Recent William Smith almunae, Chloe Emler, Addison Gilbard, and Hannah Bini, former Campus Correspondent of HWS HerCampus, have created Exit 42 Media, a production company working to change the representation of women in media.
You may have seen their recent project, Women in The Real, aimed at bringing awareness to the discrepancies between the media’s representation of women and how we are in real life.
“Deep down we may know that women on screen are for the most part nothing like women in real life, but to outwardly acknowledge that was the aim for this project,” Emler says. “By coming forward and showing this disparity we’re hoping that the conversation around needing more representative media will continue and build momentum until change actually does occur.”
The project perfectly encapsulates some of the goals of the company and the enthusiastic responses and submissions they received serve as proof that Exit 42’s work is very needed.
“During our Women in the Real project it was interesting to see that other women are also fed up with how women are shown in media. It can be mind boggling to know that there is a demand for more representation, but that demand is not being met,” Bini says.
The full video is on their YouTube now!
Exit 42 initially began in their sophomore year after the three friends began working on cowriting a script and developed their shared passion of writing and storytelling. From there, they developed the company through Summer Sandbox and the Pitch.During the Summer Sandbox, they built a foundation for the company by conducting costumer discovery interviews and market research, creating budgets, and meeting with alums and industry professionals.
“The Pitch was an extension of our work with the Summer Sandbox program and IdeaLab (all HWS programs). We were able to pull together all the work and research we’d conducted and ultimately pitched it in the finals,” Emler says. “From that we gained a lot of important connections and learned even more about our company. Each step on our company’s journey has led us to learn new things and has given us a better understanding of where we can go with Exit 42 Media.”
When asked if they have any advice for current William Smith students interested in starting their own company or working in the media, Emler had this to say:
“In many ways we’re still in the midst of figuring it out for ourselves. One of the things though that we have learned is that while it is so important to listen and learn from those with more experience, knowledge, and know-how in the end it is up to you and your team to decide where you want your company to go. I think it can be hard sometimes to not turn your company’s direction in the way everyone else is suggesting but something you’ll learn is that even two industry experts can contradict one another so in the end take your company down the path you think is best (keeping in mind all the knowledge and research as well as your own gut feelings about the matter).
“As for working in media, if you’re at HWS take advantage of the trip to LA that career services offers. With the pandemic everything has changed but whenever that program is offered next it can be really useful. The three of us (co-founders) went this past January and were able to meet so many accomplished alumni and were able to connect with them to learn even more about the industry. We still talk with some of them to this day as they help give us advice, knowledge, and even review some of our work. Anyone in the media industry will say connections are immensely important, so start making those connections as soon as you can!”
To learn more about the company, check out their website: https://exit42media.co
And make sure you’re following their social medias (linked below). You’re going to want to keep an eye on their upcoming work!
“We have some exciting projects in the works, so stay tuned… We actually just had a meeting to go over our goals for 2021 and I can’t say much, but hopefully this upcoming year will be one of growth for our company,” says Bini. “I’m definitely very excited!”