Chapter 39 – Movie Premiere and YouTube Issues
by Leesa Dean
So,last night, I was invited to the premiere of August: Osage County, the new Julia Roberts/Meryl Streep movie. I’m a member of NY Women In Film & Television and sometimes they have perks like that. I was lucky enough to get on the list. Going to a premiere that NYWIFT members (and SAG members) are invited to is always fun cause so many people know each other in the audience. It’s like being in middle school. Everyone getting out of their seats to yak and schmooze. And we had plenty of time to do it cause there was a huge insulated red carpet set up outside (temperature was in the teens last night) which took FOREVER so the movie started nearly an hour past the official show time.
The screening was at the Ziegfeld theater, which is a really cool, old-school movie house on 54th Street. Highlights: Harvey Weinstein announced the film and Sam Shepard (!!!) was there in person (so was Julia Roberts, Juliette Lewis, Abigail Breslin and a few of the other stars.) But…I didn’t like it. In fact, I almost walked out (but kept thinking, ok, lemme give this another chance. Maybe it’ll get better.)
It seemed more like a stage play than a film. I felt the characters were incredibly cliched and the direction was awful (especially after just seeing Inside Llewyn Davis which was just brilliant and layered.) It reminded me of Mommy Dearest. This morning I spoke with a writer friend whose taste I respect. He saw the play on Broadway and felt the same way. Tracy Letts, who wrote the Broadway play also wrote the script so that makes sense. These days, where there’s so much really really good writing on tv (and on the web), it’s shocking to see a Miramax movie that’s actually over-the-top bad. On the positive side, there was free buttered popcorn.
Meanwhile, there’s a big storm brewing because of YouTube’s new Content ID issues. When you put your videos on YouTube, as a partner, you have the option to have them monetized (have ads play either before or under them.) If you get tons of views, you get paid. Some of the biggest YouTubers like Jenna Marbles (who has nearly a billion views and subscribers in the millions) make really nice money (something like $400,000 a year) from ads.
YouTube has always had an algorithm that deduced whether you owned all the material in your videos. So if you used a known song, it would tell you monetization was getting pulled.
YouTube just upgraded to an updated review system called ContentID and, apparently, it’s HARSH. It’s been pulling tons and tons of videos (meaning videos that were monetized and making money for people no longer do and the people will not get paid.) I’m on a few YouTube partner message boards and have been hearing from people that they’ve had HUNDREDS of videos pulled. And many of them are having videos pulled where the youtuber actually owns all of the copyrights. And even though they appeal the decision with proof that they own everything, their video STILL isn’t monetized.
It’s a really big deal. To address it, YouTube released this statement, which essentially just confirmed everything but that’s about it.
So far, it’s mostly affecting gamers who post videos and a lot people who are on Machinima’s network, but who knows if it’ll expand.
I’ll definitely be watching/paying attention as I prep Season Two of The Lele Show…