WOMEN AND ENTERTAINMENT
As a woman in the entertainment business trying to earn a consistent living as a director is a painstaking process. But, with the onset of Streaming Wars, there may be hope on the horizon. Even though many of the big players such as Disney, Warner Media, HBO GO, and Netflix already have enormous amounts of content in their arsenal to stream, they will still need more. Needing more content won’t necessarily get anyone a job especially if no one knows your name.
Does Name-Recognition Matter?
It is true that a producer can not hire a person that he or she does not know. I’ve attended several panels that consist of talent agents/managers, producers, and production companies representatives, and most of them said name recognition matters. How do you get name recognition?
Trying to build a career in the entertainment business is stressful especially if you want to be an actress, producer, or director.
As much as we creatives like to create, building a network is key but it takes time and a lot of effort. Whether we like it or not, people have a tendency to hire people they know and like. I’m also guilty of this when I have a new project idea or job, I immediately asked the people I have a relationship with because I’m familiar with the quality of their work and can spend long hours with them without wanting to pull out my hair. This is why it’s so hard to earn a living in this business.
So how do people with the resources to elevate your status get to know your name?
- Your film wins an award at a top film festival.
- Your film gets distributed and has some success.
- You build an audience/following on a social media platform
- You release a self-distributed project that makes money and you get some media attention.
- You receive a life-changing opportunity.
What’s the Alternative?
Survival jobs are sometimes necessary to pay the bills, most of us have had one, and maybe some of you have one right now or are looking for one. With this much stress, you have to love this business to struggle in it.
Survival jobs are different from regular ones unless you forget your dreams. A survival job is meant to be temporary, however, if you get distracted time will pass without you realizing it, and now you’re in the dreaded comfort zone. The Comfort Zone is the killer of dreams, it can make you unmotivated, and cause you to settle, so be careful not to get caught in this trap.
As a woman of color, this is the ultimate question for me. So will the Streaming Wars create the need for diversity as the service providers battle for subscribers? Netflix has been leading the diversity march because everyone wants to see someone that looks like them at least some of the time. But what about diversity behind the camera and more women, this is always a wait-and-see game. Unless we figure out a way to carve a place for ourselves such as being a part of a community likeWomen In Media, this organization’s main goal is for all projects to have a 50/50 parity.
In a country where women are 50.8 percent of the population, we are an economic powerhouse. The movie business is about making money, if that’s the case, then we should at least be part of the conversation.
To Be or Not To Be?
List Streaming Services
These are in no particular order:
- Disney Plus
- CBS Access
- HBO Max
- Viki (Asian Dramas)
- Apple TV
- YouTube TV
- Prime Video
- Paramount Plus
- Sling TV
- Fubo TV
- Pluto TV
Disney Plus: new streaming service launched with Marvel and Star Wars spin-offs
The company intends to make any new film releases exclusive to its platform, and has already begun the process of pulling its content from other services like Netflix.
Disney Plus will launch in the US on 12 November, at a cost of US$6.99 a month. The company has not yet released details for any other markets.
On Thursday, Disney announced three original Marvel-based TV shows would be developed for the platform.
One will feature Hiddleston in the role of Loki from the Thor movies, one will follow the characters of Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) from the Avengers films, and one will feature the Falcon (Anthony Mackie) from the Captain America franchise.
It will also create two series spin-offs of the Star Wars film franchise. One, titled The Mandalorian, will be available at launch. Another will be a spin-off of the film Rogue One, with Diego Luna reprising his character of Cassian Andor.
Netflix Execs Say They’re Not Afraid of Disney’s Streaming Service
Hastings also argued that Netflix won’t feel any impact of Disney movies disappearing from the service. “It’s great content, but we are able to grow without it just fine,” he said, adding that the current output deal had been limited to the United States.
Asked whether further media mergers could eventually cut off the supply of new titles to Netflix, Hastings responded: ” If we can monetize content really well, then people will sell to us because we can pay them.” He added that this was one reason for Netflix to increasingly strike direct deals with directors and producers, as opposed to studios: “Our exposure is significantly less than it used to be.”
Competition is good, but is there a way that we can all win when it comes to earning a living in the entertainment business? It may feel like you’re chasing your dreams and the opportunity you need may be closer than you think but who knows. But stay the course because one thing is for sure you’ll learn and grow along the way.