On Wednesday the 27th of March, thirteen Film Scoring students at Berklee College of Music gathered together to share their personal stories in the major, learn from each other and chat about the business. There’s something very “college-y” about the scene – any good club encourages a group of individuals to open up and bond over something in common. However, something was unusual – in this case, everyone at the meeting was female.
And thus began the first club of its kind at Berklee!
What was first on our agenda? To acknowledge the rarity of the moment – this does not happen enough, especially in the film world. Although we are living in a very different reality than the previous generation, the 21st Century still holds many prejudices and an overall gender imbalance in almost all careers in the film industry. As female Film Scoring students, we’ve been taught to expect such imbalances; Even our current surroundings are a constant reminder: most classes are only a quarter female (and that’s if you’re lucky). A lot of the girls, including myself, confided that they’d grown accustomed to the gender imbalance.
It’s out of this microcosm of the industry that Elisa Rice and myself, two Film Scoring seniors, were inspired to start the Women’s Film Initiative.
During months of planning leading up to our first meeting, it was impossible for us to reign in our high hopes for the potential of a group that seemed to fill a large hole in the community here at Berklee. It turns out we were right: the enthusiasm was almost tangible as we munched on snacks and talked about our opinions of the disparity and how we anticipated we would be treated as the gender minority in film industry hotspots such as Los Angeles or New York City.
Finally, a community had been found. It was plain to any fly on the wall: the deficit had been filled.
- Leah Dennis
Co-Founder, President Women's Film Initiative