- The Initial Question
- Die NEROPA-Ampel
- Write first, decide later
- Is that really necessary?
- German Film Funding November 17
- Epilogue: Ships that Pass in the Night
The Initial Question
Every now then I get asked if script writers can also work with the casting method NEROPA to modify the striking gender imbalance between female and male roles on television. The clear answer to that is “not really“ and “yes of course“ at the same time, and that is something I will talk about today.
Ideally the NEROPA check is performed by three individuals. Six eyes won‘t read thesame way , three brains will tick differently and people will have had different experiences in their lives. So the 3 will most probably find differing neutral roles in the investigated script, i.e. roles whose gender is not essentioal to the plot. Then the three will talk and agree upon a final list of neutral characteres (see also NEROPA-Check).
A script – at least as long as it hasn‘t been altered by order of commissioning editors or others – represents the author‘s intention, it presents characters exactly in a way the authors meant them to be, they do and say exactly what the authors want them to do or say. If the authors were to nerope* their scripts they most probably end up with nil zero neutral roles as they were all intended to be who they are. Just ask a child about their soft toy: “Ah, so he‘s called Berti Bear. But couldn‘t it also be Berta Bear or Brownie Bear?“ No of course not. Everyone can see it‘s Berti Bear. (Actually I can‘t, but that‘s just the point. Stuffed animals‘ gender is in the eyes of the beholder. Or rather keeper.)
I imagine the characters in a script are like the stuffed animals of a writer, they have been playing / occupied with them for weeks , months or even years. The know them inside out, they know who they are and why they even are in the story in the first place. So the chances that an author will say „yes of course, these for or ten roles can be neutral“ (or worse still “sure, they can be deleted“) are pretty dim.
“yes of course“
Now the author could go about getting to other persons, have them nerope the script and then discuss the neutral findings among the three of them. But that does not really [Weiterlesen – Read On]