A well-deserved promotion for Ted Sarandos at Netflix who now has the job title Co-CEO. Sarandos will continue to serve as the Chief Content Officer and has been elected to the Board of Directors. Sarandos is pretty much the guy who kickstarted Netflix’s push into originals, signing the deal for House of Cards before walking into his boss’ office and telling Reed Hastings that he just spent over a hundred million dollars on it.
A quick note about Always Be Watching this weekend
You may have noticed that earlier this week the newsletter was all: Peacock is coming! This is a big deal in the US. And then it launched and I haven’t mentioned that at all.
This is because on Saturday morning ABW paid subscribers will receive a bonus edition which explains how the platform works, details the content, and has some overall thoughts/analysis on it.
Platforms like Peacock are the future of mid-sized TV broadcasters across the globe that need to compete against the likes of Netflix and HBO Max.
Next week the article will be let out from behind the paywall and will be available at www.alwaysbewatching.com
If you want to financially support ABW, you can do that here:
Streamer Britbox is going to deliver a wealth of theatre to subscribers with the Center Stage channel. It’ll include pre-recorded performances 25 Royal Shakespeare Company productions featuring David Tennant in 2013’s Richard II and Christopher Eccleston in 2018’s Macbeth, Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland from The Royal Ballet, and Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and Charles Gounod’s Faust from The Royal Opera.
Source: Radio Times
Happy Endings is back with a new Zoom-recorded episode. It’ll debut on the on the Sony Pictures Television YouTube channel on Monday July 20.
Mattell Films and Universal Pictures are teaming up to make a film based on the late 90s kids show Wishbone. It was about a dog who imagined himself as the star of classic literature like Romeo and Juliet, Frankenstein, and Treasure Island.
Sounds like the dog was brought up in a highly literate household. My dog Ruxin has similar dreams, imagining himself as the star of the Meatballs movies, Summer School, and Porky’s 3: Porky’s Revenge.
The Calm app, designed to help people chill out, is being turned into a TV special. World Of Calm is a series of half-hour episodes that promises:
An immersive visual journey to another world through scientifically-engineered narratives, enchanting music, and astounding footage that will naturally calm your body and soothe the mind.
Celebrity narrators featured include: Keanu Reeves, Idris Elba, Nicole Kidman, Mahershala Ali, Oscar Isaac, Zoë Kravitz, Lucy Liu, and Cillian Murphy.
Source: The AV Club
With cinemas closed in a lot of countries across the globe, there has been a renewed interest in socially distant outdoor cinema. Drive-ins are obvious as there’s infrastructure, but there’s been a few interesting efforts to try different types of experience.
Cinema chain Mk2 has partnered with Häagen-Dazs to create Cinéma sur l'Eau (cinema on the water). Is there anything ice-cream can’t achieve?
Each boat will fit 4-6 people and will be family/friends. The screening can accommodate 150 people and the film screened will be Le Grand Bain— a comedy about a group of men who start a synchronized swimming team.
I have been vocal in saying that I’m a fan of the new Aussie streaming service Binge. But boy are they testing me with their current marketing effort. The streamer is soliciting Binge viewers to write reviews of Binge shows and submit them with the chance of winning a years subscription to the streamer. Ten winners will be chosen and given a $14 per month level subscription to the service.
What’s wrong with that? On the face of it, nothing. But the incentive being dangled is not the years subscription, but rather the chance that the written reviews might be published across News Corp websites and via Binge online channels (ie Facebook, Twitter, etc).
This is less a competition and more Binge getting really cheap content marketing written for them. Don’t confuse these reviews as replacing the work of professional film critics. Anything published will not be a critical appraisal, but rather will be gushing over how good a Binge movie or TV show is - it’s bad content marketing to be too critical about the show you’re promoting.
Most freelance websites generally pay between $200-300 for written articles. I’ve worked as a content marketing-focused digital editor at SBS where the average rate was $200, but I’ve done content marketing work elsewhere as a writer and been paid up to $500 for articles. Payment varies based on the complexity of the articles and what is asked of a freelance writer. Streamotion (the company that runs Binge…which itself is owned by Foxtel) aren’t even really paying contributors for their work which will be run across multiple channels. The subscription being given away is valued at $168, but that’s not what it costs Binge.
Tegan Jones has more details about the promotion at Gizmodo. Read her article HERE.
This four-bedroom home in LA’s Brentwood is on the market for US$3 million. The exterior of the home was used through the first season of The Golden Girls for establishing shots. But whatever you do, don’t just put a bid in without taking a look inside - it looks nothing like the sets used for the sitcom.
I’ll make this promise: If any Always Be Watching newsletter recipient purchases the home, I’ll shout them to a free housewarming cheesecake. You can then flashback to that time you read this very blurb.