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Brendon
From: Chch
Since: May 2011
Posts: 105

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Bechdel Test in 48Hours

As I mentioned in another thread. Until this year, none of my team's films passed the Bechdel test. (and a few other teams admitted the same).

For discussion: Should we expect 48hours films to pass the Bechdel test? [I think most of us would expect a feature film to be able to meet this minimal standard of female representation]

TBALC / Team Moon
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AJ
From: Christchurch
Since: May 2011
Posts: 399

I'd like to say the main issue has been the fact that we'll often have to limit how many characters are in our film. But upon review it would have been easier to do this than I would have once thought:
Our first film was a group of dudes talking about another dude- so the polar opposite of Bechdel here. The characters could have been girls, but we were going for a blokey/Lad's night feel.
Our second film was almost entirely comprised of a husband and a wife talking to each other, with a few flashbacks of other characters, who again, could have been girls instead of boys.
Our third film was a Last Person on Earth movie, where the protagonist was a girl, and ends up finding another survivor who's a dude (so close!)
This year, there are two girls in our film, but they don't talk to each other directly.
It's just something that would be good to consider in the writing process. As a man, I think I naturally write all my characters as dudes. But I'm hoping to change that.

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Brendon
From: Chch
Since: May 2011
Posts: 105

Some films don't pass because of limited characters (despite having interesting female leads) such as 'Gravity' or say, 'Azanti' from a few years ago
http://www.48hours.co.nz/screening-room/2013/christchurch/azanti/

On the other hand, most 48hour films pass the reverse Bechdel test*
So we can't always use that as an excuse

*1. Is there more than one man in the movie?
2. Do they talk to each other?
3. Do they talk about something other than a woman?

TBALC / Team Moon
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Strange
From: Christchurch
Since: Apr 2013
Posts: 108

I'd fully support dropping bro from the genre and making Bechdel the new musical. Put it in every year and teams would be able to plan and know that they might need some female actors. Might cause some major pain for the first few years but teams would start to learn.

ive always tried to have as many female actors as I can on the team. Putting female characters in the scenes just make the films feel more authentic.

That said, I don't think most 5min short films can be expected to pass. But that's largely because usually the only name checked characters in a 48hours are the required ones and short films just don't have time to more than one or two characters with any depth. . I would say though at least a third of all the short films should pass.

Shit. Actually I don't know. This ones hard. . Yeah they probably all should pass. They could make the Bechdel test the required technical element one year!

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toowit toowoo
From: Dunedin
Since: May 2011
Posts: 113

This is something I think about after the competition every year, but never quite manage to pull off the following year. It really shouldn't be too difficult considering the compulsory character always has a gender ambiguous name. I don't think it's a reasonable excuse, but one of the reason's we've barely ever passed the Bechdel test is that to animate a minimal number of characters within a tight deadline and tell a coherent story, we rely heavily on stereotypes.

This year's cat and mouse film ended up with a feline femme fatale, which meant our two other characters seemed to work better as males. Last year we came up with a buddy film on the moon, so it fit the Apolla era that the characters were male. (The soviet space program actually did have many female astronauts, but again we felt the NASA/Soviet buddy story worked better with two males.)

The closest we've come is Entropy, which has a female lead and an undefined young supporting character. It wouldn't have been hard to make her female and pass the test, but in the heat of the competition it wasn't at the top of our minds. Hopefully with the inclusion of the Bechdel genre, those opportunities will be more obvious in the future.

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CraigWB
From: Auckland
Since: Apr 2011
Posts: 442

I kinda like the idea of the genre but I've never really liked the concept of the Bechdel test in general. I was convinced that my 2013 musical entry "Wolfgang" passed the test; after all it has 3 women who never talk about men outside of the reference to Wolfgang but it eventually hit me that it fails the test because only 1 of the women is named in the film. They all have names in the script but no one but the people who made the film will know that.
It's good that it's the Becdel or Bro film because otherwise you'd have to make sure you had 2 female actors going into the competition on the off chance you got it.

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Brendon
From: Chch
Since: May 2011
Posts: 105

Follow up question:

Has this forum ever passed the Bechdel Test?

:O

TBALC / Team Moon
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CraigWB
From: Auckland
Since: Apr 2011
Posts: 442

in reply to Brendon:

Hmmmm, there has been plenty of women with names on the forum but did they ever respond to each other is the question...

Team Spielberg craigbickerstaff@me.com +64212166821
The longest running non-finalist in the competition.
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2017 Operator Part II Twin Souls : Thriller/Horror One Room ULTRA
2016 The Real Time Movie : What kind of day has it been
2015 Other Dimension Movie : Rift
2014 Race Against the Clock : EIGHT POINT FIVE
2013 Musical : Wolfgang
2012 Horror : The Unrested Soul
2011 One Room (Horror) : Operator -- Audience favourite
2010 Twin Movie : Secrets in Dowsing
2009 M Night Big Twist Film : The Unfinished
2008 Drama : Breakfast at Four
2007 War : Purple Heart
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2006 Musical : Sardines
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Robstar Rapper
From: Gisborne
Since: Jun 2013
Posts: 129

I had no idea what a Bechdel was.

So we did a bro film instead.

My little niece became a man :) It turned out pretty good.

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droolingmonkey
From: New Zealand
Since: Apr 2012
Posts: 69

in reply to Robstar Rapper:

My little niece became a man :) It turned out pretty good.

But Rob the reverse could have been genius!

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Cardinal
From: Christchurch
Since: Apr 2011
Posts: 182

in reply to Brendon:

Next year we wanna see if we can try qualifying for Best Female Director, I reckon. (Of course to be fair to ourselves, that option sort of disappeared on us this year, which was no-one's fault.)

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Robstar Rapper
From: Gisborne
Since: Jun 2013
Posts: 129

in reply to droolingmonkey:

But Rob the reverse could have been genius!

lol. You know full well that I've donned a dress in the past bro. I'm afraid I might like it a little too much LOLOL

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Josh Howard
From: Hamilton
Since: May 2011
Posts: 73

The bechdel test would have been extremely hard for us to pass this year as had 11 male students which made up the team. We had 2 females who signed up, but dropped out about a week before the event. Also none of our characters talked to each other, so would have failed in that way too.

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Brendon
From: Chch
Since: May 2011
Posts: 105

in reply to Josh Howard:

I think it was a good choice to bracket bechdel with bro movie. But it does highlight how underrepresented women are in the competition.

Maybe next year rather than making it a genre, there could be a special award for best film that also happens to pass the bechdel test?

TBALC / Team Moon
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