SELECTED NEWS DECEMBER 2020


December 2020


GODZILLA VS. KONG


The big monsters: "King Kong and Godzilla" have made a lot of money to their owners, Legendary Entertainment and Warner Media. Some of the battles are now taking place off screen. While Warner is still confident of a theatrical release for Spring 2021, it has reportedly been announced that they refused over $200 million from Netflix and prefer negotiating with HBO max for what is suspected to be a more substantial amount.

Warner Media and Legendary Entertainment are in a position of strength. The first Godzilla and Kong "Skull Island" have generated together over one billion USD in revenue


BREXIT


The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020. A transition period has been in place until 31 December 2020. During this period the UK has complied with all EU rules, laws and trade. Virtually nothing has changed for businesses or for the public. There will be changes after the transition period though, whether or not an agreement is reached on the new relationship between the UK and the EU.

Regarding the entertainment industry, what would the new rules be?

Most British executives from production on to broadcast were against Brexit. Many were taking advantage of foreign investments made easier because framed within the EU, encouraging co-production and financing.

What will restrictions be if any?

Many in the UK, producers, actors, directors, TV executives are wondering how January 2021 will look for them?

One thing for sure, January 1st, 2021 will mark a new start in the relationship between Europe and Great Britain.


DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION

Recent times have shown in a variety of industries, the difficulties for minority communities to shine.

The entertainment industry had its fair share of issues. The Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences producing the yearly "Oscar awards" had been in the middle of the "#oscarssowhite" controversy in 2016.

Since, many entities in the industry have taken steps to be more inclusive and provide equal opportunities to minority communities.

The latest news is the appointment by AMC Networks of a Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion officer.


Aisha Thomas-Petit becomes the first executive to hold this position at AMC.

Aisha got a B.S from Syracuse University and a M.B.A from Rutgers University.

As a specialist of Human Resources, Aisha's role will be to recognize, retain and develop talents from minority communities, on and off screen.

Josh Sapan President and CEO of AMC Networks said: “Diversity, equity and inclusion are more than business imperatives that spur creativity and drive innovation; they are at the heart of who we aspire to be and are interwoven into the very fabric of the company.”


DISCOVERY STREAMING

We used to have national TV networks, then cable happened, premium channels, pay per view events.

Netflix reinvented itself to streaming content with a large library.

The video on demand concept has gained such popularity, as soon as you think you understand their offering, a new one pops up.

Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, Hulu, Roku, CBS all access, Peacock, HBO Max, Disney+, etc. The new platform coming up is: Discovery Plus.

The Discovery Networks known for their unscripted programming is launching in January 2021 its platform of VOD. No doubt the offering from Discovery will be different however, how many subscribers can they convince?


If it is not a matter of money, it is a matter of time. The entertainment offering is vast and divers across all platforms but we only have 24 hours in a day. Sleeping an average of 6 to 7 hours, working an average of 8, Networks, cable channels, Premium channels and VOD platforms are fighting to get your attention for the 10 hours left in your day...



TINA TURNER


The anticipated book "Happiness Becomes You, A guide to changing your life for good" is out and available.

Tina provides guidance on how to turn your life around.

Her deeply personal and inspiring book reveals the wisdom behind her journey to happiness and provides a practical guide to finding joy in your own life.

At 81, Tina is reflecting on her career and life. We all know the abuse she endured while married to Ike Turner and Tina expresses how she overcome the abuse to rebuild her life. Her story had been on screen with "What's love got to do with it" but the process to create a new Tina Turner was unknown. With this book, Tina explains how possible it is to get from the lowest of the lows to the highest of the high.


ASIA TV FORUM & MARKET

In this year online edition of ATF, among the many forums available, one focus was on Taiwan drama TV series.

The PTS (Public Television Service) of Taiwan, has produced and co-produced many television drama series that have been very successful with international audiences such as "A touch of green (Netflix), The teenage psychic (HBO), On children (Netflix), Green door (Netflix)" and many others.


Drama is not the only successful genre Taiwan production companies are working on. The thriller and horror genre has its own large audience and fans. Point in case, "Detention" a supernatural and psychological horror film, Directed by John Hsu, produced in 2019, the film cost $3 million to make and brought 30 times that amount at the box office and earned multiple awards.

PTS is creating a TV series from the original story.

Another anticipated production for 2021 is: "The Magician on the Skywalk" a 10 episode series packed with all kinds of emotions.

The content creation from Taiwan has bridge the interest of viewers the world over, providing exciting plots infused with local culture.


MUSIC SUPERVISORS

Like many festivals and conferences, "Music for Screens" organized by VARIETY was online this year.

Panels of professionals from composers, songwriters, to Directors, Producers and industry Executives, expressed their opinion on the difficulties to do business in the current environment and their roles going forward.


One very interesting panel was the Music Supervisor session that took place on December 2nd. Participants were: Joel C. High, Jen Malone, Amanda Krieg-Thomas, Robin Urdang and Madonna Wade-Reeds, all music supervisors with an extensive experience in their field. The conversation touched a wide range of subjects but a main theme emerged, the "Music Supervisor Blues" or the often misunderstanding of their role. Music Supervisors will secure the authorization and right to use existing music but this is not all they do. Depending on their contract with producers, the Music Supervisor can put together the music budget, hire composers to score a soundtrack, hire lyricist to write a song, reserve the studio for such recording, etc.

The Music supervisors are part of all meetings from pre-prod to post prod, they may be asked to submit a budget for all they need to do, their responsibilities are important and their know how and experience will make a difference in the final result of a project.


MOVIE THEATERS vs. BIG STUDIOS


With a new package being negotiated in Washington, movie theater owners would see a much expected relief to remain alive.

While this is good news, it was tempered by the news that Warner Bros and HBO max are planning to release major productions in both theaters and VOD platform simultaneously starting this December and for the entire 2021.

Films will be available on HBO max for the first 30 days of their lives then will continue their theater exploitation after that. Large networks such as AMC and Regal are concerned and small local theater owners are worried. Why would a viewer pay premium to see a film he already seen at home?


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