Did you guys know Stephenie Meyer is a movie producer? Since she finished writing her Twilight series, she has started her own production company and produced several movie adaptations, including the two Breaking Dawn movies, The Host, and, most recently, Austenland.
I am not a fan of Twilight. The books have an addictive quality to them, and it’s awesome that lots of people find a lot to love in them, but the series has many problematic elements that make me beyond uncomfortable. When reading them, I had to resist literally throwing the books against a wall on numerous occasion because of how horrified I was by what I was reading.
But after Stephenie Meyer was interviewed yesterday in Variety, I’ve been doing a little research on her work. And, you know, she’s actually pretty awesome. And she’s doing a lot for women in the movie industry.
She founded her production company, Fickle Fish, in 2011 with another woman, Megan Hibbert. Of the four movies she’s produced since then, three have been written by women. Austenland has two female writers, not including the author of the original novel. Austenland was also directed by a woman (another rare thing). And all four movies have a female protagonist. That’s an impressive record, considering that only 11% of movies have a woman as their protagonist. Women are only 18% of all directors, executive producers, writers, cinematographers and editors, making up only 15% of writers in total, and only 9% of the directors of top 250 grossing movies.
With these statistics in mind, Meyer’s track record is impressive. She not only proved that a series of movies aimed solely at women can be a massive blockbuster success, but has also now attempted to expand on that success by bringing other stories about women, written by women, and directed by women to the screen. As well as Austenland, she’s currently optioned two books — Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan and Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake. Both books written by women. Both books that will be exposed to a wider audience by the simple fact that Stephenie Meyer optioned them, and both opportunities for more stories about women to hit the screens.
No matter what you think of her own books, that’s pretty good work.