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NABET 700-M UNIFOR represents over 3000 Film, Television and New Media Technicians in the province of Ontario.

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Toronto, ON
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March 19, 2018

March 16th News Report from your Los Angeles Representative

Happy Friday everyone,

It's the time of the year traditionally known as pilot season and, while the cable and streaming networks don't adhere to the traditional production and distribution schedule, industry watchers are still tracking where network pilots will land. Deadline breaks down the numbers below and finds that New York has attracted the lion's share of this year's production.

Disney this week announced a major restructuring aimed at accelerating its global expansion, as it prepares to launch two streaming services and buy film and TV assets owned by 21st Century Fox . As detailed in the Los Angeles Times, Disney intends to combine its international media business and its content streaming operation into one unit and create another division to house its consumer products business along with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

Disney's purchase of Fox assets is, of course, still subject to federal regulatory approval and another much-watched case for consolidation will be made next week as the Justice Department will attempt to block AT&T’s massive merger with Time Warner. As Variety reports below, it’s hard to think of any recent case that has greater implications for the future of show business, as the outcome will be a road map for regulatory approval for other media mergers lined up behind it

The L.A. Times this week had an interesting story about a once-popular film genre that has become a victim of its own success. As detailed below, studios now have to go to greater lengths to attract devout audiences in an increasingly challenged faith-based film business, as the market for Christian movies becomes more crowded.

And now in this week's Netflix news...Variety reports that the streaming giant has been working on several experimental apps designed to simplify some key parts of the production process, including the management of a crew, the scheduling of a shoot, and the budgeting to pay for it all. As detailed below, Netflix envisions that these apps will eventually be used by tens of thousands of people, both employed by the company as well as third-party vendors working on Netflix productions around the world.

Finally this week, broadcast regulations in the Netflix era continue to be a pressing issue in back in Canada. Thank you to an Ontario stakeholder for bringing to my attention this story from the Financial Post which examines the frustration over how the regulatory regime treats Netflix differently since it exempts digital media endeavours from the Canadian content quotas and funding requirements traditional broadcasters must obey.

Warmest regards,

Kelly Graham-Scherer
Los Angeles Representative
Toronto/ Ontario Film Office

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