BLOG SERIES: 

The Changes in Hollywood & the Future of the Industry

Hollywood has notoriously been known as an invite-only industry. When addressing entry points into the industry people say, “it’s all about whom you know” and with that, what goes on behind the shiny red ropes is not to be spoken of. If there is discrimination, it is reccommended to look the other way and if there is mistreatment, don’t mention it if you want to get ahead. These were unspoken rules up until the world-changing #METOO movement. Now, people are speaking out. Hollywood is changing into something else: but what does that change look like and how is it happening right now?


As we get into this week’s blog, Film Connx continues to be a source for honest commentary on subjects that matter most to the film community. This week we are taking a hard look at the future of Hollywood and what that means and looks like for all involved. Enjoy!

Accountability

One huge change in Hollywood that is trending is greater accountability.
 
Over the summer, Ellen has unfolded slowly and tumultuously over allegations of misconduct regarding several members involved with the show. After a popular Buzzfeed article was published on the matter, three top executives from the show, Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman, and Jonathan Norman were ousted. All three men maintain their innocence and blame “cancel culture” for unfair termination. In their place, resident DJ Stephen “tWitch” Boss has been promoted to co-executive producer.

Brooks Kraft/Getty Images

 
Ellen spoke out about the allegations surrounding the hostile work environment, saying that she is “not perfect” and was “heartbroken” by the allegations. Many called for Ellen’s resignation as well, due to several allegations about her behavior towards crew members.  Kevin Hart, however, vouched for Ellen, saying that society should not be so quick to dismiss people. “What happened to the days of making a mistake, learning, and not doing that?…” he stated on the matter. 
 
While Hart is right that society could find less extreme ways of holding people accountable while also being open-minded, it has been alleged among industry insiders for years that Ellen has a toxic work culture and that it has been perpetuated for far too long. No longer are the days of “dealing with it” okay and swift changes must be made, and issues brought to light.

Another big network facing accountability is NBCUniversal. Recently NBCUni has faced heavy reconstruction among its top tier employees. Similar to Warner Bros. Ellen show, there were reports of “tortuous” and “demoralizing” work environments fostered within the company.  In response to these allegations, NBCUni conducted a full-fledged investigation and decided to remix its culture and place a heavy emphasis on streamed content in its future.
 
Paul Telegdy, the architect of NBC’s America’s Got Talent was one of the many executives that NBCUni ousted. Telegdy was accused of racist, sexist, and homophobic behavior from several employees, including Gabrielle Union.

Associated Press: Ron Meyer

Along with him, NBCUni’s Vice Chairman Ron Meyer was fired from his position, as news of a covered-up affair was discovered. Reportedly, Meyer bought the silence of the woman involved and alleged that unnamed persons were extorting him for payment. NBCUni released Meyer and stated that his actions were not consistent with company values and policies. 

 Meyer’s and Telegdy’s firing illustrates a stance similar to Warner Bros. There is zero tolerance for unacceptable behavior, no matter the position. Such severe repercussions are still historically new and appear to be the norm in the future. Hollywood is recognizing antiquated and misogynist structures and behavior for their toxicity and throwing them out the window and creating space for those who truly deserve to be in such high-level positions.

Changing Production

It is no secret that COVID-19 is impacting every industry, especially the entertainment industry. Filmmakers have had to restructure what production looks like, and most are still trying to figure it out. New regulations include reduced crew sizes, minimal extras, restricted contact, less traveling for locations, and Covid-19 insurance coverage. However, there is a new dark horse on the market that will change how we go about filmmaking forever.
 
On May 13, 2020, Epic Games announced its new product Unreal Engine 5, which will be released later this year. Unreal Engine, also referred to as U.E., allows for game developers and filmmakers to create photorealistic visuals that are beyond impressive. With real-time rendering, Unreal Engine allows filmmakers to push beyond what is practical while saving on post-production expenses that come with traditional VFX work. In minutes, a professional can move a mountain from one side to another with ease. Even long hours of location scouting can be cut to a minimum – the possibilities are endless. The best part? The software is free. 

Software like U.E. could drastically change how we make film and television by going beyond trying to get cast and crew to picture the scenes in their heads. This software brings the vision to life right in front of everyone’s eyes. This technology also allows for shorter shoot days with artificial lighting generated with U.E. and will likely create more of a demand for filmmakers who are familiar with the software tand can run it on set. 
 
While we are just beginning to see what U.E. could do for the film and television industry, you might not realize that you have already seen it implemented in Disney’s hit series The Mandalorian. The Mandalorian used U.E. technology to create most of its “out of this world” sets and even sped up part of their production time by cutting down on limitations due to daylight, set design, and more. We still have more to see from U.E. but we can already say that this innovation is going to change how we make content.

Representation

As mentioned in our last blog, there are more and more diverse stories coming to our screen as Hollywood and audiences alike demand more representation. Not only representation – but accurate representation. An example of this is hiring LGBTQ+ actors to play in those roles instead of straight actors taking up that space. In the first half of this year alone, we witnessed Black and brown producers penning an open letter to Hollywood on ending systemic racism, agency deals made for more minority talent, and a South Korean film become the first non-English-language film to take the best picture at the Oscars.  There is more to be done to diversify not only our screens but also our sets. We are only at the beginning and  important conversations are being had on multiple fronts. 
 
At Film Connx, we ensure that women and crew members of color are considered in the process of finding and hiring for productions. We understand that true change happens when our sets reflect our world, filled with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and stories to tell. Only then will we be able to make truly inclusive content.

What Now?

Hollywood is changing in many  ways – there is no doubt about it. Hopefully gone are the days of keeping quiet in order to not be blacklisted. Of spending hours trying to find practical solutions for larger than life settings. And of not seeing ourselves on the big screen. People are speaking up and out and showing that there are new and better ways of filmmaking and Hollywood is taking note.

Pixomondo

The possibilities are starting to become unlimited for everyone. With access to social media to give light to what is happening in the film industry, more and more filmmakers are given a voice and platform to pave a new way for the industry and we are all holding one another accountable. We at Film Connx cannot wait to see where Hollywood goes with these changes and while we have a way to go, we are on a steady charge forward…for the better.

Leave a Reply

Scroll Up