Welcome back everyone! I believe I left off with the 3D explosion. That certainly started a polarizing debate here on MovieGuys. But it certainly was fun. What do we have left to talk about? There is one story that many would consider to be massive in importance. It could shock Hollywood to the core and cause damage that we could be feeling all the way into 2010! And I intend on giving my final impressions on the year that was 2008, as well as leave you with something to look forward to in 2009.
A big developing story from 2008 is the impending actors strike. The Screen Actors Guild, or SAG, is the dominant union representing Hollywood actors. And a strike could cripple both t.v and film. Here’s the 411: This all has to do with New Media (cellphone, internet, etc) and residuals. Many actors in the 60s and before did work and they were never paid residuals from reruns. Those were negotiated later when syndication started. Also do remember that the majority of members are not high dollar stars. So this is a money issue, similar to the writers strike. And coincidentally, it is coming to a vote almost a year after the writers strike. This could spell trouble for movies that are still in production. We may not feel the brunt of the blow until late 2009/early 2010, again, just like the writers strike. Here is what SAG is saying, straight from their website:
We need to show management that we are willing to fight to preserve our ability to earn a living as union performers; otherwise, management will take that away from us. Nearly half of our earnings as union performers come from residuals, but management wants us to allow them to make programs for the Internet and other new media non-union and with no residuals. This means that as audiences shift from watching us on their televisions to watching us on their computers and cell phones our ability to earn a living will go away and future generations of actors may never be able to earn a living through their craft.
Fair enough. No one in their right mind could argue that this shift SAG is speaking of isn’t going to happen. It’s happening all around us. Networks are putting their shows online, movies are freely available to view from sites like Hulu, cell phones now have the capacity to store and display full length films with reasonable quality. What I don’t understand is, why can’t SAG see that this is clearly a bad time to demand more money. With the holiday season comes bills bills bills. Come January everyone will be spent, and it will be time for rentals and downloads, not pricey movie tickets. And the television networks should have learned their lesson from the writing strike. Some networks are still paying the price. This is the last thing anyone should want. It is important to remember that when it comes to vote in January, a vote to strike does not necessarily mean a strike will occur. But it certainly can’t bode well. Hopefully soon they can come to a decision that will please everyone so we can have another great year at the movies, like we had this year.
What else can be said about 2008? It was a big year. I had a blast going to the theater and seeing a great film almost every single time I went. There were so many movies this year that were fun and exciting. We saw revolutionary film making this year. Films that changed the game. Films that changed the way we look at a genre. We also had a couple of surprising disappointments. I’ll leave it up to you to decide which films were the disappointments. Despite all of that, people turned out in record numbers to see movies this year. A lot of money was made in 2008, and that just goes to show that despite the problems we are all facing, despite the economy, people will still show up to enjoy a movie. So SAG, if you’re listening, don’t you dare let the actors strike! The last thing movie fans want to see come new year is an impending strike. There is money to be lost here. And speaking of loss, this year was seemingly filled with tragic loss. Some of it was over exposed by the news media, while others did not get the coverage their memory deserved. Film makers and movie goers everywhere will miss you all. Let us remember, at this time of year where it’s the thought that counts, and while everyone is feeling the spirit of Christmas, spend time with your loved ones. Bundle up on the couch in front of the fire with a big bowl of popcorn and watch a movie tonight. Find a friend who has never seen one of your favorite films, and give them the gift of cinema. Share your love of the movies with your friends. I know I will.
It is my sincerest hope that 2009 will be just as thrilling, exciting, and compelling as this year has been. And it is certainly shaping up to be a year to remember. Quickly now, look forward to the following films in 2009: Star Trek, Terminator: Salvation, The Watchmen, X Men Origins: Wolverine, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and G.I. Joe. Certainly an exciting list of potential blockbusters. Will fans turn out to the theaters next year like they did this year? Only time will tell, but I for one am excited about the possibilities. I’m sure there are a number of you out there thinking that I missed your favorite story from the year. If I did, don’t miss out on your chance to tell everyone else here. Drop us a comment, tell me what you thought about the year that was 2008.