How to Create Inclusivity and Accessibility in Your Film To Set You Up for ROI and Success

Hosted by Amanda Upson

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Amanda Upson

Webinar hosted by: Amanda Upson

Founder at Tuck and Roll Productions

Amanda Upson left traditional legal practice to produce movies through her company, Tuck and Roll Productions. Her first film, MAGNUM OPUS, a spy thriller with timely themes, secured wide distribution in 2018. She then produced A LONG MARCH, a social justice documentary, and RENEGADES: KITTY O'NEIL for PBS' AMERICAN MASTERS, where she continues to serve as a consulting producer. Amanda uses her status as often being the only deaf/hard of hearing person that people know to advocate for representation and accessibility. Amanda is active in FWD-Doc (Filmmakers with Disabilities), the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Bar Association, and Lawyers with Disabilities. She serves on the Labor Committee of DPA, and was selected for RespectAbility's Entertainment Professionals Lab, Summer 2021. Amanda focuses on advocating for the underrepresented in front of and behind the camera via producing and consulting. She mentors students and alumni of her alma mater, the University of Virginia, and attorneys in her home state of Colorado, where she co-founded and serves on the Board of Denver Mother Attorney Mentoring Association. She was appointed to the Colorado Task Force on Attorney Well-Being, was named one of FORBES 40 to Watch Over 40, and was admitted to the US Supreme Court bar. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Inclusivity is not a checklist you run through to avoid a negative media attention or a lawsuit, though many productions may treat it this way. Inclusivity and accessibility are vital for creating more jobs and reaching the widest audience. This ultimately gives you the highest possible return on investment as the more people there are who can enjoy your film, the more money you stand to make. The longer you wait to consider inclusivity and accessibility in your production, the more it will cost and stress you out later.

Do you know how to identify tax incentives so that your production is accessible? Or the legal requirements to make an inclusive film? How do you even begin to discuss these topics while being sensitive and constructive? Whether you want more creative storytelling, opportunities to better engage audiences, or are looking for new money sources, with this webinar, you'll immediately have everything you need to put the information into action in your project. Independent producer of Tuck and Roll Productions, Amanda Upson, guides you through how she does it all!

Using her own experiences making the timely-themed project RENEGADES: KITTY O'REILLY for PBS's AMERICAN MASTERS, and the social justice documentary, A LONG MARCH, no one better understands diversity, accessibility, and inclusivity better than Amanda. She'll show you how to navigate this expanding aspect of filmmaking through her experiences as someone hard of hearing, as a producer, and as a lawyer admitted to the US Supreme Court bar, who advocates for others.

 

She also includes exclusive resources that you can use for your productions:

 

  • Budgeting considerations
  • How to discuss disability and accessibility
  • Resources for legal requirements

 

This isn’t a list of helpful resources, but rather, an in-depth look at how to create fantastic opportunities by being an ally, and you’ll be amazed at how simple it can be. This shift in your mindset, guided by someone with first-hand knowledge, creates awareness that ripples through the creative process, from development to assembling a diverse cast and crew to your marketing strategy.

 

"Amanda Upson is an exceptional producer. Increasingly, accessibility and inclusion are a necessary part of productions. Beyond her expertise as a producer, her knowledge and experience ensured that our production not only met the technical requirements for accessibility, which was important to our distributor, but also ensured that we created an inclusive space for a diverse cast and crew. Her understanding of these concepts helped us to provide more nuanced storytelling, and support long term success."

Day Al-Mohamed, Series Creator/Writer/Director RENEGADES: KITTY O’NEIL

What You'll Learn

  • What are inclusivity and accessibility
    • How it applies to production
    • How it applies to audiences
  • Shifting your mindset
    • Thinking opportunity vs. burden
    • Thinking opening doors vs. closing doors
  • How to talk about disability
    • Understanding terms and best practices
    • Focusing on the person, not the disability
    • How to talk about accommodations
    • How to cover disability in casting and story
    • Avoiding inspiration porn
    • Resources that can help when discussing disability
  • The benefits of being inclusive and accessible from the start
    • You are able to bake inclusivity and accessibility into a package
    • You are able to budget appropriately and avoid unnecessary costs
    • You open yourself up to other sources of money
  • Additional benefits of being inclusive and accessible
    • Crafting a richer, more authentic story
    • Hiring a diverse team that is inherently able to problem solve and identify opportunities
    • Broadening your audience reach
    • Meeting the need of providing inclusive, accessible films to festivals/distributors/audiences
    • Saving money and increasing revenue
  • Understanding the legal requirements
    • Know the laws that govern your production
    • Understand legal requirements are simply a minimum standard to much greater benefits
    • Amanda will share resources and experts who can help navigate
  • How can inclusivity and accessibility practices increase your film’s revenue and save you money
    • Reaching larger audiences
    • Activating niche audiences
    • Understanding how companies prioritizing inclusivity and accessibility outperform competitors
    • Increasing your film’s SEO visibility
    • Identifying tax incentives
    • The “unspoken” penalties for lack of inclusion and accessibility
    • Amanda will share examples of films that have successfully incorporated inclusivity and accessibility
  • Easy and inexpensive practices you can adopt now to ensure your production is more inclusive and accessible
    • Adopting strategic hiring practices
    • Committing to inclusive casting practices
    • Conducting inclusive production meetings and writer’s rooms
    • Networking as an inclusive filmmaker
    • Creating accessible websites, trailers, and postings
    • Serving as an ally and creating awareness
  • Q&A with Amanda

Handouts:

  • Budgeting considerations for inclusivity and accessibility
  • An inclusivity and accessibility Resource List
  • How to discuss disability and accessibility

About Your Instructor

Amanda Upson left traditional legal practice to produce movies through her company, Tuck and Roll Productions. Her first film, MAGNUM OPUS, a spy thriller with timely themes, secured wide distribution in 2018. She then produced A LONG MARCH, a social justice documentary, and RENEGADES: KITTY O'NEIL for PBS' AMERICAN MASTERS, where she continues to serve as a consulting producer.

Amanda uses her status as often being the only deaf/hard of hearing person that people know to advocate for representation and accessibility. Amanda is active in FWD-Doc (Filmmakers with Disabilities), the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Bar Association, and Lawyers with Disabilities. She serves on the Labor Committee of DPA, and was selected for RespectAbility's Entertainment Professionals Lab, Summer 2021.

Amanda focuses on advocating for the underrepresented in front of and behind the camera via producing and consulting. She mentors students and alumni of her alma mater, the University of Virginia, and attorneys in her home state of Colorado, where she co-founded and serves on the Board of Denver Mother Attorney Mentoring Association. She was appointed to the Colorado Task Force on Attorney Well-Being, was named one of FORBES 40 to Watch Over 40, and was admitted to the US Supreme Court bar.

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Testimonials

"Amanda Upson is an exceptional producer and it was a pleasure to work with her on RENEGADES: KITTY O'NEIL. Increasingly, accessibility and inclusion are a necessary part of productions. Beyond her expertise as a producer, her knowledge and experience ensured that our production not only met the technical requirements for accessibility, which was important to our distributor, but also ensured that we created an inclusive space for a diverse cast and crew. Her understanding of these concepts helped us to provide more nuanced storytelling, and support long term success."

Day Al-Mohamed, Series Creator/Writer/Director

RENEGADES: KITTY O’NEIL

 

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