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How Hollywood actors’ strike will affect the Canadian film industry

How Hollywood actors' strike will affect the Canadian film industry

How Hollywood actors’ strikes will affect the Canadian film industry. Hollywood actors went on strike on July 14, joining film and television writers who have been on strike since May. It was the first time actors and writers had participated in the vote since 1960 when Ronald Reagan was president of the Screen Actors Guild.

After negotiations with the Union of Film and Television Producers broke down. The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) announced the strike. at a press conference on July 13.

At the heart of the negotiations between the union and the guild were two main issues:
remaining payments in the age of streaming and ownership of an actor’s portrait if recreated by artificial intelligence. Unions are calling for a fairer wage distribution and stricter regulation of AI over these issues. This strike is a watershed moment for the entertainment industry. Marking a turning point for the future of work in the arts. But it will also have far-reaching implications for the film and television industry outside of the United States, and Canada is bracing for that impact.

“Disaster” problems are at stake

The Alliance of Canadian Film, Television, and Radio Artists released a statement of solidarity with SAG-AFTRA last week:
“[US actors’ problem] is our problem and the performers deserve respect. Also proper compensation for the value they bring to each piece.

According to Canadian actor and producer Julian De Zotti, these problems are “catastrophic”. De Zotti and I discussed these questions as part of a more in-depth conversation about the future of entertainment in the ongoing CTRL ALT DISRUPT series. Hosted by Artscape Daniels Launchpad and the Office of Creative Technology. of the City of Toronto.

He says the issues being negotiated are existential for creators everywhere:

Clearly, the creators are challenging not the technology itself. When it comes to AI, many film industry professionals are already using tools like ChatGPT and Midjourney to help create the foundation for scripts or develop visual and visual worlds for pitches.

De Zotti, who has won the Canadian Screen Award for Best Web Series or Show for the past two years, has integrated AI tools into his practice. He is not afraid of new technologies, but of how they can be abused.

An existential threat

AI poses a particular threat to actors because their livelihood depends on who they are. Specific protections and parameters must be established to protect artists, their creations, and their images. They must have a say in the use of their work and images and receive adequate compensation for that.

Technology is evolving rapidly, sometimes beyond our ability to fully understand what it means before adopting it. The strike provides an opportunity to halt the rampant adoption of disruptive AI technology.

“It can’t be like social media, where technology moves so fast and there are no clear guidelines on how to use it, and now it’s completely out of control,” De Zotti said.

Instead of rushing to catch up with regulations after damage has already occurred. It is important to consider early on to avoid harmful consequences, whether intentional or unintentional.

What the strike means for Canada

During the strike, manufacturing services, which account for most of the $11.69 billion in annual jobs done in Canada, will be put on hold. All American productions — from big-budget blockbusters like Star Trek, shot in Toronto, to indie films using SAG actors — will be affected. 

This will have a direct effect on 244,000 people working in the film and television industry in the country. But it could also open up another business model that, as De Zotti points out, “doesn’t rely on you packing your show or movie with stars to make it happen.”

While the streaming issue during negotiations focused on rest and compensation, content creators in Canada face other challenges.

Streaming companies have been setting up shop in Canada for several years now, promising to do Canadian-led shows. However, De Zotti said that was not the case. “That is a miracle. Measure C-11 is supposed to change all of that, but that remains to be seen.

However, if the strike continues, perhaps markets outside of Canada will look to buy Canadian content, as was the case with the CW, which has already turned to Canadian content to fill its fall schedule. .

Time for Canada?

A protest sign that reads ‘SAG-AFTRA strikes’
Featured writers and actors take part in a protest outside the Netflix studios in Los Angeles on July 14. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
This strike could be a time for Canada to take advantage of the opportunity; While the Canadian entertainment industry cannot match the size or purchasing power of Hollywood, it is in this environment of great change that we shine as crafty, creative troublemakers.

From Norman McLaren’s experimental work with the NFB to the rise of interactive documentaries, to the explosion of game-based virtual concerts, Canada has always been regarded as an entertainment innovator. As for the strike itself, its outcome will certainly set a precedent. Any guidelines that the WGA and SAG establish with the studios will serve as a model when the time comes for the Canadian unions to negotiate.

The reality is that AI and streaming are not tomorrow’s technologies; both are here to stay. As the dust settles south of the border, we have the opportunity not only to sit back and wait but to set an example.

We have the opportunity to not only create new forms of storytelling beyond imagination but also test fairer business models rooted in transparent data and fairer uses of powerful tools. threatens to upset the industry yesterday 바카라사이트