Hollywood on Strike! (Actors' Civil War!)

All the dirt. All the top secret stuff. Anything that has to do with the process of getting us to sit and watch something projected on the big screen.

Postby MasterWhedon on Thu Nov 01, 2007 1:21 pm

No picket line this morning... :P

I'm hearing Monday through the grapevine; gives them the weekend to get organized.
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Postby Theta on Thu Nov 01, 2007 1:23 pm

minstrel wrote:
Theta wrote:Oh, Jesus Christ, just give the writers their fucking dimes and move on.


This is where I stand. The writers' fees and percentages are very small compared to the sums that actors and directors get. And they are extremely small compared to the total productions costs. If the writers are given what they're asking for, it really won't affect anybody else all that much.


It's the utter lack of actual impact that's pissing me off. The producers are acting like the writers are bending them over a barrel when it's the PRODUCERS who don't want to pay minor amounts of royalties and actually give the writers a worse contract than they had before.

And they have the gall to whine about it. That's what gets me the most.
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Hollywood on Strike! (Now w/ 11th Hour!!)

Postby bastard_robo on Thu Nov 01, 2007 1:32 pm

I see this starting the chain of events that will lead to the further dumbing down of america!!!!!!!!!!!!!

With this strike... Reality TV will finally take its final hold and our TV's will be filled with the vile and swine that Reality TV offers!

Crappy contests and dating shows for Z grade Celeberties will run rampid!!!

It will be armaggeddon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!
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Postby Fawst on Thu Nov 01, 2007 2:03 pm

Theta wrote:Oh, Jesus Christ, just give the writers their fucking dimes and move on.


LOL seriously! 4 cents per at the moment? A dime per would be more than double, everyone can go home happy. I know there's more to it than just that, but still. It's just disturbing the level of disinterest in settling the whole matter on BOTH sides. And by that, I mean the blatant "We refuse to move forward unless the other side completely drops one of their issues, no debate allowed."
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Postby MasterWhedon on Thu Nov 01, 2007 5:37 pm

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Postby The Vicar on Thu Nov 01, 2007 5:41 pm

Thank Crom my DVD collection is deep......
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Postby Zarles on Thu Nov 01, 2007 5:54 pm

MasterWhedon wrote:Oh, shit... There's another guild getting into it now...


LOL. It would probably take them an hour just to get in the room where there aren't enough chairs to go around.
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Postby TheButcher on Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:35 am

MasterWhedon wrote:No picket line this morning... :P

I'm hearing Monday through the grapevine; gives them the weekend to get organized.



From VARIETY:
In a lively meeting of 3,000 guild members Thursday night, the WGA's negotiating committee announced its unanimous strike recommendation, a pronouncement that generated an enthusiastic response from the SRO crowd at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The decision also is sure to cause ripple effects within the Directors Guild and the Screen Actors Guild as they negotiate their contracts within coming months.

A final decision on striking could come as early as today via meetings of the WGA West board and the WGA East Council. Leaders stressed throughout Thursday's meeting that they could not specify how soon a strike will start. Attendees were instructed that they should go to work today and wait for a call or email from strike captains.

But it's a foregone conclusion that the WGA panels will OK a strike and the consensus is that they'll probably select Monday as the starting day.
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Postby Bob Samonkey on Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:52 am

The Vicar wrote:Thank Crom my DVD collection is deep......


Thank Crom for Netflix...
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Postby Zarles on Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:57 am

I have a feeling this isn't going to last long. The producers and execs like making money too much, and the low-end writers who might actually NEED that extra nickel per DVD are going to want to get back to work. I mean, come on - it's Hollywood we're talking about. A strict code of ethics is only going to last so long.
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Postby Fried Gold on Fri Nov 02, 2007 12:03 pm

WGA has called a meeting for tomorrow night. You can read each organization's version of what's happening at www.wga.org and www.amptp.org. They both agree that they're sticking on the subject of DVD payments, but they disagree (not unexpectedly) on whose fault it is that negotiations have broken down.

So they're not even talking about the problem anymore, just arguing about arguing about.

From what I've read, this strike will have to be several months long to have the effect the WGA want it to.
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Postby MasterWhedon on Fri Nov 02, 2007 12:46 pm

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Postby Bob Samonkey on Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:03 pm

MasterWhedon wrote:A glimpse at the future of scripted programming (courtesy of Moonlighting, circa 1988).

Defamer covers this strike like whoa...


Wow. I watched that and sadly remember it. But I found THISbelow it and was really interested!! Sorry about the threadjack...
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Postby minstrel on Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:19 pm

Bob Poopflingius Maximus wrote:
MasterWhedon wrote:A glimpse at the future of scripted programming (courtesy of Moonlighting, circa 1988).

Defamer covers this strike like whoa...


Wow. I watched that and sadly remember it. But I found THISbelow it and was really interested!! Sorry about the threadjack...


Sounds like it needs a thread of its own! Could be great news!
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Postby TonyWilson on Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:22 pm

Totally with the writers on this one. Sometimes striking is the only way to make greedy fucks listen. At most it will last till the next sweeps, right?
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Postby Leckomaniac on Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:29 pm

Well the strike needs to last at least 3-6 months for it to have any effect on the film production side...and that is something that the writer's want to happen.
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Postby stereosforgeeks on Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:32 pm

Leckomaniac wrote:Well the strike needs to last at least 3-6 months for it to have any effect on the film production side...and that is something that the writer's want to happen.


Yeah I think this is going to be for a long haul. Unless the studios give in.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:37 pm

Me too. This is going to get real ugly, real fast, and then to make matters worse it is going to get dragged on for some time. The WGA wants to make sure that the film side of things gets hit so the studios REALLY know how screwed they are.
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Postby Fried Gold on Fri Nov 02, 2007 3:00 pm

The last big WGA strike, in 1988, lasted 22 weeks and supposedly cost the industry an estimated $500 million. A similar length this time would mean no new productions till April-ish.

Also...the only source the BBC got earlier for comment about the strike was the guy who wrote Deuce Bigelow - a quality source!
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Postby Leckomaniac on Fri Nov 02, 2007 5:24 pm

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Postby Lord Voldemoo on Fri Nov 02, 2007 5:27 pm

Leckomaniac wrote:It's official.

Strike will happen at 12:01 am on Monday


goddammit.

Any WGA members in here that are gonna go do some picketing on Monday??
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Postby MasterWhedon on Fri Nov 02, 2007 5:29 pm

I'm gonna bring my camera to work and see if I can't infiltrate the picket.
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Postby Fried Gold on Fri Nov 02, 2007 5:33 pm

Are the local Piano Tuners 404 going to join them?
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Postby TheBaxter on Fri Nov 02, 2007 5:35 pm

it will be a historical day for sure. nobody forget just where this revolution started...
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Postby Fawst on Fri Nov 02, 2007 5:52 pm

I weep for Lost.
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Postby TheBaxter on Fri Nov 02, 2007 5:54 pm

but Heroes will only get better...
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Postby godzillasushi on Fri Nov 02, 2007 5:55 pm

Fawst wrote:I weep for Lost.


Now THAT is what I was curious about. We have what, 4 months of episodes coming? So depending on a few things maybe they already have a few written or something. Enough for a month.... :? Which, by then this may all be fixed. I mean it's Lost, of course they are ready. Right?.....RIGHT? *Starts panicking*


:P
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Postby Fawst on Fri Nov 02, 2007 5:58 pm

Yah, I'm gonna go with "no." They said they wanted a longer break to be able to fine tune the stories, but I doubt that means they wrote everything in advance for the entire season. Regardless, they'd need to tweak scripts when it come time to shoot, I'm sure, and that's gonna be a little messy. I dunno... it all sucks.

@ Heroes, I have to admit, the last two episodes kicked it up a notch. They're not at "11," but at least they're above "Snore." Last week's especially.
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Hollywood on Strike! (Now w/ Striking on Monday!!)

Postby bastard_robo on Fri Nov 02, 2007 6:05 pm

This is why I would never join a Union.

Bunch of smarmy bastards....


I've seen frist hand how Unions fuck you over more than help you. (i've always been a firm beliver of not having to pay to work)


Not to mention that this is the same union that wouldnt originally give Terry Gilliam and Tony Grisoni writing credit on Fear and Loathing because they said their script was just like alex cox's script (apparently they didnt realize that its a fucking book)

Honestly, I think that this Wagering agaisnt the BO of films is getting out of hand.

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Re: Hollywood on Strike! (Now w/ Striking on Monday!!)

Postby Leckomaniac on Fri Nov 02, 2007 6:12 pm

bastard_robo wrote:This is why I would never join a Union.

Bunch of smarmy bastards....


I've seen frist hand how Unions fuck you over more than help you. (i've always been a firm beliver of not having to pay to work)


Not to mention that this is the same union that wouldnt originally give Terry Gilliam and Tony Grisoni writing credit on Fear and Loathing because they said their script was just like alex cox's script (apparently they didnt realize that its a fucking book)

Honestly, I think that this Wagering agaisnt the BO of films is getting out of hand.

Everyone wants a fucking cut now! What happend to just getting paid for a job that you do?


This isn't about the box office...this is about DVD sales. You really think its ok for writer's to only get, maybe, 4 cents for every DVD sold while the studios line their pockets?

I support the writer's 100% on this.
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Re: Hollywood on Strike! (Now w/ Striking on Monday!!)

Postby Lord Voldemoo on Fri Nov 02, 2007 6:24 pm

bastard_robo wrote:This is why I would never join a Union.

Bunch of smarmy bastards....


I've seen frist hand how Unions fuck you over more than help you. (i've always been a firm beliver of not having to pay to work)


Not to mention that this is the same union that wouldnt originally give Terry Gilliam and Tony Grisoni writing credit on Fear and Loathing because they said their script was just like alex cox's script (apparently they didnt realize that its a fucking book)

Honestly, I think that this Wagering agaisnt the BO of films is getting out of hand.

Everyone wants a fucking cut now! What happend to just getting paid for a job that you do?


Fried Gold wrote:What J. Michael Strazcynski posted on the newsgroups:

Let me jump in here for a second to try and turn the discussion a bit, in that the situation as it affects writers is vastly different than in any other union.

First, to the non- or anti-union folks, a question: when you go into a book store to buy a copy of a novel by your favorite author, do you mind that roughly twelve percent of the price of that book goes to the author? Or do you feel that he's entitled to that royalty?

Most folks, I would suggest, are totally okay with that idea. They wrote he book, the publisher published the book, they're both entitled to get something back from the publishing of it. That seems only fair.

The situation with the WGA is really no different. It's a way of ensuring that artists -- who live in a very different world than the 9-5 universe everybody else lives in -- receive some regular form of compensation to keep them alive and solvent during the often very long periods of time required to create the next thing.

Leaving off such catastrophic events as being laid off or fired...most people go to work every day in expectation of a paycheck that will come regularly. Writers don't. They get paid when they a) write, b) finish what they write, and c) someone decides to *pay* for what they've written.

It's not uncommon for writers to go a year, two years, even longer without working in their chosen field. Doesn't matter who you are. After William Goldman won his first Oscar, he didn't work again for almost five years.

The royalties formula in books, and the residuals formula in tv/film, is all that allows writers to keep doing what they're in the period when they're *writing* and not *selling*. Take that away, and many of the works of literature and film that we've come to enjoy would not exist because the writers involved would not have been able to create them, they would've been forced to go out and seek employment elsewhere.

Prose writers have the authors' guild or SFWA or other organizations that watchdog publishers and provide assistance and information on royalties, contracts, health insurance and the like.

TV/film writers have the WGA, which is a much more complex organization because the permutations and ways in which monies can be hidden, and by which revenue streams are delivered, are all massively more complex.

There was a time, back in the 30s and 40s, when writers got nothing more than a script fee for their work, even though it might take a year or more to write that script. And a lot of talented writers fell by the wayside. The creation of the WGA changed that and brought into par with the prose writers whose royalties you would seem to feel are right and proper.

And those can't be negotiated person-by-person because the studios see us as individually replaceable. Only collectively can there be any impact.

I've had my problems with the WGA over the years, some of them have become nearly legendary with the WGA. But if the WGA did not exist, there would be no way for most writers to survive doing what they love to do.

As to this coming labor action, when you go into the store next and buy a DVD and a book, look at the two of them and know that the author of the book gets a full twelve to fifteen percent of the price...and the author of the DVD gets, *at most* four cents per DVD, and most of the time literally and absolutely *nothing* for it...and ask yourself, "Why the difference?"

That's the question at hand at the WGA as well.

jms


.....which seems to make sense to me.
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Re: Hollywood on Strike! (Now w/ Striking on Monday!!)

Postby bastard_robo on Fri Nov 02, 2007 6:39 pm

Lord Voldemoo wrote:
bastard_robo wrote:This is why I would never join a Union.

Bunch of smarmy bastards....


I've seen frist hand how Unions fuck you over more than help you. (i've always been a firm beliver of not having to pay to work)


Not to mention that this is the same union that wouldnt originally give Terry Gilliam and Tony Grisoni writing credit on Fear and Loathing because they said their script was just like alex cox's script (apparently they didnt realize that its a fucking book)

Honestly, I think that this Wagering agaisnt the BO of films is getting out of hand.

Everyone wants a fucking cut now! What happend to just getting paid for a job that you do?


Fried Gold wrote:What J. Michael Strazcynski posted on the newsgroups:

Let me jump in here for a second to try and turn the discussion a bit, in that the situation as it affects writers is vastly different than in any other union.

First, to the non- or anti-union folks, a question: when you go into a book store to buy a copy of a novel by your favorite author, do you mind that roughly twelve percent of the price of that book goes to the author? Or do you feel that he's entitled to that royalty?

Most folks, I would suggest, are totally okay with that idea. They wrote he book, the publisher published the book, they're both entitled to get something back from the publishing of it. That seems only fair.

The situation with the WGA is really no different. It's a way of ensuring that artists -- who live in a very different world than the 9-5 universe everybody else lives in -- receive some regular form of compensation to keep them alive and solvent during the often very long periods of time required to create the next thing.

Leaving off such catastrophic events as being laid off or fired...most people go to work every day in expectation of a paycheck that will come regularly. Writers don't. They get paid when they a) write, b) finish what they write, and c) someone decides to *pay* for what they've written.

It's not uncommon for writers to go a year, two years, even longer without working in their chosen field. Doesn't matter who you are. After William Goldman won his first Oscar, he didn't work again for almost five years.

The royalties formula in books, and the residuals formula in tv/film, is all that allows writers to keep doing what they're in the period when they're *writing* and not *selling*. Take that away, and many of the works of literature and film that we've come to enjoy would not exist because the writers involved would not have been able to create them, they would've been forced to go out and seek employment elsewhere.

Prose writers have the authors' guild or SFWA or other organizations that watchdog publishers and provide assistance and information on royalties, contracts, health insurance and the like.

TV/film writers have the WGA, which is a much more complex organization because the permutations and ways in which monies can be hidden, and by which revenue streams are delivered, are all massively more complex.

There was a time, back in the 30s and 40s, when writers got nothing more than a script fee for their work, even though it might take a year or more to write that script. And a lot of talented writers fell by the wayside. The creation of the WGA changed that and brought into par with the prose writers whose royalties you would seem to feel are right and proper.

And those can't be negotiated person-by-person because the studios see us as individually replaceable. Only collectively can there be any impact.

I've had my problems with the WGA over the years, some of them have become nearly legendary with the WGA. But if the WGA did not exist, there would be no way for most writers to survive doing what they love to do.

As to this coming labor action, when you go into the store next and buy a DVD and a book, look at the two of them and know that the author of the book gets a full twelve to fifteen percent of the price...and the author of the DVD gets, *at most* four cents per DVD, and most of the time literally and absolutely *nothing* for it...and ask yourself, "Why the difference?"

That's the question at hand at the WGA as well.

jms


.....which seems to make sense to me.


Hence why long ago I decided to go into other fields than writing. I love writing, but unless your a big name, or be like JMS, who can write 20 books, scripts a week, its something that you'll never be able to fully make a good living off of. I write every opprotunity I get, which is mostly between other works I get. If I was drafted to do work for some one that needed said work by a certin time, I'd put th elesser things aside and work on that. I then return to my other projects. I learned long ago that writing, no matter how great or fun it is, is not something that could be sustained as a great profession.


Look at artists. They do simalure things. They sell a painting or get drafted to do work, they get paid for said art and thats it.

Mind you, Im in the boat that feels that alot of people in Hollywood are way over paid. Many actors are grossly over paid for what they do.


And this food for thought. What about all of the other people stuck inbetween this. The grips, production assistants and such. These people are fucked out of a job too thanks to this strike.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Fri Nov 02, 2007 6:46 pm

Well just because YOU came to terms with it doesn't mean it is right. The fact is, a writer creates something and they deserve to be compensated properly. That includes DVD sales, online sales, etc.

And as for those stuck in the middle of all of this, that is unfortunate, but the WGA doesn't represent them so they can't factor into their decision at all. This needs to be done and that is that. It is unfortunate that the result will be harmful to others and will suck for most of us fans, but this is their livelihood and that has to come first.
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Re: Hollywood on Strike! (Now w/ Striking on Monday!!)

Postby minstrel on Fri Nov 02, 2007 6:53 pm

bastard_robo wrote:And this food for thought. What about all of the other people stuck inbetween this. The grips, production assistants and such. These people are fucked out of a job too thanks to this strike.


My roomie was one of those affected by the '88 strike. At the time, he was making the bulk of his living doing engineering and special effects for movies, and when the strike happened, he was out of work. He had to take out a small second mortgage to keep food on the table.
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Postby DennisMM on Fri Nov 02, 2007 7:37 pm

It's unfortunate that the technical people and lesser actors without pay-or-play deals are out of work. But the WGA only wants equitable treatment.

robo, do you understand why residuals and royalties exist? If an artist sells a painting or sculpture, that painting belongs to a person or institution. Though it may be on display, a mass audience generally does not pay to look at it for the next five, twenty or seventy-five years. Except in very rare instances, the owner does not make money off the painting unless the painting is sold and physically leaves the owner's control.

However, when a writer sells material to a publisher or a script to a producer, the buyers have the right not only to publish or film and release what comes of the work but in most cases to keep publishing new editions and keep releasing the film/TV program in new forms. This can go on for 100 years. The Great Train Robbery still appears in every history-of-film TV special. If executive producer George Lucas continues for decades to make money from a product that would not exist without your work, why should you not also be remunerated?

Intellectual property is not equivalent to attaching bumpers to Saturns, moving books around Morgan Library or assisting people on the phone for Bank of America. Those things are fleeting. Film and books are not. Do you feel the same way about recorded music?

As for unions: Yes, there have been too many corrupt union bosses. Too often unions squeezed companies that couldn't really afford what the unions demanded. But where would you be without unions, robo? Unions got the six-day, 60-hour standard work week reduced to five days of ten hours each, then five days of eight hours each. Unions gave you the weekend, chum. Unions gave you a passable wage, even if it's not very high, and time and a half beyond forty hours. Unions got you the right to health insurance even if you can't afford it. Unions got you job-safety regulations. Most importantly, unions got you the security to work knowing that so long as you do your job well you can't be fired and replaced by someone willing to make half what you earn.

How did they get all these things for you? Lobbying, lawsuits, hard-nosed negotiations with business owners. Those things aren't done by somebody they pull off the assembly line or by me. They're done by lawyers and researchers and people who came out of the general work force but have to show a certain appearance to be taken seriously and who spend their time pushing for the worker every day, not just stepping off to a meeting when it's convenient. All of this costs money. The money comes from union dues. Union dues also pay strike wages for some workers. It may be a puny $150/week, but it's cash to buy food.

Since you hate unions, tell your boss you want to work for three dollars an hour for as many hours as they wish you to be there in any given week. Could be twenty, could be sixty, could be eighty. You won't know until you arrive for your shift, which could be sixteen hours long. Tell them you don't need lunch or bathroom breaks during those sixteen hours. Tell them you don't care about health insurance. Tell them that if you should decide you don't like these conditions and become vocal about your unhappiness, you won't mind a cop beating you with a baton or tasering your studly ass because you insist on talking with a manager.


ETA: The mental fuel mix is a little rich tonight. I've had three hours sleep since 7:30 Thursday morning.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Fri Nov 02, 2007 7:45 pm

Should we just close this thread?

Dennis FTW!
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Postby DennisMM on Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:04 pm

:oops: :) Thanx.
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Postby MasterWhedon on Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:19 pm

TonyWilson wrote:Totally with the writers on this one. Sometimes striking is the only way to make greedy fucks listen. At most it will last till the next sweeps, right?

I don't think it's so easy to distill the studio position down to them being "greedy fucks." I mean--look, I'm a would-be screenwriter with aspirations at eventually joining the WGA and being underappreciated myself by some Big Hollywood muckety-muck. With that lifestyle would come a great deal of monetary uncertainty--as JMS so eloquently described--and because of that I greatly sympathize with "lower-level" writers trying to eek out a living as best they can. I most definitely do believe these folks should be able to share in the successes of their projects in the same way actors, directors and producers do.

Buuuuuuuuuuut...

For devil's advocate sake...

Nick Counter makes some sense. With a lot of movies these days stalling out in theaters, DVD and downloadables have become more than simply a supplement to box office receipts; they've become necessary to the bottom line. Let's take something like, oh, Serenity. It cost $39 million to make--with marketing costs, let's put that realistically around $50 million. It made $25 million domestic; $13 million foreign; just shy of $39 million total. It just about broke even with its production budget theatrically and now it's selling like hotcakes on DVD. If it hasn't already, it'll eventually surpass the $50 million mark to become marginally profitable (keeping the hope of a sequel alive!). The studio's position is that by "cutting into" their DVD profits, riskier properties such as Serenity will become far less financially viable. True, most of the time we'd only be talking about a few hundred thousand dollars--maybe a few million--but on a movie like this, that's a greenlight versus a turnaround.

Anyway, I still come down on the side of the writer. As Alec Baldwin put it the other day, ALL of the above-the-line folks are over-paid--except for the writer. Of course they should be included along with the other key creatives in sharing in profits. If the studio is so concerned about maintaining their percentages, then perhaps they should dole out a little less to the actors, directors and producers, and even the playing field to where it should've been all along.

Still, the writers are aiming a little high and the studios are dismissing them outright, so both sides are going to have to get it in gear and compromise the shit out of this one.
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Postby instant_karma on Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:30 pm

All that Serenity axample really says to me is that marketing departments are the ones that are being overpaid...
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Postby Leckomaniac on Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:38 pm

And don't forget the inflating budget costs. I mean we are living in an age where a movie (Superman Returns) grossed $200 million domestic and an additional $191 million worldwide...and is regarded as a failure.

The economics of movies are so entirely out of whack, and yet it seems the writer's are the only ones NOT getting overpaid in the creative process.
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Postby MasterWhedon on Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:42 pm

instant_karma wrote:All that Serenity axample really says to me is that marketing departments are the ones that are being overpaid...

No more than any other department, which is to say not much in the scheme of things. It's the paid ads, TV spots and trailers that cost a gazillion dollars.
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Postby MasterWhedon on Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:49 pm

Leckomaniac wrote:And don't forget the inflating budget costs. I mean we are living in an age where a movie (Superman Returns) grossed $200 million domestic and an additional $191 million worldwide...and is regarded as a failure.

The economics of movies are so entirely out of whack, and yet it seems the writer's are the only ones NOT getting overpaid in the creative process.

See, but don't cry too hard for the writers of HUGE blockbuster movies. Big-time writers make close to $1 million per picture with bonuses, plus maybe 1% of the gross. Granted, that's compared to big-time directors who are making $10 million versus 10%, and actors who make $20 million versus 20%. It's still a huge disparity, but those writers are sitting pretty. It's the guys who write the medium- to low-budget movies--who don't work that often--that need those back-end points the most.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:52 pm

MasterWhedon wrote:
Leckomaniac wrote:And don't forget the inflating budget costs. I mean we are living in an age where a movie (Superman Returns) grossed $200 million domestic and an additional $191 million worldwide...and is regarded as a failure.

The economics of movies are so entirely out of whack, and yet it seems the writer's are the only ones NOT getting overpaid in the creative process.

See, but don't cry too hard for the writers of HUGE blockbuster movies. Big-time writers make close to $1 million per picture with bonuses, plus maybe 1% of the gross. Granted, that's compared to big-time directors who are making $10 million versus 10%, and actors who make $20 million versus 20%. It's still a huge disparity, but those writers are sitting pretty. It's the guys who write the medium- to low-budget movies--who don't work that often--that need those back-end points the most.


No that isn't really my point. My point is that the studios invest a huge chunk of money into this films, that they often do not make back...which has an impact on what they invest in other films and the talent behind these other films. My point was merely that budgets all around are inflating which is having a huge drain on the amount of money flowing in and out.

Am I making any sense? Its late here and I have been drinking.
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Postby MasterWhedon on Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:55 pm

Leckomaniac wrote:No that isn't really my point. My point is that the studios invest a huge chunk of money into this films, that they often do not make back...which has an impact on what they invest in other films and the talent behind these other films. My point was merely that budgets all around are inflating which is having a huge drain on the amount of money flowing in and out.

Am I making any sense? Its late here and I have been drinking.

Hahaha, yeah, I get you. :lol:

Now, to take the edge off! Jon Stewart enjoys his last pre-strike "words."
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Postby MasterWhedon on Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:27 pm

Nick Counter says, "OH NO, YOU DI'N'T!"

[quote="Nick Counter, President AMPTP"]The WGA’s call for a strike is precipitous and irresponsible.

The writer is one of our most highly regarded assets and one of our most highly rewarded. Working writers on average earn over $200,000 a year. All they have to do is earn $31,000 to qualify for a full year of coverage in the finest health care plan in the country. And they are among the few employees in the world who get an “additional annuityâ€
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Postby stereosforgeeks on Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:31 pm

200K is nothing comparatively.
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Postby RogueScribner on Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:54 pm

I believe writers should get their due and I think things are weighted too heavily in actors and directors favor. Not that I discount what they bring to the table, but while the actor brings the face to an enterprise and a director brings the flourish (save for a few auteurs, I grant you), the writer is the initial architect of the project without which nothing else would ever come to pass.

Do actors really need $20 - $25 million plus points and perks for every film they make? Do directors need comparable compensation? Why stick it to the writers? Because anyone can write? Because their agents aren't as formidable as the other above the line talents? I'm not suggesting writers need to be making the money actors and directors do, but on the residual end, it makes sense that the scales would be somewhat balanced. The four main creative powers behind a film are the producer, writer, director, and actor. They should all have the opportunity to get a slice of the residual pie, and on a somewhat balanced scale.

From what I've read, writers aren't being greedy so much as seeing what other people are paid and wanting their fair share. I understand studios need to turn a profit and not give all their money away, but I don't think keeping writers in the basement is the right idea. Salaries for actors are by and large ridiculous. Scale those down. Give them points on the gross over a certain amount to reward success, but paying so much up front (especially all these pay or play deals where millions are lost) doesn't sound like sound business to me. It's becoming inccreasingly evident that product is starting to matter more than star power. Yet Hollywood is still clinging to the old business model. Times are a changin' and it's about time Hollywood figured it out.
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Postby MonkeyM666 on Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:03 pm

Sure , writers should get more and often it's a part of Hollywood filmmaking that is overlooked, but the unfortunate situation is that the money has to come from somewhere, and it won't be the actors. Actors don't need $20 million, but their name will bring in $50 million. The cash is looked at as an investment when buying most A level actors. When was the last time you went to a film based solely on the writer? The Actors and Directors are as much as a drawcard as the films themselves these days, and since the likes of Brad Pitt has been getting over $15 a flick for a while now, I highly doubt that he'll take a cut for a writer.

Now saying that, I don’t see why Brad can’t take $1 million cut each film could easily pay writing teams what they want, and deserve (in some cases). It's something that the studios will either have to enforce (then we’ll have an actors strike next year) or the Actors guild should push to quell all of these issues IMO.
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Postby RogueScribner on Sat Nov 03, 2007 12:08 am

The actors make what they make because the studios are willing to pay it. If all the major studios banded together and said "no more $20 million pay days" the actors wouldn't be in any position to do anything about it. There wouldn't be a strike because most of the actors in the SGA aren't making that money, only a select few. But as long as one studio is willing to pay that amount, actors will fight for what they think is their due.
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Postby junesquad on Sat Nov 03, 2007 12:10 am

$20 million is quite rediculous when you consider that we have a hard time believing that insurance companies and the state don't want to pay $40 for mental health care. What's wrong with that picture?
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