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Variety Debuts Artisans, Targeting Hollywood’s Below-the-Line Community

Variety is launching Artisans, a newly-branded feature devoted to comprehensive coverage of individuals who work behind the scenes in the entertainment business and the issues they grapple with on a daily basis.

Artisans will debut on July 29, running regularly in the weekly magazine and on Variety.com.

The new report will focus on the art and business of the entire spectrum of craftspeople working in the production and post-production communities on movies and television shows – including cinematographers, production and costume designers, visual effects artists, editors, production and location managers, second unit directors, propmasters, set painters, grips, stunt workers and music supervisors, as well as agents who represent below-the-line talent.

Each edition of Artisans will include a major feature story, profiles of artists, news from Hollywood’s unions and guilds, a spotlight on ever-changing shifts in tax incentives and the impact of runaway production on the professional and personal lives of workers and the Southern California economy. Artisans will feature the return of Variety’s unique production charts, powered by Variety Insight, that will list major new projects starting around the world.

The section will also bring back the publication’s Bookings & Signings column — providing readers a regular update on who’s landing which major below-the-line jobs on the latest film and TV productions.

“This is an area of the industry that has been widely unreported and Variety intends to own this coverage,” says Claudia Eller, Variety editor-in-chief, film. “No movie or TV project could be made without the hard work of these unsung heroes. We are committed to telling their stories and shining a spotlight on what they confront day in and day out in these crucial jobs.”

Peter Caranicas, managing editor, features, will serve as editor of Artisans, working closely with Eller and VP/executive editor Steven Gaydos. Key staff contributors will include Tim Gray (awards coverage), David S. Cohen (technology), Steve Chagollan (cinematography), Dave McNary (guilds and production incentives) and Ted Johnson (government and legal). Variety’s network of overseas writers will contribute production and location stories from around the world, focusing particularly on the international tax incentives that drive global filmmaking.

Artisans coverage will also include online video, including original in-studio interviews and field reports with key industry players. Cohen, Variety’s award-winning technology and post-production reporter, will be the producer for Artisans videos and will share on-camera hosting duties with others in the newsroom.

The inaugural edition of Artisans will coincide with a cover story on women working below the line by senior film and media reporter Brent Lang and the annual Below-the-Line Impact Report, profiling nearly 100 individuals whose craft over the past year has had a major influence on their peers and on the industry as a whole.

The Artisans content online and in print continues the significant rebranding of Variety as the industry’s leading source of news and analysis since being acquired by Penske Media Corporation in October 2012.

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