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Posts Tagged ‘Women in Hollywood’

Tracey Edmonds on Breaking Into Hollywood’s Boys Club

After moving to LA at the age of 23 with hopes of becoming a music producer, Tracey Edmonds went on to produce hit films like Soul Food  and several reality shows on BET and TV One. Through it all, she told Mediabistro, it was her race more than her gender that complicated her pursuit of producing.

“I think the biggest problem is still the issue of color. There are still only a few slots on the entire release schedule for African-Americans,” she said. “Tyler Perry has maybe three films in that block, and that leaves the rest of us to kind of vie for those other spots.”

That’s not to say that women have it easy in Hollywood. Edmonds, who recently founded the online venture Alright TV, suggested that aspiring female producers develop a stiff upper lip. “I encourage young women to be empowered and independent and not rely on other people to fulfill their dreams.”

Read more in So What Do You Do, Tracey Edmonds, Award-Winning TV and Film Producer?

Nicholas Braun

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Elle’s Honorees Fleshed Out

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Elle’s Women In Hollywood honorees list needs a little fleshing out, we think. The press release prose is a little purple.

Kate Bosworth:
In a town that worships lanky young blonds, Kate Bosworth could have had it easy. Instead, she dodged the expected and chose to rely on her intensity and range, proving this bombshell is built to last.

Built to last, if you believe that all that limited calorie diet bull.

Jennifer Connelly
Jennifer Connelly managed to do the impossible: graduate from child actor to leading lady, without rehab or going commando. Meet the savviest woman in Hollywood.

Take that, Lindsay Lohan!

Diane Lane
In Hollywood there are the young, the younger, and the barely legal. Then there’s Diane Lane, an alluring forty-something whose stunning turn as an adulteress soccer mom reaffirms why reinvention is the best revenge.

Adulteress soccer mom? Wasn’t that a couple of movies ago? Or maybe not.

Amy Adams
Amy Adams kick-started her career by slaying one supporting role after another. But now Hollywood’s most promising breakout is finally ready to take the lead.

Slaying? Is this a Buffy reference? She’s got good buzz for Enchanted.

Julie Taymor
Julie Taymor has tackled theatre, opera, and now Across The Universe—the most inventive film of the year. It’s just the kind of breadth that might just make the wildly nimble filmmaker the director of our generation.

Inventive is another word for stinkbomb, and you’re not talkin’ ’bout my generation, fool on a hill.

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Lauren Bacall
For more than six decades, Lauren Bacall has crafted the kind of characters women want to emulate and actresses only dream about playing.

Bacall’s great, but writers created those characters, and Howard Hawks created Bacall.

Elle’s Women in Hollywood Roundtable

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Salon’s Rebecca Traister sits in on Elle’s Women in Hollywood round table discussion on the state of show biz, why there aren’t more women directors, and so on. The group wonders why women don’t go to opening weekends, forgetting that people watch movies lots of other ways than at the multiplex, not than any of them ever see films with the public. While distinguished and credible, the ten are sort of randomly chosen. At the table are:

Moderator/producer Lynda Obst (called one of Tinseltown’s great brains, which is a frightening thought)
Claims Kate Hudson has same power as Julia Roberts and Reese Witherspoon in getting girly movies green-lit. Because the audience is clamoring for more.

Writer/director Nora Ephron
Thinks Transformers had a great emotional theme, sucks up to Spielberg. Claims to meet only timid girls at film schools. Ever wonder if she still takes calls from Meg Ryan?

Writer/producer Laura Ziskin
Discussing the lack of female directors, drops a bomb,

Our children watched their mothers and said, “Oh, no thank you. I don’t want my life to be like that.”

Writer/director Callie Khouri
Claims she wanted to make a NASCAR movie. So she directed Ya-Ya Sisterhood instead? Just made indie movie with Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah and Katie Holmes and wonders why no studio wanted it. Then complains about the lack of wish fulfillment in Judd Apatow movies.

Writer/director Patty Jenkins
Liked Spiderman. Admits to concentrating on personal life after making Monster.

Producer Cathy Konrad
Has small child, married to business partner Jim Mangold, admits to scaling back work for family.

Writer/director/producer Kimberly Piece
Loves blowing things up, just made second film.

Writer/producer Andrea Berloff
Has little kid, wonders why more women aren’t in film biz. But she’s fairly new to the business, as World Trade Center was her first produced script.

Writer/producer Margaret Nagle
Breaks away from approved party line by believing babe/nerd hookup in Knocked Up.

Universal president of production Donna Langley (called “that rarest of Hollywood breeds, a female studio head”, as Amy Pascal, wasn’t in the room.)
Points out that despite Jodie Foster’s tiny cameo, lots of women went to see Inside Man starring Denzel Washington. See Queen Latifah, wish fulfillment above.

The discussion was held in August, so Jeff Robinov’s foot hadn’t entered his mouth yet.

These women don’t pay attention to the few women working as TV directors and that reality TV could be a training ground for women (who are usually credited as field producers). Michael Apted started in documentary, after all.

But there’s a big snob factor in features, and never underestimate the insularity of Hollywood. Directors who came from TV, like Dennie Gordon, Betty Thomas, and Mimi Leder, and those who go back and forth, like Nicole Holofcener tend to not get called for big tentpole pictures.

Nikki Finke picks out some high points, but think how lively the discussion could have been, had she sat at the table.

Elle hosts the 14th annual Women in Hollywood Tribute at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills on Oct. 15, when it will honor actresses Lauren Bacall, Scarlett Johansson, Diane Lane, Kate Bosworth, Jennifer Connelly, Amy Adams and director Julie Taymor.