Creating diversity in production
Creating diversity throughout the production pipeline is something we’re pretty passionate about here at Taxi Film Production. Reflecting the multiple genders, races, sexual orientations and abilities we see in our diverse nation seems like a no-brainer when it comes to production.
However, stark comparisons still exist when it comes to the industry. Creativity isn’t gendered, but unfortunately opportunity is. That’s why Taxi has been working with the Free The Bid initiative for over a year.
Recently Taxi director Ali Cameron had the opportunity to attend a Free the Bid (FTB) two-day filming and post-production workshop led by FTB Australia ambassador and director, Jasmin Tarasin.
The initiative is one close to Ali’s heart, who like all female directors has experienced the hurdles that exist for women in the production industry.
“I think the importance of this initiative is much greater than the impact on my and my fellow female directors’ careers. It’s about a balanced voice amongst storytellers in an industry that has so much power over the way the whole spectrum of society is represented on-screen,” Ali says.
“We want nothing more than to win jobs on merit alone, but to do that we need more seats at the table. This initiative is working towards that goal.”
Held at Sydney’s Fox Studios and Heckler Post-Production, the workshop aimed to connect emerging and signed female directors, and gave them the opportunity to experiment with world-class equipment and facilities.
“The workshop was a fantastic chance to explore our craft and ask questions to industry experts outside of the fast-paced and high-pressure environment of an actual shoot,” says Ali.
“It’s also a chance to speak frankly about the challenges that face us as directors in general. It can be a really isolating career and one that often involves phases of feast and famine.
“In the quiet times, it’s essential that we stay inspired and encouraged to carry on. This is a chance to be a part of an inclusive community and to share experiences, contacts and resources.”
While achieving complete equality across the board will take some time, Ali is positive about the future for female representation in the film industry.
“What people see on-screen has a huge influence over gender bias and stereotyping. I think the more we acknowledge that there is an imbalance, the faster we can create change.”
“I think that production companies signing female directors (both established and emerging) is an integral starting point to reducing gender disparity in the commercial film industry.
“I have been afforded many amazing opportunities in the short time I have been with Taxi, and am certain that I would never have been trusted with such huge campaigns so early in my career if it wasn’t for the support of Andrew Wareham and our incredibly experienced producers,” she says.
“I am lucky to be surrounded by very passionate and ambitious women. It’s the sense of community over competition between us that gives me hope for the future.”