Film Facts on the ‘For You’ Page: TikTok To License Data From IMDb
TikTok is teaming up with IMDb to bring more production knowledge to film and TV fans on the platform. In their newest feature, creators who mention a piece of media in their video will now be able to tag the work. The film or TV show tag, which will be placed above a video caption, will take the audience to an in-app page that is full of information from IMDb and brandishing a gallery of similar videos tagging the same work. Shared information from IMDb includes release date, cast, run time, and more. Not only will this feature help connect fans on the app with similar interests, but it will also help drive awareness for specific film and TV projects by giving users easy access to production details. This feature, which will first be rolled out in the U.S. and the U.K., will likely be popular among those existing users on the app who currently use their channels to discuss and review media. Popular tags, like #MovieTok, #FilmTok, and #TVTok, have seen a combined total of 25 billion views on the platform. Since TikTok is also forecast to reach $11 billion in ad revenue by 2024, this new feature sets up the platform to become a key part of film and TV marketing campaigns. The COO of IMDb, Nikki Santoro, said this collaboration is “further extending the IMDb mission to help customers discover and decide what to watch and listen to, wherever they are.” And TikTok agrees.
Cinema Recovery: French Box Office Sees 2022 Rise in Admissions
New data from the National Cinema Center (CNC) of France shows that people could not get enough of theaters in 2022. Last year, French cinemas had a total of 152 million admissions, a 59.2% increase from 2021. Still, that number is down 29.6% from pre-pandemic averages. This large rise can partially be attributed to the 2021 COVID lockdowns, which closed theaters for 138 days. At the beginning of the year, French theaters struggled with sanitary restrictions that prevented concession sales and required proof of vaccination, but these protocols were lifted on March 14, giving theaters time to comeback. With blockbusters like Top Gun: Maverick, Minions: The Rise of Gru, and Jurassic World Dominion, along with reduced ticket prices from the Fête du Cinéma, there were 3.4 admissions in July alone. The end of the year also saw great success with Avatar: The Way of Water and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The people of France loved James Cameron’s latest, making the country the second-largest international market for the sequel. The five largest films of the year are the ones mentioned above, but local cinema also made a big impact in 2022 with a total of 62.2 million admissions. 40.9% of all admissions were from French titles, which is on par with the U.S., who’s films made up of 40.5% of all admissions. Top French films were Qu’Est-Ce Qu’On A Tous Fait au Bon Dieu?, Cédric Jimenez’s November, Simone – Le Voyage du Siècle, Maison de Retraite, and Super-Héros Malgré Lui. CNC and exhibitors believe 2023 holds a lot of promise as they believe more blockbusters will enter theaters along with diverse film titles. CNC President Dominique Boutonnat believes that the diverse film offerings is one of the largest strengths of the French film model and they hope to continue to invest in their exhibition in the coming year.
Lack of Progress: Two Reports Find That Hollywood Still Struggles With Diversity
A new report by the USC Annenberg’s Inclusion Initiative looked at the biggest films of 2022, and the school found that Hollywood is employing fewer female filmmakers and filmmakers of color compared to previous years. Of the100 top-grossing films in 2022, 9% were directed by women and 20.7% were from Black, Asian, Hispanic / Latino, or multi-racial and multi-ethnic filmmakers. Both numbers are down from 2021, which saw a composition of 12.7% female filmmakers and 27.3% filmmakers of color behind the camera on top-grossing films. This decline is surprising, considering the industry’s focus on creating opportunities for individuals from diverse backgrounds with advocacy movements such as #MeToo and #OscarsSoWhite. In addition, a report titled “Celluloid Ceiling” by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University looked at female employment across the industry, including producers, cinematographers, and editors. While employment numbers have increased since research began in 1998, progress is still slow. In 1998, 17% of top film roles in the top 250 highest-grossing films were comprised of women. By 2022, this number has climbed to just 24%, with the role of “director” seeing the biggest increase (from 9 to 18%). Dr. Martha Lauzen, who conducted this research, believes that “given the number of panels, research reports, and hand-wringing devoted to this issue over the last two and a half decades, one would expect more substantial gains.” Looking again at the USC Annenberg report, numbers show that there were 3.8 white directors for every underrepresented filmmaker of color. A few films were notable exceptions. The Woman King, Till, She Said, and Women Talking were popular films directed by women. Nope and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever were two high-grossing films from 2022 directed by Black filmmakers. In addition, San Diego State University found that films with female directors tend to employ more female craftspeople and artists.
Hollywood’s Tech Future: CES Highlights Studio Engineering Trends for 2023
The 2023 CES Show, hosted by the Consumer Technology Association in Las Vegas, began this week, displaying some of the buzziest technology used in movies and TV shows. Studio technology leaders spoke with The Hollywood Reporter and shared four of the biggest tech trends bound to make waves in the coming year. The first is regarding TV definition. While last year saw a lot of progress in this space, it is believed that 2023 will be a year of new features, such as a higher dynamic range of color and 8K resolution (four times that of the current 4K standard). While these 8K TVs are on the horizon, producers are still focused on creating content in high definition, rather than pushing the boundaries of 4K. Bill Baggelaar, Executive VP and CTO at Sony Pictures, says that “it’s hard to quantify how much material’s gonna be available [in the format], but there’s other interesting opportunities that come with 8K television sets.” Another television setting that might catch wind is “Filmmaker Mode,” which would provide a better cinematic image in terms of color and contrast by disabling settings such as motion smoothing. This setting was developed by UHD Alliance in 2019 and has earned the support of acclaimed filmmakers like Ava DuVernay, Ryan Coogler, Rian Johnson, and Martin Scorsese. Currently, several manufacturers are beginning to implement the mode and others are offering similar setting features. While the Metaverse is bound to be a big topic at CES, filmmaker adoption is still up in the air. Executives don’t really know what entertainment in the metaverse will look like yet, as several technical hurdles (including mass adoption) need to be overcome in order to create seamless experiences. Lastly, virtual production is still a big topic of conversation. At the 2020 CES show, Sony showcased the Crystal LED screens used in virtual production, and progress continues to be made on this front. While awareness of virtual production techniques is on the rise, Sony believes there is still a great deal of potential for this technology, especially on the content creation side.
Future Focused: International Film Festival Rotterdam Unveils 2023 Symposium
In 2018, the International Film Festival Rotterdam launched their symposium, dubbed “Reality Check.” This platform allows industry experts to come together and discuss issues and challenges. In previous years, key discussions revolved around distribution, development, new media, and storytelling. This year, Reality Check will take place on January 29 and will have a specific focus on film festivals. At the symposium, professionals will talk about the evolving festival landscape and collaborate on festival organization. The committee behind the symposium is made up of five industry professionals who are currently international producers, industry consultants, festival directors, and programmers. The idea for this symposium topic is derived from a questionnaire—titled ’Quo Vadis Film Festivals’—that the committee sent out to festivals of all sizes. The event will be “a day of interrogating the provocative results of the questionnaire as we assess the post-COVID status of the film culture called film festivals.” This year will be Vanja Kaludjercic’s first full event as the festival director and on-site IFFR. Kaludjercic hopes that this new central theme will help pave the way for a sustainable future for film festivals. In addition to Reality Check, the International Film Festival Rotterdam will also host IFFR Pro, which is a series of discussions, workshops, and roundtables that explore the changing film industry. This year, one key session will be about international co-productions and exploring this as a route for collaboration. The festival’s co-production market, CineMart, will present 25 2023 projects in development. Lastly, the film festivals talent initiatives will welcome 70 emerging producers, 15 producers from the African continent, and 8 feature projects from BoostNL.
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