Female Forward Filmmaking
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Since the start of Long Haul Films, we’ve done something quite naturally that has evolved into a bigger practice that we call “female forward filmmaking”. It’s a focus on featuring strong and empowered women in front of the camera, and working with them behind the camera.
As with most aspects of our business, this didn’t stem from a strategy meeting or a focus group insight— it was simply a case of being co-founded by a feminist; of working from the very beginning with incredibly talented women filmmakers; and wanting to create content that showed women more realistically than some of the images we grew up seeing (and a lot of the images we still see today).
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Having worked on a number of projects by and about women, we believe in something we call “female forward filmmaking” and see it as a new approach to video and film creation. It will soon be the standard.
So what does female forward filmmaking mean, and what are the benefits?
- Female forward filmmaking starts behind the camera. The industry stereotype of production crews is very different from a Long Haul Films team. We staff our crews mindfully to be gender-balanced. We have multiple women in positions of power. For our collaborators, this has a big impact on the creativity we bring, which is informed by a blending of masculine and feminine perspectives on every decision we make. We see those energies as complimentary, rather than competing, and the result is more nuanced and complex creative content.
- Female forward filmmaking is about what you see on screen. We believe representation matters, and what we want to avoid is adding to the canon of stereotypical images of women: standing around looking cute, being someone’s Mom or girlfriend, supporting the action. What we want to show is women as the stars of stories: inventing, building, inspiring, performing, exploring, taking action. And sometimes looking hawt while they do all that— but it’s who they are and what they do that takes the focus first.
- The stereotype of filmmaking is that it’s hard, intense, stressful. That the hours are long and punishing. We’ve all heard the stories of directors, actors and crews that push themselves to the brink of insanity for their art. That’s a 20th century mentality and we are living in a 21st century world. We believe that the feminine brings a fluidity, an openness, and an ease to the process of filmmaking. Not that we don’t work hard, but we don’t let work overwhelm us, or change how we show up in the world. We acknowledge that sometimes a break and a breath are important. We love filmmaking to our very core, and we also know that our lives outside of our craft are essential, and deserving of respect and nurturing.
The future of filmmaking is female forward.