May 28, 2024

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“This is an expression of a clash of two cultures”

“This is an expression of a clash of two cultures”

What exactly is the SAG-AFTRA actors’ union strike?

“That all the work is effectively put in place. Actors in movies and TV series, but also casting people and casting directors: they all pause. Will we notice that with Caviar? We usually start shooting two movies this fall: one with Susan Sarandon and one with Stephanie Hsu.” This is now highly uncertain. Although smaller films like ours sometimes get an exception to be allowed to show during previous strikes. It’s still too early to tell if that’s the case now.”

How will viewers notice the violation?

You won’t notice much of it in the first trimester. There is an unprecedented supply of content that streaming platforms can certainly count on for a while. Of course, what we’ll see right away are the actors stopping to promote the movies, just like the actors in the premiere Oppenheimer Thursday (They pulled out of the premiere after the strike became known, PG). Barbie Another big movie will suffer: Margot Robbie will have to stop her promotional tour.”

And after those first three months?

“At the moment, the big movie studios still feel very strong. You can see it in how they dealt with the screenwriters’ strike that has been going on since May: they keep waiting. They are so cynical that they think that at some point screenwriters will run out of their savings.” , and they won’t be able to pay the rent and then have to go back to work. This is also the case for actors. Big names live such a period without any problems. This will feel the thousands of supporting actors who are hired for just a few days. They usually have a well-paying job , thanks in part to an unusually strong union for America, which offers health insurance or a pension fund, for example.

“Although, of course, the position of the major film studios is speculative. They have a lot of films on the shelves that need a cinematic release: they must also be promoted. In addition, important films will be shown for them in September, namely those with which they aim to get awards such as the Oscars. (In September there are also Emmys, PG). Within three to six months, the studios would also see a decline in their income. In short, it’s like a game of poker: who blinks first? ”

Why are the actors actually on strike?

In fact, it can all be traced back to the advent of streaming platforms. Many of these actors live on extra income — and hangover above their normal wages. They get paid extra for visiting the cinema or TV broadcasts. Movie studios are very transparent about this. But streaming platforms simply give an amount without explaining how it is calculated. If an actor notices that a title becomes a hit on such a streaming platform and stays at that amount, it leads to frustration.

It goes deeper, though. Streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Apple TV+ care less about what they make. Amazon is a store, and Apple is a phone retailer. For them, film is not an end in itself but a means: they just want Selling subscriptions. Whereas studio heads used to think the content of their product was important. Studio heads were slowly rising film producers who gathered around themselves talented filmmakers, screenwriters and actors. This is an expression of the clash of these two cultures.”

Actors are also concerned about artificial intelligence (AI). What’s up with that?

The suggestion from the movie studios was that they could digitally scan the extras and use that image for the duration of the project. As a result, these actors would only be paid for one day and not nearly two weeks like they used to be. The actors are — understandably — very angry at that suggestion. According to them, movie studios will keep track of digitally scanned extras for their entire lives.In fact, it is about what we should do with the image rights of actors now that a new technology is emerging, which is artificial intelligence.

“Maybe the solution to that, just like hangover, to be found somewhere in the middle. A potential solution would be the equivalent of a photo database, where a studio would have to pay every time it uses someone’s photo. Although the waters between the two camps are still too deep for such compromises.”

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