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Screenwriting : Should female writers convert to a male name? by Chanel Ashley

Chanel Ashley

Should female writers convert to a male name?

We have all heard/read about the inequality re women in this business - we are aware writers often use a pseudonym or a nom de plume, so, should women convert to a male name to enhance their opportunity in this business? Is it a hindrance as a writer to use a female name, does it hold one back? Is Chanel Ashley better off as John Kennedy? - are my chances of success enhanced, does it increase my credibility? - I don't know, you tell me, there is a plethora of personnel on this site with enough credentials to make a valued judgement/comment.

Eoin O'Sullivan

Great marketable concept, good story telling, memorable characters and solid writing stand out above all else, regardless of a man or woman writing it. Looking at the submission stats to this years Nichols, it's about 70% male 30% female, than tells a story in itself.

Chanel Ashley

Thanks, Eoin, just considering whether a male name opens more doors, or at least makes access easier - John Kennedy makes a good Irish name, lol.

Cherie Grant

Honestly I don't think it matters anymore. Not really. Maybe in action or horror some dinosaurs might blanch at a female writer, but if they actually read your scripts that might change. I say stick with your real name.

Chanel Ashley

Dunno, Cherie, you don't reckon I make a good JOHN KENNEDY, lol? - seriously, I do wonder - will my baby Transformers script be taken seriously by blokes who make these decisions, is there more traction with a male name - could Chanel Ashley have sold Mad Max? - does John Kennedy carry more clout, more gravitas? - again, you tell me, I suspect it does make a difference, as in women may have to work that little bit harder, as if it wasn't hard enough already, lol.

Chanel Ashley

Cherie, I think you are correct re TV, but I'm not convinced it applies to the same degree in cinema - look what a name change did for Engelbert Humperdinck, lol, but I think I would prefer a safe John Kennedy.

Cherie Grant

Then what happens when they find out you're using a male name and you're actually female? Look give it a try I suppose. I dunno. I haven't actually thought about it. But then I don't really think anything will come of my work anyway so there's no need. (Not that I'm not trying)

Robert Broad

Chanel, a great sci-fi writer especially in the 60s was Dorothy Fontana who went by the name of DC Fontana. She passed under the radar, perhaps go a C J Ashley or something similar.

Chanel Ashley

Hey, hello Robert, been awhile - actually Robert Broad has a good ring to it, lol - you are correct re initials, Joanne Rowlings was persuaded by her publisher that young boys may not be enticed to read books written by a female, they asked her to provide a second initial, she chose Kathleen, after her grandmother, so became JK Rowlings and Harry Potter became history - that's my understanding of the tale - Robert, I like the letter X, so CX Ashley, geez, I sound like a car, lol.

Chanel Ashley

Cherie, by the time they find out, I hope I sold the bloody thing, lol - hey, if I pull it off, lunch is on me, haha.

Chanel Ashley

Thank you for the input, Dan, but not quite convinced - interesting they used you to adapt books written by females, I would have thought a female might have been considered - I don't doubt your ability to write an adaptation, but I wonder if your producers felt more comfortable with a "man" - haven't heard the one about using a fictitious name, though, do you think they might notice a John Kennedy, lol, as opposed to a JF Kennedy?

Robert Broad

With regard to Dan's comment, the fictitious name thing only becomes an issue when it comes to script registrations and contracts where you have to use the name of a legal entity other than that, knock yourselves out.

Rafael Pinero

If you're good it won't matter, this is 2015, I agree with Cherie, if it did matter, what happens when they find out you're a woman?

Chanel Ashley

If you're good and it doesn't matter, especially in 2015, what were all those speeches at the Academy Awards by women? What were all those articles about the lack of women BEHIND the camera? Did I miss something, did I dream all this? JFK is sounding better by the minute.

Leslie Marrick

I think it makes a difference on a subconscious level. We can say it doesn't matter all we like, but I use a pen name for my novels. "L. Marrick" is my pen name, and I've had reviews from readers who refer to me as a man, not knowing my gender. They say things like "Mr. Marrick" and "his skill shows when..." Most of the reviewers who do this are male. There's also the copywriting company called Men with Pens.... which is run by James Chartrand....who is actually a woman. She changed her name and called her company "Men with Pens" because she got more work that way. She said "Woman with Pens" came across to clients as a group of women writing romance novels. She talks about the differences she saw between writing under her real name and writing under "James" here: http://quickbooks.intuit.com/r/business-profiles/james-chartrand-of-men-...

Leslie Marrick

That said, I use my real name for my copywriting business, and I'm making a fine living at it. Most of my clients are women business owners, though. As for fiction or screenplays, I think the gender of the writer subconsciously influences what readers expect regarding content.

Chanel Ashley

Thanks Leslie, good stuff, you simply confirmed my suspicions, even if subconscious, the end result is the same, wish you continued success, cheers.

Leslie Marrick

Likewise Chanel! It's not something everyone acknowledges and it's not based on anything malicious or consciously sexist...but it is still a reality. Good luck to you!

Chanel Ashley

Hahaha, Chuck, hey, it's growing on me!

Chanel Ashley

Actually, when said in very PROPER English, Charles Ashley, writer, from Oxfordshire, UK, it has a ring to, it.

Phillip "Ubiquitous" Hardy

Chuck: I say there's one way to test your theory. Pitch some scripts as a man. If it works, the worst that could happen is you'd have to take a meeting with your hair slicked back and maybe a phony mustache. Or a Skype meeting in disguise. I think this could work.

Leslie Marrick

Haha, Phillip that's awesome! Chanel, I don't think you have to KEEP convincing them you're a man, lol, I think the name itself can be enough to slip your work into their sphere of awareness and get it taken a little more seriously. It'd be impossible to really conceal your identity online these days anyway.

Phillip "Ubiquitous" Hardy

I'd like to make an inquiry about selling a damn fine screenplay project on behalf of the new writing prodigy, Charles Ashley, lately from Oxfordshire. I've heard he is a gentleman of the highest character; and only a few of his line came from a penal colony in New South Wales... I'm sorry, I promise to stop after this.

Chanel Ashley

Haha, might need you as my agent, damn, you picked up on the penal colony, there is no escaping one's ancestry, though Oxfordshire looks pretty good - while I've got you, Phillip, might get you to read the script I'm currently writing, but I'm stuck on page 78 at the moment, and I never get stuck, bloody thing, should have finished by today - where's that FADE OUT?

Phillip "Ubiquitous" Hardy

Chuck: I'd be delighted to ready your script. And, as your agent, I highly recommend it. You have my email. Ten percent of a Chuck Ashley script and I'm bloody set for life.

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

I'm surprised to see so many responses that think a name change wouldn't matter. I think they're all speaking from a writer's perspective, or being politically correct. We as writers tend to be open minded and excited over something different. Most people are not. And this is definitely on a subconscious level. Yes, I agree that It is in fact 2015, and I doubt many people would look down on a script like Mad Max written by a woman. But I think they will subconsciously think that the script would read softer and expect some sort of "go woman!" message in it. (although Mad Mac is kind of a bad example because it DID have that message, lol) And I think even if a script was written in a feminist's point of view, if the screenwriter were a man they would be praised. If the writer were a woman, it would become an "of course" moment. As Chanel pointed out, why would woman still be making speeches about it if it were not something relevant in the industry?

Stuart Wright

I'm Mr S Wright ... Yet get addressed Mrs Wright at time lol

Beth Fox Heisinger

I don't know... I'm having an ethical/social dilemma here. On the one hand I totally understand this tactic -- maybe C. Ashley would work? I've often thought about going by B. Fox Heisinger (pronounced Hi-singer, the "e" is silent, it's a German name) or B. Fox. But, on the other hand we need women writers to be loud and proud. How else can we effect change the industry? We should make the world aware that we are here and that we are highly capable and creative. I say let your female flag fly high. :)

Shawn Speake

"Let your female flag fly high!" I dig that…

Christopher Binder

Lance Uppercut.

Chanel Ashley

I think you're right, Dan, not certain I wanted to be John Kennedy, anyway, lol - I like the Joanne Rowlings model, JK Rowlings - CX Ashley, even though it does sound like a car.

Richard Toscan

You might just think about how you'd handle pitching your scripts through a Stage32 event on Skype or in person if you've used a male pseudonym. Suspect it would be a bit awkward, to say the least.

Chanel Ashley

Personally, Beth, I like the two choices you suggested using an initial - perhaps two initials with B. Fox - re women to be loud and proud, that's fine, but we also need to be smarter, like the examples Leslie Marrick provided - James Chartrand has a copywriting company called Men With Pens - brilliant and a great success - when finally revealed James is in fact a woman, it had no effect on the business - some smart women around, but we already knew that, right!

Rafael Pinero

Now I wonder how I should name myself, although I'm not a woman, but following this thread I guess I should start to think about it, it seems to be pretty important

Leslie Marrick

Right about James Chartrand, she initially had much more success with her masculine name. Once she was established and had a following, revealing she was a woman didn't reduce her business. As for pitching an agent in person, wouldn't that happen under "Chanel Ashley" if it was through Stage 32 anyway? I think that you could always tell an agent or producer you're considering writing under a masculine name. Most of them would be very happy to give you their opinion from a marketing standpoint. But if they're just looking at the script itself, the male/female name thing might influence them more (subconsciously of course).

Pierre Langenegger

I really like Robert's suggestion and I think CJ Ashley has a great ring to it.

Chanel Ashley

Rafael Pinero is rather exotic, I think that works as well - why not embellish with European royalty, as in, Prince Rafael Pinero, distant cousin to Versace.

Beth Fox Heisinger

I appreciate that, Chanel. 'B. Fox' certainly works well. One can't argue against making smart business/marketing decisions. :) However, there are other ways to be smart -- like writing a smart, kick-ass script! I admit I'm a bit of an idealist. I like to think that if the work is outstanding and stands well on its own then the writer's gender shouldn't make a difference. At least I hope. :) Perhaps we should consider an opposite more brazen approach. Instead of being conservative with first initials we should go more audacious; follow in the footsteps of Diablo Cody -- who's real name is Brook Busey-Hunt. Plus, I really love roller derby names... Hmmm, maybe your pen name could be Crash Ashley or Ash Maven or Chanel O'Slaughter or Ash N. Burn... Something like that maybe? Too much? ;)

William Martell

Full sexual reassignment.

Rafael Pinero

Wow, thanks Chanel, you made me feel important LOL

Chanel Ashley

Rafael, I looked at your photo, you could easily be related to Gianni Versace, Google his photo - your great grandfather and his great grandfather were brothers, one stayed in Italy, the other went to Mexico, is it all coming back to you, now, Prince Rafael Pinero? lol.

Chanel Ashley

Beth, how cool is Chanel O'Slaughter, Irish almost, then there is Ash N. Burn - wow, this is serious food for thought, lol - mm, roller derby, is it? - re "gender shouldn't make a difference" - of course it shouldn't, but I'm certain it does - women will still rise, but I suspect more effort need be expended, require a touch more "convincing the powers that be" that a woman can be entrusted to bring home the bacon - anyway, we all know that women CAN do the job, have done the job and will continue to do so in the future, but more opportunities need be made available.

Dawn Johnston

There was a study about gender bias in playwriting. 4 scripts were sent out as written by either Mary or Michael. Mary's scripts were deemed to be of overall lower quality and the characters were perceived as less likable and those plays were perceived to have poorer economic prospects including fewer chances for prizes. The same scripts. The problem with saying "just write the best script" is that people don't tend to choose the best script, they tend to choose the man's, whether it's the best or not. That's the subtle bias going on - whether the producer is a man or a woman. Names are important! And they're not! We all have biases to a greater and lesser degree. If people already believe women can't write action (or comedy or whatever) then that's the bias going in. Not sure what the solution is but I have started putting H.D. Johnston on my scripts. Although the email comes from Dawn so... Crash Ashley wins!

Andrew Martin Smith

Well - it will certainly raise a few eyebrows when you trip up the stairs collecting your Oscar! As for does it matter - well, both of the producers I work with are women and both produce action thrillers. So - in the end, I am convinced it comes down to the story. If you have a story that catches a producers imagination and can be realistically financed - then you're in with a chance. Ashley Chanel?

Andrew Martin Smith

I have got to admit though - B. Fox-Heisinger carries one hell of a lot mogul kudos. It reeks of cigar smoke, country club leather and a sprawling studio lot.

Valerie Hill

Hi Patricia Highsmiths book "The Price of Salt" now the fabulous film script "Carol" a knockout at the Cannes Film Festival this year. Patricia wrote "The Talented Mr Ripley" etc., most of her books are first class dark pathological thrillers except "Carol" which is an exceptional illicit love story between two woman. So I don't really think it matters what sex the writer is as long as the script has insight, is unique, compelling and has a gripping story.Being Valerie Hill someone suggested I write under the name "Fanny Hill" now there's a story!

Michael Eddy

Chanel - fascinating thread you've started here - and judging by the reactions - a seriously debatable issue. Personally, I've always thought that Chanel Ashley is a fantastic name - especially if you aspired to be an actress. But as a writer - yes, I assume there are built in prejudices with many (not all) readers/producers/studio execs when it comes to material submitted to them. Not sure what they look at first - the name on the cover page or the page count. Let us assume they can be a bit dim on either front. The accumulated wealth of evidence seems to say that there is indeed a mindset in Hollywood that women can write women's roles and men cannot. Men can write hard core action, and women cannot. Women are better at romcom/love stories - men at R-rated comedies. And on and on. None of it is true - but let's take the stance that it is ingrained enough in the business that one could reasonably try to skirt the issue (or is THAT a sexist remark) by having women go with a male pseudonym - or as some have suggested - go with initials rather than first names, a la JK Rowling. This is also a technique used here in the States by women who are single when they list their names in the phone book - initials rather than a female first name - to avoid having creepy guys call them - or know that a single woman resides at a given address and phone number (although some go with initials and a number only and no address). This practice is commonplace enough - that someone would then KNOW that it is a single women. I would assume that the same might apply if you were to submit a script with initials. The reader infers that it's a woman writer trying to pass as male. So it would negate the camouflage. I have a buddy - male - very successful in TV and film - whose real first name is Gail. He was quite often mistaken as a woman by those who had not met him in person. (He got frustrated enough that he added his middle name - Morgan - no help). But as luck would have it - he has made his career writing action - Dirty Harry stuff and high testosterone TV series - so that would seem to say - that if it's on the page - they don't care - even if you're a man who they mistakenly think is a woman - they're buying your material. I was amused by the Men With Pens set up. Does that mean that someone should start an org called "Women With Penis"? Would the addition of a single letter ("I") make a difference in perception? I would think it would, at the very least, be a conversation starter. And what about men writing and using a female nom de plume? Would that help them get more gigs writing female centric romcoms? There's perception and there's reality. Execs tend to talk out of both sides of their mouths. They say one thing - espouse one attitude - but go with the opposite. I've told this story before - but in this context, perhaps it bears repeating. I heard over and over again that studios wanted female driven pictures. I wrote an action/thriller - with not one but TWO female leads (not a buddy picture - but a hard core cop thriller with a Hitchcockian twist). As myself - a male writer. It was optioned by a major studio - run by a woman - and assigned a female exec to oversee the revisions etc. After 3 drafts - I was replaced - by a female writer - who was told to rewrite the script and change one of the 2 female leads to a man. Go figure... I have registered a number of pseudonyms with the WGA. One of them is a woman's name. In my case, it was not to get more work - or to necessarily fool someone - but to try to get any work after I felt as if a lawsuit I filed against a major was blackballing my chances to sell anything. The script with the female pseudonym was only submitted once - and to a potential agent - and went nowhere - but I think that was his take on the story and not that a woman wrote it. Others have mentioned the potential pitfalls in writing under the opposite gender - getting an offer - and then having to deal with backlash once they discover you are not what they thought you were. That is a legitimate concern as well. In my case, thinking I was blacklisted due to the lawsuit - my feeling was - if they made an offer based on a fake name (male or female) and it got as far as making a deal and coming in to sign papers and divulging at that point who I really was - if they then balked and suddenly made excuses for changing their minds - I would sue them based on the theory that they didn't want to buy the script from ME - and nothing to do with its quality or who wrote it. There is a well documented case of a woman who sold a big spec script - using her own name but lying about her age (she was young - but passed herself off as a teenager) - and the studio thought they were getting work from some child prodigy scribe or something. Once they discovered the subterfuge (and why the hell lopping a few years off would matter is beyond me - either the script was terrific or not) - they cancelled the deal entirely and I don't think she's ever worked again. Hell, one time - I wrote a screenplay that had a lot of black characters in it. My agent called to set a meeting with a famous name who loved the script and wanted a meeting. Drove to his house. He opens the door - and seemed shocked to see me. "You're not black." "No". I replied, bemused, "Did someone tell you I was?" "No", he replied, "But from the script - I assumed you were a black writer". "I'm not. But if you want to work with a black writer, I'm good with that". "No. No. Come on in". And so we had the meeting. I was flattered that he thought I wrote the black characters in my spec well enough to be mistaken as a black writer - and nothing ever came of it. It's still a good script and still available. Granted - there are not nearly enough women directors. Tougher for them to fake anyone out. With novels, or screenplays - it can be done. But to what advantage (temporary?) or what cost? I would love to think that the words on the page and the story told is what matters - and not the gender of who wrote them - but I am not so naïve as to think that in some cases it might have a bearing on whether it's purchased and by whom. In the end - I would hope that good writers can be made of any stripe - and that rather than to use guile and a gender neutral or opposite name to try to sell your work - one should plunge ahead under your own flag (and name) and by selling and making inroads as a man or woman - one would play a role in changing the ridiculous mindset that foolishly thinks it matters in the first place. The buyers need to get it RIGHT (good is good no matter what) and the WRITING is what counts, not the gender of the name beneath the title.

Dawn Johnston

Of course there are women who succeed in action/horror and men who succeed in rom com or whatever. But examples don't prove there's no bias. We're talking about tendencies, not absolutes. I'd suggest those are exceptions that show talent is not gender related. Gender bias exists, to a greater or lesser degree, in almost everyone, I'd guess - it's being aware of it, and doing your best to overcome it, that will help create change.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Chanel: Yes, love roller derby names -- Maggie Mayhem, Babe Ruthless, Ms. B. Haven. Of course they're hilarious and often violent in tone but certainly colorful and memorable! I thought 'Chanel O'Slaughter' would be great if perhaps you were a horror writer, right?! LOL! However, I'm partial to 'Crash Ashley'-- just love the nickname Crash. ;)

Beth Fox Heisinger

Andrew: Yeah, I love it -- Cigar Smokin' Mogul. It's been suggested to me before to go by 'Fox Heisinger' as it has that X-Files vibe, like Fox Mulder. The initial "B" makes me think people will guess my name is Bruce -- great, Bruce Fox. :/ Another option is go more eccentric, perhaps "Fox Von Heisinger." Or, perhaps more regal, 'Baroness Van Heisinger.' What do you think? Too much? ;)

Beth Fox Heisinger

Yes, this is a fascinating subject. Gender bias is so frustrating and sad. I'd have to say I agree with Michael, Dan and others about the possible pitfalls of "bait and switch." I do feel honesty is the best policy. I've been joking about names, but I do think coming up with something more unique verses camouflaging your gender may be a better choice. Diablo Cody did create a memorable brand for herself and she is perhaps more recognizable to the general public than most male writers. Nonetheless, we all are trying to find an edge; get a foot in the door by whatever means. However, I still feel women need to be more visible as writers, as creatives, because we are a minority group. We need to be clear about who we are. How do you fight gender bias? By proving it wrong. :)

Beth Fox Heisinger

Oh, and Chanel Ashley is a great name -- why change it. ;)

Beth Fox Heisinger

Well said, Dawn!

Dawn Johnston

I'm going by HD now Beth :-) Haha, John, yes, that's the reason. Actually, I said that but I don't have any idea if there's a bias against men writing rom coms - was talking out my elbow on that one. However, Pretty Woman was written by a man, so I guess not!

Beth Fox Heisinger

What does "H" stand for, Dawn? By the way, I really like Dawn Johnston. It has a masculine sound -- if that's what you're after. :) HD Johnston sounds a little generic to me, maybe too "stuffy?" Talk about cigar smokin' movie mogul! HaHa!

Beth Fox Heisinger

I really like Lake Bell -- writer, director, actress. Her full name is Lake Caroline Siegel Bell. I hope things keep going well for her. I really enjoyed her directorial debut film "In a World..." Besides her great talent, I do think her unique name gives her an edge. :)

Dawn Johnston

@Beth - not really going by HD (H is for Heather - another girlie name!) but I've always signed my name HD Johnston - more because my parents called me by my second name making it awkward when filling out official documents. I don't mind my name. I still sometimes suffer through Miami Vice references when I introduce myself - though fewer these days, the farther we get from the 80's. I enjoyed "In a World..." as well! And you could go with B.F. Heisinger if you were a scientist. @John - Insensitive Swine? I hope that's the title!

Beth Fox Heisinger

Ah, yes, Don Johnson. I can see that being a nuisance, Dawn. Yes, B.F. Heisinger sounds rather scientific, doesn't it? LOL! I love Fox too much to drop it -- my maiden name. My full name is Beth Ann Fox Heisinger -- it's rather much. I often go by my full name (dropping Ann) or just go by my initials -- BFH. I'm an artist as well. If I sign the front of my paintings I go with BFH. On the back, I sign with Beth Fox Heisinger. Commission work I tend to just sign the back. :) If I could come up with some cool pen name using Fox in some way, I'd probably consider using it.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Very true, Dan. If someone has a problem with me being a woman, then I don't care to work with them. It is best to focus on the writing; the work. :)

Michael Eddy

Very cool thread. Thanks Chanel. All these opinions - AND - some great senses of humor too. John H. - I love your title: NOT SO PERFECT ROMANCE". Maybe you can sell it as a pitch on the title alone and not tell them the script is already written - get paid to do it after the fact. The old American International gambit (start with a one sheet and a title, hire the writer to write the movie to go with that). Dawn - PRETTY WOMAN was indeed written by a man - JF (J for Jonathon) Lawton. Notice HIS use of initials rather than his male name. Curious? Wonder if he had a reverse strategy and was selling a woman's picture as a "woman". I'll have to ask him. Also - the final movie bore little resemblance to the original screenplay - called "3000" - the amount of money the hooker wanted to spend a whole week with the Richard Gere character. It was far darker in tone before it got the Disney/Garry Marshall treatment. In fact, the Julia Roberts character in the script had AIDS. Beth - I believe Diablo Cody changed her name well before she became a screenwriter. That was the name she used when she was a stripper/exotic dancer. And I'm a big fan of Lake Bell as well - both as an actress ("How To Make It In America" and as a writer/director. I saw "In A World..." - nice piece of work. As for using all your names - I have two first name names - three if you include my middle name. When I started writing - my mom encouraged me to use all three (which I did and do) because "It will look bigger on the marquee". I had to explain to her that the writer's name never went on the marquee - we're lucky if we even get credit on what we write.

Michael Eddy

Also - thanks to all who took the time to wade through the verbiage of my original reply to this thread. To paraphrase "Field of Dreams", it's nice to know that occasionally - if you write it - they will read.

Phillip "Ubiquitous" Hardy

Beth Great name suggestions. Here are a few more: 1. Count Siegfried Von Schnauzer 2. AKA JKA Dowling 3. Anton Fang 4. FD Scribe 5. Dr. Mortimer Fortescue 6. I.M. Genius 7. Wilson J. Womenhader

Beth Fox Heisinger

Great commentary, Michael. :) Yes, actually, Diablo Cody's stripper names were BonBon and Roxanne. I think there were others too? She adopted the name Diablo Cody during that time while chronicling her experiences on her blog, before being "discovered" as a writer. :)

Beth Fox Heisinger

Great stuff, Phillip! LOL! How 'bout literary roller derby names; Emily Deck'erson, Agatha Crushdie, Sherblock Bones, Lady McDeath, Scratcher in the Eye, SinderHella, Mad Splatter, and my favorite Malice in Wonderland.

Michael Eddy

I would hazard a guess that she will be the first and last Oscar winner named Diablo. Maybe not as interesting as the debate on how "Oscar" got it's nickname - but not bad.

Dawn Johnston

@Michael I read "$3000" a few years ago - yes, quite different from the final version, though I don't remember the details. @Beth definitely incorporate Fox in there somewhere! And it sounds like you have a new creative outlets - nice.

Phillip "Ubiquitous" Hardy

Beth, hysterical. I think just Malice Wonderland is perfect.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Aren't those great! They're real derby names! If you haven't seen the movie "Whip it," do, it's really a fun film. It stars Ellen Page; is directed by Drew Barrymore; and is written by Shauna Cross. :)

Phillip "Ubiquitous" Hardy

Saw it and loved it.

Leslie Marrick

Beth and Phillip, those are great! We could start some kind of role playing game with all these names. I want to be Dr. Mortimer Fortescue. Or maybe Baroness Von Dachshund.

Chanel Ashley

Just woke up, sunrise here in Adelaide, nice to see all this commentary, some GREAT suggestions, and Beth, FOX is too good a name to leave out, always nice to see Michael Eddy wade in and agree, NOT SO PERFECT ROMANCE is pretty good and I quite like Dawn Johnston - if it brings up the Miami Vice comparison, well, is that so bad? At least they will remember you! - Phillip, Malice Wonderland, talk about being noticed, lol.

Phillip "Ubiquitous" Hardy

Leslie: Thanks. Actually, Mortimer is a character name from my screenplay "The Immortal Jack the Ripper". Chanel: you are definitely noticed already. But Malice definitely leaves no doubt you're formidable.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Haha! Very true, Chanel. Oh, and it's "Malice in Wonderland."

Chanel Ashley

Beth, Phillip shortened it, thought the middle name unnecessary, lol, so Malice Wonderland - how good is the word Malice, wow, that would bring attention - silly as it sounds, I can't get Chanel O'Slaughter out of my mind, Beth, what have you done to me? I don't how or when, but I have to use that somewhere, write a horror script, perhaps?

Beth Fox Heisinger

Oh, I know Phillip shortened it. It's just the official derby name, or rather title, was Malice in Wonderland. YES, I totally love Chanel O'Slaughter -- it's fun! Perhaps a gory horror script is in your future. :) I was trying to come up with some more names for you but all I have is Chaos Ashley or Chanel Knockoff or Chantilly Mace -- I don't know, I can't decide. Well, if you ever decide to join a Rollergirls team we got you covered. ;)

Beth Fox Heisinger

You know, Chanel, forget it. I think perhaps you should just keep using the great name you have -- as is. ...Or, maybe Malice Ashley? ;)

Andrew Martin Smith

Malice Ashley - now that's a name that has serious dark overtones. Sorry Beth - I am am going to have to use it. You immediately envisage Kirk Douglas lighting a Lucky and conversing with Robert Mitchum over a huge vase of white lilies - with a smile that's half shark and half oil. It's amazing how a name can just frog march your character off the page. In my latest movie Harry's Game - I have a detective named Jack Tanner. I just love that name. Jack Tanner - what a monicker. It just so beats, hands down, Andrew Smith. What was my father thinking! In fact, I like it so much - I wrote in a Tarantino ending so he can re-surface in Harry 2.

Fiona Faith Ross

We had this very discussion in a forum the other day. The general consensus is that you shouldn't change your name, even if you are only a guuuuurl. Also, see Meryl Streep's new initiative to support women screenwriters. These things only encourage us.

Michael Eddy

Fiona - I can appreciate Ms. Streep's efforts on behalf of women writers - but it shouldn't be necessary for her to pick up the gauntlet. She was up and out of her seat at the Oscars when Patricia Arquette won and gave her impassioned acceptance speech. Good for both of them. But it should not be left to the female "stars" to use their clout to get better roles OR to look for equal pay or equal employment for their gender. A number of the studios have women running the show - and women executives at the VP position - shouldn't THEY be doing this as they're doing the hiring etc. and taking the meetings? Good writing is good writing. It should be gender neutral. Hire the best person for the job. Buy the best screenplay no matter who wrote it.

Elisabeth Meier

Michael, this is what we wish the world would be. Really. Unfortunately it is not. There must be a reason why a Meryl Streep and other women initiates such projects and why Patricia Arquette felt the need to mention it in her Oscar-speech. She wouldn't have done this if she had not experienced such things.

Michael Eddy

Elisabeth, I agree. The fact that Streep - one of the most honored and respected actesses in the business - and one who works as often as anyone - feels compelled to initiate something speaks volumes. Reese Witherspoon is an actress with her own (very successful) production company. I don't think Streep has one. Reese has been very active in finding material (buying novels early on - in galleys) to develope not only for herself but as a producer only. Last year alone - she produced WILD - and starred in it - and produced GONE GIRL - whose screenplay was adapted by the woman upon whose book it was based. So there are women on the creative side of the biz who are taking things into their own hands - and if by their efforts they can level the playing field - I support them 100%. But my point is that there still seems to be a generic bias on what material can be written by which gender and this thread broached the idea of using subterfuge - gender neutral names on scripts or misleading names - in order to make sales or get writing employment. It is really a shame if those types of tactics are even in consideration - when it should all be about the words on the page - and not the sex of who wrote them. And my final point, which I tried to make in my last post - was...why aren't the WOMEN who run the studios and green light the films carrying the bigger burden of doing this so that the Meryl Streeps and the Reese Witherspoons and the Drew Barrymores (who used to have her own company but I believe dissolved it) doing more of the heavy lifting? Brad Pitt has Type B - he gets movies made (no matter who is leading the creative charge) using his clout. If not for Pitt (and his female partner) - World War Z and Moneyball and 12 Years A Slave to name just a few - don't get made. He got them made - not a studio. Studios don't take chances on merely good/great material - they want comic books and sequels and summer tentpole stuff. Those execs need to grow a pair - whether they're male or female.

Elisabeth Meier

From my experience the studios in Hollywood prefer to produce remakes of films which were running successful in Europe, Australia or Asia as for example Bella Martha (Mostly Martha) which was a wonderful German-Italian co-production. Hollywood made a boring remake titled No Reservations with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhardt. Then this funny French film LOL with the wonderful Sophie Marceau as the mother. The female French director also wrote the screenplay - and you won't believe it, but she sold the same story with almost the same dialogues in English to Hollywood and this remake with same title LOL was starred by Demi Moore and Miley Cyrus who really spoiled the story. This only to give example and prove that they prefer remakes instead of reading and giving new original ideas a chance. The best of all this is the match winner, the female French director who not only sold her script twice, but also directed both versions. That is a cool female way to handle the situation of getting paid less!

Elisabeth Meier

P.S: You are right about the production companies, Reese Witherspoon runs two production companies or is at least involved in two. Meryl Streep never had any, but I would like to know the name of her organization for female screenwriters and actors (if anybody knows it, please drop me a line) and I didn't know about Drew's company so I just checked it on Imdb - there she is still listed as a partner of a production company.

Eoin O'Sullivan

Meryl Streep's issue is a lack of female roles for actresses of her age, in other words, roles that she can play. This can't really be taken as a segmented problem - there's a link between what audiences watch, what does well at the box office, what producers but and what writers work. I find it hard to believe that there aren't good scripts out there, with interesting characters that Meryl can't play. Producers buying them and making money on them, that's a separate issue. It will be interesting to see what her lab produces.

Michael Eddy

Disagree with your premise here John. By definition - an "A lister" (and that category is fluid...someone drops off - Chris Pratt goes on) is someone who is bankable and who the studio covets. One who can "open a picture". There is never a dearth of parts for A listers. They are deluged. They turn down more than they do. Their agents don't even tell them about offers unless a check is attached at their "asking price". For A listers - there is no issue over age or gender. Cary Grant worked until HE decided to quit. Same with Doris Day. Sean Connery. Many others. Indeed - some may "retire" when the right roles don't come along - or when they decide they've had enough - but a star is a star. Where gender plays a role is if and when female "stars" don't make as much as male "stars". But when you factor in box office - that divide narrows considerably. Cameron Diaz was getting $20 MILLION dollars a movie at one point. Reese Witherspoon's quote skyrocketed after her Oscar. If your movies are making money (whether it's in a particular niche - like romcoms etc.) - you're getting paid commensurately. Ask Jim Carrey - once the king of comedy - or Will Ferrell or Eddie Murphy - what they get now as opposed to what they've earned in the past when their stars were on the ascent. Stars can fall as well. Schwarzennegger - in his post Governator comeback to movies - has been a bust. He'll get a nice payday for Terminator Genysis - but his quote ain't what it used to be. And Stallone - once the King - in anything other than The Expendables - is no longer a $20 mil + 10% of the gross guy either.

CL Pike (Cynda)

Hi Chanel! You can do this, but with the amount of social media/networking, it'll take about 2 seconds for people to find out you are... you, right? Or at least that's what happened to me, Cynthia, aka "C.L."

Fiona Faith Ross

@JohnH, But actually, that raises some hugely enjoyable and interesting lines of exploration for the screenwriter. Okay, so The Terminator hits 70. Has he still "got it"? You could show when he has, or when he hasn't. Maybe his knee-caps seize up when he tries to hit the ground running....and he just...hits the ground. Maybe he's developed a baaaaad habit for the 3-in-1 (it's a brand name of lubricating oil). On the other hand, he has gathered so much data (lol) and experience, he's way ahead of the bad guys in the plotting and scheming. Oh, I'd love to write this stuff. And if he had "son of Terminator" to do the strong arm stuff, Terminator-senior could do the mentoring. "No, son, we do it like this." (Sorry, didn't mean to "like" my own post.)

Fiona Faith Ross

@JohnH Lemme take ya on a journey, honey. Let's do the stealth 'n brains AND the fast horses, and pour a slug o' that thur firewater in me cocoa.

Fiona Faith Ross

@JohnH. Cheap? Never. Five star everything for me, including the brandy.

Chanel Ashley

Fiona, you meant cognac, I'm sure, lol.

Michael Eddy

John - first of all - thank you for extending me the courtesy of expressing my opinion. I, for one, will see the new Terminator regardless of Schwarzenegger's participation or not. They're not selling the picture on the fact that a 70 year old terminator is making an appearance. And I daresay that if you check the opening grosses - they will be huge. This is a "genysis" story - thus - the title - so having Arnold as a part of it - as the original Terminator seems like a smart move. Does anybody want to see a 70 year old robot come through a time warp naked? We'll see soon enough. The guy's still in pretty good shape for his age (like Stallone - who's about to give Rocky another go - and looks like he's been on 'roids for a decade or more). Further - why not tie the conversation into the original topic of this thread - sort of. Arnold is back at 70 - was there any thought of casting Linda Hamilton to reprise her role as the original version of Emily Clarke's character in the reboot? THAT'S where your ageism and sexism might kick in.

Michael Eddy

And Fiona - as humorous as your comments are - droids don't age - only the actors who play them do.

Fiona Faith Ross

@Michael Well, I guess they might not age, providing they got their upgrades regularly. Do rusty ole droids dread facing up to new-and-annoyingly-shiny? Might do. Only the writer knows. lol (If it was me, I would bring back the terminator a bit creaky. I think it would make for a more interesting plot.) Sorry, way off topic here. Don't encourage me.

Michael Eddy

Fiona - henceforth - I will try not to encourage you, as per your wishes. And Hunter - clearly - sarcasm is not part of your repertoire. All on this post certainly are entitled to their opinions. For the record - Eddy is my last name.

Charles G. Masi

Lordamercy, NO! Be proud of who you are. Write the stories that you care about. That follows the general principle of "Do what you do best, and leave it to others to do the rest." This is a competitive world in general, and the entertainment business is more competitive than most. If you try writing anything you don't care about, you'll have trouble maintaining your focus and putting in the energy required to do it well. If that means you're a 100 lb woman with thick glasses who likes to fantasize about being an intergalactic Ninja, that's what you should write about. Doing anything else means you won't do your best, so how can you compete with others who love doing that? BTW, I think writers who use pseudonyms generally are ashamed of the stuff they are writing, and don't want to be associated with it IRL. I can see it if you're writing porn, or terrorist pamphlets, or don't want your neighbors to know that you're a guy writing a manners column, but generally be who you are and do what you do. Anybody who doesn't like it doesn't want to be your friend, and you should only do business with people who want to be your friends.

Fiona Faith Ross

Well said!

Chanel Ashley

You said some nice things, Charles, and you have a most interesting bio, but you lost me when you suggested that "writers who use pseudonyms generally are ashamed of the stuff they are writing" - using a nom de plume or a pseudonym has been a common practice since the year dot, I believe writers should have that right if that is their choice - I'm never comfortable when people judge others or their motives - "business with people who want to be your friends" is a quaint concept, but in the real world, business is business and you may not have the luxury of working only with "pleasant" people with your interests at heart - changing your name is not a reflection that we may not be "proud" of who we are, cheers.

Michael Eddy

Charles - I like your passion. As to writers who use pseudonyms being "ashamed of the stuff they are writing" - that may be a bit too much of a generality. There can be many reasons to go with another name - and I don't think it's that widespread a practice to begin with. Chanel's original query dealt with writers of one gender trying to pass for another due to an ingrained bias in the business against women writers in general and women writers being able to write specific genres that are considered a male domain. A valid question. And it has elicited some terrific repsonses - pro and con. The Writers Guild for example - requires that a writer have pre-registered pseudonyms with the union - to be used if there is some problem on a script. As credit is important - most writers would want their real names on scripts that are produced. The rare instances where there's been a problem (that I know of) involves writers (some of them A names) who think their work has been trashed - but ended up with a screen credit anyways on work that they want nothing to do with. (I had an instance early in my career where my screenplay was extensively rewritten by another writer - who screwed the pooch - and I wanted to share credit with this lummox to be able to point a finger at him, but the producers insisted on giving me sole credit - saying it was still essentially my story - it wasn't, believe me.) In that case - if they have a registered pseudonym - and have not been paid a certain % above the going rate (remember - occasionally - a studio hires a writer for the value of their name and their previous successful work and WANT their name on the movie. It has value - and they do NOT want a false name used - so if they've paid a lot of money - they don't want the writer to be able to remove his or her real moniker) - they can ask that the other name be used. On one of the Tarzan movies - the writer used the name of his dog. For purposes of this thread - the question is not changing names because one is ashamed of the work - it is changing genders for purposes of selling the work in the first place to a market that has in ingrained prejudice. I don't think anyone here has a problem with being who they are - this is about commerce - not an identity crisis.

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

I completely disagree with almost everything Charles said. No one in the industry wants to be your friend. They want to make money off of you. It would be a plus if you're not an asshole. but even then if your work shines they'll just try harder not to talk to you. I don't think anyone was saying they're trying to write about subjects they don't care about. The issue was if a woman does write about something she cares about, for example an intergalactic ninja, would it be taken as seriously if the script were written by a man, You think JK Rowling was ASHAMED over writing Harry Potter? You think that she didn't want to be associated with the story that she slaved over for years? How is that so?

Charles G. Masi

I apologize for the trashy thing I said about writers who use pseudonyms. Yes, there are many reasons to do it. As a veteran journalist, however, I have a knee-jerk reaction against anything smacking of "anonymous." I should have edited my comments more carefully, or just shut up. But, have you ever tried to get a journalist to shut up?

Michael Eddy

Charles - as a journalist - you should know well that many sources will only go "on the record" if their names are not divulged - thus "anonymous source" - I don't think that has anything at all to do with the use of pseudonyms as outlined in this thread. I get your knee jerk reaction - but in this case - as you've said above - you were a little quick on the trigger and misspoke on the bottom line query put forth here - reasons to do it or not under very specific circumstances and for a specific reason.

Michael Eddy

Chanel - you made the point I was going for but more concisely - and on less sleep. And agree with Jean-Pierre that this is a business about relationships - but most assuredly, not about friendships (with apologies to Brad Pitt and George Clooney). Not many friendships out there (although I had one with one of my 6 agents...) - it's all bottom line and business. I wish I had a dime for every time some producer told me he'd make it up to me (a less than stellar deal) on the "next one - and there is rarely a next one.

Charles G. Masi

"... many sources will only go "on the record" if their names are not divulged." Yeah, and depending on circumstances, we may choose to ignore what they say! I was in business-to-business magazines, where folks are all trying to get their message across. It's different with news media. Again, this emphasizes the point that it depends on circumstances, and there are many possible reasons ....

Beth Fox Heisinger

CJ raised a great question: "if a female writer's script falls into the hands of an industry member who has a prejudice based on gender, does she ultimately benefit if she is perceived to be male?" I believe that answer to be "no." Your true identity will surface. "Tricking" others can certainly backfire. Personally, and all joking aside, I am disheartened by this notion. I view it as passive behavior that further fuels gender bias and inequality. We need women writers/directors/producers to be front and center.

Mark Gunnion

It worked for DC Fontana...and lots of 50s & 60s sci-fi writers. I'll bet it would even make for some interesting "reveals" at pitch meetings!

Michael Eddy

Agree with Beth here. "tricking" will backfire. I tried to make the point early on, in my 1st post here - that one female writer wrecked her career by lying about her age. Ridiculous? Yeah, but it happened. The idea that one could get his or her foot through some door by lying about gender seems to be an even more dangerous game to play. I don't think the creative execs (and I use the term "creative" advisedly) would react well to that sort of move. Your only advantage - and it is a slim and down the line costly one - would be to get an offer on a script - show up as your true self - and have the offer withdrawn. Lawsuit. But that is time and money consuming and the onus would be on the aggrieved writer to prove that the offer was made with the exec thinking the "he" was a "she" - and then withdrawn because they didn't want to hire a female writer. All the exec has to say is, "We realized we had a similar project in development". Try proving they didn't. And even if you do - you've burned that studio permanently from potential places of employment - and there ain't many left. So Beth might be right again by calling it a passive move that only fuels the fire. And the ball bounces back into the court of all the female studio heads and execs to do something about it at the highest levels.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Recently, I watched an interview with Salma Hayek at the Cannes Festival; Women in Film at a 'Women in Motion' panel; and she has had to not only confront sexism but racism in the industry as well. She made the point, that frankly, you have to show studio executives that there is money to be made by your project; that there is an audience that 'they' are failing to tap. As taken from The Hollywood Reporter article: "Hayek pointed to the movie industry’s current box-office woes and suggested that one reason is that the female audience -- which makes up half of receipts -- continues to be ignored. "The movie industry is in trouble because we don’t care about their movies, and they’re trying to figure out why,” she said. “What would happen if there was an open door, and somebody started doing movies that we want to see? … [The studio executives] think, ‘Chick flicks, romantic comedies. Guess what? We’re smarter than that."" Here's the article with video clips: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/cannes-2015-salma-hayek-sexism-796121

Beth Fox Heisinger

Yes, CJ. Exactly!!! Why even deal with sexists? ...I just answered the question from a 'call to action' point of view. :)

Beth Fox Heisinger

Yes, Michael, I agreed with your point earlier in the thread. :) I also wholeheartedly agree that women in key decision making positions need to open doors, reach back and extend their hands to other women -- not need, rather, they must.

Phillip "Ubiquitous" Hardy

Even as a male writer, I endeavor to write compelling female characters. And, I’ve written three scripts with female leads including a biopic about Angela Davis. One of my proudest moments this year was being recognized by the Artemis Women in Action Film Festival in LA, which was attended by Terminator’s Linda Hamilton. Nothing pleases me more than writing stories with smart, dynamic, strong women characters.

Michael Eddy

Philip - six degrees of soemthing or other...I mentioned Linda Hamilton's name on this thread a couple of posts ago. And Beth - perhaps thou art psychic...I literally just finished reading a recent issue of the Hollywood Reporter and was about to get back on this thread to add a disturbing quote from (now ex- head of production at Sony) Amy Pascal - who left in the wake of the hacking scandal. There was an article on a movie set up at Sony - by Pascal - which has fallen to new studio chief Tom Rothman to decide on whether to go forward or not - which involved salaries for its stars - one of whom is Jennifer Lawrence - arguably one of the hottest and most bankable female stars of the moment. She is due to get $20 million dollars for the film, "Passengers". There's debate on whether the movie will sustain large payouts to JLaw and her male co-star - the equally hot Chris Pratt - due to be paid $10 million. The article also touched on a contretemps over an additional hack which showed that JLaw got only 7 points on the backend of AMERICAN HUSTLE (for which she was Oscar nommed) while her male co-stars got 9. That group of men included Christian Bale (another Oscar winner and an ex-Batman), Bradley Cooper (3 time nominee and the star of the Hangover series), and Jeremy Renner (multiple Oscar nominee and an Avenger, but arguably not a box office titan like the others. A Sony exec intoned in an e-mail, "It's a joke that JLa is a 7 and Renner is at 9". I would agree. Is there sexism at play here? Smells like it. According to the article - JLaw and her agents are prepared to walk away from Passengers if Sony tries to make her deal at anything less than $20 mill. Good for her. But what jumped out at me was a quote from the recently departed (as studio honcho) Amy Pascal - "The truth is that what women have to do is not work for less money. They have to walk away. People shouldn't be so grateful for jobs". Disingenuous of her to say and remember we're talking in iterations of MILLIONS of dollars here. But the point is - Pascal as a woman should be leveling out the playing field for other female talent in her position as studio head - and not merely telling them to walk away from subpar offers made to them - either by male OR female studio chiefs. The talent is repped by some pretty astute and shark- like agents (many of them women as well BTW) - who have access to the books - know what others make doing similar work on similar projects - and always know what to ask for. The reps need to tell the studios that they won't settle for less than equal pay for equal work by any of their clients - male or female.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Michael: It's a gift, really. I "knew" you were going to say that. ;) Yes, that does smell like sexism. Reps should tell studios equal pay for equal work. However, a rep gets a percentage of their client's salary, right? I don't see someone willing to give up their earnings to take a stance on equality -- we're talking percentages of millions. The whole system seems corrupt. Salma Hayek also talked about how male lead actors have written in their contracts that they have a "say" on who is cast for their female co-stars. How sexist is that?!! So, not only are they paid more they get to choose who they star with -- even if the female role is equal to theirs!!! That makes me ill.

Michael Eddy

Beth - clearly great minds think (and post) alike. Yes - certain stars do have co-star approval. They also have director approval. then again, most stars will not even sign on to a film (even if their quote is being met) unless and until they know who the director will be. It's not even that they inisist on some A list Oscar winner - they will work with hot newbies - but they want to know who'll be calling the shot on the film. As for the agents - you are quite right that if they are in for a cut of the clients deal (10% for agents - 15% of higher for managers) - they are, as you say, in it for the money. They may have less of an interest in the quality of the material and more in how many zeros are on the contract and whether it's a straight 10% of the profits (gross or rolling gross) etc. Even the biggest agents (agencies) have vested interests. Two stories: Henry Fonda was at a cocktail party with Edward Albee and sought him out to tell him how much he loved "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolff" and how he always wanted to play the role of George. Albee tells him that when the play was brand new - he submitted it to Fonda's reps for him to star - and they turned it down. Fonda was never told. I also heard from a buyer at a small production company (years ago) - that they had acquired a script - loved it. Low budget deal. They found a young mostly unknown actor - repped at CAA - then the biggest agency in the biz - and wanted him as the star. First - CAA asked for a 400% bump in the actor's "quote", based on nothing more than the fact that they knew this company wanted him. They went back and rejiggered their budget - and accepted the deal. Then - CAA tells them - you can't have the actor you want without taking this actress we rep as the female lead. They don't want her - they want HIM, but they agree. Done deal? Nope. CAA comes back and says they can still have the actress, but NOT THE ACTOR!! End of offer. And the young actor never knew that he could have starred in a movie for 4X what he'd ever made in his career to date. True story.

Beth Fox Heisinger

...Yeah, Michael, not helping me with that ill feeling. This part of the industry has always made my stomach turn. :/

Sarah Gabrielle Baron

NEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chanel Ashley

That sounds rather definite, Sarah, lol.

Richard W. Walker

And to think, in the early days of film female "scenarists" were well represented.

Michael Eddy

Very true Richard. A few were even amongst the founders of the original Screenwriters Guild. A favorite female writer - known much more for her acting talents - was Ruth Gordon - who wrote a number of terrific screenplays with her husband Garson Kanin - amongst them "A Double Life" (an Oscar winner for its star - Ronald Colman), "Adam's Rib" (with Tracy and Hepburn and Judy Holliday) and "Pat & Mike" - also Tracy and Hepburn - which has one of my all time favorite lines of dialogue from any movie. Tracy checking out Hepburn on the golf course says, "there ain't a lot of meat on her. But what's there - is cherse".

Chanel Ashley

Ruth Gordon, now there's a name, good choice, good writing, great films.

Richard W. Walker

Frances Marion was the one I was thinking of.

Regina Lee

I like your wording: "enhance your opportunity." No, use your own name. Let's say you're writing a really masculine, muscular Navy SEAL movie. I can see why a male writer might have more credibility in that space. But even if you firmly believe your script could get a better read if the cover page is from a male writer, the only way to convert on that "opportunity" is to meet the executives/reps and develop a relationship that is a "win-win." You won't be able to do that under a false pretense. The only time that people use pseudonyms with scripts is when they are a well-known person in one field (marketing exec, production exec, actor, etc.), trying to get an unbiased read as a writer. For example, Pete Chiarelli, who sold a script by using a FEMALE WRITER'S NAME!! http://movieline.com/2009/06/17/peter-chiarelli/

Chanel Ashley

To be honest, Regina, I still haven't decided which way to jump, it all depends on the level of frustration at the time.

Stacy Gentile

No

Regina Lee

@Chanel, ultimately, it's a personal decision, and you don't owe me or any of us an explanation!

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