Started by wilder, April 28, 2020, 09:57:53 AM
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Quote from: WorldForgot on October 08, 2022, 11:24:31 PMwhich in turn references:
QuoteThe International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) is escalating its push to get visual effects workers to organize as a union, launching a survey on Monday that is designed to study working conditions and pay rates for VFX talent in Hollywood compared to other industry standards.Though other inquiries into this area have been made before, the survey is the first time IATSE has sponsored an official VFX study. The survey, which is open to all those in the VFX space, including non-IATSE members, is available here. It polls industry workers on salary, workplace safety, overtime pay, available resources, and more."VFX is integral to almost every film and television production made today. Yet the workers who make VFX possible are among the only film and TV workers not represented by a union today," IATSE organizer and VFX worker Mark Patch said in an official statement. "Knowing our worth is an essential step towards building a more sustainable VFX industry."IATSE communications director Jonas Loeb explained that the union's involvement in this push is intended to drive higher participation than ever before, such that "the more in the VFX community that participate, the more representative the study will be."VFX workers in recent months have been vocal about intense workloads, low pay, and long hours that have plagued the industry as more and more movies and TV shows have demanded elaborate CGI work, with some arguing that conditions have only worsened in recent years as the demand for content has exploded.
QuoteMovie studios can be sued under false advertising laws if they release deceptive movie trailers, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday.U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson issued a ruling in a case involving "Yesterday," the 2019 film about a world without the Beatles.Two Ana de Armas fans filed a lawsuit in January, alleging that they had rented the movie after seeing de Armas in the trailer, only to discover that she was cut out of the final film.Universal sought to throw out the lawsuit, arguing that movie trailers are entitled to broad protection under the First Amendment. The studio's lawyers argued that a trailer is an "artistic, expressive work" that tells a three-minute story conveying the theme of the movie, and should thus be considered "non-commercial" speech
QuoteFebruary 16, 2023I've begun to believe that the biggest problem in arthouse/indie film is not the un-produced or un-distributed films, but the films with distribution, or rather, with how they get distributed. To be even more specific, I think the problem is this whole independent thing – meaning, we have too many independent distributors all fighting for our attention, when we probably need just one. Or, as I tend to think about it - we have too many small distributors and streamers (often the same thing) who think they are all somehow doing a better job than the next guy and who refuse to work together, when we could probably just use one. Now, before you think I'm crazy and argue for the value of small independent voices in the distribution ecosystem, and against consolidation, just hear me out. Because what I'm really arguing for here, is more consolidation and/or collaboration in how things get to the audience, especially when it comes to digital offerings, and less about which company owns who, although I am not opposed to some mergers, either. How many streaming services do you subscribe too? Most folks have about five, apparently, and I'm betting those consist of the big ones – Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, Disney, or maybe Discovery+, Paramount+, Peacock... you could name many more and you haven't even gotten to the ones that specifically try to serve the indie/arthouse audience. You have offerings from IFC, Mubi, KinoLorber, Criterion, Ovid... I could list many, many more – but I gave up when I looked at the services tracked on JustWatch and realized they had over 150 streamers to choose from. WTF?! No one can keep track of all of these services, much less all of the films they might want to see across their offerings, even with a service like JustWatch. And they don't. Most consumers stop with the top five streamers, and even the most dedicated cinephiles probably stop somewhere South of ten, I'd bet, and even they haven't heard of most of these services, or the films on them. And forget about trying to see your favorite film from distributor X if you don't subscribe to their output deal streamer of choice - which is why I've missed too many A24 films that went to Hulu. Whatever happened to the Universal Jukebox we were promised, and which we pretty much have when it comes to music? Who are all these megalomaniacal narcissists who think they really need to "own their audience" and that they must build these tiny subscriber bases? Why not just join forces and have one good alternative place to find all the great films – hopefully, curated a bit by good curators and people who I want to follow, and sure I could search by distributor (or filmmaker), etc. – but why not work on something like that instead of atomizing the audience across hundreds, if not thousands (when you look more globally) of services? I think the arthouse film audience is probably much bigger than anyone thinks it is, but it has been split across way too many distributors and streamers for any one of them to capture the total possible audience. This has been true even before streaming – too many distributors chasing the same few quality projects and competing for the same slots at the cinema, all because they think they can do a better job releasing the film than someone else. And now, it's too many channels chasing the same eyeballs across the screens, all hoping we'll either pay a subscription or – worse for all of us – sit through ads programmed by robots ruining our viewing experience for a VRBO commercial – in search of an aggregate of pennies that might keep the doors open. If you look at the problem from the consumer perspective, which is what you should always do when trying to solve an industry's problems, then it's pretty obvious that we need a one stop shop for these niche films, aggregating them from across multiple sources, and making them available for either one low monthly price and – what no one does – allowing anyone to rent an individual title from the system without becoming a subscriber (Amazon does this, and they rule the world). And while I'd hate it, sure, you could also give them the option to watch for free with ads (Amazon again). I'd go a step further and say that this membership should also get you discounts at every arthouse theater in the country, like an arthouse MoviePass, and that the systems of curation and money exchange should be intertwined. And you could build the whole thing on the back of JustWatch... JustSayin'. In fact, I'd bet most of us would pay for such a system over Netflix almost any day of the week. And would have done so from the start. But building that kind of system would have taken a lot of work, and a lot of real, direct audience engagement, and an investment of time and money that went completely against the dominant business model – which is, licensing out that work to someone else. So, when Netflix came along and said "we'll do this for you," everyone jumped onboard, not waiting to hear the end of the sentence, which was, "until we don't need you anymore." Which is what's now happened with Hulu and all of the other options, so we're stuck in a bad system when we could have built the right one from the beginning. But dreaming up any such system, which I've done a bit in the past, requires one contemplating a lot more collaboration across the industry. And that won't happen anytime soon. Perhaps not until ¾ of these folks have disappeared as their business model collapses around them, and the last few standing might finally realize they should have been collaborating to aggregate the audience instead of atomizing them in pursuit of a maintenance of their status quo, squeezed into a frankenstenian copy of the Netflix model (which is what we have now). The solution isn't trying to become a niche single player Netflix, but instead building (together) the new Netflix of great films, all in one place. One can dream...
QuoteLast fall, desiring information to aid our own filmmaking careers, we launched an experiment to see whether we could obtain hard data on independent film revenue. Having experienced firsthand how difficult it is to get this information, we created a Google form and asked filmmakers to self-submit not just their feature film top-line revenue data, but thorough, detailed and specific numbers on everything from their budgets to best- and worst-performing revenue streams to cast to how much their films made in gross and net terms. From the details of the 104 submitted films, we have drawn critically important—and many surprising—conclusions. For our own part, the information we gleaned will, in large and subtle ways, alter the way we put together our future films. But there was another reason we launched this experiment. In addition to wanting this information as filmmakers ourselves, we spend a lot of time talking to other filmmakers. Liz managed the Creative Distribution Initiative at Sundance Institute and now works as a sales and distribution consultant. Naomi teaches classes and consults with filmmakers on indie film development and financing and, in her work as one of the founders of The 51 Fund, interacts with many filmmakers who are trying to get their films financed. Between the two of us, we encounter filmmakers at the beginning and end of the herculean process of making a film. Informed by a combined 20-plus years of experience in the industry, we are increasingly concerned about the disconnect between what many filmmakers think can happen and what we know the reality to be. Week after week, we listen as filmmakers earnestly explain to us how they believe making a film for "as little as $250,000" makes it a near certainty that they'll recoup their investors' money. "CODA sold to Apple for $25 million," they say with straight faces, "and my film is also a coming-of-age." We ache for these filmmakers: We, too, have been suckered into these illusions. But seeing the actual financial state of independent film as clearly as we now both do, it feels increasingly critical that we confront how dire a situation the field faces. We say this not because we wish to discourage anyone, but rather because we care so passionately about a brighter future for independent film.At this moment, there are only two possible paths for an independent film. The first is what Naomi refers to as the "golden elevator." A project that manages to get on the golden elevator is very likely to bear out a filmmaker's wildest dreams: premiere at a top film festival, big dollar sale to a streamer, maybe an Independent Spirit Award, distribution by NEON or A24. These high-profile stories keep the rest of us dreaming as the filmmakers breezily explain in interviews a charmed path up into the stars. But there are only a tiny number of highly elite and tightly gate-kept tickets onto that golden elevator. A place in a highly prestigious lab might get you on board (though certainly isn't guaranteed to do so). So may the attachment of a hugely famous actor (not a sort-of-famous one) or the full-throated backing of WME or CAA (but only if they're really pushing the project, not just casually attached). For a good example of the trajectory of a golden elevator film, see this year's Sundance success stories, such as Fair Play, produced by the high-profile team of Ram Bergman and Rian Johnson through their new production company, or the trio of debut features financed by A24 and written about elsewhere in this issue.Critically, in almost every case we've witnessed, a project gets their ticket onto the elevator before—often well before—the film is actually even made. One of the most pernicious and lingering myths, we think, is that it is possible to get on that elevator at a higher floor—that if you can just scrape it together and make a truly brilliant film you can get into that festival or sell to a streamer for serious money later. In our experience, this is simply not true today. Certainly, there will always be unicorns, but for the rest of us, the reality is that, if you are not on that elevator at the basement, the chances that you will gain access to any of these outcomes are vanishingly small.We call the non-golden elevator films—the actually independent films—"free-range films" (a term coined by director Maria Nieto) because they are made fully outside the institutional industry apparatus. In the current landscape, these films find themselves scrambling down a well-worn set of uninspiring distribution paths. Out here, in the land of mid-level film festivals or no-one's-ever-heard-of-them film festivals, filmmakers encounter unrealistic projections from predatory distributors or the candid and depressing truth from honest ones that recoupment is near impossible after platforms, agents and distributors take their pieces of the pie. This is because content has been and continues to be devalued on a daily basis as audiences are sold more and more SVOD and AVOD platforms that allow them unlimited viewing for small monthly fees—fees effectively subsidized by low license fees to creators—that pale in comparison to the true cultural value of all the films in those libraries. All of the above we had previously gleaned from our own experiences. But it was difficult to figure out where to go from here since, without actual revenue information from free-range films, it has been impossible for us to model our future films' revenues or instruct other filmmakers on their own realistic revenue potentials. This difficulty has been partly because revenues of free-range films aren't openly reported anywhere and partly because filmmaking teams are almost always reticent about sharing their actual earnings numbers. The latter difficulty in getting accurate information is both because the industry actively discourages us from sharing this information and, we believe, because few people want to admit how dismal their numbers actually are. [...][Continued]