- Blogs - May 17 News

New Cinematography Intensive for Women, Netflix Culture Memo, and Covid Outbreaks in Entertainment Industry. 

The American Film Institute announces its new 2022 Cinematography Intensive for Women, Netflix released a memo regarding censorship spending to employees, and COVID outbreaks are growing in the entertainment industry. 

By Lauren Cali 
May 17, 2022

New Cinematography Intensive for Women

The American Film Institute is launching its new program, the 2022 Cinematography Intensive for Women. Applications open May 20th and the program takes place July 15th-18th in Los Angeles on AFI’s campus - Variety reports. 

Out of the many professions within the industry, cinematography has a particularly wide gender gap, with only 6% of positions filled by women in 2021 . AFI hopes this program will help aspiring female cinematographers land their first gig and compete effectively for future positions The program provides a toolkit to secure on-set experience in the field for participants, as well as first-hand industry insights demonstrating the path towards professional career success.

AFI Conservatory Cinematography Discipline Head Stephen Lighthill, ASC said:
“I am thrilled that we can, once again, offer this program on our campus. Access to professionals working in the field and hands-on experience is a total game-changer for individuals looking to advance their careers in cinematography. There is no shortage of talent, we’re just trying to add that ever-allusive point of access. With the Cinematography Intensive for Women, our goal is to provide pathways to equity within the field and inspire participants to pursue professional opportunities.”

Core aspects of the program include: 

  1. Hands-on masterclasses in the fundamentals of cinematography
  2. A primer about the current environment of the film industry
  3. Discussions about what it means to navigate such environments as women, nonbinary, and historically underrepresented cinematographers.
Cinematographers Rachel Morrison, Melina Matsoukas, Autumn Durald, and Polly Morgan were all propelled to success because of The AFI Conservatory Cinematography program.

For those interested in applying, click here .

Netflix Culture Memo

For the first time in five years, Netflix updated its corporate culture memo, which has been written as a book by Co-founder Reed hastings - Variety reports.

Core principles still in place: 
  1. Empowering employee decision-making
  2. Requiring candid feedback
  3. Terminating staffers who aren’t up to the “dream team” 
The title of the operating guidelines changed from Netflix Culture to ​​Netflix Culture — Seeking Excellence. Additions to the guidelines include:
  1. A new directive for employees to act with fiscal responsibility
  2. Artistic Expression, a section that explains the streamer will not “censor specific artists or voices” even if employees consider the content “harmful” 
The artistic expression section also states that:
“Not everyone will like — or agree with — everything on our service,” the Artistic Expression section continues. “While every title is different, we approach them based on the same set of principles: we support the artistic expression of the creators we choose to work with; we program for a diversity of audiences and tastes; and we let viewers decide what’s appropriate for them, versus having Netflix censor specific artists or voices. As employees, we support the principle that Netflix offers a diversity of stories, even if we find some titles counter to our own personal values. Depending on your role, you may need to work on titles you perceive to be harmful. If you’d find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you.”

Last fall, there was controversy over Dave Chappelle’s “The Closer” and the artistic expression section was written in large part due to what occurred. 

Covid Outbreaks in Entertainment Industry

Deadline reports that in Los Angeles, the entertainment industry has been hit hard these last few months, consistently having the highest COVID outbreaks in California. 

Three studio lots, a studio headquarters, TV production, a production facility, and a performing arts venue count for 18% of recorded non-medical outbreaks. 

Studios have been setting return-to-work date mandates for employees including WarnerBros Discovery who said that ​​starting June 1, everyone will be required to be in the office at least three days a week - Deadline reports.  

Despite the increase in COVID cases, The Hollywood Reporter reports that in the first quarter of 2022, TV show filming increased and feature films decreased. 

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Lauren Cali writes the weekly entertainment industry news blog for She’s a Social Media Specialist and a graduate of Elmhurst College.