Saturday, March 30, 2024

How to Spot Artificial Intelligence in Your Shorts

To Be...or Not to Be. 

To 'A' or not to A...I, is certainly the question everyone has been asking. It's been at the center of one of the longest strikes in our nations talent union's history ( Sag/Aftra). Because it presents an answer that could potentially end an era in the voice acting industry. (This is where, if we had the budget, we'd see the Fontaine Bleau over here come careening down...pretty much the same way the by-gone Las Vegas hotels did at the end of the movie, Casino.)  

Ah, but before we start talking to the CGI folks over at Skywalker Studio's, let's take a closer look or better yet, listen to some differences between humans and machine. Here's a link to a Utube Short of The Top 10 Largest Hotels in Las Vegas ....Click link and listen if you can spot the difference!


Then there are the not-so-obvious examples, like "Crazy Historical Photos You Won't See Anywhere Else" with Tab Hunter and Gwen Verdon. The AI voice-over narrates Gwen's sir name as if it's separated in the middle - Ver' Don ala Pierre Car'don. So, you hear two distinct syllables and in the end, something doesn't quite sound right. The result is that it becomes less recognizable...unless it's Gwen's new way of pronouncing her name.

I also remember that as a generational 'Boomer', it was Jacqueline Bissett who set the stage to alternate celebrity 'sir name' changing. It seemed that every couple of years someone previously-know-as would step forth and make the announcement. Biss'set begot Biss'it, Francis Ford CaPolla became Co-pa-la. And we're still not all that sure about Mr. Scorsese' s preferred dinner call.


Or how 'bout this gem from the same folks over at Crazy Historical Photos You Won't See Anywhere Else, where the AI voice pronounces actor George Peppard's name so mangled, that it becomes a WTF moment. George was pepper'ed rather than Pep'pard (ed). And no, he didn't have a stutter. Just bad or no redundancies to detail on the production end. No brainer stuff - you know, "When the light is green the trap is clean". We saw Ghostbuster's four, last Sunday. Second time in less than a month, the theater was way under occupied. What to do...what to do. Somebody's got to start thinkin'.

The Most Challenging Training Ever explores what happens when there's a give-a-way word or phrase that well, sorta let's the AI outta the bag, so-to-speak. In this case it's the word; string'gent. Click on the red title to listen for yourself. This brings to mind when I was a teenager in Holland. My travelin buddy, Hans Niehout touted a story or proverbial  phrase about how a German could not say a certain word in Dutch without giving away his nationality. The word sounded something close to a contrivance like - schlaivningha. 

Thing is - throughout the years I've run into several people who've confirmed & offered other nationality tongue twisters.

“As artificial intelligence continues to evolve, the law must progress as well…. Beyond state laws, there needs to be a push for greater protection of the common person against vocal deepfakes.”

This comes from the pages of IP Watchdog dot com. It's entitled: Voices, Copywriting and Deepfakes. The article dives head first into the murky waters of protecting ones iconic voice. In short, is a voice copyrightable? Here's the law.


And if you are in the music industry or the comedy industry...welp, get a load of this sh--! George Carlin's estate had to bring suit against some AI-Generated Comedy Special (George Carlin - I'm glad I'm Dead) over an AI-generated imitation of the late comedian. The creators agreed to remove it from their YouTube channel and podcast feed. SAG-AFTRA has pushed for federal legislation that would make it illegal to create a fake digital replica of someone without their consent.


In the music world, some 200 artists, organized by the non-profit Artist Rights Alliance, including Billie Eilish, Kacey Musgraves, J Balvin, Ja Rule, Jon Bon Jovi, Katy Perry, Miranda Lambert and more, are speaking out against artificial intelligence-related threats in the music industry.

The artists sent an Open Letter to AI developers, technology companies, platforms and digital music services to “cease the use of artificial intelligence to infringe upon and devalue the rights of human artists.”

The letter highlights AI threats including deepfakes and voice cloning, as well as “irresponsible uses of AI” such as the using AI sound to diminish royalty payments to artists and the use of musical works by AI developers without permission to train and produce AI copycats. The artists’ statement underscores how AI is poised to reshape creative industries and our economy.




And for the Easter holiday's we have Bug's Bunny - wishing all-in-the-land a Happy Facebook Easter! Click to get into the holiday spirit!:

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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Sag Awards Barbra - Life Achievement / Netflix

For the 2nd time ever the SAG Awards were being aired solely online this year...A Leap Year! We weren't sure if we would be able to watch the awards live insomuch as we didn't have access to Netflix and the nearest Local Party to watch was in Town ...but life or the 30th SAG Awards found a way.

Life finds a way...was one of Jeff Goldblum's catch phrases in movie-dom, notably, Jurassic Park. He was presenting last Saturday night for the 'Cast in a Motion Picture' category along with his former better half, Gina Davis. And in true JG sincerity, we also found a watch the Awards Show. (February 24th at the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall in Los Angeles, California).


This year presented a bit more maneuvering, since we couldn't connect to Netflix which was the exclusive Awards carrier. Friends of ours who had Netflix offered to help out and added a bonus to the mix with a movie and dinner beforehand, rather than the other way around. The theater was a Humongous AMC 250 seat-er in Westbury, Long Island.

The movie had just come out, like a week and a half ago and featured Kingsley Ben-Adir as Bob Marley. An eye opener for me. I liked his music very much but really knew just fragments about him. It's called: "One Love" the story of how reggae icon Bob Marley overcame adversity, and the journey behind his revolutionary music. FYI, it was just us four and nine others in the theater.

Back to the awards; We were fading up to some My-T-Fine puddin' as our local party checked out the decked out on the Red Carpet. Our Netflix hosts, Elaine & Tan were doing their thing where they let the actors talk as they say, amongst themselves. Golden Nuggets were dropping all over the place. As with last years awards, there were no commercials, no exit music to signal actors to wrap-up their acceptance speeches and profanity was encouraged.

Nominees for the 30th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® honoring outstanding individual, cast and ensemble performances for the past year were announced by Issa Rae (Barbie, American Fiction, Insecure) and Kumail Nanjiani (Welcome to Chippendales, The Big Sick) via Instagram Live. The nominees for outstanding action performances by film and television stunt ensembles were announced by SAG Awards Committee Members Jason George and Woody Schultz with an introduction by SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher.

It was a special night for Barbra Streisand. Miss Streisand was awarded the 59th Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award. She gave a moving speech as she receives the award for her remarkable contributions to both the musical and acting landscapes throughout her career. Plus she married James Brolin. She was a force that wanted to be heard..."Oh Mr. Arnstein, here I am" as the album; My Name is Barbra, might suggest! I remember as a kid, seeing that album on my uncle Nick's dinning table in N.J. As it played, the 'high ball' glasses clinked and grown-up voices echoed.
The Actor to Actor series with Fran Drescher as host, asks Barbra with a Capital 'S' - "What is the single most important acting lesson you’ve learned in your career? What does it take to be a great actor? What performances are inspiring you right now?" These are just some of the questions posed by SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher to 59th SAG Life Achievement honoree. 
Listen in this intuitive conversation that was recorded in February of 2023, of the stage, screen, music and television icon, how it delves into Barbra's remarkable career and reflects on a diverse life in show business.
This conversation is a must-see for anyone seeking creative wisdom from one of the most brilliant performers of all time. The views expressed by the guests are their own and not that of SAG-AFTRA. Any mention of products or services does not imply SAG-AFTRA’s endorsement.

On the Stefan Nadelman front, we just heard back from an email asking if he had a Horse in the Race this awards season. Those familiar with Stefan's animation work know him as the Go-to-Guy for visual conceptualization in the Movie & Doc world.


He wrote back ~

"Not sure if anything I worked on is up for any awards, but Moonage Daydream won an Emmy for best music, there's that". Stefan and I got our start together collaborating on his Award winning movie Terminal Bar doing voice characterizations.

And seeing that it's (L-E-A-P-Y-E-A-R) and today doesn't legally exit and Easter is a tad early...right on the heels of the last day of March...Here's a quick Easter shout-out as the voice of Bugs Bunny!

Bugs Bunny's Tik-Tok Easter Tribute...Enjoy!

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Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Superbowl / Sag Awards Honor Streisand-Netflix

(SAG Web) The 30th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, produced by Silent House Productions in partnership with SAG-AFTRA, will stream live globally on Netflix Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024, at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT from the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall.
As previously announced, the legendary actor, singer, producer, writer, and director Barbra Streisand will be honored with the SAG Life Achievement Award for career achievements and humanitarian accomplishments during the 30th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards ceremony.

One of awards season’s premier events, the SAG Awards annually celebrates the outstanding motion picture and television performances from the previous calendar year (SAG Awards Eligibility Period: January 1, 2023 - December 31, 2023). Of the top industry honors presented to actors, only the SAG Awards are selected entirely by performers’ peers in SAG-AFTRA with 119,515 eligible voters. Final voting opens on Wednesday, Jan. 17 and closes at Noon PT on Friday, Feb. 23. We're still in the throe's of watching, scoring and entering our votes from the digital motion picture movie streamers we obtained, as well as DVD's that are continuing to trickle in. 

So, here we are smack in the middle of awards season and wouldn't you know it, there's this thing called the Superbowl that's sharing the spot-light. That's mostly due to the Superbowl's date being pushed further and further ahead to where it's current play date is pushing double digits on the eleventh of February. That's a far cry from where it came from back in 1967. Well, actually the Superbowl wasn't called the Superbowl until its 3rd time out, Soup III January 12th, 1969. Soup I and II were called an entirely different name entirely...AFL–NFL World Championship Game.

That being said, perhaps it's time to take a look back to a date and time when we had a VoiceOver & On-Camera horse in the game...or dog in the race, as it were. That's right, the year's starting off a bit slow, so time to bring out the Greatest Hits album...well, almost Greatest Hits and it'll probably be featured on a Sound Cloud platform or thumbnail drive.


We had a horse-in-the-game in both millennia.

There was the Humongous Gas & Electric TV spot that played on Superbowl XXIV back on January 28th, 1990. It was Super recognizable...once upon a time. I played an 'on camera' character named: Bob Davis. Incidentally, it was the most lopsided game in Superbowl history. San Fran's 55 points were the most ever scored by one team. And their 45 point margin of victory over the Broncos was the largest ever!

Fantastic Plastic's TV spots or end tags, played on Superbowl LIV, February 2nd, 2020. The VoiceOver was for the Damson Auto Dealerships in the lower half of the country. We managed a Winnie-the-Pooh sound-a-like that was in good form. Here's the full Jerry Damson Automotive Grp spot that started its run a few months earlier.

Through a life changing circumstance that happened recently, I found that my mom had married a fellow who also had a horse in the Superbowl game...he bought a saddle, actually. As a matter of record, he created the greatest ad of its era which debuted on: Superbowl XIII: It featured overtones of hard times that needed a bit of bolstering to accent the positive. Of course... it helped if you consumed a bottle of Budweiser. 


Check it out at: This Bud's for You



My step dad was an advertising guru. The real deal of what was to be called a - Mad Man. A creative directors creative director. Ever hear the slogan; Leggo My Eggo, Coke is It or how 'bout my mom's all time Fav - Fly the Friendly Skies of United?

That's the voice of a tinder Gene Hackman, in the day, paying tribute to the inspirational words that instilled a campaign at Leo B. Yep, as someone in advertising for a good deal of their life, I'd say my step dad was metzuyan. Be nice if it runs in the family. BTW, I woulda been happy if mom had married Bob Bigalow (BA) know, Deuce Bigalow's father - bathroom attendant.

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Thursday, December 21, 2023

2023 TC & Co. Year End Round-Up


Seems like the Roaring 20's of the last century are not holding true for us here in the Millennial age. That damn Covid sure put a damper on the beginning of the decade...and it's still with us. Plus, according to weatherman Al Roker, it was the hottest year on record where we saw the sun look like something out of a end-of-days / kiss-u'r-keister-goodbye movie - due to Wild Fires thousands of miles away. Then Artificial Intelligence (Ai) threatened to take our VO jobs away as mercilessly as the synthesizer did with the musicians union. Top all that off with a WGA-Writers Strike in the middle of the year followed by THE longest theatrical union strike in its existence with Sag/Aftra (118 days) and we're left with an outlook for 2024 of either - Fire & Brimstone...or, it can only go /\ from here!

Keeping in step with the later, we were still able to eke out a few gems over the year amongst the rough Ai terrain that has us all in its insidious grip. Below's highlights are a composite of the last twelve months. Feel free to browse the landscape for a sound or idea that could have merit. 

On July 14, 2023, at 3:00 am officially, the nations actors' union, SAG-AFTRA, went on strike over an ongoing labor dispute with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. It has coincided with a Writers Guild of America strike as part of broader Hollywood labor disputes. Click union logo for Fran Drescher's speech.

The MetaVerse Immerses into 3-D Healthcare with TC and Company & Boehringer Ingelheim. They wanted a hi-tech-ish voice to introduce their 3D virtual iMetaVerse video packed with holographic virtual environments, a cool electro-techno music track and plush animated graphics. Considering the daily diet of A.I. these days, it's nice to be still working, even if it's moonlighting as the iconic Peter Thomas' younger self!   Click to Play
Tinol Paints does Int'l Color Day with TC & Company. The fine folks over at Tinol Paints came-a-callin again...gratefully, the crickets were talkin' about puttin' the band back together. This time the creative team at Tinol wanted the performance to be inviting, motivating and catchy. You know, a break-thru-the-clutter sound to introduce the world to the International 'Color Day' Competition with the theme of "Tinol Colors Speak in a Thousand Ways".
They were putting a lot of effort to get as much splash as they could muster, mister. It was a fun gig and we just went with the flow. Click to Play
Ai that voice-over ~ with Tom CliffordVO.
We were presented with a second unveiling so-to-speak of a voice-over we did this past year. Apparently, it was bandied about that if the sample rate on the VO was adjusted downward to a "Transformer" classification sound-a-like, it would enhance the engagement level and have a cool disembodied feel that's so sought after these days. Check it out

The Mortuary Haunted Mansion welcomes this season's theme Blood  Wedding ... and you're The Mortuary's guest of honor!  Here come the brides...looking for their grooms. Actually, this is a pretty cool concept and a perfect alternative progression to the 'what to do on date-night'.

For the first time ever the SAG awards were being aired solely online this year. We were looking forward to something different and planned to be at a hotel out east on Long Island when we watched it. The awards are being carried by Youtube & Netflix. We weren't sure if signal issues were going to be something to consider for a seamless viewing of  what turned out to be a glitch-less and transformative evening.

And from all of us to all of you and yours...Merry Christmas & Happy New Year. And with Santa bringing us a full moon this Christmas, here's hoping Y'all have a Howling Good Time... from the Wolfman - Baby!

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Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Sag/Aftra Celebrates Thanksgiving with End of Strike

Dateline: November 9th, 2023

Hooray! The actors strike is over! One of the "longest strikes in Hollywood's history" ended at one minute past midnight November 9th, 2023 - after what amounted to months of negotiation between the actors union and Hollywood studios. 'Twas Thankful indeed that members have arrived at a contract that will enable SAG-AFTRA members from every category to build sustainable careers. Leaders of the Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) characterized the deal as a big win, with the contract achieving significant breakthroughs on actors' pay and putting guardrails on the industry's use of generative AI. And it couldn't have been more thankful or timely with Thanksgiving around the corner.

"Few holidays are identified as closely with a family gathering as Thanksgiving is. And this year, after months in the trenches on the picket lines, it feels like our SAG-AFTRA family has drawn closer than ever." said Fran Drescher, President along with Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, National Executive Director & Chief Negotiator.

On Thursday, a tentative agreement was reached between AMPTP and SAG-AFTRA which resulted in the end of their strike. However there still needs a majority of union members to ratify the contract agreement around Dec 5th. Many people were left wondering when the SAG-AFTRA strike would end after the Writer’s Guild ended their strike back in September. The SAG-AFTRA strike lasted for 118 days, starting on Jul. 14 and ending on Nov. 9. A contract was made and is valued at over one billion dollars.

According to the SAG-AFTRA website, the deal they reached was extraordinary and it seems actors got most of what they wanted. “…We have achieved a deal of extraordinary scope that includes ‘above-pattern’ minimum compensation increases, unprecedented provisions for consent and compensation that will protect members from the threat of AI, and for the first time establishing a streaming participation bonus. Our Pension & Health caps have been substantially raised, which will bring much needed value to our plans. 

In addition, the deal includes numerous improvements for multiple categories including outsize compensation increases for background performers, and critical contract provisions protecting diverse communities,” said TV/TH Negotiating Committee in an address. The contract allows members of the present and future to have a more sustainable career in the industry. We have much to be Thankful for this Thanksgiving.


With a nod to the season of Thanks and to the artist, actor, comedian, and super inventive dude who played the nerdy wack-a-doodle kid in a tight fitting plaid prom suit, complete with red bow >< tie Pee Wee Herman...we pay tribute to Paul Reubens. Paul died at age 70 on July 30 this past year due to acute myelogenous leukemia.

Also, paying tribute on Instagram at the time of Paul Reubens death, was Weird Al Yankovic, who said: "What a dear, sweet man. He was always so lovely to me and my family, and we’re all so enormously sad today." 

"The world lost an icon, and I lost an old friend. We love you, Paul." Eric Appel, who directed the movie Weird the Al Yankovic biopic,  and thinking about a biopic on Reubens, was asked who he wanted to play Paul. Eric said he would like to get actor Jorma Taccone to take on the role.

He had previously starred as the Pee-wee Herman character in WEIRD and is one-third of the sketch comedy troupe The Lonely Island, with childhood friends Andy Samberg and Akiva Schaffer. Below, we pay tribute to Paul with a not-too-shabby rendition of Mr. Wee's voice on IFC's Thanksgiving promo.



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Monday, October 30, 2023

AMPTP Talks with Sag/Aftra get Closer to a Contract


Deadline Update; October 29th, 2023, 11:08 PM: After a busy weekend of negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP to close a new three-year contract, the striking actors union and the studios are stepping back for a day.

In a missive sent to members earlier tonight and obtained by Deadline, Fran Drescher said: “Over the course of the weekend, we have discussed all open proposals, including AI, with the AMPTP.” The TV/Theatrical Negotiating Committee of the 160,000-strong union went on to say: “Both parties will be working independently Monday and re-engage on scheduling at the end of the day.  Join us and flood picket lines in the morning. Make your voices heard.”

Talks between SAG-AFTRA and the major studios had broken down, as the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers felt the gap between the sides is "too great." (Deadline-dot-com)

Back then, the union said: “We have negotiated with them in good faith, despite the fact that last week they presented an offer that was, shockingly, worth less than they proposed before the strike began,” SAG-AFTRA told the membership. “These companies refuse to protect performers from being replaced by AI, they refuse to increase your wages to keep up with inflation, and they refuse to share a tiny portion of the immense revenue YOUR work generates for them.” 

On the studio side, an insider disputed that these nuances were presented in the negotiating room, insisting that the stated fee would be $1 per subscriber per year.

“They have either intentionally or non-intentionally misconstrued the cost of the proposal,” Crabtree-Ireland said. “I told them how and why they decided to leak that incorrect valuation in their press release. The correct valuation is about $500 million – a little bit less than 57 cents per subscriber per year. Less than a postage stamp per year per subscriber is not that much of an ask.”

This subscriber proposal made no sense to CEOs Zaslav, Sarandos, Disney CEO Bob Iger and NBC Universal’s Studio Group chairman Donna Langley. They felt they had already offered significant raises to actors in their negotiations up to that point, and that a flat levy to the guild on their subscription revenue was, as Sarandos later put it, a bridge too far.

They also worried they’d need to give a similar deal to other guilds, which would cost even more in a portion of the industry – streaming – where most studios are losing money.

It was an economic model they could not accept.

The strikes have brought the entertainment business to a standstill. The Writer’s Guild strike, which began in May, ended on Sept. 27, but the SAG-AFTRA strike, which started in July, continues. Writers, actors, set decorators and production coordinators have all slid back into the industry that serves as Hollywood’s shadow partner: restaurants.

In Los Angeles it’s a cliché that the ranks of hosts, waiters and bartenders are filled with aspiring comedians, actors and writers. And while the rise of gig work like driving for ride-share companies means that food service is not necessarily the default job for newly arrived dreamers, the strike has supercharged demand for restaurant jobs.

Talks between the performers’ union and the studios restarted with the majors offering a rise in minimum rates and increased bonuses based on the success of streaming content. 

Working off their WGA deal, the studios proposed a 7% increase in minimums, with SAG-AFTRA offering on Friday a self-described “comprehensive counter” moving from an 11% rise to 9%. The studio’s success-based metric was in response to SAG-AFTRA’s ask for a 57 cents per subscriber annual charge on Oct. 11 which Sarandos called a “levy on subscribers” and “a bridge too far”. 

 “There is a feeling of optimism” a guild source told Deadline today. “Looks like we’re in the final stretch,” a senior studio source added.

Both sides expressed confidence a deal may be reached within days, but as before cautioned the situation is still fluid.

(As featured in Buzzfeed) Of course, while the actors' guild is still striking during the Halloween season, the union has recently announced its guidelines for union members' Halloween costumes. 

It basically says, that members shouldn't dress up as characters from struck content — i.e. most movies and TV shows — and instead suggested folks refrain from posting on social media or as "generalized characters and figures."

Union leaders stressed that "We are on strike for important reasons, and have been for nearly 100 days. Our number one priority remains getting the studios back to the negotiating table so we can get a fair deal for our members, and finally put our industry back to work,". So, Buzzfeed featured some celebrities who went ahead with their movie-inspired costumes this year anyway: Find out who's who and what's with an unveiling of a few more celebs sporting their All Hollows' Eve creativity.


with: Stefan Nadelman

Let's see what's goin on in the clean world... of Stefan Nadelman. Those familiar with Stefan's animation work know him as the Go-to-Guy for conceptualization in the Movie & Doc world. He's been little affected by the WGA or SAG/Aftra strikes. We sometimes think of Stefan as our resident animation graphics designer and 21 century titlist insider. You heard it here first. Off the record, on the q-T and very Hush-Hush. Or so says Danny DeVito in his narration role in L.A Confidential.

Yep, Stefan's the guy who's got the inside track on La La-Land... and he's been working overtime. His dance-card is brimming with (5) assignment titles at once. First one up is Devo, if for no other reason 'cause we have with the help of Sunday's NYT's Art & Leisure section. They did a story (Oct.15th) about Devo's new book "Celebrating 50 years of De-evolution 1973-2023".

Devo isn’t overjoyed about being prescient. The band got started half a century ago as a satirical art statement. But by now, much of what Devo mocked has become inescapable. Gerald Casale, who founded Devo with Mark Mothersbaugh, said, “If somebody would have told you 50 years ago where we would be at as a culture now, you probably wouldn’t have believed it. Neither would I. But here we are.”

Devo’s lone hit, Whip It in 1980, only reached No. 14 in the United States. But the influence of Devo’s clipped rhythm synthesized tones, its robotic moves and its re-contextualized retro graphics has grown ubiquitous, from commercials to cartoons and perhaps even into K-pop, where synthesizers, uniforms and tightly synced dance routines reign. This year, with a continuing world tour and a new, 50-song boxed set, “50 Years of De-Evolution” — a knowing assortment of hits and obscurities — Devo is savoring and reasserting its legacy. (NYT's)

Next up for Stefan we can look forward to is, Don't Die; being offered as a Sundance contender.

Don't Die is film about centimillionaire Bryan Johnson, a 46-year-old tech entrepreneur, who's obsessed with letting AI determine his health regimen to de-age himself. 

He has spent millions on a team of experts with the goal of making his organs look and act like those of an 18-year-old through a strict diet,which he combines with a one-hour exercise regimen, a rigid bedtime routine, blood transfusions and daily health tests.

Still to Come - Stefan had let me know about a docu-series called Con Queen, that is nearing the final stages, and may get picked up by Apple.

Eternal Values is another docu-series on its way to completion. It's about a new age cult of supermodels in the 90s, run by Frederick Von Meiers. As a cult leader of the group Eternal Values, Frederick Von Mierers, claimed to be an alien from the star Arcturus. Mierers believed in impending doom and that he and his fellow aliens had been sent here to help earthlings.

And Monkey Business (not a remake of the 1952 version with Cary Grant And Ginger Rogers) is a doc about the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT scandal. Stefan's on the job but aspects are still in development. We'll follow up as soon as we hear further. Or you can always go to Stefan's IMDb page.

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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Sag/Aftra still on Strike while Writer's Come to Agreements

The months-long Hollywood writers strike is over after the Writers Guild of America released the details of their Tentative Agreement with Hollywood studios. 


The agreement allowed writers to go back to work at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, September 27th, nearly 150-days after they walked off the job on May 2.

Meanwhile, as of September 28th, over at Sag/Aftra, the scheduled talks with the video game industry which began Tuesday, have ended with no agreement. With a sharpened joint statement tonight, the union and the videogame producers said: “SAG-AFTRA and video game employers concluded scheduled negotiations for the Interactive Media Agreement. No deal was reached and the current agreement will remain in effect while the parties make final efforts to reach a deal.”

Many of the issues involved in the union’s 11-week film and TV strike are common to those in the video game contract, including wages, streaming issues and artificial intelligence.
The news comes days after nearly 100% of SAG-AFTRA’s 160,000-strong membership voted unilaterally to authorize a strike against the major video game companies.  

As striking SAG-AFTRA returns to negotiations, Fran Drescher is in the lead role along with her right hand National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland.
From writers to auto workers, 2023 will be known as a pivotal year for labor, and no figure has been more prominent than Drescher. It’s getting close to three months since SAG-AFTRA announced the contract negotiations broke down with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and its entire membership went On-Strike. In the intervening weeks, Drescher, who has been serving as president of the union since September 2021, has been attending picket lines and cris-crossing the country for speaking events and interviews. 

Drescher with her team of negotiators are set to return to the bargaining table on October 2, almost 12 weeks since the strike began on July 13th. Expectations for what SAG-AFTRA will come away with are up there. The Writers Guild of America (WGA), which went on strike in May, just reached an agreement with a coalition of Hollywood’s biggest studios, streaming services, and production companies. The deal, which ends the WGA’s nearly 150-day-long walk out, notched significant wins for union members: compensation increases and minimum staffing requirements for writers rooms, better residual payments for streaming (and unprecedented transparency into streaming data) and protections against artificial intelligence being used to replace writers or being trained on their work.

More to follow for sure.

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