BE CONFERENCE 2020: “You have to acknowledge and commit to the fact that it’s more difficult and takes longer to develop that inclusivity in,” Falvey states
Samson Amore|July 24, 2020 @ 2: 20 PM
Last Updated: July 24, 2020 @ 2: 52 PM
When Imagine TELEVISION president Samie Kim Falvey got her start in the entertainment company at ABC, she was among very few females in the field and felt almost as if she ‘d “came in the side door.” Brushing off the so-called imposter syndrome led Falvey to a position at one of the top tv studios in the nation, and now she’s trying to utilize her position to continue diversifying Hollywood.
” It’s a nice time to be in the business, there’s more openness to that diversity of perspective,” Falvey said at TheWrap’s BE Conference on Friday alongside Audible executive vice president of U.S. content Rachel Ghiazza and Blumhouse head of casting Terri Taylor. Prior to operating at Picture, Falvey contributed in bringing programs like “Black-Ish” and “Modern Family” into prime time slots. In previous programs at ABC, Falvey said, “a lot of times it felt females were relegated to being devices.”
Among Falvey’s biggest influences in her profession so far was executive Paul Lee. “He was one of the very first people who I reported to who said, you have to swim outside your lane.”
Falvey stated she discovered the network’s desire to finally accept new, diverse content was heartening.
” You have to acknowledge and dedicate to the truth that it’s more difficult and takes longer to construct that inclusivity in,” Falvey said.
Ghiazza and Taylor both concurred with Falvey that while Hollywood has actually made steps towards becoming more varied and culturally sensitive in recent years, there is still much development to be made. Ghiazza said the change starts with intentional choices from the bottom up when developing content, and stressed the importance of employing varied staff at all levels of the imaginative procedure, from directors to sound engineers.
” It starts with a clear definition of who you are, what your brand values are and how you see yourself,” Ghiazza said. “It was something I tried to find when I was trying to find a task, taking a look at the makeup of senior leadership, making sure they were individuals I wished to be around.”
Blumhouse head of casting Terri Taylor said that cultivating relationships with young experts seeking to get into the business that come from a variety of backgrounds is key to making Hollywood more diverse.
” I latched onto strong females who started from the ground up and put a lot into training them,” Taylor stated.
Blumhouse produced “Get Out,” Jordan Peel’s nail-biting directorial launching that tells a story of a Black guy imprisoned by his white sweetheart’s family. Taylor said Blumhouse is enthusiastic about “telling stories individuals don’t always have the ability to tell, and ‘Get Out’ is an example.”
Falvey, Taylor and Ghiazza all embraced the benefits of having mentors early in a career, and each said they are working to now pay that experience forward to a new generation of up-and-comers– and to not be afraid to put a resume out there even if you do not quite meet the certifications.
Taylor said she learned important tricks of the trade as an assistant to the casting director on the 1993 Aaron Sorkin movie “Malice” that she couldn’t have picked up anywhere else. “I describe that experience as my own mini variation of movie school because there were a lot of kind people who showed me the way,” Taylor said.
BE Conference presented by WrapWomen is Hollywood’s leading mentorship conference. The occasion is designed to provide chances for the next generation of women in media and home entertainment, with a focus on underrepresented voices. This year’s programs and mentorship is devoted to breaking barriers, motivating action and developing inclusive chances for all.
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