Changing Narrative and Society
The World around us is diverse and colourful and half of it are women.
Overall however, films and television have not been reflecting this reality. Films and programmes, fictional and non-fictional, are characterized by a strong majority of males. Whether it’s talk shows, sports programmes or feature films, the focus is far more often on the men, women are less to be seen. This imbalance has been going on for so long that most of us don’t even notice it any more. We grow up with fewer images of women than men in the media and in fictional productions, and also with them being less diverse in character, profession, age, ethnicity etc.
This lack of range in the narratives of film and television also affects the social reality around us. There are far to few role models, inspirations and frictions – for women and men, girls and boys.
Against this background actress Belinde Ruth Stieve invented NEROPA in 2016.
NEROPA is a new concept to reduce this imbalance in a straightforward and systematic way by using the lever Neutral Roles Parity.
Most stories and scripts contain a number of smaller or bigger neutral roles, i.e. characters whose gender is not significant to the plot, but which are more often than not written as males. With NEROPA theses roles are detected in a fairly uncomplicated way and in consequence alternatively defined and cast as female – male – female – male. no matter how big or small the parts and whether they are named or unnamed. Using the Finetuning of the NEROPA method the cast can be diversified even more, e.g. regarding age, size, ethnic origins, colour, sexuality, (dis-)ability, accent / dialect and more, and thus get closer to reality. Using NEROPA leads to truer representation and more diversity, we will see more women on our screens from a variety of backgrounds and ages. This will lead to more multi-faceted films and more possible identification with characters for girls and women. The films will be better and more entertaining – for both men and women.
The principles of NEROPA can also be employed right from the start, during script development, when writing a script.
More detailed information on this method can be found on the pages NEROPA Check (including a video clip), Case Studies, NEROPA Finetuning. and NEROPA during Script Development.
Background information and more can be found on the subpages of the chapter Further Reading.