Beyond the Bechdel Test: Using Software to Test Screenplay Gender Balance

Posted on May 13, 2018 at 8:26 pm

Male actors are refusing to appear in films unless their female co-stars get equal pay.  Stars are insisting on “inclusion riders” in their contracts to make sure that every part of the production is open to all.  And now there is software to test the “gender balance” in a screenplay.

The New York Times reports:

Now, a few Hollywood players have developed technology that aims to do that: new screenplay software that can automatically tell whether a script is equitable for men and women.

The idea came from Christina Hodson, a screenwriter who is involved with Time’s Up, the activist Hollywood organization addressing inequities in the industry…

She wondered if screenwriting software — which writers almost universally use to format scripts — could easily tabulate the number of male and female roles, for example, and how much each spoke. That way, writers could see and tackle the problem even before casting directors or producers had their say….On Thursday, just weeks after that initial conversation, Highland 2, with the gender analysis tool that Ms. Hodson dreamed up, became available in the Apple app store as a free download.

 

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