Why the second movie is the biggest hurdle to becoming a filmmaker — especially for women and minorities
First films are often made in a democratic fashion — on low-cost cameras, with crowd-funded budgets and crews made up of college friends. But second movies typically rely more on the machinery of Hollywood, a machinery that has often excluded women and minorities. That exclusion has received new attention lately thanks to both the diversity controversy around this year’s Oscars nominees and a government investigation into gender bias in hiring.
“There’s this myth of getting your film into Sundance and being instantly successful,” said Sundance Institute Executive Director Keri Putnam. “It’s worth busting that myth. For first-time filmmakers, getting in is just the beginning.”
Some independent filmmakers end up waiting an awfully long time for their follow-ups, despite auspicious debuts: “Boys Don’t Cry” director Kimberly Peirce took nine years to make her second feature, “Stop-Loss”; black British director Amma Asante took nine years to follow up her first film, “A Way of Life,” with “Belle”; and African American director Gina Prince-Bythewood had eight years between “Love & Basketball” and her second film, “The Secret Life of Bees.”