Colin Trevorrow Suspects He Might Be Naïve Re: the Subject of Female Directors. He’s Right.
@colintrevorrow Do you think that if you were a female director in Hollywood you would have gotten the chance to direct Jurassic World?
— Stephan Jansen (@AutisticWeirdo) August 21, 2015
A fan reached out to Colin Trevorrow on Twitter to ask a very important question regarding female directors, which you can see above.
Keep in mind that Colin Trevorrow, director of Jurassic World, wasn’t exactly hugely experienced when he got the opportunity to do those movies, as this tweet points out in relation to a questionable headline re: Patty Jenkins and Wonder Woman:
Weird that we didn’t get this headline when Colin Trevorrow got ‘Jurassic World’ after doing a $2M movie… https://t.co/DTJiqsZhc8
— Marlow Stern (@MarlowNYC) May 31, 2017
Trevorrow answered the fan’s question, and there seems to be quite the disconnect between his experience with women in the industry, and what actually happens to them throughout their careers.
— Colin Trevorrow (@colintrevorrow) August 21, 2015
Here’s the full statement:
“I want to believe that a filmmaker with both the desire and ability to make a studio blockbuster will be given the opportunity to make their case. I stress desire because I honestly think that’s a part of the issue. Many of the top female directors in our industry are not interested in doing a piece of studio business for its own sake. These filmmakers have clear voices and stories to tell that don’t necessarily involve superheroes or spaceships and dinosaurs.
To me, this is not a simple case of exclusion within an impenetrable corporate system. It’s complex, and it involves a component that I think is rarely discussed — very high levels of artistic and creative integrity among female directors.
Maybe this opinion makes me naïve, but as an employee of two companies run by brilliant women, I don’t think I am. There is a sincere desire correct this imbalance at the highest levels of our industry right now. And yes it does make me feel terrible to be held up as a symptom of a social injustice. I’m a person. Nobody wants to be part of the problem.”
Of course not (I mean, I would hope). Of course no one likes being (or being considered) part of the problem. It’s no fun to be consistently jostled out of your safe, sheltered existence, but jostle we must, because while directors like Trevorrow exist safely in a cocoon that nurtures their development and creativity, female directors have to fight for every single scrap they earn. Their talent isn’t nurtured or tended to, nor are the inexperienced among them given the same chances as inexperienced men.
And when we talk about “inexperience” we’re not talking about Jenkins, who’s been working in the industry for over a decade:
Jenkins, an acclaimed 14 year vet is a “risk” when Colin Trevorrow, whose ONE FILM was 0.7% the budget of JW, was shoe-in. This is why: pic.twitter.com/OQ3QcUkGyu
— John (@jodamico1) May 31, 2017
What boggles my mind the most is Trevorrow’s insistence that the problem has anything to do with “very high levels of artistic and creative integrity among female directors.” Ah, so we’re subscribing to “putting women on pedestals” faux feminism, are we? You know, the kind that says that women are so pure, and so moral, and so gosh-darned good that no one wants to give them a blockbuster movie.
Or rather, it’s not that people don’t want to give them blockbuster movies, but that they themselves don’t want them (I could give him a long list of working female directors who would kill for a blockbuster sci-fi/comic book franchise). He says, “Many of the top female directors in our industry are not interested in doing a piece of studio business for its own sake. These filmmakers have clear voices and stories to tell that don’t necessarily involve superheroes or spaceships and dinosaurs.”
Trevorrow currently has a movie coming out called The Book of Henry, an intimate thriller about a mother and son and how they help save a young, female friend from an abusive home. Imagine me saying something like, “[Male] filmmakers have clear voices and stories to tell that don’t necessarily involve families, or women and girls, or character-based stories.” That would sound ludicrous, because it is ludicrous.
Likewise Trevorrow’s comment about what female directors will or won’t direct.
Interesting, too, that he talks about the “top” female directors not being interested in “studio business.” After all, he wasn’t a “top” anything when he got Jurassic World. I’m sure there are plenty of competent, mid-career female directors who, like him, would love to be handed a blockbuster franchise. Are they even being asked?
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