Lobbying in the International Cinema Industry

Description of project

Lobbying involves an attempt to influence some decisions made by organized groups. The purpose of lobbying is to ensure that checks and balances are attained in advocacy for a particular action or proposal. Within the context of the international cinema industry, lobbying practices have been going on for a long time now. In most cases, the aim of lobbying is to ensure that the rights of the people in the cinema industry are put into consideration. Different lobby groups in the film and the cinema industry have over the past years lobbied to ensure that their interests are realized. Crew members involve moviemakers such as the cameramen, directors, and script directors in the decision-making process (Frieden 92). In reference to the proposed research study, the different lobby groups have been lobbying to ensure that the rights and the welfare of the film crew are addressed. For instance, the film industry in Europe has been at the forefront calling for more lobbying to ensure adequate budgets are set (Blaney 2011). It also calls for the industry to ensure that the content is adequate by 2014.

In the past, the selection of the film crew was usually biased without putting into consideration the interests of minority groups. However, that has since changed after efforts by different lobby groups carried out a number of campaigns to popularize this cause. Motion Picture Production Industry Association (MPPIA), a leading lobby group in the cinema industry in Hollywood has been at the forefront of lobbying. For instance, there has been a concern about the proposed harmonized sales tax in Canada which proposes taxation of films that instill fear in viewers (Jones 2011). However, this has been received with a heated debate as it is seen as a way of rendering some film crew jobless. On the other hand, the lobby groups argue that if their policy is repealed, more than twenty percent of the film crew will lose their jobs in the cinema industry. The argument behind the MPPA support of the HST is that the Canadian cinema industry shall be leveled. This would ensure that the selection of the film crew is not biased in any way as the payment would be distributed equally across the different production houses. The removal of the HST bill will see fewer crews from different parts of the world leave the Canadian film industry,

In the case of the Indian film industry, it is believed that there has been an ongoing debate to have the dubbing of American films stopped. Basically, dubbing films render the Indian-based crew jobless as they will have no production to undertake. Some lobby groups in India have been lobbying and cooperating with the ministry of information and broadcasting to have the dubbing stopped (Sharma 2011). The local film industry is having English-based films dubbed to the local languages. The practice involves dubbing Hollywood-based films into versions of Bollywood films. In the case of the Indian scenario, local film crews will be out of jobs. With Hollywood movies translated to local languages, the local industry will not be in a position to thrive well. Other concerns have been raised by the Pakistan lobbyists who argue that the local industry will be eroded by the dubbing actions by the Indians (Sharma 2011).

Basically, the study will be in a position to project the picture of the activities that different lobby groups have been carrying out around the globe. This would add value to the academic field which has less publication on issues concerning lobbying in the international cinema industry. Lastly, the study will give lobbyists the voice to continue with their activities in ensuring that the welfare of film crews is taken care of.

Aims and purposes of the project

The research aim is to investigate lobbying in international cinema in relation to the selection of the film crew.

In undertaking the research, the aim of the research objectives and questions have been proposed

Objectives of the study are:

  • To identify lobbying practices carried in different film industries worldwide.
  • To investigate the extent to which the lobbying has done in selecting the crew for filmmaking.
  • To propose different ways which the different lobbying groups can do to change the film industry.
  • To establish the reasons why lobbying in the international cinema is necessary.

The research aims to answer the research question, “Has the international lobbying done enough in respect to the selection of the crew for filmmaking? To achieve the aforementioned aim and objectives, the following specified questions have been identified.

  • How have the different lobbying practices faired so far?
  • Is international lobbying in the film and cinema industry that necessary?
  • What have the different lobbying practices in international cinema achieved?

Methodologies

To achieve the aim of the research, the study will mainly draw examples from the different film industries in the world. These examples will serve as case studies that will be applied to give insights into lobbying in the international cinema. Examples will be used to portray what the international lobbying practices have been able to achieve so far. Different background checks on the different film industries will be carried out with the aim of giving the required information. Facts and similarities on lobbying practices will be noted and categorized. With respect to the research study, examples will be drawn from leading film industries in the world. For instance, it will draw checks from film industries in the US, the UK, China, India, Canada, South Africa, Mexico, and Nigeria. Although there are other film industries thriving well with, all cannot be accessed.

A comparative study analysis shall be carried out in reference to the film industries mentioned in the preceding paragraph. This will show the different lobbying practices that have been carried out for the past 10 years. All this will be carried out bearing in the mind the aims and the objectives of the research study. This will be supported by the explanatory descriptive analysis. The combination of these two would effectively aid in answering the proposed research question. The comparative analysis will try to draw the lobbying practices from the different international film industries. This will form a platform from where extensive and substantive analysis is carried.

With the aid of the already existing statistics, information and data, it will be possible to determine the different lobbying practices carried in the mentioned study. Ideally, the information would aid in showing what has already been achieved so far in the cinema and the film industry. It will also show whether the lobbying has done any good in aiding the selection of the film crews used in filmmaking. Lastly, the information will aid determine what prepositions would be made to lift the plight of the film crews in the mentioned famous industries.

In order to support the secondary and the existing information and data, internet surveys will be applied. The reason why internet-based surveys have been chosen is that the world is now connected through the internet. Different views with respect to the study will be collected hence reducing any chances of having biased data and information. It will also aid in the reduction of an overreliance on secondary information which may sometimes be outdated, unreliable and the sites not valid.

The major aspects and similarities in the international lobbying in the cinema world will be grouped together for proper analysis. This will be derived from both the internet-based surveys and the collected secondary data and information. For authentication purposes, the researcher will organize one-on-one interviews with the major lobbyists from the selected examples. Since the researcher cannot reach all the mentioned nations because of finances and geographical differences, the research might choose to use telecommunication means. Some of the proposed means include the use of teleconferencing, mobile phones, or electronic mail systems. This will give firsthand information on lobbying at the international level in reference to the film crew selection.

The mentioned countries will be applied as case studies from where the important points related to the study will be drawn. From the results, the comparative and explanatory descriptive analysis will be done to bring out the achievements made so far, the similarities in lobbying of the different groups, the lobbying practices. Generally, this will show the extent to with international lobbying groups in the cinema industry have realized in regard to the selection of film crew.

Through the combination of the information mentioned, it would be possible to compile and write a comprehensive report. This will form a basis for solid and substantive conclusions on international lobbying in the cinema industry. Applicable and feasible recommendations will also be provided which can be applied by the different lobbying groups.

Critical archive

Literature review

For the success of the research study, different sources will be reviewed to give a platform from where the research findings can be reflected through discussions. This will ensure that assertions of the collected and collated information are achieved for reliability, dependability, and informative purposes. For these reasons, online researches, books, magazines, reports, and articles will be applied. Studies relevant to the study will also be applied to add weight to this research finding. This will aid in comparisons purposes as well as for assertion reasons.

The cinema and the film industry are undergoing a liberation process. Through the different lobbying practices and campaigns, the plight of the film crews will be achieved. Internationally, lobby groups, individuals and organizations lobby with the aim of averting the woes and challenges that threaten their welfare (O’Regan 95). Basically, the industry has been regarded as a feeder industry for its capability to offer employment to different groups of people inclusive of film screws (Turner 162). This implies that the film crew selection has to be carried in the manner in which the production house can cater for.

With respect to the welfare of the film crews, this group of people is majorly exposed to dangers while shooting films. In sentiments made by Marshal an international lobbyist, a reflection is made. According to Crawford (216), filming exposes the film crew to death hence the need for lobbying. This statement was a result of filming that was carried in South Africa where the crew was exposed to wildlife. The risk issues threaten the selection of the film crews as in most cases foreign crews are used.

Film crews are exposed to crimes and other related activities especially when in new regions. This puts pressure on the selection process of the film crew. For instance, the triads groups of Hong Kong are known for their harassment of the film crew (Backman 218). The crews filming the movies are usually harassed and financial demands are made. Usually, the demands are made for protection purposes that are not required. However, according to the triads groups, pay-offs are required for protection from harassment and any form of disturbance. A good example was during the filming of the Shanghai surprise a Hollywood-based movie where the triad groups were paid off for the filming to continue (Backman 218). This was after a long resistance by the filming crew. However, the lobbying groups have not come up to defend these actions. Therefore it can be concluded that the Hong Kong film industry lobbyists have not done well in emancipating the film crew.

Different lobbying has been carried out with regard to the cinema industry. For instance, in 2005 lobbyists from the US were negotiating with the Korean government to have the quota system abolished (Backman 219). This was to ensure that Hollywood movies and films would have easy access to the Korean markets. In the Indian or the Bollywood film industry, lobbying has been going on to abolish the dabbing of American films to English (Sharma 2011). The aim is to ensure the local industry flourishes and gives the film crew adequate jobs. Based on the lobbyist’s argument, it is imperative to note that the cinema industry although is flourishing, film crews are moving to Hollywood for green pastures.

Nollywood which is believed to be the powerhouse of the film industry in Africa has been reported to have lobbied some years back. Based on the writings of the Ukadike (88) the Nigerian film crew has no capacity of having production of big films like the famous terminator. Notably, the lobbying was carried to ensure that the plight of both the filmmakers and crews is addressed (Ukadike 88). Being a third-world country, the film crews would be paid peanuts that do not match the international standards of filming. Until the intervention of the government, the film crews were still living a hard life.

According to Jones (2011), the MPPIA has been lobbying for the Canadian government to keep the HST (harmonized sales taxes). The reason behind this was to ensure that the jobs of the film crews and other stakeholders are not compromised. For instance, the group argues that if the HST is abolished over twenty percent of jobs would be lost (Jones 2011). With the taxation, a platform would be achieved where all the production houses would operate from. This would make it easy for the selection of the film crew (Kindem 124). This implies that the crew would have an adequate job. In France, the church was witnessed to lobby against the “Temptation of the Christ” film (Hayward 64). The claims were made that the film was defying the teaching of the Catholic Church. This extraordinary lobbying was to ensure that the teaching of the church was respected.

To sum it up, the research will use sources that have credible information to support the research study. This will be carried in reference to the aim and the objectives of the research study. As seen, the film crew is largely exposed to woes and challenges where some have been addressed while others still remain unaddressed. The different lobbying practices have made a great impact on the film industry through campaigns that have transformed it.

Structural overview

The major practical operations that will be carried out in reference to the methodologies are the data collection process, data analysis process, and the compilation, writing up, and completion of the research. Basically, qualitative research methods will be applied in the study. Descriptive and investigative research designs will be employed in the course of the research study. Some of the problems that would be faced like data collection, online or internet survey methods will be applied. On the issue of data analysis, in case of difficulty in statistical analysis, a statistician shall be hired for the job.

Data collection and gathering

Data collection and gathering will involve identification, evaluation of the sources, and the extraction of the required data. The timeline for the collection of the required data which is viable, reliable, and current will be one year. Within this time frame, the researcher hopes to collect and gather the required information that will aid in answering the research question. The data will be collected from secondary and primary sources. This implies that the research will heavily depend on primary and secondary data. The secondary data will be collected from different sources. Some of these sources that are deemed viable are such as journals, periodicals, surveys, articles, past research materials, and reports. The internet will be a major source where different search engines like Google will be relied upon. This will require an adequate time frame as the data has to fulfill the following:-.

  • Accuracy- the methods of the data will be dependable, the data, as well as the information, will have to be up-to-date, reliable, and accurate.
  • Availability- the data will have to be easily available and accessible from the primary and secondary data sources.
  • Relevance- the data will have to be relevant to and meet the research study problem requirements for reliability, dependability and accuracy reasons.
  • The data and information collected will need to be sufficient enough. With already available data and information, it would be possible to work on the project without any hindrance and obstacles.

In the case of the proposed interviews and internet surveys, adequate time will be required. Each of the interviewees will take a maximum of one hour for clarity and accuracy reasons. However, since lobbyists are ever busy, adequate time for adjustments will be required in the recommended timeline. This will aid the researchers to beat their busy schedules which may have an effect on the on-time completion of the study data gathering and collection process.

Data analysis

This second important phase will be carried out in a period of five to six months. Data evaluation, analysis, and interpretation will be carried during this phase. As mentioned before, comparative and EDA analyses will be carried with respect to the research objectives. Data and information represented in the form of tables, charts, diagrams, will be analyzed with keenness to ensure that bias is not realized.

The interviews and the online surveys will be presented in form of charts and tables. Similar concepts, facts, and aspects will be grouped together for easy interpretation purposes. The interpretation of the information from the two sources will be interpreted in reference to the study aim, the research questions and the objectives (Creswell 109). The secondary data will also be under scrutiny and pass through the proposed comparative analysis. All these tasks will ultimately aid in understanding international cinema lobbying.

The compilation, report writing and completion

This is the last phase of the research study. The compilation of the materials will be carried in four months. Writing the research findings to form the report will be accomplished in a period of three months. This will ensure that the facts are put up together in a more understandable and presentable manner. Lastly, upon the compilation, two weeks will be dedicated for formatting and multiple proofreading. Upon satisfaction, the complied report will be presented to the supervisors for final viewing and authentication and its approval. Different stakeholders in the international cinema industry will be allowed to have an insight into the whole report.

Works Cited

Backman, Michael. Inside Knowledge: Streetwise in Asia. Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005. Print.

Blaney, Martin. “MEDIA head calls for more lobbying; working paper suggests possible MEDIA financial breakdown”. 2011.

Crawford, Peter I. Film as Ethnography. Manchester: Manchester Univ. Press, 1992. Print.

Creswell, John W. Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publication, 2003. Print.

Frieden, Sandra G. Gender and German Cinema: Gender and representation in new German cinema. Providence: Berg, 1993. Print.

Hayward, Susan. Cinema studies: the key concepts. New York: Routlegge, 2006. Print.

Jones, Brenda. “Film industry lobbying hard to keep HST”. 2011. Web.

Kindem, Gorman. The international movie industry. Illinois: SIU Press. Print.

O’Regan, Tom. Australian national cinema. New York: Routlegge, 1996. Print

Sharma, Garima. “B’town wants a ban on Hindi dubbing of English movies”. The Times of India. 2011.

Turner, Greame. Film as social practice. New York: Routlegge, 1999. Print.

Ukadike, Nwachukwu F. Questioning African Cinema: Conversations with Filmmakers. Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, 2002. Print.