I’ve just read a great piece about women in TV written by Emma Reeves, a show creator, playwright and WGGB award winner, into her research with the Writers Guild of Great Britain. Thanks to Philip Gladwin at Screenwriting Goldmine for letting me share it here.
Here are some headlines:
- Analysing data from the five main channels over a five month period, 70% of all prime-time drama credited to a single writer was written by male writers, and 30% by women writers.
- There was only 1 week when slightly more drama (55%) was written by women than men. But there were several weeks when 75% or more of prime-time drama episodes were written by men.
- Of 106 episodes of Eastenders, for example, 70 were written by men – almost exactly 2/3 of available episodes.
So, what’s going on? Click through (no commission or gain to me!) and have a read:
Busy, good times.
Last week saw the London VAULT Festival outing of Passion, thanks to Allie Butler and Helen Cuinn at tidycarnage. I’ve also been working up the notorious ten-page treatment (and other stuff) required for ifeatures and proposals for Screen Yorkshire’s Triangle. And we’re moving towards the development day for the all-consuming quantum mechanics play (I still can’t thank everyone enough for their support. That includes offers of help in kind, which are still coming in. Thank you!)
Sadly, it’s all unpaid. In fact, it costs me money.
If I can get some spare time, I fancy speaking to some economists or think tanks about quantifying the “private investment” that individual artists give to the British economy. All that time given for free, subsidised by the individual. If we were rich/organisations/accountants, we might know. And if we know, we could perhaps argue for better funding models. And drama GCSE…
We might know the knock-on income we generate for our local economies (pay to venues, technicians, printers, costume hire; income for local pubs, restaurants, taxi firms). We might know the cumulative impact (say, 100 professional writers, investing X hours a month in one small city alone…). We might know what would be lost in the longer term if we stopped subsidising the public’s entertainment.
Where would the UK broadcast, theatre, TV and film industries be in ten years’ time if the underpaid refused to be unpaid? If it was decent pay or none?
If anyone knows of a union or think tank who fancy developing this further, I’m up for it…(you can reach the professional campaigning version of me at http://www.lyric-communications.com or contact me here. Love to hear from you.)