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October 30, 2015

Weekly Update from Kelly Graham-Scherer, Los Angeles Representative: October 30, 2015

Happy Friday everyone, 

The trades have been relatively quiet this week, though Los Angeles is humming as the annual American Film Market approaches next week.

I have reported in this space before on the rise of sophisticated brokerage systems in jurisdictions that offer transferable tax credits for film and television production. They made headlines in Massachusetts this week as the Boston Herald reported that "At least $335 million of the state’s controversial film tax credits have been sold off to corporations and individuals that...likely have nothing to do with the movie...in a secondary market largely shrouded from public view".
http://www.bostonherald.com/news/local_coverage/2015/10/filmmakers_have_sold_off_at_least_335m_in_state_film_tax_credits

It often seems like every digital media company on the planet is rushing headlong into original content and while companies like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon have achieved some very public hits, not every attempt has yielded such success. Variety this week took an in-depth look at the failure of Yahoo's foray into original series, noting the pitfalls associated with companies expanding into areas that are not their core competency,

http://variety.com/2015/digital/news/yahoo-community-other-space-money-loss-1201627039

Yahoo's failure aside, new digital platforms, boasting a mix of old and new content, continue to proliferate. As reported in the Los Angeles Times below, the CW Network announced this week that it will launch an new app called Seed, which will be built out as a complementary channel for the digital space and feature a mix of short Web episodes and conventional series such as the teen soap The O.C. that played on Fox more than a decade ago.
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-cw-network-seed-app-20151028-story.html#navtype=outfit

The rush towards digital dominance is easier understood in the context of an L.A. Times column on cord-cutting that was published this week. The piece below entitled "Cord-cutting: It's easier (and cheaper) than you think" posits that "those who forgo traditional cable ultimately feel liberated by the decision".
http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-thedownload-cordcutter-20151027-story.html

Before I sign off, I feel compelled to say a few words in honour of Irene Kent, a celebrated makeup artist who passed away this week.

Irene was very special, not only to me personally, but to the film and television industry in general. She was a current member of the IATSE 873 Executive Board, as well as one of the original members when the local got its charter in 1958. Irene constantly listened, learned and nurtured people in the industry. She donated her talents as an artist on a short film I produced 12 years ago and she shared her knowledge and wisdom with me countless times throughout the years. Irene was a force of nature and a class act and she will be missed.

You'll find the full text for the linked articles below my signature. Please feel free to distribute this e-mail widely and to get in touch with comments or links for inclusion.

Warmest regards, 

Kelly

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