Thursday, July 18, 2024

The end of the heyday of internet television and the rise of the new Hollywood


The Hollywood Writers Guild reached a new deal with the studios of online streaming platforms, which ended five months of strikes, and as a direct result, the ceiling for renewal standards for new series was raised – meaning that renewing series for new seasons should not be automatic, as “Netflix” and “Amazon” do with all their work. . Regardless of success or failure – fewer shows will enter production, meaning only an elite few in the industry will benefit.

The deal will accelerate a wave of layoffs in Hollywood that has lasted more than a year. That means the deal represents the official end of television’s heyday that began exactly a decade ago in 2013. It’s called the peak because it exploded in shows and series like never before. Throughout the history of the television industry, Hollywood has provided opportunities and jobs for the underprivileged. No luck working with traditional TV networks or pay cable channels.


Writers won substantial perks in the deal, including additional profits and higher royalty income than before. These wins mean a lot to many who have had bad luck due to bad choices or have not seen good work following successful series they worked on. From reprints of successful works.

In addition, there are complicated restructuring processes due to the debt burden of major Hollywood companies and the significant contraction of the pay-TV cable industry, which has led to a phase of cutting costs and laying off workers.

In light of the deal, streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and Max will have to find a way to pay new adjusted wages to series workers — and these workers include writers and directors. stage, and later actors and actresses would join them – without… increasing the total cost of the artwork.

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This means that these companies will be forced to reduce the number of series and shows in the future and cancel what was on their agenda in the recent past before the strikes broke out last May. In practice, many people in Hollywood will benefit from this deal, but it will inevitably mean that cost-cutting will mean little or far less work than in the past.

Rebel soldiers

In the past decade, streaming companies represented a major challenge to traditional Hollywood and were industry insurgents, but today they are key players sitting at the negotiating table with labor union representatives, or at least that’s what it seemed. Their contract with the Writers Guild.

The reason for the Writers Guild’s dispute with broadcasters is that the latter have unclear payment terms and do not offer lucrative rewards for successful work as traditional television networks do. But in light of the new contract, writers were guaranteed clear conditions for lucrative rewards if their works achieved a high viewership. The writers were concerned about the tendency of Internet broadcasting companies to reduce the number of script writing workers as a result of the aforementioned downsizing campaign, and they demanded guarantees from the companies that the reduction would not exceed a certain limit.

Problems abound

On the studio side, despite the writers’ demands for transparency in announcing the numbers, they have said that they will not make the comments of their works available to the public. But instead, platform studios will only provide information about successful assignments to unions in confidence.

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The two sides reached an agreement that the platform would have the right to use the writers’ texts in the process of training the artificial intelligence systems. Instead, the agreement protects the writer and the platform’s studio gets all his rights even if the AI ​​is used. Replace text or general.

Hollywood’s problems are now concentrated in the management structures of companies, and they go far beyond the usual problems of finding successful works. The root problem is that there are too many streaming companies, which causes confusion among consumers and scatters companies’ accounts from an economic standpoint. Currently available solutions are merging companies together, bundling multiple services together for one company, investing two large studios in a shared service, or offering content in the form of bundles.

What is the direct result of the contract? As a result, late-night talk shows such as Jimmy Fallon’s “The Tonight Show” will return this first week of October, but studios are having trouble hosting actors for these late-night comedy shows. for strikes aimed at improving their conditions.

Writers are expected to return to work on several scripts, including “Abbott Elementary,” “Law & Order” and “Stranger Things,” but no production will begin until the cast reaches a satisfactory agreement. Studios, which is expected to happen by the end of October.

As for the million dollar question, it’s: “Will artificial intelligence write scripts for movies and series in Hollywood?” So far the answer is “definitely not, not even soon.” But what is expected to happen in the coming years is that artificial intelligence will be used as a brainstorming tool and will help to create a general framework of an idea for a film or series, as well as read and select suitable texts for filming. , or conceptualizing conversations, for example, as for the creative side of writing and detailing, that is the responsibility of the writers.

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But artificial intelligence will inevitably be used in areas such as creating visual special effects. Ultimately, artificial intelligence threatens both sides, because if its use increases enough to drive down the cost of scripts, there will be an explosion in the flow of good scripts written partially or entirely using the system from the writing workshop. Shooting locations, then the Hollywood system can literally collapse or collapse. It turns 180 degrees.

• The Million Dollar Question: Will Artificial Intelligence Write Hollywood Scripts?

• Writers received substantial benefits in the contract, including additional profits and higher royalty revenues than before.

• The deal would accelerate a wave of price cuts in Hollywood a year ago.

A very important victory

The most important win for the unions from the platform studios: “Members of the unions will receive revenue if at least 20% of the artworks are viewed by the subscribers of the platforms in the first 90 days of publication. 9,000 and 40,000 dollars, depending on the size of the site, the number of its subscribers and the type and duration of the program.

Pandora Bacchus
Pandora Bacchus
"Coffee evangelist. Alcohol fanatic. Hardcore creator. Infuriatingly humble zombie ninja. Writer. Introvert. Music fanatic."

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