Shayna Brown is donating an hour of ADR to one of the grant recipients this fall. This will not only be a nice improvement on the final quality of the audio of the dialog in someone’s film, but it will be a great learning experience for the grant recipient and her actors to work with a professional like Shayna on an ADR session.
According to a profile in Austin Woman Magazine, “Shayna Brown is the founder, owner and chief cook and bottle washer at Chez Boom Audio, where she excels in the arcane and exacting art of audio (aka automated) dialogue replacement, or ADR. Besides being devilishly good at an indispensable part of filmmaking, she is also one of the few women in a corner of the industry that is often dominated by male egos and testosterone.”
She told us: “Thanks for reaching out. I’d love to help. Count me in! Great thing you’re doing. Rock on.”
Chez Boom Audio
Chez Boom Audio is the leading audio post-production company for TV, film, advertising, and audio books in Austin, TX.
If you donate $250, you can name one of the grants one semester after yourself or a family member. See the donation page for more details how we will honor you or one of your family members.
New Testimonial from UT Student in Support of Fundraiser for Grants to Support Women and Diverse Filmmakers
If you donate $250, you can name one of the grants one semester after yourself, a family member, an organization or a business. See the donation page for more details how we will honor you or one of your family members.
Donate here. If you donate $250, you can name one of the grants one semester after yourself or a family member. See the donation page for more details how we will honor you or one of your family members.
We want to end the days when any film student at UT walks into class on the first day and sees only 1, 2, 3, maybe 5 women in a class of 20. The goal of this initiative, organized by students and alumni, is to raise funds for production grants to support women and diverse filmmakers taking advanced filmmaking production classes in RTF at The University of Texas at Austin.
We are changing film school now, so that we can change Hollywood tomorrow.
Working to End Gender Disparity and Increase Diversity in Film Production Classes at UT
The grants would be open for submissions from people enrolled in certain classes including Advanced Narrative Production, 16mm Production, Advanced Directing, Cinematography, and Undergraduate Thesis. We hope to raise $10,000, which would allow us to give out at least 5 grants each semester of up to $250 each for several years. The amount and number of grants depends on how much we raise. Each semester, we will recruit judges to choose the grant recipients.
The grants will be administered by Women in Cinema, an official UT student organization.
This initiative will benefit film students in RTF, but to understand the wider issue, consider this: in the history of the Oscars only four women have ever been nominated for Best Director and only one woman has ever won the Academy Award for Best Director; no woman has ever even been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography.
Why we are doing this
Morgyn Utzman, RTF senior, Women in Cinema officer, says “a sad reality we are facing in school is the fact that women, the more specialized the production classes get, the fewer women register for those classes. The socialization of women in art is a problem that needs addressing, and incentivizing registering for production classes through a scholarship can make a huge difference in diversity.”
The Oscars are tonight and once again zero women have been nominated in the best directing category. Only 4 women have ever been nominated for best director and only one woman has ever won. In the entire history of the Oscars, zero women have been nominated in the best cinematography category. There are many initiatives nationally and elsewhere to support women and people with diverse backgrounds to advance in the film industry, but more needs to be done, especially at the local level. So I am organizing an initiative to raise funds for production grants to support women and other people with diverse backgrounds taking advanced filmmaking production classes at UT with a goal of raising $10,000, which would allow for 4-5 grants each semester of up to $250 each for several years. I will post the link to the crowdfunding page in the coming weeks. I am working with Women in Cinema, a student organization at UT, as a sponsor of the initiative.
If you are interested in donating after we launch the page, use the contact form.
I graduated in RTF at The University of Texas at Austin in 2014 and I saw first-hand how many of the undergraduate classes still had very few women. For example, during my last semester in fall 2014, there were only two women in two of the classes I took, Cinematography and 16mm production. The Advanced Directing class also only had 2 undergraduate women that semester. It had only one undergrad woman when I took it in fall 2013. In fall 2015, the 16mm class only had one woman. By supporting women students with production grants we can significantly raise the number of women taking the advanced production classes. Perhaps within five years, parity can be reached in those classes.
I asked for statistics from the office of UT Institutional Reporting, Research, and Information Systems on the gender breakdown of every undergraduate RTF course from 2000-2015 to confirm what I had observed with my own eyes and the data I received did confirm it. I also asked for statistics on ethnicity, but was told that was not available at that time. Some classes do better than others on gender, especially the editing and documentary production classes. However, the narrative production classes and cinematography classes consistently have far fewer women than men, as low in some years as only 12 percent women. Usually in a class of 20 there may be 3-6 women.
I was in Kat Candler’s advanced narrative production class at UT. Her feature film “Hellion” starring Aaron Paul and Juliette Lewis, played at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. She told me, “over the years the lack of female students in my classes has been incredibly disheartening. In a class of twenty students, three to five might be women. It breaks my heart every semester. Lower-level classes always seem more balanced, but as the students rise through the program, women tend to filter out of the upper level directing and cinematography classes. In 2011, I started Women in Cinema, a student organization to help create mentorships; offer workshops on camera, lighting and sound; and connect female students to professionals in their community. I love the idea to financially incentivize female students to helm more films through grant opportunities.”
For an idea of the national situation, see the table below with figures from September 1st 2014 to August 31st 2015 on 109 motion pictures and 305 broadcast, cable, and digital series. Source: Comprehensive Annenberg Report on Diversity in Entertainment (CARD).
We want to submit to film festivals, but the fees quickly add up. If you would like to help us cover the costs of submitting to film festivals, you can make a donation. Getting accepted and attending film festivals is an important part of the process of building exposure for filmmakers, including for our cast members and crew. Festivals are where you network and meet other filmmakers that you may one day work with on another film. When an actor is in a film at a festival, it helps them get exposure to get cast in more films.
Any donations are gratefully accepted.
“The There” starring Venus Monique and Teresa May Nichta is in good company at our film block at the SOMA Film Festival. Another film playing during our block starting at noon on Feb 13 is Mother’s Day. It has played at many film festivals and stars Academy Award winner Melissa Leo, who won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in The Fighter. Actor/Writer Gabriel Furman discusses his short film “Mother’s Day” and how he got Academy Award winner Melissa Leo to star in it.
The schedule is posted for the 2016 Texas Independent Film Festival in College Station on the campus of Texas A&M University. “The There” screens in the block of short films starting at 8:30 PM on Saturday, February 27, 2016.
Texas Independent Film Festival has partnered up with Aloft Hotels in College Station to reserve a room block for our out of town attendees!
For additional information please visit the festival website at www.txindyfilmfest.com or contact the hotel at (979) 704-6400 and mention the Texas Independent Film Festival!
“The There” will screen at the Texas Independent Film Festival 2016 as an official selection. The festival takes place February 26-27 in the Memorial Student Center, College Station, Texas.
The event’s mission is to celebrate the vision and enterprise of some of the world’s finest contemporary independent filmmakers in the great state of Texas.
The annual event is run by Aggie SWAMP (ScreenWriting, Acting, & Movie Production) Club and brings truly independent cinema and film discussion to the Bryan/College Station community, showcasing emerging artists and visions.
The SOMA Film Festival will screen “The There”, starring Venus Monique and Teresa May Nichta, as an official selection. The fest takes place February 12-14, 2016 at the South Orange Performing Arts Center, a beautiful venue in South Orange, New Jersey. “The There” screens during a block of films starting at 12 noon on Saturday, February 13, 2016.
“SOMA is short for South Orange and Maplewood, two towns that pride themselves on artistic expression. Resting only 15 miles and a short train ride from New York City, these two communities in Essex County, New Jersey are home to countless actors, actresses, filmmakers, writers, producers, Broadway and entertainment industry professionals. These two unique towns are the perfect place to invite filmmakers into where they can show their work to a highly receptive and responsive audience who both understand and appreciate their creative endeavors.
The overarching mission of the SOMA Film Festival is to introduce unique and innovative films, and filmmakers to the world. It is our belief that film is an essential instrument in life; it can intrigue, challenge, and inspire.”
That’s the theater below.
“The There” screens in Lafayette, Louisiana at the Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival on Saturday Jan 23 in a block of shorts starting at 8:30 AM at the Acadiana Center for the Arts, 101 W. Vermillion Street Lafayette, LA 70501. See photo of space to the left. Looks cool! Our film’s page on the festival’s website.
Louisiana is always worth a visit: the food! the people! the culture! the scenery!
Here is the fill list of films in our block:
- MY LUCHADOR / Louisiana Premiere / U.S.A. / 13 min
- LE SILENCE DU CIEL (LOST HEAVEN) / U.S. Premiere / Québec, Canada / 8 min
- SIRENS / Louisiana Premiere / U.S.A. / 24 min
- THE SKULL / World Premiere / U.S.A. / 13 min
- STEP-A-HEAD / Louisiana Premiere / U.S.A. / 12 min
- THE THERE / Louisiana Premiere / U.S.A. / 9 min