dropbox.com/s/jcptn5u6ivz8erd/Airship%20v4.mp4?dl=0 Share this:Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to share on […]
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A Tale of Two Scripts

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I’ve been recalibrating a script – basically from the ground up – and thought it might be interesting for you guys to see the first page of each and how very different they are! So, BEHOLD. To the left, you have the old version. To the right, the new. Odds are pretty good that I’ll […]
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