Hollywood feature film director of photography Shane Hurlburt has announced that he and partner Lydia are developing HVFFM. No it’s not an acronym for a medical condition too awful to speak its name. HVFFM stands for Hurlburt Visuals Female Filmmaker Mentorship and it is set to launch in 2015.
Women are the world’s largest minority at a global human sex ratio of 101 males to 100 females. Despite being almost equal in numbers we are anything but equal in terms of discrimination, education, opportunities, income, freedom and most especially, from my point of view, our ability to make a living as moviemakers much less break into the industry.
Look at the statistics for female movie school graduates. Or read Indiewire’s Women and Hollywood blog. Only a very few manage to become employed in the movie industry. Even fewer are able to move beyond supporting roles into creative and crew positions. As for the most technical crew roles – audio recording, cinematography and digital imaging technician (DIT) – female participation remains in the single digit percentage numbers.
Digital Bolex’s statistics page for its Women Cinematographers Grant states that “at 2% employment in the top 250 grossing films of 2013, women cinematographers are the least represented in a heavily male-dominated business.”
Elle Schneider of Digital Bolex once described how she got her break into cinematography by borrowing movie cameras and lenses owned by male colleagues. Other aspiring female cinematographers have described how such loan offers came with demands for sexual favours attached.
That echoes my own experience. In contrast, I have seen how unfettered access to the means of production and knowledge shared without conditions can make a real difference to female and male students in my art school teaching days. Even better are mentorships and internships within the industry. Both are rarer than hen’s teeth everywhere in the world now and the situation is not improving.
Shane Hurlburt’s announcement that he and Lydia are developing HVFFM is a welcome light at the end of the tunnel. In the Shane Hurlburt’s Blog enry of December 6, titled Why is the Hurlblog Different?, he writes:
In a world of male dominance, we wanted to pause and re-direct. We are in the process of developing the Hurlburt Visuals Female Filmmaker Mentorship (HVFFM) program in 2015. Submit your resume and reel to email@example.com and we will review and then send you a form with detailed questions to fill out. Two talented women filmmakers will be selected to shadow me in the summer of 2015.
The trick will be for talented female moviemakers to get to first base, to be able to demonstrate their abilities when the barriers to entry remain so high.
Congratulations to Shane and Lydia Hurlburt for this important initiative and I hope it inspires other such programs into existence, to offer similar opportunities for all the other minorities that are discriminated against and encounter barriers. Let's imagine into being a world of moviemaking where the doors are also open to those who are not male non-LGBTI WASPs.
The New Hurlblog
HVFFM – Hurlburt Visuals Female Filmmaker Mentorship
Via Hurlbut Visuals:
The Fourth untold story comes as five letters. You might ask what those letters mean. In a world of male dominance, we wanted to pause and re-direct. We are in the process of developing the Hurlbut Visuals Female Filmmaker Mentorship (HVFFM) program in 2015. Submit your resume and reel to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will review and then send you a form with detailed questions to fill out. Two talented women filmmakers will be selected to shadow me in the summer of 2015.
The feedback from the Illumination Experience was awe-inspiring. Meeting all of the talented filmmakers from around the world, across America and in Canada was so much fun. We value your support more than words can express and felt the warmth of the filmmaking community at every stop.
As this year is coming to a close, we still have exciting things planned. We announced Shane’s Inner Circle in August of 2014, and now we are rolling out the re-designed HurlBlog by an incredible designer Jon Lipschutz and our masterful web team, Ryan Fritz, owner of Ryno Technologies and Adam Hurd, programmer extraordinaire, and Angie Beauchamp, Blog guru and social media. The new design is streamlined, organized and much easier to navigate the intense and immersive Archives.
Read full article at Hurlbut Visuals “Why is the Hurlblog Different?”
(cover photo credit: snap from the video)