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January 5, 2018

January 5th News Report from your Los Angeles Representative

Happy New Year.

I hope everyone got some time off during the holiday season to relax and enjoy time with friends and family. From my perspective, 2018 is shaping up to be another prosperous one for Ontario screen-based stakeholders and I'm excited to see what's ahead. The changes we have seen in our sector over the past six or seven years have been absolutely unprecedented and I welcome the challenge of staying abreast of the trends that will shape our industry going forward.

Right before the holidays, screen-based industry stakeholders heard confirmation that Disney would essentially absorb Fox, effectively reducing the number of big Hollywood studios from six to five. As many people wonder exactly what the merger will look like, Variety this week reported on a press conference during which top Fox executives gamely fielded questions from reporters about it.

As detailed below, amid speculation that the Fox broadcast network would evolve to a news and sports-focused outlet, Fox co-chairs Gary Newman and Dana Walden emphasized that Fox and the studio would operate in “business as usual” mode for the 12- to 18-month period that is expected for Disney’s $52.4 billion transaction with 21st Century Fox to undergo regulatory review.
http://variety.com/2018/tv/news/fox-network-entertainment-disney-deal-gary-newman-dana-walden-1202653285/

Now that we're solidly into 2018, the 2017 box office numbers have been confirmed and analysts are weighing in on what is widely considered very bad news indeed. As detailed in the Los Angeles Times below, although 2017 movie ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada are expected to dip just below last year's record of $11.38 billion, the number of tickets sold is projected to drop 4% to 1.26 billion — the lowest level since 1995.
http://beta.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-fi-ct-box-office-challenges-20171223-story.html#nt=oft13a-4gp1

Diversity in Hollywood - or lack thereof - was a headline-grabbing issue in 2017 and it will likely continue to be a concern this year. The Hollywood Reporter looked at the second annual Inclusion in the Director’s Chair study, published yesterday by the University of Southern California. As reported below, just eight of the top 100 films in 2017 were directed by a woman.
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/eight-women-directed-a-top-100-movie-2017-study-finds-1071527

The local media in Los Angeles never misses a chance to promote its signature industry and to be a booster for California's film and television tax credits. Case in point is an article this week from the LA Times which discusses how television shows returning to LA to shoot have resulted in more realistic and diverse depictions of the city on-screen.
http://beta.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/la-ca-st-la-on-tv-20171229-story.html

Finally this week, the Television Critics Association kicked off its winter press tour amid a rapidly changing TV landscape. Adweek below has a terrific article which poses the seven biggest questions about the future of TV that the tour will tackle over the next two weeks.
http://www.adweek.com/tv-video/these-are-tvs-7-biggest-questions-for-2018-at-the-tca-winter-press-tour/

Warmest regards,
Kelly

Kelly Graham-Scherer
Los Angeles Representative
Toronto/ Ontario Film Office

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