Updated: Nov 17
Everybody has been waiting.
It's been a tough six months.
On a basic level prices in the supermarket aisle never came down after they went up during COVID.
In America, we've built an economic system of constant cost of living increases, matched with reluctance by corporations to build wage increases into their operating costs.
So we get strikes.
And we'll get more strikes in the future if the current mindset continues.
SAG-AFTRA managed to get a 'concept' in place of 'compensation for hits,' which is a weak replacement for 'royalty for use,' but with global market distribution, it's actually a good idea.
What is that idea?
Actors on an IP that accounts for 20% of a streamers revenue will receive a bonus. I'm not sure I've ever seen something like quite like that for rank and file contracts. And in three years they can squeeze that percentage down, hopefully.
SAG-AFTRA president Fran Dressier calls it a 'new pocket for cash.'
That's the most interesting feature of the new contract. There's other more standard increases, like significant base rate increases. All good.
But there's mostly a business as usual flavor to all this. Part of that is the negotiators themselves on both sides are looking backward at the way the industry used to be and betting to recapture it. Can that be done? Perhaps. I don't want to be the pessimist in the pen, but I wonder.
There significant changes afoot. The AI beast is out of the cage. Non-union work is on the increase. The essential worker/employer ethic has been re-engineered in ruthless fashion. Wealth generators like Elon Musk and Peter Theil are projecting a plantation economy, where workers create wealth for a master, with no rights, no ownership, and no way off the farm. You owe, that's the fundamental idea, and your debt are the shackles used to control you.
This was not the world we signed up for, but this is the world that was super-charged by Silicon Valley. Tech Futurists who fantasize metaversey schemes, are banking on a reduction of our humanity to nodes in a matrix.
In essence, our recent labor strikes were called in resistance to this future. The Writers Guild, SAG-AFTRA, UAW, are all organizations representing a human world on life-support. In dramatic terms ,we're looking at world where the robots create and the humans pick cotton.
STUDIO JIJIJI is designed to push back on this. We are a team of high-performing artists, using new technology to create our own profit funnels. One key is to keep the team small. Another is to build slowly. A third is to build into our IP DNA expansion to other platforms.
We spent most of this year building a prototype of our first project to test our processes. Our next step is funding and it's here we're exploring new ways to work. Community is key. And control. It makes it difficult to work traditional lanes of distribution until we achieve a certain benchmark in community. If we lose creative control, working with a small team becomes more difficult. And additional levels of executives will need to be fed from our work.
How do we do this? One step at a time. We need to lower our profit ambitions. What can happen if you over-fund a project is it creates pressure which ends up increasing risk. That quickly turns into the hired to be fired scenario so in favor with corporations these days. It results in a unstable employment marketplace, combined with rising prices of housing and basic neccesities, like food and healthcare, and turns into strikes and unrest.
We've been locked into this predatory capitalism model for forty years and every passing year it has gotten worse. How much worse can it get? My most urgent suggestion is we don't find out.
We are we missing?
The simple principles of we need to look after one another. We need to acknowledge each person's value. We need to honor our commitments to one another. We need to stop treating humans as replaceable cells in a spreadsheet armed with numerical whiphand. We need to stop idolizing fairytale unicorns, and start supporting more humanistic models of commerce.
I know, but I sense the world is looking for something beyond one app to rule them all.
STUDIO JIJIJI may end up signing more traditional deals, or we may succeed in creating some juicy new flavors, but we promise you we will always put artists firsts. Our voices will be voiced by humans. Our music will be composed by humans. Our scripts will be scribbled on the back of envelopes while riding the subway lol.
We've been waiting forever to pitch our show Song in Space. So it's time to hit the go-go. Can't wait to share it with you.
And yes, we'll be bringing some new development models to the table for you to consider and support. But more than anything, we want to have fun, we want to play, act, sing.
Why Should Robots Have All the Fun?
Please support our work by hitting the subscribe button. No charge, but knowing you're out there really helps us as we walk this path. Thanks. - chris