The conceit of Alley Girls is a fine one: let's show that women can do everything men can do in tech fields. But this email casting call—which denies that it's a casting call, or that this is even a reality TV show (what is it then, an opera?) dashes any hope for positivity. It isn't a sitcom, it isn't a documentary, and nothing that produced positive social change ever started with a "sizzle reel." Simply, you cannot make a reality show about programmers that isn't awful. Let's all stop trying. Full email plea below, and a look at the production company's earlier work, above.
————— Forwarded message —————
From: Teresa Bigelow <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, May 23, 2013 at 5:36 PM
Subject: Sizzle reel for new series / social action campaign - we want to hear your story! 5/30 @ Inc./Fast Co offices
Hi ladies of New York tech, media and business!
It is my pleasure to invite you to participate in the development of a new web/TV series about women in the NY tech industry — rest assured...this is NOT a reality show.
We are shooting interviews for the sizzle reel (pitch video) next Thursday, May 30th, and we need your stories!
As I mentioned this is not a reality show, and this is not a casting call. This is because my team and I have plans to produce a smart, entertaining and informative show about amazing women doing amazing things with the hope of motivating an intelligent — while a smidgen overstimulated — generation of females to also do amazing things. Your stories will inspire our stories.
When: Thursday, May 30th, 11 AM - 6 PM
Where: 7 World Trade Center - New York, NY (Inc./Fast Company)
We are shooting interviews in 20-minute intervals. Please respond to email@example.com with 2-3 time slots that will work for you between 11 am and 6 pm.
The video will be unveiled at an event on June 27th! More details on that coming soon...
What is Alley Girls?
In collaboration with Left Brain/Right Brain Productions, we are looking to create a new series about women working and building companies in Silicon Alley.
The high-level purpose of the series is to chip away at the subconscious perceptions that still exist in many of our girls, women and just as importantly, boys and young men across the nation – that is, the misleading notion that females are not leaders nor are they capable of maintaining the same entrepreneurial backbone as their male peers.
This series and its campaign will hopefully help stimulate a new awareness in Gen Y / millennial youth by depicting the stories of successful, relatable and passionate female entrepreneurs of the NY tech community (i.e. YOU!), in a way that is engaging and entertaining.
But we can't do it without you!
At its core, this is a community-built project. You are the inspiration for this. You are the women who ignored the "Boys Only" sign and marched right in, anyway.
We'll handle the production, logistics and snacks if you can take 20 minutes to come share your story.
I hope you'll join us!
Thanks for being awesome,