Hollywood on Strike! (Actors' Civil War!)

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Hollywood on Strike! (Actors' Civil War!)

Postby Leckomaniac on Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:14 am

I saw a quick mention of this in another thread a while back, but I figured it warranted a thread of its own.

For those that do not know...there is a dark cloud looming over Hollywood at the moment. It is causing fear and panic in many. The hysteria in Hollywood is being caused by an impending WGA (writer's guild) strike. The contract between the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television expires on October 31. All signs are pointing to lengthy, drawn out negotiations. So what is the strike about? Click here for a rather brief explanation of sticking points.

Basically, the WGA wants double the revenue from DVD sales, more of the revenue from downloaded TV shows, and to include reality tv writers into the benefits.

As a result of the impending strike...studios have begun to stockpile scripts and actors (and their agents) are attempting to book as many films as possible before the strike date hits. This has very serious reprecussions for the industry. One of which, obviously, is hastily made films.

For a complete rundown of the strike and its history click here.

Histroy is important because this is NOT the first writer's strike.

An excerpt:

In 1988, failed negotiations over home video residuals led to the longest strike in Hollywood history. The WGA walked a picket line for nearly six months, largely shutting down television and film production in their fight for a fair share of the booming VHS market.

The writers lost.

The failure of the '88 strike enshrined an anemic home video formula . Under this formula, writers get about .3% (note the decimal point) of studio grosses from the VHS tapes and DVDs of the movies and television shows they author.

For nearly twenty years, resentment over this deal has simmered, nearly boiling over in the late 90's when the DVD market exploded. While the studios generated massive revenue, writers were reaping a paltry five cents for each DVD sold.

And now, with the advent of internet downloads, a new distribution channel with the potential to dwarf the DVD market, things are getting downright nasty.


So what do you folks have to say?
Last edited by Leckomaniac on Mon Mar 31, 2008 4:22 am, edited 9 times in total.
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Postby Chilli on Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:37 am

The production designers are gonna be pissed.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:45 am

The thing about this that I find most interesting is just how much the writers got screwed with the home video negotiations in the 80's. I mean actors and directors are obviously important (and they get well compensated), but writers are often viewed as expendable and I find that odd considering that the foundation for a good movie must be laid first by the writers.
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Postby Chilli on Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:47 am

I think the proliferation of new revenue sources for films/TV is something that needs to be looked at. Take Heroes for instance, the product placement in that doesn't trickle down to the writers at all, yet they have to script scenes where the product placement takes place, which can't be easy on a creative level to justify or execute.

I'm with the writers on this.
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Postby Doc Holliday on Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:07 am

Leckomaniac wrote:The thing about this that I find most interesting is just how much the writers got screwed with the home video negotiations in the 80's. I mean actors and directors are obviously important (and they get well compensated), but writers are often viewed as expendable and I find that odd considering that the foundation for a good movie must be laid first by the writers.


Can anyone show how it compares to what the others get - it seems like a bum deal for writers on the face of things.

This reminds me of that episode of MOONLIGHTING back in the 80's that ended 5 minutes early because of the strike. I have a memory of a bunch of 'writers' sitting at their desks with picket signs whilst Bruce sang "Woolly Bully" to fill the time gap :D
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Postby Leckomaniac on Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:18 am

Doc Holliday wrote:
Leckomaniac wrote:The thing about this that I find most interesting is just how much the writers got screwed with the home video negotiations in the 80's. I mean actors and directors are obviously important (and they get well compensated), but writers are often viewed as expendable and I find that odd considering that the foundation for a good movie must be laid first by the writers.


Can anyone show how it compares to what the others get - it seems like a bum deal for writers on the face of things.

This reminds me of that episode of MOONLIGHTING back in the 80's that ended 5 minutes early because of the strike. I have a memory of a bunch of 'writers' sitting at their desks with picket signs whilst Bruce sang "Woolly Bully" to fill the time gap :D


Here is something I got from a story printed in 2005:

To dramatize how slighted writers felt, last year their union mailed members a nickel to represent how much they get from each DVD that retails for $16. The union said studios took a $10.55 cut.

The contract for actors provides three times what writers get - 15 cents on a $16 DVD, for example - but must be split among a larger cast.


Source.

From that article it seems that everyone is getting screwed except Producers and the studio.
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Postby Hollywood_Bob on Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:19 am

Leckomaniac wrote:
Doc Holliday wrote:
Leckomaniac wrote:The thing about this that I find most interesting is just how much the writers got screwed with the home video negotiations in the 80's. I mean actors and directors are obviously important (and they get well compensated), but writers are often viewed as expendable and I find that odd considering that the foundation for a good movie must be laid first by the writers.


Can anyone show how it compares to what the others get - it seems like a bum deal for writers on the face of things.

This reminds me of that episode of MOONLIGHTING back in the 80's that ended 5 minutes early because of the strike. I have a memory of a bunch of 'writers' sitting at their desks with picket signs whilst Bruce sang "Woolly Bully" to fill the time gap :D


Here is something I got from a story printed in 2005:

To dramatize how slighted writers felt, last year their union mailed members a nickel to represent how much they get from each DVD that retails for $16. The union said studios took a $10.55 cut.

The contract for actors provides three times what writers get - 15 cents on a $16 DVD, for example - but must be split among a larger cast.


Source.

From that article it seems that everyone is getting screwed except Producers and the studio.


Well just to put things into perspective based on that quote at $0.05 per DVD the writers are currently recieving $100K per 2 million DVD's sold. The actors are recieving $300K per 2 million DVD's sold at $0.15.
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Postby Fawst on Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:37 am

I'll take that job :D I can reach 2 million people! I'll take my 100 grand on top of payment for writing!

GIMME!!!

This does suck, by the way. Actors for the most part get overpaid anyways (subjective opinion, not fact), they should be the ones getting 5 cents per DVD sold. Writers should, at the VERY least, be getting one full dollar of that. If not for the writer, you'd essentially have no story to sell on DVD in the first place, correct? Silly.
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Postby DinoDeLaurentiis on Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:49 am

Bah!

The writers, they always a want a more than a their share of a the pie, eh?

It's a like I told a the Tom Harris, eh? "Tommy," I says to him, "I'm a gonna to make a the 'Young Hannibal' whether you write a the book or a not, eh?" anna so's a the putz, he cave, a 'cos he wanna the money, no?
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Postby The Todd on Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:50 am

DinoDeLaurentiis wrote:It's a like I told a the Tom Harris, eh? "Tommy," I says to him, "I'm a gonna to make a the 'Young Hannibal' whether you write a the book or a not, eh?" anna so's a the putz, he cave, a 'cos he wanna the money, no?


And we see how well that turned out.....
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Hollywood on Strike!

Postby bastard_robo on Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:51 am

This is why DVD's are the greatest boon to Hollywood!
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Postby stereosforgeeks on Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:52 am

DinoDeLaurentiis wrote:Bah!

The writers, they always a want a more than a their share of a the pie, eh?

It's a like I told a the Tom Harris, eh? "Tommy," I says to him, "I'm a gonna to make a the 'Young Hannibal' whether you write a the book or a not, eh?" anna so's a the putz, he cave, a 'cos he wanna the money, no?


we all wanna the money, no?
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Postby DinoDeLaurentiis on Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:54 am

stereosforgeeks wrote:we all wanna the money, no?


Perhaps, but only a the select few, we actually DESERVE it, eh?

Hehehehe....
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Postby Chilli on Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:55 am

DinoDeLaurentiis wrote:
stereosforgee ks wrote:we all wanna the money, no?


Perhaps, but only a the select few, we actually DESERVE it, eh?

Hehehehe....


Too easy.
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Postby stereosforgeeks on Thu Aug 09, 2007 11:23 am

Chilli wrote:
DinoDeLaurentiis wrote:
stereosforgeeks wrote:we all wanna the money, no?


Perhaps, but only a the select few, we actually DESERVE it, eh?

Hehehehe....


Too easy.


Dems fighting words.
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Postby Chilli on Thu Aug 09, 2007 1:47 pm

stereosforgeeks wrote:
Chilli wrote:
DinoDeLaurentiis wrote:
stereosforgeeks wrote:we all wanna the money, no?


Perhaps, but only a the select few, we actually DESERVE it, eh?

Hehehehe....


Too easy.


Dems fighting words.


Too soon.
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Postby havocSchultz on Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:02 pm

So does this mean all us struggling writers now have a chance?!?!?!!?!?!



I'll take the deal if it means I can work on somebody else's dreck...

As opposed to working on my own for free...
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Postby Chilli on Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:03 pm

havocSchultz wrote:So does this mean all us struggling writers now have a chance?!?!?!!?!?!



I'll take the deal if it means I can work on somebody else's dreck...

As opposed to working on my own for free...


The strike doesn't affect me... :oops:

I never felt so unappreciated.
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Postby ONeillSG1 on Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:05 pm

havocSchultz wrote:So does this mean all us struggling writers now have a chance?!?!?!!?!?!



I'll take the deal if it means I can work on somebody else's dreck...

As opposed to working on my own for free...


Amen.
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Postby HollywoodBabylon on Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:48 pm

Well, writers have/are/ and will be always be underappreciated by Hollywood and anything that improves their lot has my support.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:59 pm

havocSchultz wrote:So does this mean all us struggling writers now have a chance?!?!?!!?!?!



I'll take the deal if it means I can work on somebody else's dreck...

As opposed to working on my own for free...


Finally...Havoc's time has arrived.

All of this just fascinates me. For instance, there was a bit in one of the articles talking about how, once the strike is finally over, picking up the pieces is going to be hell. They stockpiled all these scripts and took insane measures to get things moving forward that when the dust finally settles the whole place is in disarray. One exec that experienced the 88 strike firsthand likened the experience to waking up with a hang over and trying to function during a meeting. Its going to be hilarious!
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Postby Chilli on Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:01 pm

Leckomaniac wrote:
havocSchultz wrote:So does this mean all us struggling writers now have a chance?!?!?!!?!?!



I'll take the deal if it means I can work on somebody else's dreck...

As opposed to working on my own for free...


Finally...Havoc's time has arrived.

All of this just fascinates me. For instance, there was a bit in one of the articles talking about how, once the strike is finally over, picking up the pieces is going to be hell. They stockpiled all these scripts and took insane measures to get things moving forward that when the dust finally settles the whole place is in disarray. One exec that experienced the 88 strike firsthand likened the experience to waking up with a hang over and trying to function during a meeting. Its going to be hilarious!


It was bad enough with University lectures, especially when I fell asleep (without snoring) during one, and had a dream about golf, then woke up and yelled

FOUUUUUUUUUUUR

At the top of my voice.

The moral of the story is that comic-book writing rocks.
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Postby Pacino86845 on Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:07 pm

Just in case you ever write a comicbook about a golfer... it's written "fore." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fore_%28golf%29
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Postby Leckomaniac on Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:08 pm

Pacino86845 wrote:Just in case you ever write a comicbook about a golfer... it's written "fore." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fore_%28golf%29


ZING!

Golf PWNT!
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Postby Chilli on Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:08 pm

Pacino86845 wrote:Just in case you ever write a comicbook about a golfer... it's written "fore." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fore_%28golf%29


HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

My bad. My memory is mediocre at the best of times.
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Postby Pacino86845 on Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:09 pm

I just want to be sure your research is as good as Stephen Sommers'...
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Postby Leckomaniac on Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:10 pm

Pacino86845 wrote:I just want to be sure your research is as good as Stephen Sommers'...


STEPHENSOMMERSRESEARCHESLIKEWHOAILASH!
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Postby Chilli on Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:11 pm

Pacino86845 wrote:I just want to be sure your research is as good as Stephen Sommers'...


You mean The Mummy wasn't real?

:P :P :P
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Postby havocSchultz on Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:18 pm

No...

It's actually Brendan Fraser's career that isn't real...
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Postby Fried Gold on Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:20 pm

Hasn't this happened a couple of times before.....and studios ended up getting novelists (including some famous ones) to write their scripts....and films actually got a little better for a while.....?
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Postby Leckomaniac on Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:20 pm

havocSchultz wrote:No...

It's actually Brendan Fraser's career that isn't real...


Awww. That's a low blow. I actually kind of feel bad for the guy.






Wait...he did MONKEY BONES? Never mind. Fuck THAT guy.
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Postby Chilli on Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:20 pm

havocSchultz wrote:No...

It's actually Brendan Fraser's career that isn't real...


He was genuinely excellent in Scrubs S1/S3.

I hope this strike doesn't grate as much as the Postal Strike here in England. Those lousy stinking...
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Postby Pacino86845 on Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:20 pm

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Postby havocSchultz on Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:21 pm

Fried Gold wrote:Hasn't this happened a couple of times before.....and studios ended up getting novelists (including some famous ones) to write their scripts....and films actually got a little better for a while.....?


Yeah...

That's why the studios wanna make sure it never happens again...
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Postby Leckomaniac on Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:21 pm

Pacino86845 wrote:Image


I simply can't describe how much that made me laugh.

Truly...IPAMPILASH!
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Postby Chilli on Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:22 pm

Leckomaniac wrote:
Pacino86845 wrote:Image


I simply can't describe how much that made me laugh.

Truly...IPAMPILASH!


When did Pacino become funny? :lol:
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Postby Pacino86845 on Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:22 pm

Now we just have to hide this thread... *whistles innocently*
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Postby instant_karma on Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:43 pm

So, do the writers get $0.05 on every actual DVD sold, or just on the number that the studio lies about selling so they can screw people out of participation points?
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Postby DennisMM on Thu Aug 09, 2007 4:18 pm

There have been a number of writers' strikes over the last 40 years. Sometimes they've been about on-screen credit but frequently about money and with good reason.

TV writers are affected most. In the mid-'60s a one-hour script paid something like $4000 on WGA minimum. That seemed like a fair piece of change back then, but as always, lots of decent writers only sold a couple of scripts a year if any. And that money was an insignificant fraction of what the production spent.

For a very long time, there were no writing staffs on episodic TV. A handful of people among the production did a lot of work developing stories or dealing with script problems, but agreements with the WGA required that at least 75 percent (that sounds right, sorry if it's not) of all scripts come from writers not directly employed by the production. Writers had to hustle for work assignments (Harlan Ellison even wrote an episode of The Flying Nun), but they had more opportunities.

Today the situation is reversed. Only a handful of scripts each season must involve outside writers. So people scramble for staff positions and if they can't find one have to scramble even harder and faster for the few freelance spots available. All of this is made more difficult because of the use of producer/writers.

With the strike looming, staff writers are pressured to turn out scripts more quickly. However, they can only write so much. When shows don't have scripts they don't shoot, so producers tend to write the scripts, as many of them were writers at one point. Problem is they're not used to writing anymore.

FG, some writers from other media have been involved during writers' strikes, but the results have been very mixed because they don't know how to write in screenplay or teleplay form.
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Postby stereosforgeeks on Thu Aug 09, 2007 4:21 pm

havocSchultz wrote:
Fried Gold wrote:Hasn't this happened a couple of times before.....and studios ended up getting novelists (including some famous ones) to write their scripts....and films actually got a little better for a while.....?


Yeah...

That's why the studios wanna make sure it never happens again...


Itd be a terrible day.
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Postby wonkabar on Thu Aug 09, 2007 5:13 pm

"I was just thinking what an interesting concept it is to eliminate the writer from the artistic process. If we could just get rid of these actors and directors, maybe we've got something here."
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Postby DennisMM on Thu Aug 09, 2007 5:15 pm

We'll call it "Survivor"!
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Postby wonkabar on Thu Aug 09, 2007 5:18 pm

Or better yet, "Big-Brother"
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Postby DennisMM on Thu Aug 09, 2007 5:22 pm

Right! No DP on that, just a board operator cutting between camera feeds!
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Postby Evil Hobbit on Thu Aug 09, 2007 5:49 pm

Cartoonbrew ran an article a few weeks ago about the 1941 strike at the Disney Studios.

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Watch a rare video with footage of the strike, it's well designed strike posters and a pissed off Disney right here: http://www.cartoonbrew.com/classic/rare-color-film-of-1941-disney-strike
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Postby Hollywood_Bob on Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:22 pm

DennisMM wrote:Right! No DP on that, just a board operator cutting between camera feeds!


an what if we get some washed up D celebrity no one has heard of since 1985 to host/star? We won't even have to pay him/her cash we can just give them the free crap our advertising sponsers give us.
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Postby Hollywood_Bob on Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:22 pm

wonkabar wrote:Or better yet, "Big-Brother"


I smell the need for a riot comming on...
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Postby wonkabar on Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:24 pm

Hollywood might be on strike, but Bob isn't
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:22 pm

If there's a strike, I am totally going to be a scab.
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Postby Peven on Thu Aug 09, 2007 11:04 pm

thing is, i am only pulling for a minority of the writers to do better, since the majority churn out shit at a regular pace and are living a better life than i will ever see for it.
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