Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Antitrust: Entertainment and Telecom Merging

I wrote about a year and a half ago about the possibility of our industry mirroring past trends and maybe moving toward antitrust issues. ‬Over 70 years ago it was decided that movie studios should not be allowed to own movie theatres, because:

The ownership of everything from the beginning of the production all the way through the final sale to the end consumer (vertical integration) means lots of money and control. Never letting any competition in, or dictating terms to them, can be good for your [the owner's] short term bottom line

(from What's Old Is New Again: Antitrust). And that's bad for everyone, even eventually the owners of the company/companies controlling everything. Innovation and competition tend to improve the options consumers have and improve the health and profits of an industry.

Today, Variety reports, Time Warner shareholders have overwhelmingly voted to approve the media conglomerate's upcoming sale to AT&T. The governmental authorities, both in the US and EU, have not yet given their final approval. However, the deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

We may be working for the phone company soon, at least whenever we're on a TV or film set owned by Warner and its subsidiary companies. The audience may soon get the delightful experience and value-for-their-money they already get from their cell phone or cable company.

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Thursday, February 09, 2017

Criminal Charges Against 5 Casting Workshops Brought by LA City Attorney

The Los Angeles City Attorney's office has filed criminal misdemeanor charges against the operators of five casting workshops for allegedly charging actors for auditions in violation of the state's Talent Scam Prevention Act of 2009. If convicted, each of the 28 defendants – including 18 local casting directors - could face up to a year in jail and a $10,000 fine.
SAG-AFTRA said it supports the prosecutions and will continue to work with the city. Preying on the hopes and dreams of artists is one of the oldest scams in Hollywood, said Duncan Crabtree Ireland, the union's chief operating officer and general counsel. We thank City Attorney Mike Feuer for enforcing the law and taking action to hold people accountable when they violate the law and take advantage of vulnerable people's dreams. We will continue to work with the City Attorney's Office to help protect our members and future members

(from L.A. City Attorney Busts Five Casting Workshops For Charging For Auditions).

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Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Direct Deposit Residual Payments

Delivery of residual payments via direct deposit will finally become a reality in 2017. The program will begin with select payment partners and our eventual goal is to offer electronic processing of all residuals. This new service will not only add much-needed efficiency to the financial lives of performers who depend on these payments, but will also be another major step in SAG-AFTRA's eco-friendly green initiative

(emphasis added, from Game-Changing News). This seems like a very good thing.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Bryan Cranston's Advice On Auditioning

You're not going there to get a job, you're going there to present what you do. -Bryan Cranston interviewed at the Oscars

We come, we act, we leave. That is the base template of our work. Casting often factors in and depends on things completely beyond your control and outside your knowledge.

Stay in your lane and run your race; auditions are our chance to do our work, and show it to others. Let them worry about who books.

And I realize how impossible that seems. Our bills getting paid, and our career's growth seems to be wrapped up in who books. I get that it feels like it, but the reality is our success is more tied to how much we turn our focus away from such extrinsic motivation when we do our work, between action and cut and curtain up and curtain down.

Booking is not about us. We do not control that outcome (unless we're the executive producer as well). So when we audition it may as well not exist to us. Do your work, and then go to the beach or something (says the guy who wishes he were at the beach today).

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