This week the class was able to choose from a range of seminar topics and pick which group they would be in for the remainder of the seminar series. The group that i had chosen was the topic of Women in the media industry. This topic was ideal for me from the beginning, being a woman myself (duh) and i feel a there while we do have it much better these days then women of the past, gender inequality is still an issue that needs to be discussed, and it was lucky that it even got the go ahead after being so blatantly rejected by one of our male tutors.
We needed to have 13 people to make the group complete and we were almost not going to go ahead but luckily enough we got a couple of extra people once the other groups had been formed and convinced them that this was a topic that was relevant and important. 13 people later and we had a Women in Media group! YAY! With 11 girls and 2 boys, each of us feel strongly about gender issues of today, particularly in the industry that we will one day be a part of.
After getting into our group, each of us added each other on Facebook, with a Facebook group being formed along with the link to a google doc which we would all be using in preparation for the seminar. I was very happy to voice my opinions for the direction I saw the seminar going, and I expressed my interest in hosting the event.
Together we agreed that taking the total “feminist” approach to the seminar may detract people from coming, and as unfortunate as it is that this is what the word feminism does, we need to have both sides there in order to hopefully spark thought and discussions. Each of us agreed to go home and list what we would most like to do for the seminar and roles we would take on leading up to that. My strengths lie in organisation and event planner (the running of the day).
We were informed this week of the seminar series title, “Wanted”, which was voted on by all of us and presented as a concept by the steering committee. When we broke up into our separate groups we further discussed the concept idea for the seminar and decided on the title “Femme Fatale”, suggested by myself, with the byline “Why Gender Equality is the New Black”.
Imogen had organised a table for us to fill out our strengths and desired roles and it was from that sheet that we later decided what each of us would be doing. In the class meeting we went through the list of around 12 people who we would set up as our contacts. This list was divided into 3 groups: group A who would be the most important, B who would be our back ups, and finally C who were people that would be great but who we would never get (so basically a the ‘no’ group). Initially we had quite a few entertainers in the mix, purely because we were worried that with a potentially dry subject, the audience would lose interest without someone who was lively and engaging. Shelley had questioned why we would decide to include any, despite this concern, and we later decided against people in front of the screen and focus more on what our peers requested. The groups for potential guests were categorised once again, but now into TV/ Film, Radio and Online.
I brought up the idea of catering the event and we agreed to spend $20 each for that. We were thinking of going for a really girly high-tea feel for the catering, but we need to decide on an overall colours and feel of the seminar before that can be finalised. We also discussed the posters and perhaps having old style mugshots for them. We decided that every Friday before and after the seminar we would meet- with priorities in finalising guests and contacting them, and deciding on a structure for the seminar. I suggested that we begin the seminar with a quick quiz, similar to “Who wants to be a millionaire” in order to engage with the audience.
We split each group member into 3 separate groups:
- research and guests
- promotions team
- events management
I said I was happy to be involved in anything that anyone may need me to do. So while i would be predominantly focusing on the event and catering the event, i would also float around research and promotions for whatever they need. I decided i would come up with some ideas for the staging which i would be doing with Steph and Michael, as well as coming up with catering options. In terms of catering i came up with a budget and with Imogen we discussed the option of perhaps getting each of us to donate some food for the day- making our own sandwiches and lolly bags etc in order to cut costs.
The benefit of not being the first group to present during the seminar series was to see what does and what doesn’t work. Audience engagement was a big thing in this weeks seminar, as was trying to pack too much into one short lecture. From this week I became certain that having 3 guests was more than enough if each of them spoke well and provided the relevant information, instead of rushing them or rushing the opportunity for students to ask questions at the end.
During the seminar I jotted down a couple of pages of notes that I brought straight to the group meeting. It was really great to know that the majority of people felt the same way- to the meeting was off to a fabulous start. The setting up of the space was brought up as important, food was also a big thing, as well as a significant break time. Time management needs a lot of attention and so does FOOD.
During the meeting we brainstormed questions we would ask the guests as well as debating over the Femme Fatale name. Some group members didn’t like the seductive nature of the name and thoughts it would play against the role of the seminar. “Wonder Women” was brought up as an alternative and it was put to a group vote to decide. I made it pretty clear that to change with only a couple of weeks to go before our seminar, and mind you a social media concept already in the works, would be detrimental. While it was discussed that the Femme Fatale is not the greatest title for gender equality, we wanted to play on the restrictions and negativity associated would work in our favour- strong women who succeeded and didn’t need to be punished!
“Femme Fatale: Women killing it in the media industry”
The events people, namely Steph, Michael and myself split off from the rest of the group and went down to RMIT TV studios to see what they had for us to start designing the space. We agreed that after this weeks seminar there needed to be a stage for the guests- I could barely see them and I was only half way up the lecture room.
After our visit to RMIT TV we had organised to use:
- a stage
- stools for guests
- pretty lamps to light the space as well as fairy lights
- and a city scape that was mostly black with painted yellow windows which played perfectly with our ideas of a 1920’s themed space (which was discussed this week also as a part of “Femme Fatale ideas).
With our seminar fast approaching, this weeks meeting focused on the structure of the seminar as well as organising all of the promotions material.
Earlier on in the week the promotions team organised a shoot for a couple of the trailers we would be posting online, as well as the image for the actual posters which would be going out at the end of that week. Jono took on the role of director, while Melissa and Ai Vee Goh took on the cameras, and Imogen, Line and myself were the models (oh yeah). We went to Imogen’s house where we set up one of the bedrooms as a vintage dressing room. My involvement during the evening was not purely restricted to being in front of the camera though. I was open to suggesting ideas for shots, various montage ideas, and i suggested we go to a crash zoom into our faces for the ending where we whipped out of the girly giggles at the tea party at the end.
While I wanted to be involved in the editing process of the short clips, I came to the decision that it would be more of a determent for me to edit than not to.. so leave it to the professionals. Instead i started to collect the money from the group and organised catering plans. Along with this i also compiled a short and very brief running sheet for the day which Bella then could work off when she was finalising everything.
- It started with an introduction video which would introduce the theme
- then guest introduction
- quiz ‘who wants to be a Femme Fatale?’
- then move to the discussion questions
As I was also responsible for looking into questions- I made sure i would look at the spread sheet that the class wanted answered at the beginning of semester and made sure that we stayed relevant to the topics that were proposed.
- what do you think about mentoring other women/ a mentoring program in general?
- what difficulties have you faced as women in the media so far?
- how can men and women work together on this issue in the work place?
Due to a family health scare at the beginning of this week, everything was all over the place for me. I informed the group that i would be unable to host ( i didn’t want to appear stressed or not myself on stage and potentially ruin our marks) and while it was late notice we met early on Wednesday and discussed the possibility of having Michael hosting an all girl panel. We agreed that our intention was to promote equality and by having a man we hoped that other men attending would not be attacked.
Preparing for that day meant that on Wednesday i took all the money we had budgeted for catering and went to Costco to get everything sorted. I ordered 4 platters of a mixture of sandwiches and wraps, i got one of my closest friends Alice Bennet (Miss Trixie Drinks Tea) to bake us some delicious cupcakes, and finally i put together a whole bunch of lollie cups for everyone as they entered.
We discussed the running of the day and everyone’s roles throughout that morning. I was responsible for picking up the cupcakes and sandwiches to the venue and set up the drinks and tables outside the lecture room. The colour theme ended up being black and red and so i brought black table cloths with red napkins and feather bowers. It looked so pretty!!