Be a Facilitator Not a Barrier


Creator: BNP Design Studio

written by Kristen Hodges

Vixen Kristen Hodges uses a recent email from her child's school to consider how she can actively encourage participation in the industry as a producer.

I received an email today from my child's school regarding the music program and one small unintentional, throwaway line jarred. It said "Please don't buy random instruments on Facebook or Gumtree, it's much better to get a quality instrument".  

I imagine it's just a quickly typed out email and unintentional but words like that matter very much to those lacking privilege. It is a huge barrier to participation and surely at elementary school level we should be creating opportunities to participate for everyone with an interest (irrespective of financial circumstances) rather than barriers. 

This is true of any creative skills - whether you are learning an instrument, creating a piece of fine art, making a film, the list goes on...

Not to point my fingers at that particular person but to myself as well. What am I doing to encourage participation in my industry and to remove barriers?

Here are my initial thoughts on what I can do. Do you have ideas you could add to this list?

1/ Don't expect people to work for free/below minimums.
If you can't afford to pay people then you can't afford to make the film.

2/ Don't just hire the same people you always hire.
Ok this is a tough one, I do get it - trust is everything in this industry. It may feel uncomfortable at first but soon enough, that does actually pass.

3/ Be cognisant of your bubble.
It's easy to fool yourself into thinking you're inclusive but we can't help having gaps in our awareness. It's human nature. So find ways to check yourself.

4/ Accept discomfort. Not everything nor everyone fits in a perfectly tied box that requires no effort from you. Humans are complex and that's ok - accepting and acknowledging that those conflicts & needs that humans have in their life also exist within a professional context, sets you free from the naive idea that discomfort is bad.

5/ try to consider all the possible members of your audience no matter what you're writing. You never know who is listening, you never know who you might impact.

I'm writing these ideals up as a reminder to myself; a form of accountability. Be a facilitator not a barrier!