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Opinion and Insight

Why Free the Bid is Just the Start of Inspiring Things to Come

LS Productions' Marie Owen on the shift that's happening in production

Why Free the Bid is Just the Start of Inspiring Things to Come

In the five years since we launched the motion department at LS, we have been lucky to work with a truly fantastic array of directors. Our position is unique, as we service Scottish (and Northern England/Wales) shoots primarily for production companies both in London and internationally, who come to us with directors attached. 

In these years of pitching with other companies, the pool of directors we’ve shot with has been, in their entirety, male. That’s not to say we haven’t bid on jobs with female directors – we have, and we get excited when it happens (which is testament to both their calibre and the rarity of the enquiry). In our industry, fewer than 7% of directors and less than 3% of creative directors in agencies are women. As the head of a company that currently sits at an 80% female workforce – strong, successful, ambitious women who have been selected for their skills as producers, marketers and creative developers – the numbers are startling. We don’t see Scotland as a country with an aesthetic that is only attractive to men, but our heritage and the nature of our landscapes mean that we do a great deal of car and whisky work – content that is traditionally, and outdatedly, perceived as masculine. 

But – there’s a shift happening. Free the Bid is happening. The industry is sitting up and taking notice. Agencies are signing up to give female directors the opportunity to pitch regularly on and therefore win shoots that they might not otherwise be considered for. It’s a shift that represents a shake-up of what we think we know, to encourage us to push our research further and challenge the status quo. And at the end of it all what happens? Hopefully the best director treatment continues to prevail, and a wider range of viewpoints are given their time to shine. Alma Har’el, founder of Free the Bid, put it well when she said it's "free THE Bid" not "free HER bid". This isn't just a gender issue. It's a sign of even more inspiring things to come. 

So, in 2017 – make sure to look at Free the Bid’s assembling of incredible female directors. And then bring them up north, please.

Marie Owen is the Founder and CEO of LS Productions

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