Approaches to gender diversity behind the camera in Australian student screen productions

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Dooley, Kath
McHugh, Margaret
Berry, Marsha
Batty, Craig
Verdon, James
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Film and Screen Media, University College Cork
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This article asks how educators at tertiary level might attempt to address gender diversity behind the camera in student productions. The 2020 Australian Screen Production Education and Research Association (ASPERA) report Diversity On and Off Screen in Australian Film Schools outlines the results of a national survey measuring levels of gender diversity behind the camera in Australian university capstone (major project-based) screen production units. The survey results reveal that, while close to even numbers of male and female students are completing capstone projects in screen production departments and film schools in Australia, crew roles are highly gendered. A gendered skew is most pronounced in the roles of cinematographer and sound designer (male dominated), and producer and production designer (female dominated). We argue that an investigation of this subject calls for an examination of the specificity of the tertiary screen production environment. The crewing of student projects can be fraught, involving competition for popular roles such as that of director, and choices are made based on student likes and dispositions. In this article, we further drill into quantitative and qualitative data from the ASPERA survey to examine educator attitudes and approaches towards the gendered nature of some student production roles.
Screen production , Educator , Gender , Diversity , Inclusivity
Dooley, K., McHugh, M., Berry, M., Batty, C. and Verdon, J. (2022) 'Approaches to gender diversity behind the camera in Australian student screen productions', Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media, 24, pp. 118-131.