I know most people will be talking about the Grammys Monday morning, but the award that inspired me over the weekend was Kathryn Bigelow’s win at the Directors Guild of America Awards Saturday. Bigelow directed “The Hurt Locker” and became the first woman to ever win the award. She had to beat out some impressive company including James “King of the World” Cameron for his groundbreaking work with “Avatar.” As so many of my L.A. friends have reminded me over the years, women are left far too often on the outer fringes of power as writers and directors in Hollywood. In fact only two other women have ever been nominated, so to win the top award from her peers seems an indication of a very, very slow shift in the thinking among the Hollywood elite. Better yet, Bigelow has been picking up awards left and right this red carpet season and I can only think that this is a great sign for Oscar night.
So yes, as a woman, I am excited about another glass ceiling being shattered and I do believe “The Hurt Locker’ features some powerful storytelling, but why do I really think her win is inspiring?
Well, maybe I am being a little too idealistic, but I think any time the moviemaking tent is broadened and the diversity of voices is increased , it’s a good thing for the moviegoing audience.
Bigelow’s success is also a great model for those filmmakers of faith-based stories who want to know how to get their voices heard in Hollywood. She is no overnight success story, but rather someone who has grinded it out as an independent filmmaker for many years, honing her craft and refusing to compromise. At the same time , I have yet to google one interview where she complained about how hard it has been to be a woman and a director in Hollywood,despite the truth of that.
Hard work, excellent work, meaningful work – not prosletyzing , not proaganda, not whining – is what will eventually gain credilbility and respect in Hollywood.The timing just seemed right to throw that idea out there to those eagarly making the next Godsploitation movie.