A Smart Project to Improve Movies About Women

I’m sure many of you have heard of the Black List, a project to round up the best unproduced movie scripts, based on recommendations from executives at movie studios and production companies. Getting a script on the Black List is a mark of esteem, something that might get a script into production that had been previously been overlooked, and that marks a writer as a creative and original thinker. So I’m excited about a new endeavor* that’s creating a similar list of scripts that pass the Bechdel Test, and trying to get producers to commit to reading at least two of the scripts on the list.

I’m excited by the prospect of turning rich female characters from something that’s seen as a way to placate a certain number of vocal women or to get a certain kind of critical acclaim to an objective measurement of quality, creativity and intelligence. And I think it’ll be fun to see the scripts themselves: it’s interesting to see what people come with outside the established formulas of Hollywood genres. But I think I’m also curious to see how long it takes for the list to take off, and many of these scripts get picked up as compared to Black List scripts. If nothing else, that’s useful data about what kinds of smart and creative Hollywood values, and how far we have to go to make fascinating female characters part of that equation.