Tuesday, July 17, 2012

New Media!

The next big thing!

... Tom Hanks' Electric City launched Tuesday on Yahoo Screen, which is likely the problem. [It’s] an Internet series. Once thought of as the future of visual storytelling -- another example of a new technology crushing an older one (television) -- web series are now met with shrug from viewers.

[T]here’s no money in it. As Hanks told The New York Times: “Although no one else has, we gave up long ago the idea that you could make money doing this.” ...

Four years ago, the WGA, DGA, SAG and IATSE negotiated "New Media" clauses into their contracts. New Media, of course, is a synonym for live-action and television shows on the internet.

The trouble is, how does anybody make money from shows on the internet? To date, nobody has much of a clue. There's a bit of a cash trickle, but nothing that approximates the healthy flow broadcast and cable networks provide.

This constitutes an on-going problem, because under "New Media" contracts, animators, designers and writers can get paid almost anything, since there are no contract minimums. And there aren't full health and pension benefits.

TAG recently had a New Media show under contract. When it got done, producers made an announcement that Hi ho! The New Media animation was going to be on DVDs ... and then, later, maybe on mainstream television.

In other words, the stuff got made under lesser terms and conditions, and then migrated to other platforms. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the future. (And also the present.)

Of course, for Electric City, none of this is a problem, since the show was done under NO union contract. But bank on Electric City migrating to larger, more lucrative media, and in short order.


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