Equality is “the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, and opportunities”. By this definition, we as a country have come a long way, but as an industry we have failed. We have failed my fellow actresses by merely speaking from award podiums. I have been blessed to be a successful actress, and have appeared on television series, commercials, and feature films. With over twenty years in the industry, I have never worked with a female DP, and I have only worked for one female director. I have worked on series where the writers’ room is completely male or mostly male, and I have worked on film sets where the majority of the below the line crew are male.
I have been presented with roles and played roles where my only purpose was to be saved by a man. I have experienced roles where my purpose is to make the male co-star appear the ultimate protagonist, or a role where my physical features are the only objective for me on screen.
Nothing against men, but with all those “I haves” I can tell you I have never worked on a set with a majority of females below the line. I have never worked on a series where the writers’ room is completely or mostly female. I have never been presented roles where the male co-star’s only purpose is to be shown nude and I am the protagonist. These roles and sets rarely, if at all, exist. Females make up 51% of the population, but every weekend we are urged to head to the theater to see yet another man saving the world, and the woman in glorious 3D.
All of this has been noted before, and I won’t misuse your time with another axiom. We all have read the statistics and the problem is worse than ever. The media would have us think that progress is truly being made because the conversation is being had. However talk without action does little to solve the problem. I, like you, want action, and I wanted to help create something that is for women by women.
I found the perfect partners in Indie Crowd Funder co-founders Denise Smith, Chris Parker, Gregory Parker, and PGA producer Autumn Bailey-Ford. The root of the issue stems from the very few people in Hollywood that have green light power. “The Money”, is not financing women. We knew our solution had to tackle the lack of green light power women have from a financial perspective. The foundation of every entertainment project is financing. How can we overcome this deficit if we are losing from the very on-set?
Our solution needed to be affordable for any woman to invest. It needed to be inclusive, and it needed to be in the hands of women to steer. This two-part solution grew to become “Eve Fund 1” and “Eve Fund 2”, and let me tell you, it is one of the most ambitious projects I have ever been a part of.
Eve Fund 1 is a $1 million fan-owned production fund that will finance, produce, and distribute two feature films by women for women. Eve Fund 2, our second phase, is a $50 million fan-owned production fund that will finance, produce, and distribute several television, feature film, new media, and virtual reality projects by women for women.
The mandate for both is that each project has a female director and majority of female producers. We will strive to fill below the line positions with deserving female candidates. Can you just imagine a set full of powerful, intelligent, thoughtful, and skillful ladies making Hollywood magic? I can, and this is why I’m proud to be a leader in this new initiative.
This isn’t an appearance of power; this isn’t just words. This is real action, led by myself, Denise Smith and Autumn Bailey-Ford. We will have green light power!
I truly hope every woman joins us in making a real change. Together we are stronger than anyone can imagine. We possess the strength to be mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, executives, producers, directors, writers, defenders, entrepreneurs, and investors. Now let’s possess the strength to be financial entertainment innovators and STIMULATE ENTERTAINMENT EQUALITY!