Hollywood Had a Record Year for Female Protagonists in 2019, New Study Claims

Brie Larson stars in Captain Marvel (2019).
Brie Larson stars in Captain Marvel (2019).
Marvel Studios

Things are looking up for women in Hollywood—kind of. Last year proved to be a record one for female protagonists in film, Variety reports. From superhero blockbusters like Captain Marvel to dramedies like The Farewell, 40 percent of 2019’s top-grossing films featured female protagonists. That’s up from 31 percent in 2018, the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film reports.

What’s more, a growing number of studio features included female protagonists (45 percent). About 55 percent of the female protagonists included in the study appeared in independent films. That’s an improvement from last year, Variety reports, when independent films were almost twice as likely as studio features to star female protagonists (68 percent versus 32 percent).

Unfortunately, the good news mostly ends there. In 2019, women made up 34 percent of all speaking roles, a decrease of one percentage point since 2018 (we’re looking at you, Martin Scorsese). Female characters also tend to be younger than their male counterparts; the majority of female characters in 2019 were in their 20s (22 percent) and 30s (31 percent), while the majority of male characters were in their 30s (32 percent) and 40s (26 percent).

The situation looks even bleaker for female characters of color. Hollywood as a whole has shown negligible improvement in racial diversity since 2016. About 68 percent of all female characters in 2019 were white, while about a fifth were black, seven percent were Asian, and five percent were Latina. Those numbers were roughly the same in 2017 and 2018, with slight improvements since 2016.

Women are taking on more leadership roles behind the scenes, though. Women directed 12 percent of 2019’s highest-grossing films, which is eight percent higher than in 2018. An increasing number of women are also taking on roles related to production, cinematography, writing, and editing. As more women and people of color take up leadership roles behind the scenes, it’s likely that on-screen diversity will increase, a report from the University of Southern California suggests.

[h/t Variety]

Kodak’s New Cameras Don't Just Take Photos—They Also Print Them

Your Instagram account wishes it had this clout.
Your Instagram account wishes it had this clout.
Kodak

Snapping a photo and immediately sharing it on social media is definitely convenient, but there’s still something so satisfying about having the printed photo—like you’re actually holding the memory in your hands. Kodak’s new STEP cameras now offer the best of both worlds.

As its name implies, the Kodak STEP Instant Print Digital Camera, available for $70 on Amazon, lets you take a picture and print it out on that very same device. Not only do you get to skip the irksome process of uploading photos to your computer and printing them on your bulky, non-portable printer (or worse yet, having to wait for your local pharmacy to print them for you), but you never need to bother with ink cartridges or toner, either. The Kodak STEP comes with special 2-inch-by-3-inch printing paper inlaid with color crystals that bring your image to life. There’s also an adhesive layer on the back, so you can easily stick your photos to laptop covers, scrapbooks, or whatever else could use a little adornment.

There's a 10-second self-timer, so you don't have to ask strangers to take your group photos.Kodak

For those of you who want to give your photos some added flair, you might like the Kodak STEP Touch, available for $130 from Amazon. It’s similar to the regular Kodak STEP, but the LCD touch screen allows you to edit your photos before you print them; you can also shoot short videos and even share your content straight to social media.

If you want to print photos from your smartphone gallery, there's the Kodak STEP Instant Mobile Photo Printer. This portable $80 printer connects to any iOS or Android device with Bluetooth capabilities and can print whatever photos you send to it.

The Kodak STEP Instant Mobile Photo Printer connects to an app that allows you to add filters and other effects to your photos. Kodak

All three Kodak STEP devices come with some of that magical printer paper, but you can order additional refills, too—a 20-sheet set costs $8 on Amazon.

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The Office Will Debut Unreleased Footage When It Premieres on Peacock

Get ready for never-before-seen footage of The Office.
Get ready for never-before-seen footage of The Office.
NBC

Even though you would expect The Office to already be on Peacock, NBC’s new streaming service, the comedy remains on Netflix … for now. But once it leaves Netflix at the end of the year, we’ll all be getting a major treat when the episodes re-debut on NBC's new platform complete with unreleased footage.

In case you’re unaware, The Office chronicles the lives of a group of unique paper company workers. The series ran for nine seasons from 2005 to 2013, and featured an ensemble cast helmed by Steve Carell and included the likes of Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Creed Bratton, Jenna Fischer, B. J. Novak, Ed Helms, Mindy Kaling, Craig Robinson, and Ellie Kemper. Many of the actors on The Office have gone on to have impressive careers in the film and TV industry.

The Office unreleased footage

One awesome bonus of The Office leaving Netflix for Peacock is that the streaming service will also be making unreleased footage available for subscribers. While speaking to Bloomberg, Peacock and NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises chairman Matt Strauss revealed, “We will be reintroducing The Office in a more complete way, incorporating elements that were not part of the original broadcast.”

Getting to see unreleased footage from the Dunder Mifflin gang will definitely be incentive enough to sign up for Peacock when the show moves there in 2021.

When is The Office coming to Peacock?

While The Office is currently on Netflix, it won’t be for long—those streaming rights will expire by the end of the year. Fans will be able to see all of their favorite characters on Peacock in January of 2021, and Peacock will retain the streaming rights to the series for the next five years.