An all-female crew have come together to produce a television commercial promoting a business that sends a share of profits to charities supporting women in third world countries.
Graduate Emma Haarburger now works at Footscray production company Fiction Films, who produce a range of work both locally and internationally with a focus on television commercial production and creative content.
In 2010 Haarburger completed the Bachelor of Communication (Media) which she said described as a well-rounded degree that provided insight into an array of creative industries, giving her the skills to easily collaborate with industry partners and have a knowledge of the media landscape.
Influenced by the recent Screen Australia Gender Matters industry initiatives, she wanted to make a positive change to the gender disparity of women in the film and advertising industry.
Having stumbled upon social enterprise Tsuno on social media, when the opportunity arose to collaborate on an ad campaign with them she jumped at it.
“We wanted to make an ad, made by women, for women, to help out women,” Haarburger said.
Tsuno was established by graduate Roz Campbell, who completed the Associate Degree of Furniture Design (now the Associate Degree in Design (Furniture)) in 2010 and also studied industrial design before setting up her company.
Campbell’s business makes sustainable bamboo fibre sanitary products with 50% of profits going towards empowering women around the world in charities such as One Girl, who provide girls access to education in Sierra Leone and Uganda.
Campbell said when she heard about the significant gender divide in the industry, especially with how little women can be found in the technical, behind-the-scenes roles, she thought it would be a great challenge to find a woman specialist in each different role.
“It wasn't about excluding anyone, but more of a way to see if it could be done and offering that opportunity,” Campbell said.
Two more RMIT graduates were in the crew: Assistant Director Bree-Anne Skyes, who studied the Diploma of Screen and Media in 2013, and is now a Production Manager; and Jess Langley, who completed a Bachelor of Arts (Media Studies) (now Bachelor of Communication (Media)) from RMIT in 2005.
Langley said media studies at RMIT was such a varied course, and it has allowed her to explore many facets of the film industry, from festivals to distribution and now production.
The team felt it was an exercise in taking responsibility to ensure the equality of women employed on the set.
The TVC also features an all-female cast and the voice-over talent of film actor and director Rachel Ward.
Haarburger feels that both women and men need to make more of a conscious effort to hire equally – not just in top creative roles, but in below-the-line roles as well.
“It’s about seeking out more female collaborators, in an effort to extend our networks to ensure we make a conscious effort to work with both genders equally across the board.
“We can only hope to make the change we wish to see. It has to start with us as well.”
Story: Wendy Little