×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Film News Roundup: Writers Guild Warns Members on Non-Union Virtual Reality Projects

In today’s film news roundup, the WGA West warns members about non-union virtual reality projects, Screen Media Ventures is acquired, and “Beverly Hills Lizard People” gets a director.

WGA WARNING

The Writers Guild of America West has notified members that they cannot work on virtual reality projects unless they’re covered by the guild.

In an email sent to members Monday, the guild said members could face disciplinary action if they work on non-union projects.

“As Virtual Reality technology and platforms continue to develop, so do potential writing opportunities for WGA members,” the WGA West said. “It is important for you to remember, and to remind your representatives, that literary material written for virtual reality programs (VR) is covered by the new media side letter in the MBA. If you are hired to write VR content, whether original or derivative (including any promotional virtual reality project you work on while staffed on a show), you must confirm that the company employing you is a WGA signatory and that your work is covered by a WGA agreement or you will be in violation of Working Rule 8.”

A WGA spokesman said the missive was sent as a reminder to members. “VR programming continues to develop, and the note reminds writers that it is covered work,” he added.

The side letter covering virtual reality work went into effect in 2008. The WGA West has about 9,000 members.

ACQUISITION

Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment has acquired Screen Media Ventures, an independent distributor of motion pictures to the worldwide television market, for an undisclosed price.

The acquisition includes the Screen Media Ventures content library of television series and feature films and Popcornflix, a direct-to-consumer online video platform with the rights to more than 3,000 films and 60 television series.

Chicken Soup said the acquisition significantly enhances the value of its portfolio of assets, as well as its capacity to drive revenue and profit growth.

DIRECTOR HIRED

Cthulhu Crush Productions has hired filmmaker Lisa Ovies to direct horror-comedy “Beverly Hills Lizard People,” Variety has learned exclusively.

Written by Cthulu Crush’s Jody Wheeler, “Beverly Hills Lizard People” is described as a mix of “Slither” and “Scream,” and tells of an ancient race of shape-shifting Lizard People from the depths of the Earth who return to the surface to reclaim what was once theirs: Beverly Hills.

Wheeler and Steve Parker produce for Cthulhu Crush Productions alongside I No.Films. Ovies’ credits include “Puppet Killer” and “Taking My Parents to Burning Man,” which won audience awards at the Sonoma International Film Festival, the Newport Beach Film Festival and the Maui Film Festival.

The deal was announced at the American Film Market. Ovies is represented by Moving Pictures Talent & Entertainment Group.

More Film

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'A Star Is Born,' 'Vice' Lead 2018 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Nominees

    The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) announced their nominees for the 8th annual AACTA International Awards on Tuesday. “A Star Is Born” and “Vice” lead the pack, with five and four nominations respectively. The two leading films compete with “BlacKkKlansman,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “Roma” for best film, while Nicole Kidman becomes the [...]

  • China's Government Orders Talent Home to

    After Golden Horse Awards Embarrassment, China Orders Talent Home for Huabiao Ceremony

    China’s government quietly ordered top Chinese talent back to the mainland from abroad this past weekend to attend a Beijing ceremony for its highest film industry honors, the loosely bi-annual Huabiao Awards. The move came just weeks after it directed mainland film executives and talent to snub after-parties and return home as quickly as possible [...]

  • Fotosintesis Readies Mexico-U.S. Immigration Animated Feature

    Fotosintesis Readies Immigration Animated Feature ‘Beast’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — Mexico City-based Fotosintesis Media, a joint initiative of Mexico’s Mantarraya Group and writer-director Miguel Angel Uriegas, is moving into pre-production this January on “Beast,” the third Mexican animated feature from the cause-driven entertainment label. News of the move comes as Uriegas presents at Ventana Sur’s Animation! forum 15 minutes of work in [...]

  • Scott Derrickson

    'Doctor Strange' Director Scott Derrickson to Return for Sequel

    “Doctor Strange” director Scott Derrickson has signed up for Disney-Marvel’s sequel. The studio, which had no comment, is about to start searching for a writer. Derrickson co-wrote the 2016 original with C. Robert Cargill and Jon Spaihts. Benedict Cumberbatch is expected to reprise his role as Stephen Strange, along with co-stars Benedict Wong and Rachel McAdams. [...]

  • Roma

    'Roma' Keeps Adding Theaters in Mexico

    “Roma,” Alfonso Cuaron’s deeply personal coming-of-age drama, is also a love letter to Mexico City. The sprawling metropolis — its cobblestoned streets, fading movie palaces, and lush parks — is practically a central character in the story of a family grappling with love and loss. Perhaps that’s the reason that “Roma” has been passionately embraced [...]

  • The Favourite

    Breaking Down 'The Favourite's' Insane, Royal Dance Battle (Watch)

    We’ll go out on a limb and say no scene in this year’s crop of awards films was more WTF? than the absurd and delightful royal dance moment in “The Favourite.” Debuting early on in Yorgos Lanthimos’ female love-triangle drama, the dance serves as wonderful reminder that, even when dressed like Merchant Ivory and full [...]

  • Aquaman 2018

    'Aquaman' Reviews: What the Critics Are Saying

    Reviews of DC’s “Aquaman” vary between feelings of surprise and disappointment. Some critics are applauding director James Wan’s strong re-imagining of a previously stale character, while others are harping on DC’s inability to stack up against rival Marvel — but most are just relieved the film isn’t an all-out flop. There are virtually no qualms about [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content