We are the new(ish) faces behind WFTHN’s social media. We took over the running of WFTHN’s Facebook and Twitter accounts in September 2014. We are both PhD students and Graduate Teaching Assistants. Natalie has worked in the UK film industry for many years, including as a Senior Development Executive at the UK Film Council and for Granada Film.
Natalie is at King’s College London and her research is attempting to unpack why there are so few female screenwriters in the UK film industry, and why it’s not changing despite increased interest in gender inequality. Hannah is at the University of Warwick. Her archival-based research explores the work of “message movie” producers and the gendered construction of liberalism in mid-century Hollywood.
Since we took over our Facebook followers have increased from 317 to 417 at time of writing, and Twitter followers are up from 126 to 265. If you’ve recently joined us, thank you and welcome. We’ve been monitoring interest in our posts to get a better sense of what followers want from WFTHN and to get to know you better.
Unsurprisingly perhaps, the majority of followers are female, but when someone ‘likes’ a post or retweets us we reach a more balanced audience. Followers are mainly based in UK and Ireland (around 67%), but spread across the country from London, Dublin, Glasgow, Norwich, Birmingham, Sheffield, Nottingham and Coventry. The rest of our followers are all over the world, from the United States, to Italy, to Spain and Brazil, Sweden, Turkey, Australia and Pakistan amongst other places.
We are delighted to discover that since September people have engaged with our content a total of 4,532 times (an average of 33 engagements per day with content on the Facebook page). We have also raised the daily views of our posts from an average of 180.5 per day in September (total 5415) to an average of 2082 per day in December (total 64,540). Our post reach was even around 200 on Christmas Day!
Across the last four months we have promoted the work and research of the WFTHN network and its members, as well as wider events and news that relate to the work and legacies of women in film and television. If can often be challenging to find interesting stories online about women in the film and television industries that aren’t about what they wore to the premiere last night. Even identifying women ‘born on this day’ – for our Facebook round up of important women within the industry – highlights the challenges still faced. As well as being far outnumbered by men – especially in any role other than acting – it’s disheartening to see the roles women play, and the sort of films they are given opportunity to appear in:
However, from USC Annenberg’s proposed report card system for the film industry, to the extensive work of The Center for the Study of Women in Film and Television’s on underrepresentation in front of and behind the camera, it seems that momentum to address inequalities is mounting. The coverage is heartening even if the figures are not. We want WFTHN to be the place you come to hear the latest news and celebrate what women have done and are doing. The work of the Women Film Pioneers Project and events like the BFI’s editathon to improve Wikipedia’s pages on Britain’s black and Asian filmmakers illustrate the importance of celebrating and preserving our history.
This coming year we are hoping to host some live tweeting events where anyone is free to join in with the discussion of current topics affecting women in film and television and particularly issues of historical interest and of preserving the legacy of women in these industries.
With our growing numbers the WFTHN hopes its social media will become a key resource for researchers, practitioners and activists to share their work and ideas. We are trying to build a community here and would love to hear how we are doing from your point of view. Is there something we’re missing? Is there stuff you’d like less of? We’d love to hear your comments on our posts and for you to share and like as much as possible to help us grow and understand your interests.
If you haven’t yet joined us online, please click on the links below to be part of the conversations:
Link to WFTHN Facebook
Link to WFTHN Twitter feed