The Evolving Film Industry

Started by wilder, April 28, 2020, 09:57:53 AM

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Quote from: WorldForgot on October 08, 2022, 11:24:31 PM

which in turn references:

"I worked at R+H 11 years ago. John Hughes is exactly the man depicted in this film. He's among the most humble, compassionate, intelligent and mild mannered people I've ever encountered. He openly discussed all sorts of topics with me at the lunch table. He told me the reason R+H exists was for the employees and their benefits package proved it. Each Friday he'd present the company's bids, profits and losses with anyone interested and the ultimate bankruptcy was clear then as the losses often outweighed the profits. Heartbreaking on many levels."


IATSE Escalates VFX Workers' Push to Unionize with New Survey

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.


Movie studios can be sued under false advertising laws if they release deceptive movie trailers

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


From Brian Newman's mailing list

QuoteFebruary 16, 2023

I'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...