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Global Media Industries Speaker Series – Kevin Sanson, “Disrupted Paydays: Rethinking Compensation Norms for Film & TV’s Digital Era”
September 15 @ 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm CDT
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
3:30–4:45 pm • DMC 5.208 & via Zoom
Sponsored by the Global Media Industries Speaker Series.
Kevin Sanson is Professor of Media Studies and Head of the School of Communication at Queensland University of Technology. His research focuses on the implications of industrial change for film and television workers
“Disrupted Paydays: Rethinking Compensation Norms for Film & TV’s Digital Era”
In this talk, Sanson will outline how a particular configuration of macroeconomic conditions in Australia have shaped the contours of change within its national television industry and have raised troubling questions about the effectiveness of its existing support mechanisms for the sustainability of local cultural production. Against this backdrop, Sanson will then move into a more specific conversation about creative compensation—a significant point of concern for producers and talent not only in Australia but also in the US and UK. From a local standpoint, there is confusion, conflation, anxiety, and even some excitement about the impact of “US-style” deals on the sector’s viability. But, even those “US-style” norms are struggling to accommodate fundamental shifts in the industry’s business model. Amidst all of the anxiety about who should be paid what and how, it’s clear that the historical origins of compensation norms are not well remembered or adequately understood. Accordingly, Sanson will reframe compensation as a complex and historically specific amalgamation of collective bargaining efforts, copyright and labor law, and employee contracting practices, arguing compensation packages have never been “natural” or “inevitable” but always evolving to accommodate the distinctive characteristics of particular film and television industries. Now, as some of those core characteristics evolve, dissipate, or converge on a global scale, it affords researchers an opportunity to recast and reconsider how well those core logics can appropriately reward and value labor in the digital era.
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