Who would have thought that the representation of women in Hollywood would still remain low in this day and age despite several attempts at bridging the gap in the industry? Women filmmakers in Hollywood have come a long way in carving a separate oath of their own in an industry that has, for a major part, been male-dominated concerning the behind-the-camera crew. While there’s a phenomenal rise in writers, editors, cinematographers, technicals, directors and producers who are women, there’s still a gap concerning opportunities provided, pay-gap and the underlying struggle to gain well-deserved limelight and recognition.
Tracking women’s employment in 250 highest-grossing films in the last 25 years, the Celluloid Ceiling report revealed that percentage of women filmmakers, technicians and crew behind the camera declined in 2022.
Representation Of Women In Hollywood
In an in-depth report titled The Celluloid Ceiling: Employment of Behind-the-Scenes Women on Top Grossing U.S. Films in 2022, it’s disclosed women comprised 24 per cent of writers, editors, directors, cinematographers and producers in the overall top 250 high-earning films. The percentage fell by 1 per cent from 2021. The report’s author Martha Lauzen has largely studied the ever-changing trends in the film industry, and tracking women’s presence on film sets has been one of her primary research.
Lauzen works at the San Diego State University and serves as the executive director of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film. This latest study reflects on the deployment of women in 2022 in high-budget films. Analysing over 2800 credits, Lauzen reassured how, unfortunately, the presence of women behind the camera remains low even in 2022.
Suggested reading: Exploring The Data On Hollywood’s Gender Pay Gap
Representation of women continues to stay low
If we pick 2022’s films as well, data reveals that most technicians and crew present in these films making were majorly male, and representation of women was shockingly low even though most women crew have made it big in the past few years.
The report reveals women comprised just 7 per cent of cinematographers in 2022’s top 250 films. It’s just a 3 per cent rise since 1998, ever since Lauzen started researching the subject and collecting data. The number of women editors shockingly only increased by 1 per cent since 1998. Women editors formed a mere 21 per cent of 2022’s highest-grossing movies.
This list of 2022 films written, directed, edited, shot and produced by females and non-binary persons showcases the extremely talented women behind the lens. However, it also surfaces Hollywood’s oversight in not just recognising them but also failing to provide them with enough employment opportunities.
Given that several initiatives, debates, forums and discussions have been held past few years to bridge the gap that has long prevailed in Hollywood, the results still seem to be below-par and negligent. The severe underrepresentation of women despite them being equally talented, sometimes even more, than men, digs a deeper hole into the systematic positioning of opportunities long before the films go on floors.
Women employing more women
It’s not surprising that women ins senior and powerful positions in films and predictions have fairly deployed aspiring women crew in their projects. The report also reveals that women who have a say in the decision-making while finalising the crew in the works have considered playing a fair game and employed people based on skills and not gender. Women can indeed serve as great mentors and role models for young filmmakers who wish to pursue a career in the industry. However, changes to be made are far too many if we want a level playing ground in the industry that boats for equality but lacks representation across celluloid.
With this, we’ll leave you with a list of top-grossing films of 2022 that not just involved female filmmakers but also proved to be game changers.
Till directed by Chinonye Chukwu
The Woman King directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood
Don’t Worry Darling directed by Oliva Wilde
Where the Crawdads Sing directed by Olivia Newman
Marry Me directed by Kat Coiro
The Invitation directed by Jessica M. Thompson
She Said directed by Maria Schrader