In Hollywood, the Actors’ Strike Begins
In the middle of July, a significant strike erupts in Hollywood as actors join the screenwriters’ strike. Over 160,000 actors, ranging from famous superstars to supporting actors, have united in this movement. The reasons behind the strike vary, but most of them revolve around the challenges brought by modern technology to the entertainment industry.
The Impact of Artificial Intelligence
One major concern expressed by actors is the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on their profession. They argue that studios can now exploit their work to a large extent, thanks to the capabilities of neural networks. To illustrate this point, actors highlight a specific example: they are invited to the studio for a single day to create a digital copy of themselves. Once the digital double is created, the team works with it rather than the actual actor. Consequently, the studio can utilize the actor‘s image extensively in the project, while the actor receives compensation for only one day’s work. This practice is particularly prevalent for episodic or supporting roles in Hollywood. Actors firmly believe that digital replicas will inevitably become the norm in the industry, despite the studios’ current position that their use is limited to specific projects.
The Rise of Streaming and Financial Impact
Another contentious issue driving the strike is the growing influence of streaming platforms. With the rise of online streaming, numerous films and TV series are exclusively produced for these platforms, bypassing traditional cinema releases. As a result, actors’ fees are reduced, while the studios retain the majority of the profits. This financial disparity has fueled dissatisfaction among actors, prompting them to take a stand.
Implications for Content and Film Releases
The strike’s impact extends beyond actor-related issues. As a consequence of actors refusing to work and screenwriters ceasing to produce new scripts, several highly anticipated premieres, including “Deadpool 3,” “Gladiator 2,” and “Avatar 3,” have been delayed. This delay creates a “content hunger,” and cinemas are expected to experience a scarcity of new films in the upcoming autumn and early 2024. In contrast, streaming platforms will be relatively unaffected since the strike primarily involves American actors. Studios in Britain, Europe, or Asia can continue their operations without significant disruptions, becoming alternative sources of fresh content.
The Changing Landscape of the Film Industry
The Hollywood actors’ strike sheds light on how artificial intelligence and modern technologies are transforming the film industry, summarizes NIXsolutions. It underscores that the impact of these advancements goes beyond special effects, reaching even the core of the industry—the actors themselves. The strike serves as a pivotal moment, showcasing the need to address the challenges posed by technology and ensure fair treatment for actors in an evolving entertainment landscape.