Sunday, October 30, 2016

#Scriptchat Transcript with @TheBechdelGroup #womeininfilm October 30, 2016

We talked with The Bechdel Group @TheBechdelGroup tonight about putting your script through The Bechdel Test, creating compelling female characters and more. Enjoy!

Read the transcript below or on the Storify site.

#Scriptchat Transcript with @TheBechdelGroup #womeininfilm October 30, 2016

#Scriptchat Transcript with @TheBechdelGroup #womeininfilm October 30, 2016

We talked with The Bechdel Group tonight about putting your script through The Bechdel Test, creating compelling female characters and more. Enjoy!

  1. *lurks in a dark #scriptchat corner & randomly throws Halloween candies at everybody*
  2. @jeannevb Ha, good luck with that! I turn into an actual monster when people steal my candy!!! #scriptchat
  3. Wow, looks like I figured out the time zone change correctly. Hey guys! #scriptchat
  4. Really busy birthday for me. Shocked it's just about over already. #scriptchat
  5. @Al_1701 Happy Birthday David! Hope you're having an amazing one, and it's not over yet! #scriptchat
  6. @filmwriter4 interesting question. Our male writers run the gamut from amazing to mother/daughter porn stars. #scriptchat
  7. The best advice is to think about how the women in your life talk. #scriptchat
  8. Bechdel Test: Somewhere in the script … 1. two female characters 2. who have names 3. speak to each other... #scriptchat
  9. I think I'm going to have to play Devil's Advocate tonight, because I'm a bit of a Bechdel-skeptic. #scriptchat
  10. ... 4. about something other than their romantic relationships 5. for the entirety of at least a complete scene/conversation #scriptchat
  11. #scriptchat Rememba when women had great roles? (Silence of the lambs, Gloria, All about eve) Yeah I rememba...
  12. Women are deeper than trying to get men. In any room that has two of us, we are likely to be talking to each other... #scriptchat
  13. We've been talking a lot lately about what it means to write someone else's experience. #scriptchat
  14. Of course many men write great female characters, but the first step is to stop thinking of them as female characters. #scriptchat
  15. No joke - hearing about the Bechdel test was one of the things that motivated me to start writing screenplays #scriptchat
  16. @TheBechdelGroup Introing female characters (the sexist, patronizing way done many times) is something I strive not to do #scriptchat
  17. @filmwritr4 *throws you an extra load of candies for fighting the good fight* #scriptchat
  18. @TheBechdelGroup I keep in mind never to describe what they wear, their hair, outer features, etc. Just actions in the scene #scriptchat
  19. @SarahAlexis4 we get so many genres, but the biggest thing we see, both passing and not, is stories of abuse #scriptchat
  20. @TheBechdelGroup I'm actually not against the principle of the test, I'm just against the test itself... (1/2) #scriptchat
  21. Which might be a factor of women trying to reclaim their voices #scriptchat
  22. @TheBechdelGroup @simone257 And I seriously want there to be more female writers for my web series. It would definitely help. #scriptchat
  23. Think of a character past their gender. Are they an introvert or an extrovert? A brain, a bruiser, a dreamer, a doer? #scriptchat
  24. Lots of time the abuse comes from a position of power. Therapists, parents, husbands. #scriptchat
  25. @TheBechdelGroup ...because it's yet another HORRIBLE screenwriting formula that people will cling to like STC. (2/2) #scriptchat
  26. The craziest script we've received was a story of a lesbian serial killer who killed her dates with pie. Seriously. #scriptchat
  27. In the female-driven action-comedy I just finished (finally!), I was focused on BT through the process. #scriptchat 
  28. @TheBechdelGroup I don't pay attention to gender in my writing, mainly due to my poor writing and social skills #scriptchat
  29. @TheBechdelGroup I heard a story on NPR about it and I thought "if that has to be a thing, there's a problem - I should write" #scriptchat
  30. A good writer should be passing the Bechdel Test without having to think about it. Failing is the first sign you aren't ready. #scriptchat
  31. @chasinglamely the bechdel test wasn't ever meant to be a test. It came from a comic strip in the 1980s #scriptchat
  32. @jeannevb ...even in the baseball screenplay I wrote last year, I thought about that a lot. It should be more the norm. #scriptchat
  33. You should be able to pass the test without trying to pass the test. #scriptchat
  34. As a theoretical exercise, I've tried coming up with a movie that passes the BT in letter but not spirit #scriptchat
  35. Two women going to the movies and one says to the other that she only sees movie with 2 fem chars who both have names and have #scriptchat
  36. @TheBechdelGroup I'm well aware of the origin, I just feel like it's become too big and misused in the film world. #scriptchat
  37. a conversation not about a man. The date says that's hard. And she says, "yes, the last movie I saw was Alien." #scriptchat
  38. Like, if you can't figure out how women speak and think, you really have no business being a writer of fiction. #scriptchat
  39. @TheBechdelGroup That test is something I also need to keep in mind during my writing. #scriptchat
  40. @chasinglamely As I said. You should be able to pass the test without passing the test. #scriptchat
  41. @Storygeeks good to know, thanks Jeff. I was working on a pitch for them. #scriptchat
  42. It is flooring though how many movies produced do not pass the test. #scriptchat
  43. I always thought it was 2 female characters talking about something OTHER than men/romantic relationships/boyfriends/husbands #scriptchat 
  44. @Secretoriginz Exactly. I don’t mention fashion, hair, body, etc. when I introduce characters. #scriptchat
  45. How hard is it to have two named women with interests outside of men? #scriptchat
  46. @Al_1701 exactly. I genuinely believe that the best use of the test is that if you can't pass, you aren't ready. #scriptchat
  47. Porn - a script about a mother and daughter porn star team. The characters are flat and vapid and caricatures of women. #scriptchat
  48. And lets remember that tons of movies make huge profits without passing the test. #scriptchat
  49. Almost everything I write has a female lead, and I'm always astounded when people find it weird that they aren't chasing men... #scriptchat
  50. @TheBechdelGroup Related: Anything you don't wanna read when it comes to sexually (very) active fem characters? #scriptchat
  51. @TheBechdelGroup Tons of movies make huge profits with terrible scripts about worthless characters. Bay's Transformers anyone? #scriptchat
  52. @filmwritr4 No I mean the female characters discussing it. Its inherently superficial. #scriptchat
  53. It's not a formula for making money or selling scripts, it's a formula for making sure women are considered as human beings #scriptchat
  54. Though, movies that pass do statistically tend to bring a higher rate of return to investors #scriptchat
  55. @Secretoriginz Speaking of which, that's making me reconsider this latest script I'm writing... #scriptchat
  56. Women like watching real women on screen. And we buy at least half of the movie tickets in the world. #scriptchat
  57. @Al_1701 @TheBechdelGroup Profit is just a matter of how much it cost and how well they dragged in viewer #scriptchat
  58. @TheBechdelGroup How can TV series/web/streaming series benefit from implementing the test? #scriptchat
  59. We tell our writers that it's okay not to pass, we just want you to think about why you aren't passing and have a good reason. #scriptchat
  60. I have no issue with applying the Bechdel Test to what I write. It's one of many valuable tools used during rewrite. #scriptchat
  61. @TheBechdelGroup as I said, I consider it a test of how good a writer you are. If you can't pass easily, you can't write. Period #scriptchat
  62. Could that smaller doctor role be played by a woman instead of a man? #scriptchat
  63. @TheBechdelGroup And how can they apply the standards of the test when developing the show's concept/characters? #scriptchat
  64. @TheBechdelGroup and I think the more we write, the more the market gets flooded w/ scripts that pass, it becomes a norm #scriptchat
  65. #HacksawRidge probably doesn't pass, but it's still going to be an interesting story. And it's important to make a decision... #scriptchat
  66. #scriptchat What's the test when the woman is home crying and she's talking to her husband/boyfriend who drives the story forward
  67. .@femscriptintros demonstrates how thin/reductive female characters can be in just a log line. Focus on sexuality/attractiveness #scriptchat
  68. @SarahAlexis4 the most interesting and tough conversations are about why characters are male instead of female and... #scriptchat
  69. @jeannevb Cheers, Jeanne! It's been a long, long sidetrip with stories of their own. But I'm back. :-) #scriptchat
  70. @TheBechdelGroup @SarahAlexis4 This is a personal pet peeve for me. Why specify gender unnecessarily? No name, no gender, Simple #scriptchat
  71. @blueneumann Actually, it is, under the big bold "Proper Noun". If you want, I could link a much longer article #scriptchat
  72. ...what are we allowed to write? We had a cisgender woman write a piece about a transgender woman and the convo was fascinating #scriptchat
  73. @emissary666 No, I think I look enough like an idiot for not seeing something right in my face, thank you #scriptchat
  74. @chasinglamely @TheBechdelGroup @SarahAlexis4 Yeah, optimist in me thinks that too, but pessimist thinks better safe than sorry. #scriptchat
  75. @TheBechdelGroup @SarahAlexis4 absolutely. If the character is "Florist#7" I just want the person who can sell roses the best. #scriptchat
  76. @anicat Awesome Kristin! *hugs* Great to see you here, and glad you're at the party! #scriptchat
  77. @emissary666 the mako mori test is also a good one. I like when every main char has their own unique arc. #scriptchat
  78. @GCGeek would love to see some of the old #scriptchat gang come back for a reunion one night.
  79. If you can't get your female lead female friends, how are you going to get her an arc of her own? #scriptchat
  80. @blueneumann @simone257 @chasinglamely having women as major drivers is fighting the default? we're 50% of the population #scriptchat
  81. @jeannevb @GCGeek so would I. Been missing everyone for a while now. Would be fun! #scriptchat
  82. @simone257 @TheBechdelGroup @SarahAlexis4 Personal opinion? A pessimistic writer is an unsuccessful one. We're in the hope biz. #scriptchat
  83. @chasinglamely A pessimist in your writing is different than a pessimist about your writing. About=no success, In=interesting #scriptchat
  84. Fun story: I once wrote a screenplay where I specified no genders and races. All names were gender neutral. People weren't lost. #scriptchat
  85. @chasinglamely Well, minorities have been hoping for representation for a long time. Sometimes, you need to act. @SarahAlexis4 #scriptchat
  86. #scriptchat .... i have always thought that a womens place is in the house and in the senate!
  87. A female protagonist can have a different perspective from a male one. She often does. #scriptchat
  88. What's your favorite movie to watch on #Halloween? (Tweet us if it's not listed here!) #screenwriting #scriptchat
  89. @emissary666 @TheBechdelGroup Why does a female need female friends for her own arc? #scriptchat they can be enemies... but not over man.
  90. @simone257 @SarahAlexis4 sometimes. But sometimes you need to stop acting and quietly tidy your own house. Others will follow. #scriptchat
  91. @emissary666 Sorry for the confusion.They don't have to be friends...just commenting on if you can't get her into a conversation #scriptchat
  92. It had nothing to do with love. It had to do with control over ancient technology. #scriptchat
  93. @TheBechdelGroup Again, why would a female need other females (friends or foe) for her own arc? #scriptchat
  94. @emissary666 @TheBechdelGroup Because people are scared to death of being labeled a Smurfette writer. #scriptchat
  95. @emissary666 She doesn't need other females for an arc. The point is that adding other females is fairly easy, arcs are hard. #scriptchat
  96. Characters need something. Needing someone else is a pretty easy go-to #scriptchat
  97. Plus it's understandably validating, having someone love you back. But it leads to "trophy" characters, which I don't like #scriptchat
  98. @blueneumann that's something I hate. Romance as a crutch. Chase a dream, not a person. #scriptchat
  99. @chasinglamely @blueneumann Needing someone doesn't necessarily have to be romance, though it is the easiest way to write it #scriptchat
  100. @blueneumann yes, but there are tons of interesting movies without classic love interests. Reservoir Dogs. Usual Suspects. #scriptchat
  101. @blueneumann for me, 99% of scripts should be about that. Chase the dream first. If you get the girl along the way, it's B story #scriptchat
  102. Here's an interesting test. Have a female protagonist with a romantic subplot that doesn't take over the story. #scriptchat
  103. @filmwritr4 @chasinglamely I gotta finish it. Lots of little working parts in it, lots of characters and plots. #scriptchat
  104. Value of #bechdeltest is so obvious to me that debating it feels a little like 1987 Women'sStudies. But I'm in a bad mood. #scriptchat
  105. @emissary666 @blueneumann the easiest way is almost always the worst way. If you want an easy path, get a McJob. #scriptchat
  106. @chasinglamely @emissary666 I'm not advocating it, I'm just saying why writers depend on it. I can never do the "easy" thing #scriptchat
  107. @TheBechdelGroup @emissary666 The Smurfette trope is a single female character surrounded by almost exclusively male characters. #scriptchat
  108. @TheBechdelGroup @Al_1701 @emissary666 You know how Smurfette was the only female Smurf, but did all the childcare and cleaning? #scriptchat
  109. @RLSoo I totally agree. Why do we are still need this conversation? I had a friend say to me, "but then what would women say?" #scriptchat
  110. @filmwritr4 @TheBechdelGroup @emissary666 It's easy to make a character asexual. Keeping romance as a subplot is a challenge. #scriptchat
  111. @Al_1701 @TheBechdelGroup @emissary666 It would be great to do a series/film without a romantic subplot or male "mentor" char #scriptchat
  112. @Al_1701 @emissary666 So interesting. As I kid I totally wanted to be Smurfette, which is why this is important and dangerous. #scriptchat
  113. @TheBechdelGroup @RLSoo I have been repeatedly stunned by need for this sort of thing. Seems like it shouldn't be needed.#scriptchat
  114. It goes back to what messages are we putting out with our writing. If you became a screenwriter because you have something to/ #scriptchat
  115. I've said it before, something I'd love to see: all women gangster movie. Scorcese style, very trope-y, all women. #scriptchat
  116. One challenge I did bump up against was that im@so tired of certain themes being written from false woman-voice @TheBechdelGroup #ScriptChat
  117. @blueneumann I'm working on one still. It's going ot happen if I have to shoot it myself. #scriptchat
  118. @RLSoo @TheBechdelGroup I don't even understand what 'woman-voice' is. Have you guys got a secret language you're hiding? #scriptchat
  119. That I wanted to write from honest woman-voice, including sex/love/parenting but very act can be construed @TheBechdelGroup #scriptchat
  120. That I wanted to write from honest woman-voice, including sex/love/parenting but very act can be construed TheBechdelGroup #scriptchat
  121. @RLSoo @TheBechdelGroup call me a misogynist, but I actually think feminism can be bad in film. Especially third-wave ideals. #scriptchat
  122. @SarahAlexis4 The women from OITNB are all different, interesting and compelling. #scriptchat
  123. @SarahAlexis4 Jane Doe (Blindspot), Annalise Keating (How To Get Away With Murder), Alex Parrish (Quantico) #scriptchat
  124. @SarahAlexis4 Thirteen in House. One of the best-rounded characters ever on TV, male or female. #scriptchat
  125. @Al_1701 @chasinglamely @RLSoo Yes, bringing it back to center is more important than swinging the pendulum. #scriptchat
  126. @SarahAlexis4 Tatiana Maslany in all of her characters on Orphan Black. #scriptchat
  127. @SarahAlexis4 Kimberly Joyce in Pretty Persuasion. If you haven't seen it, WATCH IT! #scriptchat
  128. @TheBechdelGroup because seeking to make women more equally represented by force will turn people away. #scriptchat
  129. Lorelai and Rory Gilmore were also two of the very best characters ever written. Gilmore Girls was awesome in every way. #scriptchat
  130. Laura from LittleHousePrairie/ OneDayAtATime, Melissa-30Something, girl in OdeToBillyJoe,younger sister/Transparent SarahAlexis4 #scriptchat
  131. Not sure what our topic is next week yet. @authorJamie is moderating. Stay tuned! #scriptchat
  132. @jeannevb @TheBechdelTest @SarahAlexis4 Thanks for being with us, and thanks for answering all of our questions! :) #scriptchat
  133. Pretty Persuasion is a great flick, every character is interesting and entertaining to watch. #scriptchat
  134. Learn how to make a web series and why creating a web series will advance your career. #scriptchat #screenwriting... 
  135. I'll get the transcript up as soon as I can. Thanks, everyone! #scriptchat
  136. @blueneumann @SarahAlexis4 you really do. The fact that he reduces her to a number from the start is excellent foreshadowing. #scriptchat
  137. @SarahAlexis4 Having an embarrassingly hard time w/ this ? Because I'm a scifi/fantasy person...Hermione? Rei? Yikes... #scriptchat
  138. @filmwritr4 25 days to go. I've already booked it off work. Actually, I called in sick. My boss understood immediately. #scriptchat
  139. @megankbickel @SarahAlexis4 Oh my god, raised on SF. The idea that women aren't equal in other dramas was mind blowing. #scriptchat
  140. @megankbickel @SarahAlexis4 Why is it so hard to get Hermione and Ron's little sister in a conversation? #scriptchat
  141. Good night all you fabulous #scriptchat people! Great discussion! Thank you @TheBechdelGroup !!

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