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Abstract

My research analyzed the representation of women in the film industry, both on screen and behind the scenes. Specifically, I compared the number of women on and off screen for the top 100 films of 2017 (as of September) to the data collected by Martha Lauzen for the top 100 films of 1980,1990, 2000, 2010, and 2015. This comparison graphically depicts the representation of women in film over the years. The positions analyzed were producers, executive producers, directors, cinematographers, writers, and editors.

In addition to researching representation in these roles, I examined what factors, if any, are more likely to influence the presence of women in other roles. The strongest statistical factor in determining the presence of women behind the scenes is the presence of a female lead.

I also compiled data on the top 30 films directed by men and compared the return on investment (ROI), budget allocation, box office earnings, and experience (quantified by number of films and television episodes they had directed prior to the film listed) to the top 30 films directed by women. Statistical analysis concluded that ROI was not significantly different between men and women directors. Interestingly, however, the two highest ROIs, by far, were from films directed by women.

The budget disparity for men and women directors of Hollywood films is often noted. Statistical tests also concluded that experience was not significant in determining budgets.

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