A Breakdown of Diversity of Producers & Directors in the US

Final Projects, Visualization


Producers and directors make up an integral part of the workforce in the motion picture industry. With the call for more inclusivity of gender and race in the film industry, I wanted to take a look at the top people in the motion picture industry—producers and directors. The goal of the project was to examine if diversity among producers and directors has changed over time. This project examines diversity through race, gender, age and education during the period of 2014 to 2017. 


First, I searched for data across various resources to find a dataset that included demographics of producers and directors. Once I found a dataset from the US census database, I used Tableau to create the visualizations. I wanted to show change in diversity over time using different charts and graphs. Each visualization focuses on a demographic—such as race, age, gender, and education—in relation to time.

Conducting User Research

When I planned for user experience research, I wanted to see if users were able to understand what the visualizations were communicating. I also was interested in gaining insights on how they would interact and navigate through each visualization. I used an interview-based method for the study. Some questions I had asked: What do you think these visualizations are trying to convey? Which visualization are you drawn to? Can you identify key information such as the overall trend of diversity among producers and directors?

From conducting the user tests with two users, I found that people experience information differently. One participant focused on the meaning of colors of the visualizations while the other participant looked at the labels and the title to gain information. Both participants were able to identify the overall trend. I also had each one use the filter to examine how intuitive the tool was and if it made sense to users. From that, I learned users were interested in seeing the big picture all at once and then sought out specific information if they wanted to. For the ‘Diversity in Producers & Directors’ dashboard, the filter was preset at ‘2017’. When I asked the participants to use the filter to tell me the key trend, both participants set it back to ‘all’—which averages out the total over time. 


The user research study and the in-class critique inspired me to design a polygonal graph that showed the change in ages of producers and directors over time. The last visualization, ‘Age of Producers and Directors over time,’ shows how producers and directors are increasingly becoming younger. Another key finding from the project is that white males have been and are still dominating the motion picture industry. However, there has been slight increases of female as well as black producers and directors over time.

Final Visualizations


The final data visualizations are simple, however, I think they provide a clear picture of the goal of the project, which was to show the change in diversity among producers and directors over a given time. In the future, I would like to take this project a step further to examine the change in diversity among popular Hollywood producers and directors of huge blockbuster films.