What happens in the industry stateside affects us directly here in Canada. One need only look to the fact that CanWest Global is having interest payment difficulties, then connect last years Goldman Sachs financial involvement and their part, however large or small, in the recent outright theft on Wall Street of the life savings of hundreds of thousands of individuals. No surprise that there is no money left for CanWest Global - the bottomless American well had a bottom after all! Rumor is that 380 Billion US has been poured into the banks and brokers with no accountability required - the bankers and brokerage bosses even got their Christmas bonuses! Even worse, the money "in" so far has had no measurable effect on anything (except maybe Bernie Madoff!).
Harper started out denying that we would be affected, now he's about to release a massive deficit budget - did I hear 40 billion? Nowhere have I heard that there is anything in there for the film and TV industry.
It's a major mistake as we are seeing first hand during this economic downturn, yeah well - recession then. In previous generations the studios were self contained, self directed and self financed. Somewhere along the way some Wall Street brainiacs got the idea that bigger was better, that they could instantly monetize everything, and instead of waiting for the returns from projects they took a chance on, they sold out the projects long in advance to the stock and derivatives markets. Now there is no cashflow from any source because all the industries are tied together. Duh!! (These guys have Masters and Phds in law and business??).
Disney, when Walt was alive was an absolute model of how to do things right. Then came Eisner.
As the studios get/were bought up by conglomerates like Time Warner, News Corp., Disney, Viacom and Sony, thankfully we’re slowly starting to discover that we won’t need them anymore - unless that is, they somehow exert total control over the Internet as well (yes they are trying - don't discount the possibility of TelCos buying into or being acquired by the remnants of the Studios).
Yes finances still have to come from somewhere, but hopefully it won't be from the studios for much longer. Right now it seems that the only way to make any money from Internet projects is sponsorships and advertising banners. That's all crashing a bit right now - on the other hand it has been announced recently that Internet advertising has currently surpassed that of advertising on TV. An example might be www.Hulu.com . TV on the Web, it has advertising. It’s a great place to find a missed television show or episode, so far however, no one is making any money from the convenience but how will that play through in the future?
Here's a little blurb from the concerned actors and industry folks stateside. We need something like this to educate the public and our own government officials about what the film and TV industries mean to Canada - Harper - wake up! The Conference Board has done a whole work up on our industry. We have a much larger footprint and mean more to this country then is recognized by any of the parties let alone the constipated remains of conservativism. This from me, a former party faithful!
Take at look at this excellent PSA spot and think Canada instead of USA... think government interference instead of Union problems... you get the picture.
There's a website called FilmFellas and they are actively discussing how the Internet is changing entertainment. Check it out.
To you folks in the industry - we need to get our points across much more effectively than we are right now. We can't do that without you participating.