IFH 091: What Filmmakers Can Do About the Diversity Problem in Hollywood

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This podcast episode comes straight from the heart. Diversity in the film industry is a MAJOR problem. The numbers do not lie.

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Original Source: Fusion.net

Women-Directed-Feature-Films

Original Source: GirlTalkHQ.com

The film business needs to have many points of view and not just a select few. The more points of view you have, the better the industry as a how will be.

Filmmakers can not use their gender or race as an excuse for “not making it“. The diversity problem in Hollywood is SLOWLY getting better. Ava DuVernay, the director of Selma, has become the first African-American female director to helm a major studio film with a $100 million dollar budget. (Source: Business Insider)

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Original Source: The Hollywood Reporter and The Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies

There are many examples of industry-changing. Robert Rodriguez, Guillermo del Toro, Tyler Perry, Spike Lee, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Ava DuVernay, Gale Anne Hurd, Kathryn Bigelow, Sofia CoppolaJustin Lin, and many more have cracked the diversity wall.

Asian-TV-Diversity

Original Source: Fusion

Now that being said, I’m not saying it has been easy for the filmmakers I’ve listed. It was DAMN HARD! Things are changing but EXTREMELY slowly. I’ve never allowed being Latino to stop me from creating my own opportunities. Indie Filmmakers have to create their own opportunities and stop waiting around for “Hollywood” to give it to them. I hope this episode inspires filmmakers to go out and make it happen…no matter what!

Alex Ferrari 2:21
So today's episode guys is a little bit touchy. A little bit controversial in in the subject matter. I was asked to be interviewed by a one of the tribe members for school project out here. Big shout out to Cory hope the The interview was good for you, sir. And he asked me a question about diversity, about diversity in the film industry, and what it means and just my thoughts on diversity in the film industry in general. And I think it's something that needs to be talked about a bit because it's something that's not talked about at all, generally speaking. in a positive light, it's always about well, you know, there's not enough diversity. There's not enough women directing in the film industry. There's not enough African American directors, there's not enough Latino directors, there's not enough Asian directors, there's not a lot of anything, and it goes on and on and on and on with every ethnicity and gender. But, you know, this is my feeling on it guys. Should Hollywood, as an institution, as a industry, have more diversity throughout the business? Absolutely. There's no question about it. We should have more women, we should have more Latinos, we should have more African Americans, we should have more of what the United States or America or generally the world, you know, there's a big pool, and it's not all by one point of view, it should be everybody. Film and entertainment should be from multiple point of views. It's just more interesting that way. But that's a very easy thing to say. Of course, it's the thing you're going to say is of course, the thing that I should say and it is what I believe 110% Now I know I've mentioned it before in the cat on the podcast, but I am a Latino. I am of Cuban descent. I was born in America. And I was in raised in New York in Miami. I want to tell you some guys, no one in this business has ever given me. Shit. All right. Being Latino not being Latino, it doesn't really matter. It's about talent. Now, I come from more of an entrepreneurial background as you guys who've listened to this episode. Listen to this podcast No. And I'm very much in the same mindset as a Tyler Perry. A man who whether you love his movies or not, whether you like his movies or not irrelevant what the man has been able to do is unheard of. He took His culture, his stories that he wanted to sell and share with his culture. And, and his demographic, which are African Americans, a segment of the population that was not being catered to, as far as storytelling as far as movies as far as plays, as far as television, in his opinion, was not being catered to. So he went out and built an empire. And no one could tell Tyler, that he couldn't do it because of the color of his skin. It didn't matter to him, he just went out and did it. When everyone told him he was crazy, he still went out and did it. And now, he made so much noise. So much noise that he made doing what he was doing, that Hollywood finally took notice and said, Hey, we can make money with this. And this is one thing I want you to be very clear about. And this is something my old boss told me, many years ago, when I was working in a video store. They've, if you're listening, Dave, thank you for this advice. I asked them once, because you know, I had a situation that happened to me at the video store where somebody came in and was very upset that I was telling them they couldn't return a movie or do something. And they were upset because I was Latino. And they called him up and said, How dare you this Latino, tell me what to do, and all this kind of stuff. So I asked him about it. Because I was young, I was still in my teens. And I said, Is this something I'm gonna have to deal with? And, and what should I do, you know, in the business in Hollywood, and all this kind of stuff, because he knew what I wanted to do. And he said, Alex, the only color that matters in this business is green. That's it. Green is the color that matters in the film industry. The industry, the business does not care what color, ethnicity, gender you are, if you can provide green, meaning money, they'll welcome you in with open arms. Okay, now getting in knocking on the door, all that kind of stuff is a whole other podcast, a whole other book, courses, a million things you can about how to break in, Tyler didn't break in, Tyler just said I'm gonna go off and do my own thing. And I'm gonna make so much damn noise that someone's gonna pay attention to me. And that was the way he broke in by doing his own thing outside of the business, and did it so well as so successfully, that they finally called him and said, Hey, we'd like to get into the Tyler Perry business. And that's exactly what happened. But at the end of the day, it's not about your ethnicity, sure, you're not getting some opportunities that others are getting. But stop bitching about it, and make your own opportunities. That's what I do. That's what I did. I'm creating my own opportunities. You know, with my movie, this is Meg. I've got a Latina, which is Jill, Michelle milyon. And I just made it I just went out and did it. I'm not waiting around for other people to give me permission. So you shouldn't use your ethnicity, or your gender as an excuse to not make something guys. You know, and I don't I don't know how this is going to be received by people. But you know what, I'm just doing it from the bottom of my heart. I don't want anybody out there listening to this podcast, to make excuses. And like, Oh, I'm not making it because I'm Latino, or I'm black, or I'm a woman, no, go out and do it yourself. The technology is cheaper than it's ever been in the history of filmmaking, they get the highest quality possible. There are distribution outlets where you can go out and make your sell your own movie, make your own, make your own money, you can create a YouTube channel and start building an audience right now with nobody's permission. And you can make that into a multi million dollar business. And it's been done not once, but many, many, many times throughout the last decade since YouTube's been around. There's no excuses, guys. I'm not saying it's not hard, guys. It's hard. It's extremely hard to be fighting up against being you know, your gender, being a female being a black of the color of your skin, being Latino being Asian, it's very difficult. Don't get me wrong, but that's not an excuse guys. You can do whatever you want to in this world. You've just got to go out and do it and you got to put in the hard work. And I guarantee you you put in that work and you you create good good product, good art that people are are resonating with and are willing to pay money for. I guarantee you they're the doors there's going to be a knock at that door. It's going to happen. Do you think that stopped Robert Rodriguez, do you think that stopped Spike Lee? Do you think it stopped Tyler Perry? Do you think it stopped Guillermo del Toro Do you think it stopped 100 Ruto from winning to Best Director Oscars in a row. He A Latino director from Mexico. You know, you can't use it as an excuse guys. So I hope what you get out of this podcast is to go out and just do it. Do you tell the stories you want to tell, if you don't see the stories that are important to you on the screen, then just go make those stories. And they might not be at the multiplex for 500 or 5000 theaters. And that's okay. Maybe they're just for 10 theaters, you know, Tyler Perry would would drive around, doing his plays in the south, just trying to get an audience for stuff. Sometimes it'd be five people in the audience. But now he's in those multiplexes. And now he's made millions upon millions of dollars, and has given opportunities upon opportunities to many, many people that might have not gotten those opportunities if it wasn't for a Tyler Perry. So guys, you got it, you have a responsibility. And I've said this before, you have a responsibility as an artist, as a filmmaker, to get your voice out into the world. And don't let something like your color of your skin or your gender. stop you. Okay? It hasn't stopped me. And I'm not saying hasn't been, it's been an easy ride for me. I've been in the trenches as they say, you guys know all this, if you listen to the podcast, and I have not let it stop me. I have not let me being a Latino stop me. I'm not letting me being outside of the system. Stop me. You cannot allow anything to stop you. Alright, guys. So I really hope you find hope in this podcast and hope in the words that I'm saying because I want you guys to succeed no matter what. No matter where you come from, who you are, or anything, just do you guys, and be truthful to who you are as an artist. And you know what you will find success, it might not be financial success. It might be look at Tyler Perry, he wanted to tell funny stories about his community, about how he was raised how he grew up, you know, and that's why he's successful. He didn't try to do something that wasn't authentic to him, and to his story, and to his journey. This is what you have to find for yourself, guys. And if that is telling stories that are in, in your community, based on the way you were raised, and your your culture, great. Or you could just tell General, like stories. I mean, Robert Rodriguez, and I'll bring him up again, Robert has told, you know, he's never actually told a Latino man, if you've ever if you if you guys study, Robert Rodriguez, if you notice, Robert never has made a Latino movie ever. He has made movies like Spy Kids who happen to have Latinos in it as main characters as story as the family story structure, but he doesn't spotlight it. And I think that's one of the biggest mistakes you could do just tell a good story. And if doesn't matter what kind of color the person is on screen, or her background is or who's what kind of color or or gender is behind the scenes. You know, Robert, that that's how he was successful. He's made something like Sin City, which is not a Latino movie by any stretch of the imagination. He just wanted to tell a good story. And that's what he did. So don't get caught up in this guy's just do you. Just do you man. I really hope you guys are listening to my voice, man. I really do. I don't want us to use this as an excuse. So just go out and do it guys. And stop messing around. Alright, I hope you enjoyed that podcast guys. I hope it inspires a few of you to go out and do it and don't let anything. You can't have any excuses, man. You just can't. You just got to go out and do it. All right. please head over to indie film hustle comm forward slash zero 91. To read the show notes about everything we talked about links and things like that. And directors I'm gonna put a couple links up to the directors I talked about so you can kind of see some of their work. And guys, don't forget we have the indie film syndicate a growing community of filmmakers who are joining this vibrant community and getting access to a ton of filmmaking knowledge. Obviously, you have access to all our podcasts instantly, but you'll also have over 40 hours of online courses tutorials and of course, you'll find you'll see me making this as mag the micro budget film masterclass. As I go through it, all the things I learned on making this as mag are going to be being put up there in a very organized manner. So it will help you guys build up your camera rig, how to record proper audio, how to deal with cast, how you do all that everything, everything from LLC, how to create an LLC all the way to how we distribute it. So as we're going through this over the next year, you'll be hearing about it and getting updates monthly, so definitely check that out anytime syndicate.com also wanted to give you an update on this is Meg we are as of the end of this recording we have about two days left of shooting well the day and a half something like that. of shooting we just did our big huge day which was like a 14 hour day for me and Jill and the team. And it was amazing was so so happy we had Deborah Wilson we had Carlos I was rocky there, rock Walker and it was so much fun. I can't express to you how much fun we're pissing ourselves how funny it is. So this movie is going to at minimum make you laugh and and hopefully make you think and make you feel something as well. So we will have more updates on this is Meg coming up. If you want to join that this Meg This is my community head over to this is Meg dot this is mag comm which will take you over to our seed and spark and you could just follow us there. And we're going to be doing updates there as well until we get the full. This is mag website up and running. But there you can follow us. So thank you so much for all your help and all your contributions to get. This is mag out into the world. And if you can please head over to filmmaking podcast.com and leave me a good review. Hopefully, on iTunes. It helps us amount immensely on rankings and getting the word out on indie film hustle. So please and again share everything you hear all our podcasts, all our posts as much as you can to get the word out on what what I'm trying to do here at indie film, hustle and help as many filmmakers and artists out there as I can. So keep that hustle going. Keep that dream alive. And I'll talk to you soon.

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