As time marches on and the world gets ever more complex, it's inevitable that we'll start to see jobs appear that we never thought were possible, for better or worse. And the entertainment sphere is no different. Well, good news! It's already happening, and it's surprisingly dumber than we thought. Believe it or not, right now, someone somewhere is getting paid to do stuff like ...
Viral videos make up a huge chunk of the #content that blasts through the intertubes every day -- the rest being pornography and hot takes about Star Wars. One problem with online video is that like, well, most things when it comes to the internet, "ownership" is more of a Utopian ideal than a thing that really exists. If you've watched a viral video lately, there's a good chance it was a repost intended to capitalize on the original's viralness and suck up as much ad revenue as it can before we move on to something new.
It's a lawless landscape...and Jukin Media is the new sheriff in town.
Jukin is in the business of buying popular videos before they truly go viral, then raking in those sweet ad impression bucks and making sure anyone trying to reuse the vids (from morning shows to your aunt on Facebook) has to go through them. So how do they find these videos? Easy, through the expertise of Jukin representatives -- a fancy way of saying "a bunch of millennials who sit in a comfy office and, no shit, watch videos all day." Sometimes they'll catch the videos when they're already gaining traction on sites like Reddit or YouTube, but many other times, they'll simply take a chance on something that looks cute, funny, or stupid enough to touch our collective hearts.
This means they end up buying thousands and thousands of obscure videos of puppies farting or dudes getting hit in the groin in every conceivable way, but it's not wasted money. Many of these videos will eventually show up for half a second in a detergent commercial or something. And every once in a while, they'll stumble upon a Pizza Rat and make some serious bank. That's not a joke. By 2015, Jukin had paid out royalties totaling over $5 million to video owners. They estimate that number will be at $20 million by the end of 2018. We fully expect them to own the world by 2045.
Hey America, have you heard about these things called *checks notes* guns? They're a pretty big deal, apparently -- so much so that there's a cottage industry working on behalf of gun manufacturers to make sure that the 27 identical war-themed video games adorning your shelf contain as many real weapons as possible.
One such company is the a-little-too-on-the-nose-ly-named Cybergun, which not only cuts deals with manufacturers such as Uzi, Kalashnikov, and Colt to be able to use the likenesses of their weapons for airsoft products, but also acts as a middleman between those companies (among others) and the video game industry. Yes, the weapon being held by Xx_4NUSM4ST3R_xX as he teabagged you online was probably the result of intense lobbying and negotiation.
Perhaps because they know that helping to peddle weaponry to kids is a bad look, game developers don't like to talk about the specifics of this practice or the deals they cut. The gun manufacturers, though? They love bragging about how much their sales go up after they manage to negotiate a spot in, say, Call Of Duty. They also get to control every aspect of how their guns are portrayed in the games, like who uses them ("good guys" only) or how they're used (realistically). Those two requirements seem somewhat contradictory to us, but what do we know.
While it isn't easy to figure out the extent to which gun-containing video games boost real-world gun sales, that isn't really the reason gun companies are doing this. In the words of a Barrett Rifles rep, "video games expose our brand to a young audience who are considered possible future owners." That's a rather unfortunate sentence for the maker of a semiautomatic rifle to say in America, but to be fair, it had probably been entire days since the last school shooting when he said it.
While cinematic universes are as old as, well, cinema, Marvel's success has incentivized movie studios to start creating their own sprawling multimedia opuses ... with mixed results.
One such studio is Toho, which owns the rights to Godzilla and his assorted large boy friends. But as easy as it'd be for them to start churning out DTV movies with titles like Godzilla Saves Easter or Godzilla Meets Larry The Cable Guy, Toho is taking the franchise's expansion very, very seriously. This entails not only employing a man named Keiji Ota with the radass title of "Chief Godzilla Officer," but also placing him in charge of the "Godzilla Strategic Conference," which meets every month to discuss Godzilla's long-term goals.
Such goals currently include building a Godzilla theme park in Los Angeles, opening more Godzilla stores and landmarks in Japan, making a new Godzilla movie at least every two years, and presumably looking into acquiring some A-bombs and lizards to cut down on special effects.
If there's anything that best represents America, it's the Super Bowl. You've got football, beer, wings, fireworks, traffic congestion, and of course, capitalism on steroids. This last part comes courtesy of not only those famous ads / cultural events (aka the only reason many of us watch these days), but also that age-old tradition of watching a winning player scream out, "I'm going to Disneyland!" like a toddler.
Which we can only assume is code for "A night of celebratory hedonism beyond your wildest imagination."
Of course, catching that player in the post-game madness is a job in and of itself -- which is why it is a job. In the aftermath of the clock running out, it's the responsibility of one cameraman (usually Mark Allan, who had shot 19 of these ads as of 2011), alongside a team of runners and fixers, to dash onto the field and shoot the shot before their man gets carried away into a Jacuzzi full of champagne. This tense task is compounded by 1) the fact that they don't know who the chosen player will be until the dying seconds of the game, and 2) the presence of an army of other press people rabidly trying to get to the players.
Over the years, Allan has been punched, rammed, and on one occasion rightly chastised for running onto the field to get the shot before the game was actually over. But hey, he got the shot. Or shots, to be precise, since the chosen player also has to do a couple of repeats and say "Disney World" for the East Coast. You know, because no one there would know what the hell he's talking about otherwise.
You may have noticed that movies and TV shows are a lot more likely to show a rape scene these days than they were when, say, I Love Lucy was on the air. What you probably didn't realize is that the rise of cinematic rape also means that we've seen an equal rise in the number of professional rape choreographers -- people who oversee the filming of scenes containing sexual violence to ensure that the performers are safe, both mentally and physically.
Just like stunt choreography or fight choreography, rape choreography involves figuring out how the actors move in a scene. ("Right arm on left shoulder." "Left elbow on right hand." "Right knee on left thigh.") This is important less because it helps to make the rape "look good," and more because filming rape scenes can be psychologically traumatizing for all performers involved. It's grueling, supremely awkward work, and everyone wants it to be done as quickly and efficiently as possible. Hence choreographers.
There's also another dimension, in that rape choreographers, many of whom are women, can serve as unofficial protection against the actors being abused on a set. Some directors (like Bernardo Bertolucci in Last Tango In Paris) feel the need to purposely withhold details of upcoming rape scenes from actors in order to surprise them and elicit -- and goddamn you fuckers for making us write this -- a more genuine reaction during filming. Yeah, what do you think these people are? Actors?
Anyway, we don't have a clever way of ending this, so here's a pupper failing at walking up an escalator.
Adam Wears is on Twitter and Facebook, and has a newsletter dedicated to depressing history facts. It's not as heartbreakingly sad as it sounds, promise!
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