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Hollywood Puts the Squeeze on Talent (Dinosaur Media DeathWatch™)
New York Times ^ | November 6, 2006 | Laura M. Holson

Posted on 11/06/2006 4:03:24 AM PST by abb

On a recent trip to New York City, Russell Crowe was asked by reporters why he had dropped out of negotiations to star in a new movie being directed by Baz Luhrmann and produced by 20th Century Fox.

The Academy Award winner, never one to mince words, suggested it was, in part, the money. “I do charity work, but I don’t do charity work for major studios,” Mr. Crowe said.

It seems the needy are not the only ones in Hollywood with their hands out. Movie and television studios, facing escalating budgets, rampant piracy and the uncertain future of new media, are demanding concessions from talent. But as actors, directors and writers feel the squeeze, many are not happy about it.

Worse, the tension is not likely to ease soon. As studios are set to begin contract negotiations with talent in January, all sides are girding for battle.

Hollywood is in the midst of a strategic shift. The average cost to make and market a movie has skyrocketed — to $96.2 million last year, from $54.1 million in 1995 — while lucrative DVD sales have flattened. Major film studios are fending off illegal piracy, which industry executives say accounted for $1.3 billion in lost revenue in the United States last year.

The growth of new media threatens to undermine traditional businesses, while studios are flummoxed about how to take advantage of the new opportunities they represent. And movies and TV also face tough new competition from video games and online social networking sites. Even cellphones have become a favorite diversion among the young.

As in so many other show business debates, money and control are at the heart of the matter. And without solutions to these problems in sight, relations between talent and the studios are more strained than ever.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: dbm; emule; filesharing; hollywood; illegaldownloads; television
Show me the money!
1 posted on 11/06/2006 4:03:27 AM PST by abb
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To: 04-Bravo; aimhigh; andyandval; Arizona Carolyn; backhoe; Bahbah; bert; bilhosty; bwteim; ...

Ping


2 posted on 11/06/2006 4:04:06 AM PST by abb (The Dinosaur Media: A One-Way Medium in a Two-Way World)
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To: abb
"No Talent" putting the squeeze on "Talent?"
3 posted on 11/06/2006 4:07:23 AM PST by msnimje (You simply cannot be Christian and Pro-Abortion.)
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To: abb
FYI..here's a preview of the headline from this Wednesday's NY Times:

Two More American Troops Killed in Iraq

Cheney accused of hunting without a license in S. Dakota

GOP retains control of House & Senate; Dems fall short of control

4 posted on 11/06/2006 4:13:00 AM PST by ken5050
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To: ken5050
Check out today's New York Post.

Their front page is another keeper :)

5 posted on 11/06/2006 4:14:46 AM PST by mewzilla (Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. John Adams)
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To: mewzilla
OK..Here's the NY Post's headline for Wednesday..

GOP keeps Congress; Kerry enters Witness Protection program

6 posted on 11/06/2006 4:21:14 AM PST by ken5050
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To: ken5050

LOL! Good one!


7 posted on 11/06/2006 4:22:19 AM PST by mewzilla (Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. John Adams)
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To: abb
The average cost to make and market a movie has skyrocketed

Most of the movies and the talent are NOT worth the cost.

And, on top of that, many of the movies, tv, etc. have a political agenda. This is NOT entertaining.

Additionally, the talent mostly high school drop outs or high school grads feel the need to express their political opinions by using pre-scripted statements to support the liberals' positions. Thus, turning the majority of traditional Americans off to their movies, music, etc. And, if said STAR endorses a product for a corporation, that corporation's sales are adversely affected.

8 posted on 11/06/2006 4:22:46 AM PST by xtinct (I was the next door neighbor kid's imaginary friend.)
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To: xtinct

I have seen a lot of Hollywood propaganda films from WWII. They all supported the war. No one doubts that the current efforts are for undermining the America that bought these illiterates their mansions, their duds, and their alimony money. Talent? I have not seen much on display.


9 posted on 11/06/2006 4:30:13 AM PST by sine_nomine (Vote for the Democrats? - the party of Studds, Frank, Webb, Clinton? - the new family values party?)
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To: sine_nomine
"Talent? I have not seen much on display"

I thought they were all members of the Film Actors Guild.

10 posted on 11/06/2006 4:35:30 AM PST by Paladin2 (Islam is the religion of violins, NOT peas.)
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To: abb

Many actors are surely overpaid, but IMo the most overpaid person on this planet is Katie Couric. Give me a week and I could train most any High School graduate who can read to do her job and I will throw in insults to the Bush Administration for free if its required.


11 posted on 11/06/2006 4:55:07 AM PST by sgtbono2002 (The fourth estate is a fifth column.)
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To: abb

Wholesome, family oriented movies, some well-done westerns where the good guy gets the girl at the end of the film, war pictures that showcase and praise our fine military of today....a few suggestions off the top of my head for Hollywood studios to consider.

Oh, and musicals. Find some dancers to dance and entertain like Astair and Rodgers. No smut, no bad lyrics.

As far as talent, it's been seriously lacking overall in the movie industry for decades.


12 posted on 11/06/2006 5:03:00 AM PST by prairiebreeze (Nancy Pelosi only deserves to be Speaker of the Barn.)
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To: ken5050
9TH CIRCUIT ISSUES RULING ALLOWING DEMOCRATS TO VOTE ON BOTH THE DAY BEFORE AND THE DAY AFTER OFFICIAL ELECTION DATES.

Today in San Francisco the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an edict allowing only Democrats to vote on both the day before and the day after an election. The justices decided in a unanimous vote that Democrats were being disenfranchised by not receiving enough votes to win their respective races, and must be given extra votes to cover the disparity.

Said one Justice, "the Republicans have suppressed the minority votes long enough, something needed to be done and we did it."

13 posted on 11/06/2006 5:04:59 AM PST by DaiHuy (I have never seen a situation so dismal that a policeman couldn't make it worse)
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To: Paladin2

No-talent on display, courtesy of the SAG.


14 posted on 11/06/2006 5:09:46 AM PST by sine_nomine (Vote for the Democrats? - the party of Studds, Frank, Webb, Clinton? - the new family values party?)
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To: abb
In the near future, Actors, as we know them, will "no longer exist". They will be replaced by CGI.

For instance, there are at least 80-90 "Star Wars" novels out there. Many take place in the past, some in the future (of the current S.W. timeline). If they want to put them on film, they will need to bring in "another" Han solo. But, a better choice will be to CGI him. Digitally re-create him and use the CGI. No more egos. No more salaries. No more jumping on Oprah's couch.

Actors have not even caught on yet that they are an endangered species.

Notice how many more "cartoon" movies are out there?? Used to be 1 or 2 a year. Now, nearly every month, there is something new that is pure digital.

I am looking forward to it!

15 posted on 11/06/2006 5:12:04 AM PST by KeepUSfree (WOSD = fascism pure and simple.)
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To: prairiebreeze

Chicago was full of nasty characters. Zeta Jones could not dance worth a hoot. The lyrics were achingly repetitive: see right through me, see right through me, the gun, the gun, the gun, the gun, the gun, the gun, the gun.

Music Man - fabulous talent from the stars to the minor characters. Great music. A good plot. Lyrics that made sense. Humor. Great insights about the Midwest.


16 posted on 11/06/2006 5:12:23 AM PST by sine_nomine (Vote for the Democrats? - the party of Studds, Frank, Webb, Clinton? - the new family values party?)
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To: xtinct
Most of the movies and the talent are NOT worth the cost.

Which explains why actors and actresses might want to seriously consider a college degree first. Look at Meryl Streep--we definitely may not agree with her politics but her training in college (Vassar College undergraduate, Yale University graduate) for Drama made her not only a two-time Oscar winner (and 13-time nominee), but also a winner of many other awards, too. And you wonder why she's still getting acting job offers from both movies and theater even now....

17 posted on 11/06/2006 6:33:22 AM PST by RayChuang88
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To: sine_nomine
Music Man - fabulous talent from the stars to the minor characters. Great music. A good plot. Lyrics that made sense.

Okay, then explain "Shipoopi" to me.
18 posted on 11/06/2006 6:40:36 AM PST by Nachoman (Just because you're a kook doesn't mean there isn't a conspiracy.)
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To: abb
Movie and television studios, facing escalating budgets, rampant piracy and the uncertain future of new media, are demanding concessions from talent.

They always miss the obvious. Notice the three things they blame: escalating budgets, piracy, and new media. Why don't they ever consider the product they produce as at least part of the problem? Self-deluded narcissists - welcome to the Hollywood producer's club.
19 posted on 11/06/2006 6:44:19 AM PST by AD from SpringBay (We have the government we allow and deserve.)
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To: ken5050

20 posted on 11/06/2006 6:51:33 AM PST by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: abb
The thought that it might be the product never seems to enter their point heads.

I am thinking about dropping all the movie channels, because I flip through and find nothing to entertain me. The cable stations SciFi, A&E, Discovery, etc, all have shows that are entertaining. These are all produced without the extraordinary expense of hooeywood.
21 posted on 11/06/2006 7:28:17 AM PST by razorback-bert (I met Bill Clinton once but he didn’t really talk — he was hitting on my wife)
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To: Nachoman

Please, Monica L. was in that at her high school.

They call those songs novelty songs, like How Much Is That Doggie in the Window. Perry Como said his novelty songs sold much better than his serious ones. And he could sing.


22 posted on 11/06/2006 7:45:35 AM PST by sine_nomine (Vote for the Democrats? - the party of Studds, Frank, Webb, Clinton? - the new family values party?)
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To: xtinct
I'm not going to pay for the privilege of having Hollywood give me the finger for two hours.

They can take their movies and shove 'em where the sun don't...

23 posted on 11/06/2006 8:13:17 AM PST by GOPJ (The MSM is so busy kissing democrat butt they ignore turth. Come up for air guys.)
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To: abb
Went to the Video store last night w/15 yr old son to get a movie and literally couldn't find one worth watching.

Pray for W and The Election
24 posted on 11/06/2006 8:15:56 AM PST by bray (Voting for the Rats is a Death Wish)
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To: KeepUSfree

Actually the digital is probably going to trend down. CG movies haven't made as much money this year as in the past, they've over saturated the market. And as for CG replacing actors not until CG becomes much much faster, full CG takes a lot longer than live action, and with all that time of expensive programmers and animators the CG films are actually one of the big driving factors to the cost of a movie going up (Monster House was the cheapest CG movie this year at 75 mil). CG is probably going to roll back as fewer of these movies are paying for themselves, even CG special effects are probably going to be rolling back.

What's going to happen is the guys like Kevin Smith who can bring in a movie for 6 mil that makes 30 mil in domestic are going to gain more power in Hollywood. The cost conscious directors will be the ones that studios seek, while to Coppolas and Lucases struggle for funding. And the actors will learn to follow, as the cheaper directors usually have shorter shooting schedules, geting paid less is more acceptable when they spend less time on set.


25 posted on 11/06/2006 8:31:16 AM PST by discostu (we're two of a kind, silence and I)
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To: sine_nomine

"Chicago" was completely over-rated. In every respect.


26 posted on 11/06/2006 9:44:48 AM PST by prairiebreeze (Nancy Pelosi only deserves to be Speaker of the Barn.)
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To: bray

We had the same problem all summer long. They hardly made a decent movie last year and there is so many "stars" I refuse to support it really narrows the field. Like the newsroom editors, Hollywood doesn't get the reason they are all going into the toilet.


27 posted on 11/06/2006 2:06:03 PM PST by Arizona Carolyn
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