“What these new-media entities need most is money (and perhaps a bit of old-media prestige). Comcast has plenty of that, thanks to its cable TV, ISP, and movie businesses. Getting that cash also gives Vox and Buzzfeed a broader reach—and it allows them to brag about being “unicorns” for passing the $1 billion mark. So what does Comcast/NBCUniversal get out of these kinds of deals? For the most part, it means they get a hedge against the future.”
Have we reached Peak TV? Is the much-applauded (second) Golden Age of TV coming to an end? And will it possibly be replaced with, as the critic Emily Nussbaum half-jokingly called it, “The Caramel Epoch”—an age of shows that are “perfect for a binge” and “suggestively diverse,” and that allow for “equal celebration of comedy, melodrama & varying genres”)?
“Horror films, particularly those about masked men wielding blades and taking out unsuspecting innocents one by one, often have a roster of stereotypical female victims. … Reporting for Talking Movies, Nada Tawfik talks to several women film-makers who believe that a different approach to horror is possible.” (video)
“A number of networks and production companies expressed interest in adapting ‘Awkward Black Girl’ for prime-time TV. To Rae’s disappointment, most wanted to completely rework the show. Rae recalls a phone conversation with a network executive who wanted to make it into a pan-racial franchise operation, starting with ‘Awkward Indian Boy.’ Another suggested Rae recast the lead with a lighter-skinned actress with long, straight hair — in essence, the exact opposite of Rae. She turned down the offers.”
“According to the India Times, there’s a very real possibility India will have the largest number of Facebook users of any country by 2017. Also, WhatsApp’s user base broke 70 million in November of last year. That’s a lot of people sharing content. Put those figures next to the fact that between 2011 and 2013, Indian online video consumption doubled. According to a YouTube spokesperson, total watch time in India has grown 80% from 2014 to 2015. During that same time period, the amount of videos being uploaded in India has doubled.”
“The absence of live-action children’s movies featuring child actors in central roles is even more confusing when two other factors are considered: live-action movies tend to be cheaper (Toy Story 3 cost $200m to produce, whereas Home Alone only cost $18m), and child actors are not only everywhere, especially on TV, but are also arguably better than ever.”
“As many as 12,000 people descended on KeyArena this week to watch teams of professional gamers square off in the International Dota 2 tournament. At stake in Saturday’s final round is a $6.5 million prize, part of an $18 million purse, the largest in e-sports history. E-sports, as competitive video gaming is known, is big business and is now attracting the likes of Amazon and Microsoft. Increasingly, the Seattle area is a focus of the industry.”
The University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism examined the 700 top-grossing films between 2007 and 2014 for the study, released Wednesday. The results, researchers said, reveal “a complete picture of Hollywood’s indisputable bias against featuring females, people of color and LGBT characters on screen.”
“Even many casual observers may now be aware of the hurdles facing female directors, particularly when they try to storm the big studios. Yet those problems, as this latest study confirms, are simply part of a far larger picture. In 2014, not a single title in the top-grossing 100 fictional films starred a woman over 45.”
“In Afghanistan, women in uniform are widely seen in the airports and across bases heading to work. But watch a war movie and the roughly 300,000 women who have deployed in America’s post-9/11 wars are largely missing in action. These untold stories have consequences both for how America sees its women in uniform and how they see themselves.”
“You’ve heard of actors getting typecast. But there is no group more slighted, more narrowly cast, than the Muslim-American actors who earn virtually their entire livings pretending to hijack planes and slaughter infidels. Jon Ronson embarks on a soul-searching odyssey with the bad guys of Homeland, American Sniper, 24, and every other TV show and movie in which the holy warriors get mowed down before they even get to finish one good ‘Allahu Akbar!’“
“Somewhere along the way Cruise went from being the biggest star on the planet to his own films’ worst enemy.” (We all remember the Oprah Couch-Jumping Incident.) “There was something about Tom Cruise’s … well, Tom Cruise-ness that felt like it needed to be brought down a peg.” But Bilge Ebiri, after watching all of his movies for an assignment, argues that Cruise is an underrated, and sometimes ingenious, actor.
“It surely must be tempting to think that this compulsion for games and movies to feed into and off each other is a sign that they are artistically tied together, that they are both destined to lift one another to higher and better things and that they have something important in common that means they can both learn from each other. But no; games are games and movies are movies.”
“It’s less than three years since Netflix debuted its first original series — Lilyhammer, recently cancelled after three seasons — and Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said the service expects to roll out 16 scripted dramas, nine original documentaries, three documentary series, 12 comedy specials and 17 children’s series in 2015 for a total of 475 hours of original programming in the United States.”