Time had run out for Hollywood studios in Los Angeles to reach a deal with the industry's largest union to avoid a major strike. A vote as to whether a strike should take place was held on Thursday.
A key Hollywood actors' union announced it would go on strike on Thursday.
The deadline for Hollywood actors to reach a deal with major film and television studios had passed earlier in the day.
The union leadership voted for the work stoppage, hours after their contract expired and talks broke off with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television producers, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, executive director of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) said at a news conference.
"A strike is an instrument of last resort," he said.
He added that they voted unanimously for a strike to begin at midnight Thursday 0700 GMT.
Soon after the strike was announced, picketing screenwriters went on to chanting "Pay your Actors!," outside Netflix's Hollywood offices.
US entertainment industry to face major paralysis
This is the first industry-wide shutdown in 63 years, with film and television production said to grind to a halt.
On Wednesday, talks took place with mediators in a last-ditch effort to avoid a second industry strike.
Hollywood's largest union had already said it would strike if negotiations did not result in a deal by midnight in Los Angeles (0700 Thursday GMT/UTC).
SAG-AFTRA had said its national board would meet Thursday to vote on a strike.
"After more than four weeks of bargaining, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) ... remains unwilling to offer a fair deal on the key issues that are essential to SAG-AFTRA members," the Screen Actors Guild said in a statement.
A-list stars, including Jennifer Lawrence and Meryl Streep, have voiced their support for the industrial action.
The strike will mean that stars will not be able to promote new releases or attend industry events such as Comic-Con, which is set to be held next week.
The union represents roughly 160,000 actors and television and radio presenters as well as other media professionals.