Productions still on hold as WGA and AMPTP plan another round of talks
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) plan to resume discussions next week. Many people in the industry, not only the members of these organisations, eagerly anticipate a swift resolution.
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) plan to resume discussions next week. Many people in the industry, not only the members of these organisations, eagerly anticipate a swift resolution. This development comes after 136 days of the Unions’ work stoppage. The WGA’s response to Hollywood company proposals last month was described as “neither nothing nor nearly enough.” According to the WGA, meeting their demands would cost Warner Bros Discovery $45 million and Disney $72 million. However, the complex issue of Artificial Intelligence (AI) remains unresolved.
The UK has seen significant disruptions in major productions, while others have been unable to start, placing a severe strain on the self-employed in the industry. The upcoming London Film Festival may not feature its usual array of A-listers, which could potentially impact the tabloids’ ability to promote films. Without the lure of the leading names, it will be a hard sell.
The industry faces a paramount challenge in grappling with or embracing artificial intelligence, depending on one’s perspective. The fear fuelling the strike centres around the potential for AI tools to displace actors from their roles. Questions arise about compensating stars when their likenesses are used in sequels, further complicating matters.
AI introduces a multitude of pros and cons. Phil Hunt, Managing Director of London-based production and financing company Head Gear, observes “a lot of film is execution dependent-a piece of AI can’t really figure that out.” This aligns with the views held by most European Independent Producers. While James Cameron utilized AI in The Terminator four decades ago, he remains highly sceptical of its current creative capabilities, “I just don’t personally believe that a disembodied mind that’s just regurgitating what other embodied minds have said about life, about love about lying, about fear about mortality, I don’t believe that’s something that’s going to move an audience.”
In the ongoing AI debate, a short-term resolution could potentially restart production. However, the challenge lies in bringing all parties back to the negotiating table, which has proven challenging so far this year.
With fingers crossed for a resolution, everyone in the industry hopes to return to their regular work soon.
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