New International Division Of Cultural Labour In The Context Of Outsourcing Of Hollywood Film And Television Production

2472 words - 10 pages

New International Division of Cultural Labour in the Context of Outsourcing of Hollywood Film and Television Production

The New International Division of Cultural Labour (NIDCL) comes from the idea of the New International Division of Labour (NIDL) which is a result of the movement of industries from advanced first world countries to developing ones such as India and China. This is of course, is a result of globalisation across many platforms throughout the world, as advances in technology, transportation and infrastructure allow developed countries to relocate to developing ones in order to benefit in lower manufacturing costs and cheaper labour. ...view middle of the document...

Additionally, in intermediate zones of secondary importance such as Western Europe, Canada and Australia and finally, in outlying regions of labour, subordinate to the centre, the rest of the world.

The term that has been coined in describing these productions in foreign locations is “runaway production” and one of the most common locations for this so-called runaway production is Canada. In the year 2000 alone, five major Hollywood Blockbusters, such as Bryan Singer’s “X-Men”, Johnathan Lynn’s, “The Whole Nine Yards”, Rodger Christian’s “Battlefield Earth”, Stephen Kay’s “Get Carter” and Sean Penn’s “The Pledge”, were filmed, partially or entirely in Canada. (Mosco, Schiller, p218, 2001).There are a number of reasons why Canada has become such a huge market for U.S production, one of these being that Canadian producers and programmers have bought U.S media content, however a lot of it has been a result of a “spill over from U.S broadcasters along the border.” This has led to “utter dominance by U.S media in Canada” (Johnson-Yale, p115, 2008). The NICDL has a large part to play in the dominance of Hollywood all over the world, as well as in Canada.
“…the keys to Hollywood’s domination of the world media market can be found in its control over uses and distribution on a global scale, and in the co-ordination of national governments and policies that make the distribution of media labour across international territories possible.” (So-Called Runaway Film Production: Countering Hollywood’s Outsourcing Narrative in the Canadian Press. P115, Johnson-Yale, 2008).
Johnson-Yale argues that the term ‘runaway production’ came from the hostile response from U.S workers towards U.S-Canadian production, that Hollywood is the ‘rightful home’ of film production and that it is because of the move to Canadian production that the film industry in the U.S has significantly slowed down. She also argues that Canada’s national and cultural borders are subject to manipulation by America as it is a much more powerful media industry. (Johnson-Yale, 2008). However, McDonald argues in “Through the Looking Glass: Runaway Productions and Hollywood Economics” that U.S productions have not relocated to Canada so that they can exploit workers or maximize profits. He argues that Canada has a much more favourable exchange rate and this would entice runaway production. He also argues that “Canadian film workers are well compensated and value their jobs.” He disagrees with the notion of America exploiting Canada for its own gain, and argues that both Canada and the U.S benefit greatly from production there. He also points out that it is not slave labour, which is “common among manufacturing in third world nations.” In the last ten years, Canada saw a reduction in production costs by twenty three percent. (McDonald, p33, 2006).
“In 1994, 24,100 Canadian workers were involved in direct film and television production and 38,000 workers were indirectly employed. In 2002, those...

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