welcome to our official blog: Reelsource Hub. we’re here to provide you tips, tools, support and more to thrive and suceed as a womxn, trans, non-binary and marginalized folk in film. thanks for reading!
an opening note from D’arby:
Protecting myself as a womxn of color on set and in film offices was and still is often tricky. I have to make sure that I’m not ever being too loud as to not become the angry black woman. To be careful that I don’t make others uncomfortable by telling them their comments were racist, sexist or discriminating in any way, even when it’s “just a petty comment.” It’s exhausting to always triple check myself to prevent making my white male and female coworkers feel uncomfortable, because “their comfort comes before mine.” Well, at least that’s what I used to think.
Over the last seven years working in the film industry I have found myself between a rock and a really annoyingly hard place dozens upon dozens of times where I’ve struggled to ask for what I need, what I want and especially, what I don’t want. A majority of my bosses have been white (fortunately a “healthy” balance of men and women) and so in this subconscious way I always found myself struggling to ask for raises, to ask for space, to ask for more time on a project, to ask for anything to make my ability to do my job more effectively. Well, a) because they’re my boss but also b) because the white superior complex is prevalent in my life. I felt scared to stand up to it, as to not jeopardize my job, but then, I learned about my rights as an employee in the state of California, a privilege I’m so (fucking) thankful and lucky to have.
With that surge of power and confidence, along the way I gained friends and true allies that supported this movement to create a safer place for all folks and to break down systemic oppression in film. I found so many resources and tools to support and further my personal and professional development in and out of filmmaking, and it’s this journey that has helped me turn back up the volume of my intuition and now to share as much knowledge as I can with other filmmakers and artists like myself.
It’s important to connect and communicate, to trust our intuition and decisions, and to create art no matter what systemic oppression gets in the way. Color Film is a platform, an evolving space, serving as a self-advocating navigation system within the film industry for womx/y/en, transgender and non-binary filmmakers and cinematic artists.
We started and continue to build Color Film and our community because we believe in the future of more (and continued) inclusive filmmaking and storytelling and making the industry accessible and safe for marginalized folks. Come connect with us and bring your true self while you’re at it.
Feel Feelings and Get Shit Done,
Co-Founders, Color Film
is an advice column and space for marginalized folks in film to inquire about current issues or topics in their workplace.
This issue’s inquirer reached out for help in resolving a sticky workplace situation that left her to defend her sexual orientation against her white male boss. Here’s the sitch:
Their office was celebrating pride month and as part of the decoration they hung pride flags around the office. This boss, who for the sake of anonymity we’ll call John, asked about the meaning of the different types of flags. Quickly this situation escalated from an innocent ask to a flustered set of questions from John, which left
our CF community friend, who I’ll call Carrie, alone to defend the flags along with her own identity. She had to decide whether to approach him directly (with concern that he might lash back and the situation repeats itself), contact HR to mediate (another concern that he’d mistreat her after the meeting), or to leave it be and attempt to move on. (Spoiler alert: she talked to him one on one and their working relationship proved to be trustworthy and solid. She stood up for herself and he listened. There’s hope!)
- Anti-discrimination laws are in place to protect minorities/marginalized folks as well as protecting the employee should the employer attempt to retaliate in any form or fashion.
- Always keep a paper trail of the incidents as they occurred and were resolved or not resolved.
- From a womxn of color point of view and including Carrie’s sexual orientation, we talked a lot about the extra layers on top that we as womxn of color have to swim through to resolve these types of situations that are not typically black and white. Yes, there are laws and rules exist within state and federal levels and should in Human Resources within the company (which generally only exist in film unless you’re in a corporate job or in the union), but the white and male superiority complex exists and unfortunately more often than not gets in the way of us marginalized folks having the courage to speak and stand up for ourselves. So —
- Build your community of allies. These aren’t just friends and co-workers won’t always be there to support you, so find folks and communities of folks (hi, hello Color Film is here to help you out!) that will stand up for and with you. Trust your gut that if the incident felt wrong, it was most likely wrong.
- We’re here to help, listen, support and provide resources and tools to help you continue to succeed in this super male-dominated (but also growingly inclusive and diverse let’s not forget) film industry.
You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with matters you want advice on. If you’d like to send anonymously you can send it via our Contact page on our website using our email@example.com email as your own.
Happy to connect,
Keena Prugh, a Los Angeles-based event manager, helped find the location for our previous meet up event, Connect. Like a (fucking) star from outer space, she found a spot that was accessible geographically and financially, donates proceeds to charities, has inclusive restrooms and a great, chill after work vibe. Bernadette’s in Downtown Los Angeles was rad and pretty affordable for us freelancing and independent filmmakers. Keena is fantastic on the ground when managing events, behind the scenes producing them, and heck, if you need a Sound Operator she also does that because no one in LA does just one thing. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OH AND BTW: Last week we hung out with Rock Camp for Girls Los Angeles and taught a kid/teen-oriented workshop called Feel Feelings and Get It Done! We talked about how to use our emotions to create films and how powerful vulnerability is. If you have a class and are interested in bringing in Color Film to talk about how cool it is to have womxn and marginalized folks in film, contact us at email@example.com!
SAVE THE DATE: Join us for coffee and sunshine on Sunday, July 14th at our next Connect meet up with other womxn and friends of the Color Film community!