Film LA 2023 report; shoot days near lowest ever levels

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the real question is what does film production look like now with higher costs (justifiable for sure) after the strikes… i’m hearing it’s off to quite a slow start so far but we all knew production takes time to ramp back up…

There was a shoot on my block(in a Brownstone), last week and a neighbor on the block works on sets for a couple TV shows one of which is back in production.

But yeah, I thought I would see more activity by now. So far since mid December the times I went into the city/Manhattan, I’ve not seen any shoots and that is just wild.

I don’t know but I think as far as higher costs go, that the terrible inflation is having a much larger effect on things than the incremental start of pay increases.

Here is what I’m seeing getting back to work on series television…
For long form, the new Writer & Actor contracts resulted in notably higher costs to the studios. (corporations)
As such, the studios are adjusting the offset by increasing the cost of streaming subs and reducing what they will pay for post production. I was told with these two adjustments, they are actually in a net gain. One would think that considering just basic business economics the studios would consider inflation year to year and accept that as a reasonable increase. I’m hearing they want to reduce rates. BTL people always get the shaft.
This, and the fact that the television series “season” was truncated in half by the strikes.
Here in the United States, IATSE is next up this year to negotiate their contract.
I personally believe the next full season (next year) will be a more accurate baseline from which to assess the industry business climate.

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On trips into Manhattan I’ve walked by two productions recently. But I don’t go often enough to have statistical accurate observations. A rental house I talked to and an AD on shows I know, both have said things were very slow on the ramp up.

But in addition to the factors already listed, we should expect a decline in productions as a fall out from the end of the streaming wars. Peak content is definitely in the rearview mirror. I would expect a double digit percentage reduction just due to that factor (I guessed 30% during conversations we had last summer).

Also quote from Scott Galloway’s good article about ‘Peak Hollywood’:

Netflix will spend $2.5B on content in Korea in the next 4 years, and is increasing investment in Brazil, Spain, Italy and other countries while pulling back on overall spend [meaning less spend in the US]. 69% of Netflix subscribers are now abroad, up from 45% in 2016.

We’ve seen a definite increase in foreign shows dubbed into English on Netflix. Some are pretty decent, but it takes a while getting used to dubbed shows. I grew up with them, but am not used them in the US.

Add to that, that US content is too fragmented and it’s actual labor to find things to watch. Thanks to the same article we now have numbers on that. Netflix subscribers spend 78hrs per year just deciding what to watch, vs. their kids going on TikTok where you don’t have to decide, you just keep watching. My wife and I refer to that as trailer surfing, you can spend hours on Netflix/Prime doing that, in good and bad ways.

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love me some Prof G!