With the exception of female TV writers, women and minority scribes have made little progress of late in seeking fair employment and earnings in Hollywood, according to a report commissioned by the WGA West released Tuesday.
"This year's report has a familiar ring to it," WGA president Patric Verrone said. "While there have been some advances made by women and minorities in some sectors, white male writers continue to be a disproportionately dominant portion of the writing work force."
The "2007 Hollywood Writers Report -- Whose Stories Are We Telling?" was written by Darnell Hunt, director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies and professor of sociology at UCLA. Hunt was the author involved in a similar WGAW-commissioned report in 2005 and also participated in a study of TV employment released by SAG in 2000.
Based on analysis of minority- and gender-based data, the latest WGA report encompasses employment and earning trends through 2005. Minority writers made scant progress in any sector in the study period.
"More than 30% of the American population is non-white, yet writers of color continue to account for less than 10% of employed television writers," Hunt noted in an executive summary of the report. "These numbers will likely get worse before they get better because of the recent merger of UPN and the WB into the new CW Network, which resulted in the cancellation of several minority-themed situation comedies that employed a disproportionate share of minority television writers.
"The situation is grimmer in film," he added, " where the minority share of employment has been stuck at 6% for years."
The report also documented an earnings disparity for minority writers in television that widened by more than $6,000 between 2004 and 2005. The overall median earnings for minority TV writers in 2005 was $78,107, compared to $97,956 for white writers.
The earnings gap increased by almost $2,000 for minority film writers during the same period, with 2005 median earnings of $66,666 for minority writers and $77,537 for white writers.
Among women writers, overall employment and TV employment remained unchanged in 2005 at 25% and 27%, respectively. In a rare report bright spot, women writers "virtually eliminated the television median earnings gap, earning just about $300 less than their male counterparts in 2005."
But between 2004 and 2005, the gender gap in median film earnings doubled to $40,000. Women writers earned a median $50,000 while males earned $90,000.
The report also showed employment share among different age groups from 2001-2005.
TV writers aged 40-50 accounted for a flat 35% of all TV writers in each of three select years -- 2001, 2003 and 2005. TV writers aged 31-40 enjoyed an increase in employment share to 37% from 35%, while writers younger than 31 declined to 7% from 9%.
Film writers 40 and younger represented a majority for the first time in 2004, and by 2005 accounted for 55% of all film writers, according to the report.
Verrone said the report's findings should be taken as "a call to action for all decision-makers" in Hollywood.
"Releasing this report during the TV hiring season provides a timely reminder to those decision-makers to actively seek out and read the work of writers who are women and people of color," the WGA president said. "As part of a unified guild, we must all be allowed to compete for opportunities so that all our stories may have an equal chance to be heard."
POSTMARK SUBMISSION DEADLINE: May 18, 2007
Grand Prize: $7,000
Best Short Prize: $500
The Slamdance Screenplay Competition is dedicated to new writers. We accept screenplays in every genre, both feature and short length, on any topic from every country around the world. Our mission is to bring attention to the most talented emerging screenwriters and introduce them to the industry.
"Winning Slamdance was an incredible moral booster and the seal of approval that made the industry stop and take notice."
-Nicole Kassell, 2001 Slamdance 1st place winner and co-writer/director of THE WOODSMAN
a film by Heidi Specogna
Marine Lance Cpl. José Antonio Gutierrez was one of the 300,000 soldiers the U.S. military sent to war in Iraq in March 2003. A few hours after the war began, his picture was broadcast all over the world: he was the first American soldier to be killed in Iraq. He was also a so- called 'green-card soldier' - one of approximately 32,000 non-U.S. citizens fighting in the ranks of the U.S. armed forces who would receive U.S. citizenship as compensation for their sacrifice.
The Short Life of José Antonio Gutierrez tells the moving story of a one-time street kid from Guatemala, who, full of hopes for a better future, immigrated to the U.S, ultimately to die an American hero in the deserts of Iraq. Director Heidi Specogna retraces José Antonio's path - from Guatemala through Mexico to the United States - and meets the people who accompanied him on his journey: his friends from the street, the social workers at a Guatemala orphanage, his sister, his foster family in Los Angeles, and, at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, the marines who were with him at the end.
Chilling, thought-provoking, and profound, José Antonio's story is no adventurer's tale. It is the story of a young man's attempt to survive - on both sides of the world.
"An illuminating story"
- David Ansen, Newsweek
"A well researched, graceful film"
- Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
by exclusive engagement
May 9-13, 2007; and May 16-18, 2007
The Victoria Theatre, San Francisco
Filmaka’s aim is to encourage and inspire filmmakers (a.k.a. filmakas) from all around the globe with its upcoming May competition.
Our new theme is “The Game”. Following the incredible response to our first five competitions, we are excited to see how filmakas explore this new challenge.
The deadline for all uploads is midnight (PST) 30th of May. Film entries must run between 1-3 minutes in length and can be in any language (English subtitles are encouraged).
Each month the top 15-20 filmakas win cash prizes and the chance show their filmmaking talent to our award-winning jury. We are honoured to have industry professionals such as Colin Firth, Werner Herzog, Neil LaBute, John Madden, Paul Shrader and Wim Wenders as part of our jury. They have been very impressed by the quality of the work they have judged thus far.
Our jury picks three winners every month. There are more prizes and all three are allowed to compete in our ‘Filmaka of the Year’ contest at the end of 2007, where one Director wins a feature film deal.
Entry is free to all students. Simply email us from a valid school/university email address at - firstname.lastname@example.org
Please visit http://www.filmaka.com for further information. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Media Arts Center San Diego’s Teen Producers Project in partnership with San Diego County Office of Education’s Migrant Education Program (Region IX), is screening Poder Escondido: Stories of Latino Civic Engagement in Escondido, a two-part documentary series produced by local youth from Escondido. Students from Orange Glen High School participated in the Teen Producers Project, an after-school video production, education and training program, to produce two short documentaries that focus on Latino civic engagement in North County, San Diego. Carmen Miranda, former candidate for Escondido City Council, Consuelo Martinez, student and grassroots activist, and Bill de la Fuente, businessman turned community organizer, are spotlighted in these two films for their leadership and commitment to social change. The films will be screened Thursday, June 7th at 6:30 PM at the Performing Arts Center at Orange Glen High School. Orange Glen High school is located at 2200 Glenridge Road in Escondido. Youth producers and video interviewees will participate in a Q & A after the screening. The screening is free and open to the public.
Descriptions of the films:
Poder Escondido/ Hidden Power
Two Latina women make a difference in the city of Escondido, empowering their community. Carmen Miranda and Consuelo Martinez embark on a grassroots campaign to better Escondido for all.
The Story of Bill de la Fuente
After a terrible shooting in his neighborhood in the 90s, Bill de la Fuente was moved to action. The businessman turned community organizer has become an influential community leader in North County, advocating on behalf of Latino communities, youth, and local businesses.
Funding for the project comes from Las Patronas, Stuart Foundation, California Arts Council - Youth Education in the Arts, and the Community Technology Foundation of California.
For more information about Poder Escondido: Stories of Latino Civic Engagement in Escondido, contact Kate Trumbull, MACSD Education Coordinator for the Teen Producers Project at 619-230-1938 x 102/ email@example.com