Monday, October 08, 2007

Addendum: We all know how this will play out.

Last post I was irritated but not willing to commit to my irritation.

I'm willing to commit to being pissed off now, and not because this has been confirmed.

I'm willing to commit to being pissed off because tomorrow the business week starts and we'll see Warner Bros. PR react to this. They will issue a statement that no such thing was said, and the three anonymous producers who "confirmed" the story are not likely to pop out of nowhere and contradict that. There will be nothing written anywhere that states this is the policy, because we all know how the world works. Nobody needs to write sexism into the rules (nobody needs to voice it either, so there's still a good possibility he never actually said it), the boy's club all act on it anyway. So, WB will get to play the victim of "baseless allegations of sexism" and nothing will change.

Which means we'll still see little to no attention given to action movies with female leads.

We'll see almost no female superhero movies, except for the sort that emphasize looking down the main character's spandex without a thought for quality.

Wonder Woman will still be consigned to Development Tartarus.

See, Mickle has a point in her comment. We all know that's their line of thinking. We all know every time a female-led action film doesn't do very well they lump the blame on the fact that it was led by a woman and become that much less likely to make a female-led action film. We know they judge actresses for bust size and low bodyfat rather than muscles and presence when casting female superheroes. We've seen it, its the behavior pattern, we all know how the fucking industry works.

Then we get this vague rumor of a comment that we've heard a million times, only now its attributed to a name so we can finally point and say "Gotcha!" and now we talk boycott and letter campaign and tomorrow they're going to deny the whole fucking thing and play everyone tht's mad up as a bad guy.

Maybe we'll get lucky, maybe they'll say he said it and apologize. You think he'll be sacked? Maybe. Then some other guy'll take over and enforce the same fucking policy and just not say anything about it.

Fuck that, we need progress not apologies. Its not good enough they won't say this shit, we need them to stop acting on this shit and in order to do that we need to convince them to stop thinking this shit.

Well, fuck that. You want to confront Robinov or one of his idiot colleagues? Chuck the "You said a bad bad thing" shit out the window. Confront him with the half-assed job they did with Catwoman. Confront him with the shitty ratio of female-led action movies to male led action movies and then when he says that female-led action movies don't sell confront him with the shitty effort put towards those female-led action movies and how male-led action movies with shitty effort put into them don't succeed either, and that more male-led action movies flop than female-led action moves anyway -- because there's just more of them!!

You want a boycott of Warner Bros? Do it with an aim. To hell with that stupid statement! They'll apologize at best and deny it at worst and never change a fucking thing. Give a real goal. Tell them you won't see a Warner Bros movie until they get off their asses and film Wonder Woman! Tell them you want as much quality put into films with women as put into films with men! Tell them you want a big-budget film with a female lead! Tell them you want to see some progress, dammit!!!


Okay, that sounded great in my head but now that I have it written down it seems so futile. Various people have been sending that message for a while. Articles and studies and letters. Rational argument hasn't worked before. Maybe its because we haven't had any good fuel beneath it. This could be good fuel. Obviously, enough people have seized on it that it speaks to something people are pissed off about. Maybe we can combine outrage with a productive goal here. If we all shout "You said something bad!" they learn that what they said was a bad thing to say. They'll keep on doing what they do, just with their mouths shut. If we all shout "You need to do THIS" maybe, just maybe they'll realize they need to do that.

Maybe all it'll do is make us feel better. (Which is worthwhile in itself, but will lead to feeling like shit when The Dark Knight comes out and we all have to decide whether or not seeing a Warner Bros movie is worth it after this.)


  1. Which is worthwhile in itself, but will lead to feeling like shit when The Dark Knight comes out and we all have to decide whether or not seeing a Warner Bros movie is worth it after this.

    Not if I damn well t*rrent it. Let's see them get a cent of my money after this crap. The next Warner Brothers movie I pay for will be one with a female lead.

  2. Youtube is the future...we can make our own movies now.

  3. I apologize for the fact that this post is off topic. I know it is, and if it is removed in the interest of a more coherent conversation, I will understand. However, I have seen variations on the above anonymous comment (and really, why post THAT anonymous?) a dozen times in the past week and this one was my breaking point.

    No, 'we' can not make the movies now. Or, at least not in the generic, all encompassing 'we' you are referring to. Movies require large amounts of cash and HUGE amounts of talented people, both in front of and behind the cameras.

    For a solid example, that I am sure anyone who reads this blog will appreciate, take Serenity from a couple years ago. As far as film costs go, really low end. Reasonably small cast, not too many extras, no really big names, a director who is, in the Hollywood scheme of things, only mid way up the scale. It used limited locations and sets, many of which were already built. The effects were solid, but not exceptional. A fine little film (of which I am a huge fan)

    It cost $40,000,000
    It was low budget.

    And there is not a lot you can cut off that number. Actors (with few exceptions) are not overpaid. Neither are all the technical people. Their pay is right in line with any other highly skilled trade.

    'We' can not make movies. Or at least not the ones everyone is actually talking about when we talk about the movie industry and films we would like to see made. There needs to be big money and big vision just to sit at the table, let alone play.

    Now, back to the topic at hand, and I apologize again for the thread hijack and for feeding the trolls.

  4. I think you are right that it gives them opportunity to pretend they are the injured party, but I think that it also gives us the opportunity to hold their feet to the fire.

    Sure, they are going to come out Monday saying "Lies! All lies! No one ever thought that, much less said it!"

    Bullshit, and the proof is in the movies they've made. So the proof will also be in the movies they make in the future.

    I say we do our best to keep track of the percentage of WB movies that have female leads (hell, even just speaking parts) for as long as this guy stays in charge of film there, and let it bite him in the ass that pretty much none of them do.

    Granted, they'll come up with all kinds of excuses, but they will still have an increasingly harder time claiming to be the injured party.

    The whole "people don't want to see female leads!" only flies when people think the percentage of male to female leads is that magic 1:2 to 1:3 ratio. When they hear it's closer to 1:4, 1:5, or even higher, they (at least some of them) start to realize that something fishy is going on. And since they don't want to be the problem - or they don't want to admit to being part of the problem - they no longer buy "people don't want to see female leads!"

    And, just like with Stephanie Brown, we don't let them forget it. Ever.

    It's hardly a a cure all, but it's something more concrete and pointed than a general boycott.

  5. Ryan, although what you're saying is true as far as it goes, as far as it goes is only all the way to forty million dollar movies. And a movie doesn't have to cost that. Even an action movie doesn't have to cost that. "We" can make movies, but only if our expectations are realistic; there will be no fireballs chasing people out of burning buildings, etc., but cost effective FX like acting, story, and even people kicking the living crap out of each other are well within reach of independent filmmakers.

  6. Ryan - what Lowland_Rider said, with one exception: It's amazing what you can accomplish with a HD camcorder, a Mac Pro and some talented people - or if you're not on any deadline, a MacBook Pro. :) Jeff McPherson, aka "Doctor Tiki", threw together a gun battle on THE LAB WITH LEO using two of Leo's co-stars and some simple CGI that he did as an on-camera demo!

    Robert Rodriguez has been cranking out big-budget glossy look movies with big stars for less than SERENITY cost his whole career - and has made noises in interviews about "tightening things up" so he can work for a fraction what he's spending now? SciFi Channel is offering a Web SF adventure series, SANCTUARY - and I don't remember the name, but there was a Canadian Web show about a genetics research lab last year that was fairly popular. Moreover, Alex Lindsay (who did the Pod Race in PHANTOM MENACE) runs a consortium called Pixel Corps devoted to cranking out pro-quality HD television series, features and other video productions for the Internet.

    Right now, yes, distribution is still a challenge - iTunes isn't QUITE ready to put many non-major studio video productions up. But that could well change within the next year - and if iTunes doesn't, who's to say Amazon Online, or MSN SoapBox, or RealNetworks determined to come back from the dead, or some previously unknown Web 2.0 company, won't step into the breach once they figure how to effectively monetize it?

    This should be an interesting next year or so in technology - especially if a couple women comics fans decide to do some female superhero "video adventures" of their own....

    Tim Liebe
    Dreaded Spouse-Creature of Tamora Pierce - and co-writer of Marvel's WHITE TIGER comic (TPB out now :) )

  7. Tim
    Thank you for the Pixel Corps link. I am personally very interested in this area, and hadn't run across them before.

  8. No problem, Ryan - if you're interested in video/film production, it might be worth getting involved with,

    Tim Liebe
    Tammy and I have a WHITE TIGER signing Wednesday, 10/10 at Comics for Collectors in Ithica, NY, 4-6 PM

  9. Even downlading Dark Knight would show why things are in the state they are now--people's movie watching habits are driven by compulsion, not a social consience or ethics or sense of responsibility.

  10. I hate to feed the fire, but this is in response to Timothy.

    If you're going to tell me that the quality of Sci-Fi television shows and the like is anywhere near what they release in movies nowadays (and I'm speaking in terms of pure visual quality), then there's no way I can take you seriously at all. I personally hate HD and digital cameras because of the overwhelming difference in the quality of film.

    Not to mention, the effects used in Sci-Fi shows are laughable. If you want to produce movies with *believable* effects, then you're definitely going to have to shell out a lot more money than it's going to cost to buy an HD camera and pay two of your friends to fight in a lab with fake guns.