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Breaking up the boys' club

02 July 2019


Q:  How many women does it take to break up a boys’ club?

A:  Not sure, but 180 donors and a few amazing women’s networks is a GREAT START!

Back in April, I wrote an article for Ruby Connection about my web series THIRTY and my journey to becoming a Producer (Tricia Morosin, above centre). I also shared some pretty alarming stats. Like how women account for only 30% of all Producers, 21% of Writers and a measly 16% of Directors* in the Aussie film industry.

That’s why shows like THIRTY – written, produced and directed by women – are so important. We’re tipping the scale on representation and creating oodles of opportunities for women to work in front of and behind the camera.

Well, I’m super pleased to report that since that article, we’ve raised over $21K to make Season 2, thanks to 180 generous crowdfunding supporters! Because we hit our target, we then received a further $10K in support from Creative Partnerships Australia. And, as a result, we’re currently in post-production for Season 2 of THIRTY. Woohoo!

A huge thank you to Ruby Connection for helping us get the word out and, if you’re a Ruby Connection member who kindly donated to our campaign, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!! A million times THANK YOU!

This whole experience has opened my eyes to the number of women out there who are willing to support other women and their projects. It’s made me so proud to be a woman and so hopeful for our future. Because, let’s face it, if we’re going to break through the boys’ clubs at the helm of most industries, we need to back each other. Actually, we have to do more than that – we need to open doors for one another.

That’s where a group like Dame Changer comes in. I found out about their ‘Screen Tank’ program via an e-newsletter, which I’m fairly certain I received because I’m part of Ruby Connection. (AGAIN, THANK YOU!!!)

Dame Changer is a collective of Aussie women working in the screen industry, who provide training and networking opportunities specifically for women. They’re working to break down barriers to career growth for women, help them have more sustainable careers and move into leadership roles in the screen industry.

Um, yes please?!

We applied to take part in their three-day intensive ‘Screen Tank’ program for film and TV projects, and wow. We were blown away. To say this was a career-changing experience for us would be under-selling it.

The three days included various sessions with industry experts from Australia and international markets. We got to ask them questions, learn more about the industry and better understand the market place we’re operating in.

On day one we realised we were probably one of the less experienced producing teams in the room. Rather than feeling like we didn’t deserve to be there (which, as women, we do so often), we totally owned it. How incredible to meet and learn from these experienced women producers, who were so keen to throw their support behind us.

Side note – FINANCE – yikes! I hate to fall into the stereotype of the woman who doesn’t understand finance plans but… I don’t understand finance plans. As part of Dame Changer, we did a two-hour deep dive with finance experts (women, I should add!), explaining how to create a finance plan. This is an area that’s been holding our project back in terms of applying for government funding and we had no idea how to fix it on our own.

Talk about opening doors. For the past two years we have been sending emails and emails and emails. Cold-contacting network people and Executive Producers, and……. nothing. NOTHING. It’s just so hard to get in front of these people when you don’t know them and you don’t have a way in.

Through Dame Changer we met people from Stan, ABC, Channel 10, Fremantle Media – you name it and we made a contact! On the last day of our course we had a pitching intensive, where we got 15 minutes with each network or production company to pitch our project. It was like speed dating… but totally professional of course! We walked away with heaps of positive and constructive feedback, as well as a bunch of business cards we’ve protected like Gollum from Lord of the Rings (i.e. intensely squatting).

Ultimately, we’re so grateful for the women who told us about Dame Changer (Ruby Connection) and to the women who run Dame Changer (volunteers btw!), for being absolute legends and choosing to support other women.

We can’t wait to pay it forward as our careers continue to develop. Because, honestly, we don’t know how many women it takes to break up a boys’ club, but we’re gonna keep growing our tribe ‘til we get there.

See what Dame Changers is up to

*Gender Matters - Women in the Australian Screen Industry (Screen Australia Report)