Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Rape: It's Your Fault

When are we going to stop blaming the victim?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

5 new concepts for Gwen Stefani if she gets tired of Harajuku Girls

Gwen Stefani recently was given the opportunity by Time Magazine to respond to the criticism she received about her girl troupe, the Harajuku Girls; and she responded pretty much the way Ridley Scott did when he was asked why all the white people were royalty and the black people were slaves in his Biblical movie, Exodus.

"You can look at it from a negative point of view if you want to, but get off my cloud. Because, seriously, that was all meant out of love," Gwen said. Love or not, even after ten years of possible reflection, she still has not taken the time to think about how weird it was to be the white leader of a group of Asian girls that were contractually not allowed to speak and made to look like dolls. She did not take the time to think about how hypocritical it was for her to apologize to Native Americans for her video "Looking Hot," but never to Asian-Americans for her Harajuku Girls.

But you know, that's okay. I'm over it. In fact, I have some ideas for Gwen's next album if she's tired of using Japanese girls as accessories the way Miley Cyrus has gotten tired of appropriating African-American culture or using little people as props

1. Gwen Stefani can hire Puerto Rican girls to promote her new line of fragrance "Boricua."
Original Photo courtesy of Boxing Fanatics
2. Gwen can go African because Nigerian work women's colorful garbs are so chic this year.
Original photo courtesy of Africa Lens
3. These Muslim women's robes would be a perfect addition to any new fashion line. 
Original photo courtesy of The Muslim Issue Blogspot
4. Native American groups didn't like No Doubt's video "Looking Hot," but maybe they'll feel differently about Gwen with new Native Girls?
Original photo courtesy of Word Wright Blogspot
5. To crossover in the growing Latino market in America, Gwen can hire Mexican girls to follow her around but they can only wear traditional clothing and they're not allowed to speak. 
Original photo courtesy of Visual Photos
Do you think these photos are ridiculous? Of course they are, and a pop star would never be so foolish to try this out in the mainstream. So compare them with what she has actually done with Japanese girls. What's the difference?

This photo from Hari Kondabolu sums up everything that I've ever felt

"Telling me that I'm obsessed with talking about racism in America is like telling me I'm obsessed with swimming when I'm drowning." -Hari Kondabolu
Photo from Hari Kondabolu's Facebook

Beyonce's Pretty Hurts Video is Amazing

This video may have been released in April 2014, but it's still a timeless examination of the negative impact that beauty can have on girls when they're told that only 'pretty" matters.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Ridley Scott addresses #BoycottExodusMovie controversy

Back in August, I wrote about the controversy that Ridley Scott's new film Exodus stirred on Twitter because of its casting. Many on the social media site wrote scathing commentary about the film using the hashtag #BoycottExodusMovie because the movie about Moses that is set in ancient Egypt casts white actors to play the lead royalty roles and black actors to play the slaves and low-class roles.

On Sunday, December 7, Ridley Scott finally addressed the criticism with this: 

“I say, ‘Get a life," Scott said.

Oh, okay. I guess that fixes everything then.

Top Hits of 2014 in 2.5 Minutes - Us The Duo

Us the Duo recaps the top hits from 2014 in less than three minutes.

Who's actually to blame for gender pay inequality?

Weeks ago on Twitter, I joked that we could land on a comet but that we could never get pay equality for women. With this note, I posted a meme about how women are like men, only cheaper.
Although most agreed with me, some men and women pointed out that the 77 cents to the dollar gender pay gap is a myth, a fudging of the numbers, which does not compare what a man and a woman make in the same role but what men in total make to women in total. They pointed out that  women make less because they don't enter STEM fields, where the real money is. That they choose their families over their careers, thus resulting in less hours put in or time off that sets them back. That they get paid less because they don't negotiate their salaries. A chart from Top Management Degrees that I've posted below illustrates some of their arguments, and I can't deny that the facts are compelling. Most women do make less money than men, we can all agree on that, but before we cry out that it's because of blatant sexism, we should examine our choices and why we make them first.
Women Don't Make Less

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The 8 Best Screenwriting Contests to Enter in 2015

My list for 5 Screenwriting Contests worth entering in 2014 was a big hit last year, so I decided to do a follow up and amend some of my criteria. I still believe that writers should mainly look for contests with industry connections and to avoid contests with high entry fees, low prize money, and no Hollywood success; but after some more thinking, I felt that I should also just look straight at the prize money too. After all, if you win and you don't end up selling your script, then at least you can hold your head up high with your $10,000 or more check.

The following are my top eight picks for screenwriting contests in 2015.

1. Nicholl Fellowship: This is the most prestigious screenwriting contest that you can win, and even placing in the semi or quarterfinals may give you access to getting read by a Hollywood manager, producer, or agent. The contest is run by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the same people who give out the Oscars), and it has uncovered such screenwriters as Susannah Grant, Ehren Kruger, and Andrew Marlowe. Not only will winning a Nicholl give you bragging rights for life, but the prize is a fellowship of $35,000, which gives you one year to complete at least one more original feature film screenplay. Five winners are chosen. If you are limited on money and can only enter one contest this year, this is the one.

2. Universal Pictures Fellowship: This fellowship is similar to ABC Disney's former screenwriting program in that it grooms writers to enter Hollywood and is sponsored by a major entertainment entity. While this contest is free to enter, the most difficult aspect (besides just having an amazing script) is that it requires letters of recommendations from industry professionals. That may be a barrier for those who aren't in Hollywood, but if that's not a problem, then I highly recommend applying:

3. Bluecat Screenplay Contest: I was a finalist for this contest in 2010, and after winning, the head of the contest, Gordy Hoffman, was kind enough to meet with me and give me notes and I was also contacted by independent producers who heard about my placement. In addition to its professional benefits, the cash prizes are pretty high. The grand prize winner receives $15,000 and finalists each receive $2500. But what truly distinguishes this contest from all others is that ALL ENTRANTS receive script analysis. Buying this service from professionals would cost you at least $50, so the fact that it’s included in the entry fee is an amazing deal.

 4. Script Pipeline: In 2010, I was a grand prize winner of the contest, and I had a great experience with it. Immediately after winning, I was read by various managers and production companies, and even though a few years have passed, Script Pipeline still sends me writing opportunities and shares my work with production companies. Plus, I also received other goodies such as writing software and a subscription to their Writers Database. It looks like recent winners will receive those same benefits, but now the grand prize is huge--$20,000! Also, I recommend their coverage service, which costs extra but is worth it. I find their readers to be very insightful.

5. TrackingB: TrackingB is a relatively new screenplay contest (it was started in 2007). Although its entry fee is high ($75-$125) and there is no prize money, its batting average for the success of its winners is incredible and it has a good reputation amongst writers. For instance, my friend was a finalist for TrackingB, and although she had placed in other contests, it was TrackingB that led to her getting signed by a major Hollywood management company. The other benefit to entering this contest is that if you enter two scripts or more, they give you free access to the website for one year. If you’re not too familiar with the site, it provides Hollywood job listings, script sales, industry news, and other information you would probably not know unless you worked in the industry.

6. Page International Screenplay Awards: The grand prize is $25,000. Enough said.

7. Final Draft’s Big Break Screenplay Contest: The Feature Grand Prize is $15,000 plus a ton of swag, which includes a fancy awards ceremony, an Ipad, and script coverage.

8. Scriptapalooza: The first place winner gets $10,000, and each script is read by either a production company, manager, or agent.