Women gathered at TheWrap’s Women, Whisky and Wisdom event at The Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, California on Wednesday night to celebrate this year’s female Academy Award nominees.
Joanne Sellar, producer on “Phantom Thread,” Vanessa Taylor, screenwriter on “The Shape of Water,” Diane Warren, nominated for Best Original Song in “Marshall” and Taura Stinson, nominated for Best Original Song in “Mudbound,” took part in a panel to give advice on how to break through in the industry while women sipped BenRiach whisky.
“I think it was like taking every opportunity and running with it and working really really hard, grasping onto the opportunity, and figuring things out,” Sellar told the crowd of powerful and influential women in attendance.
Taylor explained that she was raised to be “differential” towards men and would often act like an intern to make older and more experienced men feel less uncomfortable: “I don’t think you can afford to be differential to men at all — you have to arrive fully confident in yourself, your experience, your capability.”
Warren’s advice was “don’t be good, be great,” and not to listen to no’s: “A million people could say no but one yes could change your life.”
Lastly, Stinson took her advice from her own tattoo, which reads “believe, become.”
“Everything starts in your mind,” she told the audience. “If you speak positively to yourself then you have no choice but to grow, to learn and to take away the good in every situation because good or bad, you become what you believe.”
Other attendees included Greta Gerwig, whose film “Lady Bird” is nominated for five awards, Rachel Morrison, nominated for cinematography for “Mudbound,” “I, Tonya” actress Caitlin Carver, “Mudbound” actress Keesha Sharp, Jane Seymour and Helena Mattsson, among many others.
TheWrap’s CEO and editor-in-chief Sharon Waxman welcomed the women to the event by telling them that it was an important year to honor women Academy award nominees — because this year, out of the 200 nominees, 50 are women, tying the record for the most women nominees at the Academy Awards, matching 2016.
There are only three categories which don’t have an female nominees this year, which are visual effects, sound editing and original score.
“We are here to raise a glass half-full, not half-empty, and to salute the undeniable change that is going on in our industry,” Waxman said to all the women raising their glasses. “So please join me in toasting the amazing women of the Academy Awards in 2018.”
The event was presented by TheWrap and BenRiach. In less than three weeks, TheWrap’s new division Wrap Women will launch the second BE Conference for mentoring millennial women in entertainment, media and technology. TheWrap has recruited 250 rising stars in their fields, to hear inspiring keynotes and be mentored by top women professionals.
Watch the video above.