A Woman in Film Highlights Women in Science

Marilyn Weiner. (Credit: Screenscope Films)

(Click to enlarge) Marilyn Weiner. (Credit: Screenscope Films)

Years ago, when my husband, Hal, and I first arrived as young filmmaking partners in Washington, D.C., the first person I met was the wife of a fellow filmmaker.

(Fom Indiewire / by Marilyn Weiner) —  After talking to her briefly, it became clear that instead of recognizing me as the producer I was, she had automatically assumed that I was only my husband’s bookkeeper. (She would have thought the better of that notion had she seen my questionable bookkeeping skills.)

I was surprised by her presumption that I had to be “the woman behind the man” and by her inability to imagine something greater. After all, I hadn’t experienced any notable disadvantages in my career thus far. Hal had always been an enthusiastic, supportive partner and there were many other females in the industry. Still, the incident helped me realize that, when it came to perceptions of and roles for women in media, there was still plenty of work to be done.

Shortly thereafter, I helped found the D.C. chapter of Women In Film. We started with about twelve people and now there are over 1,000 members. In the beginning, there were plenty of women in entertainment, but very few in top leadership roles at media companies; today there are many. These days, at always well-attended panels, I meet impressive, up-and-coming young women and established veterans alike.

Throughout the years since that fateful arrival in town, Hal and I have made over 225 documentaries, including two PBS series and three feature films, and each one has been rewarding in its own way. At the beginning, you try to puzzle out how you’re going to attack the topic. No matter how many films you make, it always feels daunting because you’re not generally an expert in the field you’re exploring. But I always see that as an advantage because I figure that what’s interesting to me as a novice, will be interesting to viewers too.

Our latest film, “Dispatches From The Gulf,” is no exception. The documentary, which is the 14th episode in our “Journey To Planet Earth” television series and premieres on April 20, investigates scientific research, discovery and innovation in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. This — one of the biggest disasters of its kind, ever — sparked the largest coordinated oceanic research effort in history, overseen by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI).

Read the full article here: http://blogs.indiewire.com/womenandhollywood/guest-post-a-woman-in-film-highlights-women-in-science-20160418

GoMRI “In the news” is a reposting of articles about GoMRI-funded research (published by various news outlets).