‘Diversity is money, inclusion is money, we will make more money if we have more women.’
– Victoria Alonso, Executive Producer (Iron Man, Avengers).
We promote gender equality in the technical departments by providing you with a credible and proven resource of top-end talent in these areas.
Our crew include DOPs, Camera Ops, Focus Pullers, Sound Recordists, Boom Ops, Gaffers, Sparks and Grips. They have held key positions on numerous high end television projects including Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey as well as major movies X-Men First Class, Mission Impossible 5 and Jurassic World to name but a few.
Reel Angels exists at a time when there has never been a more opportune moment to employ female talent in film and TV. By representing women we see ourselves as leaders in the ongoing progress towards full gender parity across the industries.
And we invite you to join us and spread the good news that things are changing.
But, WHY Women?
Gender inequality: few of you will be unaware of widespread media coverage regarding gender employment in the film and television industry. A few of the most salient facts:
Creative Skillset’s 2014 Workforce census revealed that technical roles in production such as camera (84%), broadcast engineering (78%) and audio (76%) as well as animators (79%) are male dominated occupational categories.
From analyzing the 2,000 highest grossing films in the last 20 years the Camera and
Electrical department is the most male, with only 5% women.
This is despite women making up 50.1% of all film students in the UK and 49.4% of new entrants in the film industry.
And despite industry leaders repeatedly saying they’re committed to hiring more
women. For instance, a full 36 years ago, the New York Times reported that “studio
heads … wanted to put themselves on record for supporting the women’s aims.”
There is simply so much untapped talent out there, we just cannot afford to miss out on it, so we can meet the full potential the UK industry can offer.
The film industry is finally recognising the need and importance of investing in Gender Diversity and inclusion as part of their overall talent management practices.
The productions that fail to see the importance of Gender Diversity and inclusion might very well find themselves unable to attract and retain the kinds of clients, employees, and business partners that constitute our changing world in five to 10 years time.
The advantages of equality in the workplace are:
Reel Angels Agency was founded in 2010 and has been carefully developed over the
intervening years by ex-crew freelancer Lulu Elliott and supported by the BFI with National Lottery funding. It is part of the solution by curating our talent lists, showcasing female crews skills and booking the talent out.
Background on the founder Lulu;
At the age of 17 she was the Winner of The Young Engineer for Britain 2000, Graduated in 2007 with a Video Media Art BA Degree. Followed by Directing Music Videos for Universal Records 2008 to 2012. As well as Camera Operating on tours across Europe with Hollywood Actor Jared Leto’s band ‘Thirty Seconds to Mars’. Later, branched out to a similar discipline as camera and learnt to operate a follow spotlight on Tv Live shows like Strictly Come Dancing, XFactor and The Voice.
Through all these industry experiences felt the lack of fellow female technicans, which she identified within two years after graduating back in 2009. Which inspired her to start developing a solution over the next 10 years, which research led in forming an agency.
Recently Lulu has committed to full- time running the agency and in the last two years has become very proactive, in placing their crews amongst the industry.
‘Aim is to achieve 50/50 by the time I am 50, so got 15 years!’ Lulu Elliott
We have gained support from some key industry bodies like;
– “In 2016 Reel Angels was awarded funds from the BFI (awarding funds from The National Lottery) to support three successful networking events to engage and connect female production crew. These were greatly attended with inspirational panel talks in Bristol, Manchester and London, resulting in work opportunities for our crew members.”
Jennifer Smith, Head of Diversity, BFI, said: “We encourage all programmes which take the lead in addressing the lack of diversity in the production workforce, and were delighted to support Reel Angels to better showcase and connect female production crew. This is work that chimes with our Diversity Standards and our ambition to achieve gender parity in the production industries.”
– From 2016 to 2018 Reel Angels based in Salford, are now enrolled on Creative England’s ProConnect Manchester Program. Comprising of a series of workshops, one-to-one meetings and networking opportunities. ProConnect Manchester, funded by ERDF, provides the expertise, support and contacts to break into and succeed in the film and television industry.
‘Reel Angels is addressing the enduring problem of under representation of women in the UK’s film industry, an issue that Creative England has actively addressed through various initiatives. We are very proud to be supporting Reel Angels and its work through our ProConnect Manchester programme, this is an area of the industry that we are committed to impacting change and we are excited to develop this within the Greater Manchester region.’ Creative England
– Creative Skillset has awarded us grants for training in 2015.
“Creative Skillset recognises the need for full representation with film and TV crew and supports bodies such as Reel Angels in delivering a more inclusive workforce.” Creative Skillset
– We would also like to thank The Princes Trust and Bright Ideas Trust who awarded us ther essstential development funds from 2010.
Lulu is also very active in raising awareness and has taken part in discussion panels at Bristol’s International Cinematography Festival 2015 & 2016, BIFA Festiva and TLG’s Focus 2017. Lulu has been listed in 2017 PITCH’s Top 100 Superwomen and was nominated for the Diversity Champion 2017. And featured in The British Cinematographer Magazine, First Frame, WFTV, BECTU and GBFTE Newsletters.
We set out with clear goals before the issue of gender parity became mainstream. In fact you could argue we have been part and parcel of making it mainstream. And that results in an agency with clear, principled and trusted goals by both our talent list and productions.
What else is happening;
– The BFI launched their Diversity Standards – focusing on gender, disability, race, age and sexual orientation and people from lower socio-economic groups – guiding all their work and the projects it funds. The BFI Diversity Standards have been welcomed by the industry and adopted by Film4 and BAFTA .
– Progress is dramatic. Sweden and Canada are simply splitting their film funds 50/50
amongst male/female directors : “Over time you should be able to balance it equally.
Talking makes no difference. You have to act.” Anna Serner, the head of the Swedish Film Institute.
– The UK independent Television Industry is currently being monitored by The Diamond Program – Diamond is a new industry-wide diversity monitoring system created by broadcasters BBC, Channel 4, ITV and Sky, and supported by Pact and Creative Skillset, through the Creative Diversity Network.
The ‘Inclusion Rider’ Labour has drawn up plans that would force film production companies to ensure gender equality and diversity on set, following fresh evidence of the slow pace of change in the movie industry.
Under a future Labour government, the party announced a vital high-end tax relief, worth hundreds of millions a year, will be made dependent on a fairer, more inclusive mix of cast and crew on any film.
Please do visit our database on our site and view our talent.
And I, Lulu personally would be happy to hear from you, even just to find out more or share your thoughts. Words of support is always welcome, I have been working on this for nearly a decade solo, which is quite a mission in itself in any business.
Thank you for your time !
‘We actively seek female technical crew and encourage others to do so.’
– Howard Gibbins, Production Manager (King Arthur)
“Reel Angels is a positive agency working to support women in the industry, both through training and career opportunities. Its aim to increase the number of women in roles where they are currently under represented – such as camera, lighting, and sound – is one that we at WFTV (UK) wholeheartedly support.”
Kate Kinninmont, CEO, Women in Film & TV (UK)
“Finally a reliable female fronted crewing company – much needed for this media generation. Ladies can multi task AND take care in their work plus half the people we film are female! I’ll be definitely taking on a Reel Angel!”
Sara Harding, TV Producer/Director – V, Reading and T in the Park festivals, BAFTAS, Classic Rock and Q Awards for C4, Sky, MTV worldwide
“Reel Angels are an excellent outfit. They seem to know the very best up-and coming female crew in the UK. I found exactly what I needed in terms of lighting and camera: plus an enthusiasm and energy from the clients sometimes lacking in the Kingdom of Men that is the film set. I would use Reel Angels anytime. I love the balance that women bring to the television world.”
James Kent (Emmy winning BBC Drama and ‘Testament of Youth’ Director)