Hollywood

‘Jane, mildly attractive secretary who is at one of the filing cabinets’

A Twitter account by Hollywood producer Ross Putnam reveals how scripts objectify female characters.

Forget the Bechdel Test, which is a measurement of sexism in a movie. Even when women get leading roles on the silver screen, their characters are written mostly as sexual objects. Ross Putman, who has produced films such as Trigger Finger (2012), The Young Kieslowski (2014), and First Girl I Loved (2016) created the account @femscriptintros on Twitter to share how the female lead characters are introduced in actual scripts he has read. His bio states that except for the names which have been changed to Jane for anonymity, the scripts are verbatim. Here are a few examples that sound like they have taken from a Mills and Boon novel.

Since he set up the account and tweeted about Jane, who makes jeans look good, Putnam has amassed a following of over 56,000 people (and growing). Female characters are usually effortlessly pretty and unaware of the effect of their beauty on men.

Putman is not the first person to highlight the problem of objectification of women in Hollywood. Miss L, an actress, anonymously tweets and maintains a tumblr of the sexism she encounters in her casting calls.

The scripts highlight a bigger problem: directors, writers and producers are mostly men. This disparity was highlighted in a report from the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, which found that women made up only 19% of the top behind-the-scenes jobs in Hollywood. The study also suggested that having a female director leads to greater percentages of women working in other leading roles. Out of the 500 films that were analysed, the study showed that having a female director meant that the percentage of women writers shot up to 53%, from the 10% of women writers in male-directed films.

Bollywood is not far behind in the objectification of women. A 2014 study by the Geena Davis Institute on Women in Media showed that in Bollywood, women are far less represented than men in front of and behind the camera. When women are in films, their attractiveness and sexuality are the most important factors on camera.

India leads in underlining the attractiveness among its female actors at 25.2%, beating Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, along with topping the list for highlighting their sexuality on the screen.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Not just for experts: How videography is poised for a disruption

Digital solutions are making sure it’s easier than ever to express your creativity in moving images.

Where was the last time you saw art? Chances are on a screen, either on your phone or your computer. Stunning photography and intricate doodles are a frequent occurrence in the social feeds of many. That’s the defining feature of art in the 21st century - it fits in your pocket, pretty much everyone’s pocket. It is no more dictated by just a few elite players - renowned artists, museum curators, art critics, art fair promoters and powerful gallery owners. The digital age is spawning creators who choose to be defined by their creativity more than their skills. The negligible incubation time of digital art has enabled experimentation at staggering levels. Just a few minutes of browsing on the online art community, DeviantArt, is enough to gauge the scope of what digital art can achieve.

Sure enough, in the 21st century, entire creative industries are getting democratised like never before. Take photography, for example. Digital photography enabled everyone to capture a memory, and then convert it into personalised artwork with a plethora of editing options. Apps like Instagram reduced the learning curve even further with its set of filters that could lend character to even unremarkable snaps. Prisma further helped to make photos look like paintings, shaving off several more steps in the editing process. Now, yet another industry is showing similar signs of disruption – videography.

Once burdened by unreliable film, bulky cameras and prohibitive production costs, videography is now accessible to anyone with a smartphone and a decent Internet bandwidth. A lay person casually using social media today has so many video types and platforms to choose from - looping Vine videos, staccato Musical.lys, GIFs, Instagram stories, YouTube channels and many more. Videos are indeed fast emerging as the next front of expression online, and so are the digital solutions to support video creation.

One such example is Vizmato, an app which enables anyone with a smartphone to create professional-looking videos minus the learning curve required to master heavy, desktop software. It makes it easy to shoot 720p or 1080p HD videos with a choice of more than 40 visual effects. This fuss- free app is essentially like three apps built into one - a camcorder with live effects, a feature-rich video editor and a video sharing platform.

With Vizmato, the creative process starts at the shooting stage itself as it enables live application of themes and effects. Choose from hip hop, noir, haunted, vintage and many more.

The variety of filters available on Vizmato
The variety of filters available on Vizmato

Or you can simply choose to unleash your creativity at the editing stage; the possibilities are endless. Vizmato simplifies the core editing process by making it easier to apply cuts and join and reverse clips so your video can flow exactly the way you envisioned. Once the video is edited, you can use a variety of interesting effects to give your video that extra edge.

The RGB split, Inset and Fluidic effects.
The RGB split, Inset and Fluidic effects.

You can even choose music and sound effects to go with your clip; there’s nothing like applause at the right moment, or a laugh track at the crack of the worst joke.

Or just annotated GIFs customised for each moment.

Vizmato is the latest offering from Global Delight, which builds cross-platform audio, video and photography applications. It is the Indian developer that created award-winning iPhone apps such as Camera Plus, Camera Plus Pro and the Boom series. Vizmato is an upgrade of its hugely popular app Game Your Video, one of the winners of the Macworld Best of Show 2012. The overhauled Vizmato, in essence, brings the Instagram functionality to videos. With instant themes, filters and effects at your disposal, you can feel like the director of a sci-fi film, horror movie or a romance drama, all within a single video clip. It even provides an in-built video-sharing platform, Popular, to which you can upload your creations and gain visibility and feedback.

Play

So, whether you’re into making the most interesting Vines or shooting your take on Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’, experience for yourself how Vizmato has made video creation addictively simple. Android users can download the app here and iOS users will have their version in January.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Vizmato and not by the Scroll editorial team.