Friday, March 29, 2013 - Video, Photo, Camera and Technology Resources

Ask and you shall receive is the theme of this good friday. Last week I posted a video by Film Riot and said I wished it had more of a female presence either in front of behind the camera. I’m happy to announce I have found both in This is a great blog about lighting, video, audio and all things in the camera universe. Olivia Speranza has a great onscreen persona as well, making the videos fun to watch and delivering great tips, reviews and tutorials. I spent hours watching videos and reading articles, and I was fascinated by this digital microphone for the iPhone or iPad, check it out. It just made my wish list...

Check out her website, twitter, vimeo, YouTube and enjoy!

*Do you have a helpful resource you’d like to promote? Do you know about a great resource to share with the Broads? Contact me to be a part of helpful resource friday.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

2013 Broad Humor FF Submissions Open April 1

Well, everything is just about ready to launch for 2013.  The website is still under construction and Withoutabox isn't up and running yet, but you can download a form if you want to get a jump on your submission. 

The Short Film Invitational this year asks for films under 5 minutes that pass the "Bechdel Test."  You know, the test that is REALLY REALLY hard to pass, judging by Hollywood films.  The "test" has three requirements, kinda like our invitational:
1. The film must have at least 2 female characters with names who...
2. share a scene where they talk to each other ...
3. ..about something other than men.
See what I mean?  Practically impossible!  Still, that's the challenge.  Give it a shot.  Alums can still submit for free, but they must contact the festival for a code first.  

We're adding a Screenplay Challenge as well.  For our first screenplay challenge we are asking screenwriters to submit a 10-page comedic script for an updated revision of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. We are not looking for a children's script necessarily, but rather a new take on an old and familiar tale.

The ten pages may present an entire tale or could be the first ten pages of a feature film. In either case, page 1 should be the opening of the film.

All submissions must be hard copy submissions mailed to the Broad Humor address. The title page of the script must not have the author's name nor should the writer's name appear anywhere else in the script.

All deadlines are postmark deadlines.

Address: Broad Humor Film Festival
9854 National Blvd. #166
Los Angeles, CA 90034

That's all for now.  


QUEUE THIS! is taking the week off to enjoy a wild* spring break weekend in Reno!  But I couldn’t bear to leave you with a blank post, so here’s one Netflix streaming recommendation: Mad Men.  If you’re a cord cutter like me and haven’t caught up with the last season, now’s the time as it just became available on streaming.

Sure, most of you know about the brilliance of Mad Men, and you are probably also aware of its feminist subject matter, but the main reason I’m highlighting it is because television directors are so often overlooked.  This series in particular has had a couple brilliant women directors that should be getting more attention:  Jennifer Getzinger and Lesli Linka Glatter

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What Is The Composition Of Your Shot Saying?

A Great Seminar On Designing The Shot.

Last Thursday I went to a seminar at the Egyptian Theater called Within The Frame: Designing The Shot. It was lead by the fabulous Thomas Ethan Harris whose brain is an encyclopedia of film.The seminar was so well received that they added another session. It's this THURSDAY, MARCH 28th @ 7:30. I'm here to say that if you're shooting or directing, it's worth the $20. Harris argues that film has evolved from a complex art form using rich, multi-dimensional composition and design to inform the audience about character and story to simple point and shoot one-dimensional recording of dialogue. (Okay, that's me exaggerating it a bit, but not much.)  By showing film clip examples, Harris supports his case and opens your eyes to the power of designing shots using all the tools available to a filmmaker. You'll learn about visual planes, dominant contrast, designing a close up, letting a shot speak for a character and more. I left completely inspired and now watch films in an entirely different way and will hopefully shoot my films in a more inspired, thoughtful way. This Thursday, Harris promises to add more comedies to his list of examples. For more information about the seminar and to purchase tickets (best to buy in advance, as most of the seminars at the Egyptian sell out), go to

Monday, March 25, 2013

Top 10 Female Best (Original or Adapted) Screenplay Oscar Winners

Last month, one of the Top 10 lists that I posted was Academy Awards themed (check that depressing post out here). So is this one! But it's happier :)
Here are the Top 10 Female Best (Original or Adapted) Screenplay Oscar Winners.
There have been fifteen films written by women that won an Oscar in one of the writing categories. Do you think one of those other five should be on this list instead? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

10) The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King- Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson (adapted from the novel The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien)

9) A Room with a View- Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (adapted from the novel by E.M. Forster) *Ruth Prawer Jhabvala also won for Howards End (adapted from the novel by E.M. Forster)

8) Interrupted Melody- Sonya Levien, William Ludwig

7) Lost in Translation- Sofia Coppola (also nominated for Best Director)

6) The Piano- Jane Campion (also nominated for Best Director)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Why “Brave” Is Important

Following the Oscars, I heard a lot of people say “Brave” shouldn’t have won Best Animated Feature. They felt the film was underwhelming, not as good as other Pixar films, or “just another princess movie." The last reason is the one that gets under my skin. As the article titles states, “Brave” is a really important film. Yes, it’s about a princess but it’s one of the only movies about a princess that does not involve romance. 

For decades, little girls have been shown film after film that feature beautiful delicate women with perfect hair and pretty dresses who only become happy once a man falls in love with them. I wish I were exaggerating but I’m not. It’s not the existence of these films that’s a problem, because there are princess movies that I like, the problem is that there are so few films that give little girls a different message.

“Brave” is about a young girl who is expected to be a perfect princess, with the dresses and the hair and the husband, but she’s not. And when her mother, with all the best intentions, tries to get her to marry, the young girl tries to change her fate.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Top 5 Online Resources for Filmmakers by Film Riot

I stumbled upon this great and funny video while researching more resources for this weekly column. I so wish this was put together by a woman and/or hosted by a woman, and/or that it listed more resources that were created by women, but hey, you can’t have it all. There’s some great information here, so it’s worth watching. I have been researching a lot of DIY tips, tutorials and other resources and I have to say the majority of what I found is created/hosted by men. So, if anyone out there has a cool video similar to this one but with women in front and/or behind the camera, send it my way and I’ll post that too...

*Do you have a helpful resource you’d like to promote? Do you know about a great service to share with the Broads? Contact me to be a part of helpful resource friday.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Hello!  Once again, we are here to highlight a few women-directed films for you to add to your Netflix queue.  We do this because Netflix loves to analyze their numbers and we want their numbers to tell them that they need to purchase or commission more women-directed films.  It's a win for everyone!

This week, I've picked a batch of five films that'll put a smile on your face.  It's spring now, shouldn't we be smiling?  Also, I want to ask you for a favor-- could you please let me know if you, or a friend, have a film on Netflix.  I'm especially interested in films that played the festival circuit, but maybe missed some of the big fests and didn't get a ton of attention.  Thank you and enjoy the movies (which are all available for streaming, btw)!

First Position (dir Bess Kargman, 2011)  Netflix says:  "Follow dancers training for the Youth America Grand Prix, one of the world's most prestigious ballet competitions. The stakes are high: their performances will determine the success or failure of their dreams."  Kargman chose her subjects wisely for this great doc.  They all have interesting stories that alternate between sweet and heartbreaking, and of course, the dancing is beautiful.

Sassy Pants (dir Coley Sohn, 2012)  Netflix says:  "In this coming-of-age comedy, Bethany Pruitt (Ashley Rickards) has had it with her overprotective mother, so she decides to go live with her dad. That situation proves just as dysfunctional, but things start to look up when she learns about a local fashion institute."  This is a quirky comedic festival gem that includes little Haley Joel Osment with a whole new look.  He's all grown up!  (Did I just use the words "festival" and "gem" together?  Sorry about that!) 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Hey, TV Writers: Will Smith Wants You!

I don't usually post about contests, but this one is just too good to ignore and the DEADLINE IS MARCH 21ST. That's right, broads, two days. So get those fingers tippy-tapping to punch up your family-focused half-hour comedy or your hour-long family dramedy and submit it! The deal is, Will Smith and James Lassiter of Overbrook Entertainment and the ANA Alliance for Family Entertainment have joined forces to seek out talented, undiscovered TV Scriptwriters with the goal of finding and supporting great "family" shows (however you define "family"). They're looking for story lines that deal with "family" conflict and even sensitive issues, yet have positive resolutions. Two winners will be selected - one for half hour comedy and one for hour drama or dramedy.  Each winner will receive a cash prize as well as a meeting with Overbrook Entertainment. It's free to submit. (Yes, FREE) Open to non-WGA writers only. Find more information at

Monday, March 18, 2013

Top 10 Reasons I Imagine Some Men Have for Thinking Women Aren't Funny

Why do so many men seem to think that women are inherently less funny than men? I don't know. I think those particular people are just... think of a very rude word and you'll probably get my drift. Here's a list of the top 10 reasons I imagine some men have for thinking women aren't funny (from the point of view of a [insert rude word here] man).

10) The whole point of humor is to impress women. Men like male comics because we can use their jokes to get women. How can I land a chick by talking about menstrual cycles?

9) Women tell jokes about their lady parts. Men don't understand lady parts. All we know is that we want to see them.

8) Men have to go out and earn a living, so we know things. Women only know about housework. That's boring for men. We don't care about your new vacuum cleaner as long as the carpet is clean.

7) Wit is a sign of intelligence. Come on... everybody knows men are smartest.

6) Men and women are just good at different things, that's all. Women are good at women things. Men are good at all things.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Indie Film Reviews by Char Hardin

Back in 2010 I rekindled a romance with an old lover, the horror genre. I wrote and produced a short film called “Scream Machine” and my husband and producing partner, Tim Aldridge, directed it. I was then welcomed into yet another filmmaking circle, the women in horror circle. And, in particular, by this amazing journalist, Char Hardin, who interviewed me and reviewed my film. If you think us funny gals are welcoming, just wait until you step in the bloody pool of genre filmmaking.

I highly recommend experimenting with other genres and getting out of your comfort zone as an artist. So, if like me, you have experimented with horror, thriller or genre blending (I have to say I have soft spot in my heart for horror/comedies), keep Char in mind for reviews.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Rachel Weisz in THE WHISTLEBLOWER - She has a gun!
I’m going to keep it short and sweet this week and not subject you to my bad jokes!  The focus of today’s list is recent festival films directed by women.  Most of these did have digital/theatrical releases, but they often flew under the radar. They’re good films that deserve an audience, so let’s put them in our queues and give them a new life!  These are all available via Netflix streaming, so it couldn't be easier!

The Whistleblower (dir Larysa Kondracki, 2010)  Netflix says: "Sent to Bosnia in the aftermath of civil war, an American policewoman uncovers evidence that U.N. peacekeepers are covering up sex trafficking. But when she brings her findings to light, she learns that her foes are more powerful than the law."  After watching this at the Athena Film Festival in 2012 I remember thinking, “Why haven’t I heard about this film before?!"  It’s a really solid film, with a great performance by Rachel Weisz, on a really compelling topic.  I don’t get why it didn’t receive more attention!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

From Christine Jeffs and Megan Holley, Sunshine Cleaning is the Perfect Warm-Hearted Dark Comedy For Sisters, Mothers, and Daughters

Last week I wrote an article about “Little Miss Sunshine” and it got me thinking about the film “Sunshine Cleaning.” Now “Sunshine Cleaning” is from the producers of “Little Miss Sunshine”, it also stars Alan Arkin, and, you know, the word sunshine is in the title. However, the biggest similarity between the movies is the theme of self-realization. Both films feature characters basically trying to sort shit out. Who are they? What do they want? Why are they hurting themselves or the people who love them?

The key difference between the films is that “Sunshine Cleaning” is more focused on women. Amy Adams and Emily Blunt play sisters, Rose and Norah, who are both stuck in their own lives.  Rose (Adams) is still thriving on the memory of her High School glory and Norah (Blunt) has no idea what she wants, and can’t move past the death of her mother. The film shows the way we sometimes need to see ourselves through other people in order to move forward. And more importantly, that failure is an important part of success.

The sisters begin a business cleaning up crime scenes in order to send Rose’s son to private school. The film focuses on Rose’s struggle to be a good mother, sister and daughter, and Norah’s struggle to begin her life. When everyone around you is falling apart, how do you keep yourself together?

The film was directed by Christine Jeffs and written by Megan Holley. The style of humor is similar to “Little Miss Sunshine” only with some romantic elements. But really it’s just a film about people finding themselves. There’s a relatable warmth and pain to the story, it’s smart, and it came out over four years ago and if I watched it today it would still feel new. If you’re looking for something to watch this weekend, I recommend it. It used to be on Netflix Instant and On Demand, so keep a look out for it,  hopefully they bring it back.

Dynamic Duos: Funny Female Twosomes

Recently one of my Facebook friends posted a video from an early season of SNL. It featured two of my favorite female comedic actresses Madeline Kahn and Gilda Radner. Though not normally a comedic duo, if I were to draft a female fantasy league of funny, these two would be my star players. Along with this dynamic duo I have pulled some clips of some other fabulously funny female twosomes.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Films by and about amazing women are celebrated in #SheDocs.

A free online film festival!  

This month only!

March is our month broads! And to celebrate women’s history month, PBS (in conjunction with Woman and Girls Lead) is streaming 10 independent documentaries that tell inspiring stories of women and girls defying incredible odds to make a difference. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll be inspired. These filmmakers put their passion on the screen in these moving films that are available to watch online from March 1-31st right here…

Monday, March 11, 2013

Top 10 Reasons Women Make Excellent Comedy Writers

I read an article recently that was kind of a bummer, because it mentioned that many men in power within the entertainment industry don't think women are as funny as men, so they don't see a need to hire them as writers on comedy shows.  Poo poo on them, is what I say. (Also, please hire me and I will gladly prove you wrong, sir.) Another thing I say? Here are the Top 10 reasons women make excellent comedy writers:

10) Women are humans. Unlike, say, dolphins, humans have thumbs and are able to hold utensils that can be used to write comedy (pens, pencils, etc.).

9) Women speak a language. I'm generalizing, of course. Some woman somewhere does not comprehend any language known to our species. Overall, though, I'd say it's a safe bet to assume most women speak at least one language.

8) Women can talk. Sitcom stories are usually broken in a room with several writers sitting around a table talking. Women can talk. Oh, my, can we talk.

7) Women have senses of humor. What?! Yes, I've said it. Not every person who laughs at a joke has a penis.

6) Women have relationships with other people. One important component to being a good writer, comedy or otherwise, is some sort of understanding for how people interact with one another. Interacting with people is a good way to learn how people interact.

Friday, March 08, 2013

No Entry Fee Film Festivals – The Low Budget Filmmaker’s Best Friend

Filmmaking is hard, especially when most people seem to think it takes millions of dollars to make a film. That maybe true for some people, but it should not discourage anyone from doing things on a shoe string budget.

This is why I’m sharing this website: No Entry Fee Festivals.  This is a great resource if you’re on a budget and still want to get your film seen. We all know those festival submissions fees add up fast, and I’m a big believer in making the most out of every situation. So, this is for all of us filmmakers who want to keep promoting our films and getting them seen, but may not have the cash to do it.

About the site: was created, and is maintained, by Tracy Miller-Robbins, an artist and animator. It is a guide to no fee festivals and opportunities, a directory of festival organizations throughout the world and a resource for current artistic work in the mediums of animation, film and video.

Twitter: @noentryfeefests

*Do you have a helpful resource you’d like to promote? Do you know about a great resource to share with the Broads? Get in touch with me and I’ll write about it. Contact me.

Thursday, March 07, 2013


It's Thursday, which means I get to present to you another five films to add to your Netflix queue!  Before we get to the films, however, I want to acknowledge a great resource I found while doing my research this past week-- the women-centric Netflix film finder That's right, it pretty much makes this weekly post of mine obsolete!  Oh well, it was nice knowing you all...

I kid, it does make it a whole lot easier for you to find women-directed movies on your own, but I'm going to continue to spoon-feed those of you in Species Lazy Bones for a while longer.  Plus, I can't blame you for wanting to hang out here with us broads on the Broad Humor bloggerwebs a few minutes more!  Now that I think about it, I take back what I said about you being a lazy bones, you're actually quite smart...and I like that lip gloss you're wearing...

Alright, onto the movies. To keep it a little more interesting, I've decided to group my picks into themes (see, I make such an effort for you, you really should keep coming back). This week, the theme is Films-Destri-Learned-About-In-Film-And-Womens-Studies-Class; or, Important Films!  No seriously, these are some really great films.  You have to give Netflix credit for making them available to a wider audience.  It wasn't that long ago that I was working on my MSc dissertation and could only find Working Girls at the ONE specialty video store left in LA.*  Now I can watch it on Netflix in the comfort of my rundown "Eastside" apartment and never be forced to venture past La Brea again!     

Working Girls (dir Lizzie Borden, 1986) - Netflix says: "Winner of a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, director Lizzie Borden's gritty drama depicts a day in the lives of several prostitutes working in an upscale Manhattan whorehouse. Told largely through the eyes of one of the girls -- a lesbian prostitute (Louise Smith) whose partner has no idea what she does for a living -- the film provides a no-holds-barred portrayal of the world's oldest profession."  Although it says, "no-holds-barred," I don't remember this being super sexual, considering its subject matter, so I have to believe it has more to do with the portrayal of women's lived experiences in this line of work-- like, SPOILER ALERT, the scene with the woman adjusting her diaphragm while casually talking to a co-worker.  I guess women's regular bodily functions are considered pretty wild when you don't see them on the screen very much, eh Netflix?  

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Since Premiering at Sundance in 2006, "Little Miss Sunshine" Remains One of the Strongest Comedies Through Its Witty Dark Humor and Lovable Characters

“Little Miss Sunshine” is one of the wittiest comedies from the past ten years. Directed by Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, this film brings unique characters into a dark, somewhat twisted setting and makes it brighter. It shows realistic people in all stages of life, struggling to figure out who they are, what they want and how they’re going to move forward.

The film is about a little girl named Olive who gets called at the last minute to compete in the “Little Miss Sunshine” pageant. The family can’t afford to fly so instead they decide to drive their VW bus from their home in New Mexico to California. It’s essentially a dysfunctional (but really average, let’s not kid ourselves) family on a road trip.

Abigail Breslin plays Olive and Toni Collette plays her mother, Sheryl. Toni Collette is one of my favorite actresses. She always picks really great roles and this is no exception. She’s not one of the biggest characters in the movie, but her presence is invaluable. While the other characters frantically try to find themselves, Sheryl is there, slightly uncertain but strong enough to hold everyone else together. Movie mothers are often jealous, overbearing or hard to please, so when a film finally portrays a mother who just loves her children and supports them no matter what, it’s amazing.

I’m always a fan of movies that promote healthy relationships between mothers and daughters. I believe it’s important for young girls to see what a good relationship looks like, and should feel like. Every relationship is unique, but every child should be allowed and encouraged to be himself or herself. That’s another reason this movie is so strong; Olive isn’t a “beauty queen.” She doesn’t fit into the pageant scene, but she goes anyway and she doesn’t change herself to blend in. She’s just Olive and her confidence, as young as she may be, encourages her family to rediscover their own individuality.

The rest of the cast includes Steve Carell, Paul Dano, Greg Kinnear, and Alan Arkin. Seriously, that is a hard cast to beat.  They’re all great actors, but Paul Dano has to be my favorite. He’s incredibly talented and plays the character Dwayne flawlessly. Dano recently worked with directing duo Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton again in 2012 on the film "Ruby Sparks."

“Little Miss Sunshine” offers dark humor with a warm heart. No matter who you are or what you’ve been through, you’ll find a character to relate to and invest in throughout the film. 

ABC orders the most comedy pilots from women writers.

Thanks ABC for recognizing
women comedy writers! 
So far the networks have ordered a total of 50 comedy scripts to pilot. Of those, 15 are the works of brilliantly funny women. I think these broads deserve a shout out. What an accomplishment! 

Also ABC gets a pat on the back for giving women writers a fair shake. Here’s how the network numbers break down as well as the list of pilots penned by women.

ABC ordered 13 comedies to pilot - 6 by women
BAD MANAGEMENT by Sharon Horgan & Holly Walsh
MIDDLE AGE RAGE by Cheryl Holliday
SUPER FUN NIGHT by Rebel Wilson
TROPHY WIFE by Emily Halpern & Sarah Haskins
KEEP CALM AND KAREY ON  by Andrea Abbate
SEE YOU NEXT TUESDAY  by Lizzie Molyneux and Wendy Molyneux

CBS ordered 12 comedies to pilot - 4 by women
BAD TEACHER  BY Hilary Winston
MOM By Gemma Baker & Chuck Lorre
MOTHER’S DAY  By Dana Eden, Daniela London-Dekel, Elisa Zuritsky & Julie Rottenberg

FOX ordered 9 comedies to pilot - 2 by women
MY FUTURE ASSISTANT by Sherry Bilsing & Ellen Plummer
TWO WRONGS by Michelle Morgan

NBC ordered 16 comedies to pilot - 3 by women
ASSISTANCE By Leslye Headland
GATES By Cathy Yuspa & Josh Goldsmith

CW has no funny bone.

For loglines, you can go to

Monday, March 04, 2013

Top 10 Films Written by (and About) Women

The Broad Humor Film Festival is all about celebrating women in comedy, and so is this week's Top 10 list. There are many great, funny films written by women, and there are also many great, funny female characters in film. This week, I looked for films that combine those two elements. Here is my list of the Top 10 Films Written by (and About) Women:

10) Look Who's Talking (Amy Heckerling)

9) Private Benjamin (Nancy Meyers, Charles Shyer, Harvey Miller)

8) Sleepless in Seattle (Nora Ephron)

7) Nine to Five (Patricia Resnick, Colin Higgins)

6) My Big Fat Greek Wedding (Nia Vardalos)

Friday, March 01, 2013

PBS Series "The Makers" - episode 1

If you missed the first episode of The Makers: Women Who Make America, you can watch it online here  or below.  It gives a great overview of the start of the women's movement in America, its strengths, weaknesses, energy, and innocence.

The Bluestocking Film Series

In light of the recent Oscar Ceremony and the short number of women behind the camera walking away with statues and the total sexist feel of the entire night, I believe this is an appropriate time to talk about The Bluestocking Film Series and The Bechdel Test.

Are you familiar with the Bechdel Test? No? Well, here is a definition:

The Bechdel test is used to identify gender bias in fiction. Commentators have noted that a great proportion of contemporary works fail to pass this threshold of representing women.

The three simple rules are:
1. It has to have at least two [named] women in it
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something besides a man