A few months ago we blogged (here and here) about a research report we received from the See Jane organization, which highlighted the massive gender imbalance among characters in family films. We also cited a similar imbalance among our own creative ranks, with far more men than women working as story artists, directors, writers, and so on.
Those posts generated, by a wide margin, the biggest responses of anything we've ever put on this blog. It was clear that these related subjects needed to be followed up, and so we're co-sponsoring a panel discussion with See Jane on the subject of Where the Girls Aren't. . .
The panel will be Thursday, Oct. 12, from 6:30 to 9 pm, at the Buena Vista Branch Library at 300 North Buena Vista St. in Burbank*. We have a fantastic panel: Geena Davis, who started this whole ball rolling by founding See Jane; Brenda Chapman, Pixar story artist and director; Dean De Blois, co-writer and co-director of Disney's Lilo and Stitch; Jenny Lerew, DreamWorks story artist and animation historian; and Fred Seibert, president and executive producer of Frederator Studios (and possibly Jill Culton, co-director of SPA's Open Season, if she can make it to a DGA discussion of her film later that evening). I will be your humble moderator.
Frankly I think this will be a watershed event. I'm really not sure where it will lead, but I know it's important that we as creative professionals discuss these topics, and take the lead in whatever changes need to be made. So come on out and share your thoughts and energy as we discuss the whys and whereofs the lack of females in family films, and among the ranks of animation creators.