With the continuous rise of globalization and the interconnectivity of nations, co-productions are becoming the new “hit” for movies and shows. When two or more foreign nations come together for entertainment purposes, co-productions are formed. How do these nations join forces for “movie magic?” Big brother film commissions, such as the Association of Film Commissioners International and the European Convention on Cinematographic Co-Production, aid in the facilitation of co-productions.
While consumers are unaware of the details and fine-print behind these co-productions, watchers might be surprised to learn that more than one-third of Hollywood’s productions are being produced abroad. Although these co-productions help create authentic and eye-popping storytelling, they come at a non-economic cost. Unfortunately, countries involved in these co-productions are committing environmental and human rights violations.
As co-productions become more bountiful, environmental harm comes in the wake of foreign co-productions. Countries such as Iceland, Morocco, and Thailand (commonly known for their captivating landscapes and nature) are being corroded by co-productions aftermath. As proposed in this note, the curtain has not closed quite yet. With the implantation of a new environmental monitoring position or board within film commissions overseers (such as AFCI and Council of Europe), countries and co-productions can work to form a sustainable and nature-friendly production.
Another important downfall of co-productions is the human rights violations that are buried beneath the production’s glamorous surface. With varying cultures and societal values, co-productions may lend way to perpetuating filming countries’ harmful norms. In fact, some countries even force these values and twist Hollywood’s hand to film in the desired foreign location. But at what cost should human livelihoods be sidelined? This note scrutinizes some examples of co-productions that looked the other way for their “perfect shot” and exploited natives. To counteract this narrative, this note also proposes a similar integration of a humanitarian overseer(s) in co-productions in quasi-government organizations (such as AFCI). It also proposes the potential for a complete bar on co-producing with countries known to perpetually violate human rights.
With these proposed initiatives in action and co-producers on the same page, only then should the “show go on.”
Haley N. Carson,
E.T. Phone Home: Can Hollywood's Big Break Include Fixing Environmental Carnage and Human Rights Violations from Co-Productions,
43 Loy. L.A. Ent. L. Rev. 71
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/elr/vol43/iss2/1