Posts Tagged ‘studios’

Opportunities for talent in TV2.0

Friday, 1 February 2008

There hasn’t been much news on the writers strike this week, and the WGA still has control.

The general consensus is that the Studios and the WGA are likely to agree a deal, but I think they are both arguing at the expense of the most important person in all of this mess, the Viewer.

What the WGA and all the other unions should realise is that by renegotiating, all they are doing is messing around while the towers they and the Studios have built are crumbling down.

The new value systems, enabled by cheap production and almost zero-cost internet distribution will enable all Talent to thrive. With the right financing models, it will give them;

A) creative and storytelling freedom

B) an opportunity to co-own media and to see significant return of value from their efforts

C) protection from needing to pursue alternative employment, i.e., a viable long term career opportunity

Most producers, actors, directors, make-up artists, writers, THE TALENT, have a huge opportunity at their feet.

The problem is, all the new players like Film 7, 60Frames, Jackson Bites, and Virtual Artists, are just trying to recreate the Studio model for the internet. These nouveau Studios still cover the financial risk, so inherently, the TALENT will still be dominated by these new firms, the firms will centralise and hold control of decision making, investment and allocation of people to projects.

This is a model that we all want to move away from, it cannot and does not scale. Unfortunately it looks like TV 2.0 will be more like TV 1.1

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The re-invention of TV

Monday, 21 January 2008

Like I said before, reinventing TV is about reinventing the whole value system, from the ground up.

Otherwise you are in trouble, like in South Korea where viewers are re-inventing prime time TV.

What does this mean? Well, people aren’t at home watching video on television screens, watching mid roll adverts and being constrained by international distribution deals and windows.

They are off, in the coffee shops, watching downloaded TV on their laptops.

They are revinenting the TV experience themselves and making the distributors economically irrelevant. The coffee shop owners are making money off bagels and doughnuts while the Studios lose revenue from content.

The Institutionalisation of Hollywood

Monday, 14 January 2008

The production of TV and Film around the world faces exactly the same mass media economic problem.

The current model is simple. Studios take the risk. They scout for and fund the investment and reap the majority of the reward through distribution. The talent is paid a little, with a select few receiving much, much more than others. Basically though, the Studio owns it all.

Off the back of the WGA strike, talent is looking at new ways to create content and keep most of the ownership.

“Virtual Artists will offer professional writers deals to develop and produce films, TV shows and shorts for a reduced fee but a larger ownership stake. It will also look to acquire content.”

This is one example of many groups of talent coming together to seek VC investment; Virtual Artists, Hollywood Disrupted and 60 Frames.

The problem is that these new firms are simply replicating the same mass media economic model, the model they have been institutionalised into. If you think about it, these new firms are simply playing the role of the Studio, but on a smaller scale. They face the same transaction costs to find talent and create new programming that the studios do.

My question. When these new ventures grow, will the TV/Film world look any different? The economics are exactly the same, just spread out over more small/niche/focussed Studios. A bigger pack of wolves, different clothing.

Right now, their offering is to ask the talent to take the risk (reduced fees) and in reward be given a larger share of revenues. Who’s the real winner here?

The new wolves…, and they will have the same problems the studios face. They will not be able to scale investment, production and output. They will have to control tightly what is invested in and what isn’t. They will become the new bottlenecks for talent.