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 Bayouwolf on Tue Nov 06, 2007 3:16 pm

RogueScribner wrote:The studios would never allow that clause. What if they tried a new media venture and lost money on it? And then, on top of that, that have to pay residuals out to all above the line talent? The studios would never seek out new (and potentially better) avenues of distribution. It'll never happen. It's one thing to fight for your fair share of a proven commodity, it's quite another to fight for your fair share of a what-if.


Its a risk the studios take on every time they take on new talent. There is no guarantee a film will make money. There is no guarantee that the box office take will surpass the DVD sales. If the WGA wants to be fairly compensated, they need to PLAN for the what-if. Or at least put a percentage against the "over and above" when a film or TV show becomes a runaway hit.
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Postby RogueScribner on Tue Nov 06, 2007 3:30 pm

Taking on new talent is a limited investment. It's a potentially one time deal. Distribution and new media is a whole other ball of wax completely. And no one is good at predicting what the future holds. If they were, we'd all be in flying cars by now and chatting up our friendly neighborhood extra-terrestrials.
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Postby MasterWhedon on Tue Nov 06, 2007 3:31 pm

Theta wrote:
MasterWhedon wrote:I don't think it's so easy to distill the studio position down to them being "greedy fucks."


Yes it is. The writers want a dime per, Whedon. A dime out of $10.66. That's not going to "cut into their profits" in any REMOTELY meaningful way. They're just afraid to establish any precedent.

The main problem with Hollywood can be illustrated by a conversation I overheard. I was working an event the last two days. As you might know, event, theater and film crews all kind of overlap. A bunch of guys, including the owner of the company running the event, were talking and one of them shared a story about how he got paid $500 to not move his van for two hours. He was joking when he named the price, but they just paid it: no haggling, no "Really?", just forked over the money (it should be noted this guy owns a huge and successful multimedia company.) He then said Hollywood was "stupid money" and the entire group agreed with him.

That's really the main problem: Hollywood just has too much damn money in the first place and spends it in stupid ways. I'm not talking about salaries either, I'm talking about star demands, per diem, all the ridiculous ways money leaves a film set. Honestly, if the studios banded together not on star salaries but on star demands and collectively told the actors to get fucked, it'd make up the margin on what the writer gets paid with plenty leftover for hookers.

See, I still disagree that it all boils down to greed. That's part of it, sure--a large part--but short-sighted, archaic business practices and resistance to change play a much larger part, IMO. I see those things as being much more complicated than typing them as "greed" allows.

I like Joss Whedon's explanation of it. (Shocker!)
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Postby junesquad on Tue Nov 06, 2007 3:37 pm

The connection between the two is a very rare art form.
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Postby Zarles on Tue Nov 06, 2007 3:39 pm

I think the best part of Joss' rant up there was where he said something like 'a deal hasn't been negotiated since before all these new media sources even existed'. The people in charge of the dough don't LIKE change when it comes to how money is distributed, and now that the face of pretty much the entire industry is changing, they're freaking out.

It isn't like they haven't done this before, either. It's pretty much the same thing that happened when file-sharing started to come on the scene. The uppity-ups didn't know how to deal with it, freaked out, and thought that suing everyone in sight was going to immediately get rid of the problem. Not so.
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Postby Theta on Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:43 pm

I'm just wondering if this whole thing will be what finally snaps the Hollywood system in half.

Hollywood has been falling apart for a decade now. Yes, it's still massively profitable, but that's due to high ticket prices. In all the ways that matter, movies are declining. There are fewer asses in seats, more demands on people's attention, DVD sales have plateaued and for all the chatter about downloading and new media, it's not nearly as popular with people as you'd think. Anybody who's had to "authorize" iTunes to use a song knows what I'm talking about.

A protracted strike could break Hollywood for the simple reason that it would force the theaters to look elsewhere for films. And if there's a massive non-Hollywood hit, one that makes the theater owners more money than a blockbuster, that's the ballgame: there's no way in hell theaters will go back to the bad old days once it's proven you don't need Hollywood.

This is all pie-in-the-sky, but the emperor has proven to have no clothes on this issue for a while. I'll be curious to see what happens...
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Postby Chairman Kaga on Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:46 pm

IPAMPILASH I thinks that's more like Pie in the Van Allen radiation belt.
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Hollywood on Strike! (Now w/ 100% More Strike!!!!)

Postby bastard_robo on Tue Nov 06, 2007 8:36 pm

I just love that every time theres a strike, everyone takes sides of the Union.

I agree with Whendon that its easy to point at the Studios as being greedy fucks, but its not the case.

The people who pay are easy targets, mainly because they have the cash. Theres a bit of resentment in all of these strikes against anyone whos making more money than someone else. There's a reason that theres a bussiness owner and a simple worker. Its what this fucking country is based on!


I got a good feeling that this is going to blow up in the writers face much like the supermarket strike back in 03'.

That union went on stike for about 5 months, trying to get a better retierment plan and some pay increases, they ended up with a deal that just barley gave them more than what they were already getting. A lot of people dropped their jobs (2 of my best friends included) and went on to look for other work. (BTW, many of those people found better paying jobs with suprisingly better benifits, NON Union mind you)

In the end, they lost more money going on strike than they would of if they didnt go on strike.


If this strike gose on for a few months, I have a feeling that all these actors you see supporting these writers are going to start backing away and looking for work else were. Not only that, but a lot of people who do a lot of work on the net for free just to get exposer might get a hook out of all of this.

Just a theory...
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Re: Hollywood on Strike! (Now w/ 100% More Strike!!!!)

Postby junesquad on Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:07 pm

bastard_robo wrote:
In the end, they lost more money going on strike than they would of if they didnt go on strike.


Maybe, but does it come down to a matter of principle? If the studios need them to make a show or movie, why shouldn't they make more than they are? Without them, they don't have the show in the first place. Otherwise, we wouldn't even have this worry thread about how this will affect our entertainment.
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Re: Hollywood on Strike! (Now w/ 100% More Strike!!!!)

Postby MasterWhedon on Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:52 pm

bastard_robo wrote:I agree with Whendon that its easy to point at the Studios as being greedy fucks, but its not the case.

Who the hell is Whendon? :wink:

Anyway, as I said above, I do think an element of greed is at play on the part of "The Man," but I think it does a disservice to the argument to reduce your opponent to Uncle Scrooge swimming in his vault of money.

Man, Ducktales was awesome...
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Re: Hollywood on Strike! (Now w/ 100% More Strike!!!!)

Postby Bayouwolf on Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:57 pm



Gizmo duck RULES...

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Postby junesquad on Tue Nov 06, 2007 10:00 pm

Random, but it was amazing to see Gizmo Duck again! I used to have the action figure.
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Postby RogueScribner on Wed Nov 07, 2007 11:08 am

Found this in the TB:

What Were Residuals, Daddy? by CHRIS KELLY Posted November 5, 2007 | 02:20 AM (EST)

I don't expect a lot of popular support for the Writers Guild strike. (I don't expect most people to care one way or the other. Most people have problems of their own, and things to do, and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare isn't going to play itself. (Or is it?)) Luckily, this isn't about popular support. It's collective bargaining, not a straw poll. If we writers do want more support, though, we should probably do a better job of explaining what a residual is. (If only to demonstrate our skills as professional communicators.)

A residual is a deferred payment against the lifetime value of a script. It's not a bonus. That's why it's called a "residual." The word means "left over." It's the left over part of the compensation the author agrees to wait for. It's not money for nothing. The word for that is "commission." A residual isn't a handout or an allowance or Paris Hilton's trust fund. It's not a lottery payout, or alimony, or an annuity from a slip and fall accident at a casino. A residual is a deferred payment against the lifetime value of a script. It's not a perk. It's okay if you didn't know that. It's in the best interests of a lot of fairly large corporations that you don't. And it makes it easier to imagine that writers are asking for something workers don't deserve.

Here's an actual "comment" I got last week, from an actual "commenter" just like you: "When an engineer develops a product for a company should the engineer receive compensation each time the company figures out a new market for the product or a new application for the product (?)" This is a fair question, but it employs a truly dunderheaded example. An engineer does receive additional compensation when a company finds a new application for the product he created. This is called "owning a patent." (I don't think even Rupert Murdoch wants to get rid of patents. Well, not yet.) "When the product loses money for the company should the engineer give back his salary?" Of course not. Because his product always retains its potential to create revenue. The capital gets used up. The idea isn't unthought.

But now I'm nitpicking at an analogy that doesn't apply in the first place. "When a writer is paid for work on a show for the network that not only doesn't make money for the network on the Internet but doesn't make money for the network period, should the writer give back his pay to the network (?)" I appreciate that this is a rhetorical question. But it's ineffective, rhetorically, because the answer is no. The writer did her part. She wrote the episode. And in doing that, she created a product with a potential value, which is infinite. (Or, in the case of Seinfeld even more than that.) Because the episode can be shown an infinite number of times. (Or in the case of Seinfeld, even more than that.) Yes, and you're already saying, "But Seinfeld isn't your typical, run-of-the-mill sitcom. That's Two and Half Men." And I'm saying -- rudely, over you -- that I know it's not typical -- but I'm trying to explain that, technically, the potential value of a sit om -- any sitcom -- is infinite. I'm just using Seinfeld, because that's the example the New York Times would use. (The potential number of New York Times references to Seinfeld: Another good illustration of infinity.) An episode of a television show can produce revenue forever. Yes, most TV shows aren't Seinfeld. But each of the 180 episodes of Seinfeld -- a show that started without bankable stars or a high concept -- will make about ten million dollars in syndication. In real economic terms, every sitcom could be Seinfeld when the writer commences work. (Unless it has Nathan Lane in it.)

What should a writer charge, then, for a script that could make $10 million dollars? A: I dunno. Nine million dollars? Gotta leave something for the actors. But what's a fair price to charge up front? A: Right now, we'll take $19,125. If it's a hit, you can pay us the rest later. I know! We'll call it a residual! Because writers understand that most shows aren't hits. Most shows lose all the studio's money and go straight down the toilet, like John Ridley's Barbershop. That's why, for decades and decades, the system has been that the writers take far less than they should be paid for a hit show, because there's no way of knowing if the show will be a hit or not. This is the "residual" difference in its value. If the show doesn't succeed -- for whatever reason (Nathan Lane) -- we don't get the rest of our money. We take far less than our labor is demonstrably potentially worth on the understanding that most shows fail because we like what we do. But it's the opposite of cheating anyone.

Anyway, I'd be happy to give up my residuals. And not just for syndication and DVDs, but for downloads and streaming video, too. The studios are right; who knows if this crazy Internet thing will last? All I want, in return, is an up front payment of nine million dollars per teleplay. Short of that, all I want is for people to understand one thing: A residual is a deferred payment against the lifetime value of a script.

-- Disclaimer: Terrific people I idolize worked on Barbershop.

-- Apology: That crack about "commission" being for nothing. That's just a joke, Ted.

-- Not a Correction, But Added Later Nonetheless: Yes, living on this planet as I do, I understand that engineers can assign their patents to the corporations that employ them. They can also give them to strangers on the street, or mail them to fickle prostitutes like a piece of Van Gogh's ear. Some engineers assign their patents. Some don't. Some children work in mills. That doesn't make it their place in the divine order of things. Or even their legal obligation. Except at The Gap.
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Re: Hollywood on Strike! (Now w/ 100% More Strike!!!!)

Postby Leckomaniac on Wed Nov 07, 2007 11:23 am

bastard_robo wrote:If this strike gose on for a few months, I have a feeling that all these actors you see supporting these writers are going to start backing away and looking for work else were. Not only that, but a lot of people who do a lot of work on the net for free just to get exposer might get a hook out of all of this.

Just a theory...


Personally, I feel this case is fairly cut and dry which is why so many people are jumping on the side of the writers. I mean, at the last minute the WGA negotiators took the DVD residual increase off the table completely...something the studio negotiator called "the most significant roadblock" to reaching an agreement and the studios STILL refused to accept the terms. And then, to further make themselves look silly, they claim the writers were "irresponsible" for striking instead of continuing to negotiate. Anyone familiar with the case can see that the WRITERS were the only ones actually conceding ground in hopes to reach an agreement. To me, that indicates pretty bluntly that the studios are just trying to screw over the writers as much as possible and NOT the other way around. The WGA were willing to remove the "significant roadblock" only to be rejected and told that their remaining demands were now the NEW "significant roadblock" to an agreement. I cant think of anyway to describe it, other than greedy bullshit.

Moreover, since the Actors Guild is already talking about going on strike when their contract expires this coming summer...I doubt that they will turn against the writers. In fact, I almost guarantee that they will not. It seems obvious to me that the actors get it...so much so that they are planning something similar. However, I think an actors stirke is highly unlikely, but I do think that the actors are going to remain supportive of the writers.

I am not sure if anyone has seen this, but BKV (that is Brian K. Vaughan...amazing comic book writer and recent writer/producer on LOST) wrote a bit about the strike, the writers union, and the lack of a comic book writers union. Very interesting stuff.

***Why is the WGA striking?

Because writers believe we deserve a fair share of the revenue generated by the stuff we helped to create, crazy as that sounds.

There's an excellent summary of what I consider to be our very reasonable demands at this blog, which has been a consistently dependable source of good information about the strike: http://www.unitedhollywood.com/

But basically, writers are looking to negotiate modest residuals and protections for use of our TV shows and movies on the internet, where most of us will likely be getting the majority of our entertainment from in the not-too-distant future.

We're are also asking for a share of about 8 cents--that's eight stinkin' pennies--for every DVD of our work sold, as opposed to the criminally insane 4 cents we receive today.

I read that Warren Ellis was concerned about possibly being barred from writing for animation (which is largely outside the jurisdiction of the WGA) during the strike, and while I think his concerns were absolutely valid (the strike rules have since been amended), I believe those initial guidelines were born out of the fact that this negotiation is also about fighting to extend the same health benefits, pension, and other protections that writers like I enjoy to our equally important colleagues in animation (as well as those in "reality" television, which employs more writers than you can imagine).

I got to hear firsthand how hard the Writers Guild worked to negotiate a fair deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, but after more than three months of talks, the AMPTP still hasn't come close to even meeting the WGA halfway on its most important proposals.

It sucks.

***Do you support the strike?

Yeah, a hundred percent.

A few months ago, I was thrilled to start my second season as a writer and now a co-producer over at LOST, and have been unbelievably fortunate enough to help write a few scripts for what I think could end up being the show's best season.

And much as it breaks my heart for my colleagues and I to have to walk away from a job we love, we all think it's vitally important to the future of our industry.

At least in the short term, my friends and I stand to lose a great deal both creatively and financially in this strike, but every working writer I've ever met feels a responsibility to help protect those writers less fortunate than we are, as well as the next generation of creators to follow in our footsteps.

These last few weeks have been a real crash-course in unionization for me, and I've come away a bigger supporter than ever.

When we first started talking about a strike, I figured the Teamsters (our faithful truck drivers, location managers, etc.) would hate us "spoiled, overpaid typists" if we threatened their livelihoods with a work stoppage. But instead, they've been incredibly supportive of us at every turn, with many vowing not to cross our picket lines.

I know I sound like a second-rate Norma Rae (or Chief Tyrol from Battlestar for you young hipsters out there), but seeing all kinds of laborers, regardless of our different crafts, treat each other like brothers and sisters during the negotiations with the powerful corporations that employ so many of us has been one of the best experiences of my selling-out time here in Los Angeles.

***What does this mean for your comics work?

"...much as it breaks my heart for my colleagues and I to have to walk away from a job we love, we all think it's vitally important to the future of our industry."
-- Brian K. Vaughan
Comics are not covered by the WGA.

I'm lucky that my phone started ringing from editors at Marvel and DC as soon as the threat of the strike materialized, and while I've gotten some cool offers to work on existing books, I think I'm going to take however long the strike lasts (which could be anywhere between a day and forever) to concentrate on making Ex Machina kick as much ass as possible as we start to head into that series' final year, and to continue to develop my next big creator-owned projects now that I've finished all my scripts for Y: The Last Man, Runaways, Buffy, The Escapists, Doctor Strange, and the upcoming Logan mini with Eduardo Risso. (Sorry, gratuitous plugging isn't prohibited by the WGA during the strike.)

But this isn't a vacation. I'll be walking the picket line every single day, so if you're visiting sunny Burbank, drive past and honk your support for the pasty bald kid, won't you?

***Does this mean there's going to be a flood of Hollywood writers coming into comics?

Maybe? I know a few creators--and a lot of readers--are sometimes annoyed by carpet-bagging movie/television writers swooping into comics to steal "their" jobs, but film/TV writers have been enormously generous about letting me into their world, and I think we should return the favor. Art is not a competition, and there's always room for talented creators.

That said, no one wants these screenwriters to just try to shoehorn their unsold pitches and scripts into comic form. But trust me, the many writers out here who truly love comics already know that it's a totally unique medium, one that deserves unique stories.

I guess I'd be a hypocrite to completely frown on translating existing movies/shows into comics (I had an awesome time doing that with Buffy) or translating existing comics into movies/shows (happily done it with Y and Ex Machina), but I think what each medium really needs is NEW ideas specifically created to play to the strengths of that particular artform.

***What does this mean for your comic-book movies?

Like I said, I've written adaptations of both Y: The Last Man and Ex Machina for New Line, and while they could conceivably move either or both of those drafts of mine into production during the strike (without any rewrites or other contributions from me), that seems pretty unlikely for lots of different reasons. As with most comic-to-screen adaptations currently "in development," I imagine they'll stay in limbo as long as the strike lasts.

I was also about to begin work on a particularly exciting new comic-to-screen adaptation that I can't really talk about, and while I'm hopeful the gig will still be waiting for me if/when the strike ends, who knows? That's one of the many risks that comes with this very necessary strike.

***Will comic writers ever unionize?

I certainly hope so, though I'm sure that makes many of my beloved employers cringe.

I talked about this when Whedon interviewed me over at CBR a few months back, but I think it's worth repeating here…

When I used the great Cloak and Dagger in Runaways, Bill Mantlo, the man who helped create them, didn't get anything, to the best of my knowledge. Not even a credit. And I'm not blaming my friends at Marvel (or DC, for that matter), all of whom are good people who've always been beyond fair with me. It's just indicative of the broken system, one that I'm very much a part of.

For the record, Bill Mantlo was struck by a hit-and-run driver a few years ago, and now requires expensive daily care that's way beyond what modest means he was left with after dedicating much of his life to our industry. And while things like The Hero Initiative, an absolutely worthwhile cause that I totally support, exist to help comic creators in financial need, THOSE CREATORS SHOULD NOT BE IN FINANCIAL NEED.

I know the Writers Guild of America isn't a perfect union, but I was afforded more benefits and protections in my first few months with the WGA as a work-for-hire screenwriter than I was ever given in a decade of working in comics. And again, I've been treated pretty honorably throughout my career, and have made more money than I ever deserved doing this "job," but that doesn't mean that I can't still be concerned about the generations of writers and artists before and after me.

Anyway, I know that smarter people than I have tried and failed to unionize in the past, so for now, we'll have to help creators like Bill Mantlo by donating directly to organizations like The Mantlo Project, or to the aforementioned The Hero Initiative. But it would be nice to see the day when they weren't necessary:

***I'm not in the WGA, but I support the cause. What can I do to help?

Thanks for asking! At this stage, I suppose the best thing you can do is to think critically about everything you're going to hear regarding the strike, especially because so many of the news outlets we all rely on are owned and controlled by the very people against whom we writers are striking.

None of us wanted this strike, and we all hope it'll be over before any of you loyal viewers even notice we were gone… but in the very likely scenario that this is going to be a long, tough slog, I'll try to check back in with more thoughts.

For now, wish us luck!
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Postby DennisMM on Wed Nov 07, 2007 1:23 pm

bastard_robo wrote:The people who pay are easy targets, mainly because they have the cash. Theres a bit of resentment in all of these strikes against anyone whos making more money than someone else. There's a reason that theres a bussiness owner and a simple worker. Its what this fucking country is based on!


This is funny. Very funny.

That union went on stike for about 5 months, trying to get a better retierment plan and some pay increases, they ended up with a deal that just barley gave them more than what they were already getting. A lot of people dropped their jobs (2 of my best friends included) and went on to look for other work. (BTW, many of those people found better paying jobs with suprisingly better benifits, NON Union mind you)


Non-union operators sometimes pay more than union operators because the non-union shop/store can fire employees, reduce wages or strip workers of benefits without the workers having any recourse. It's freedom to steal from your workers when you don't think your current arrangements are convenient. In most state this is known by the rich-right-wing euphemism "right to work laws."

Do you know what happens when a non-union worker complains more than a boss likes about what he/she thinks are unfair working conditions? Fired.

If this strike gose on for a few months, I have a feeling that all these actors you see supporting these writers are going to start backing away and looking for work else were. Not only that, but a lot of people who do a lot of work on the net for free just to get exposer might get a hook out of all of this.


Where are the actors supposed to go, the legitimate theater? Foreign films? Unless they're well-known they have nowhere to go but "day jobs" and perhaps commercials because they don't fall under WGA regulations.

Do you know what happens if a scab writer from the net goes to work for a production? The production can be fined. If the scab sells more than one script he/she can face a lifetime ban from the WGA. Without joining the WGA, that net-based spec writer will not work again for union studios/producers. Is losing that really worth the dream of being a TV/film writer for a few months?
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Re: Hollywood on Strike! (Now w/ 100% More Strike!!!!)

Postby Theta on Wed Nov 07, 2007 1:26 pm

bastard_robo wrote:I
If this strike gose on for a few months, I have a feeling that all these actors you see supporting these writers are going to start backing away and looking for work else were. Not only that, but a lot of people who do a lot of work on the net for free just to get exposer might get a hook out of all of this.


Normally you'd be right except for one detail you're probably (not unreasonably) not aware of:

The SAG contract and DGA contracts are up in June.

So the actors and directors have every reason to back the writers, because whatever the writers get sets the precedent for everyone else. That's why the producers are throwing a hissy and trying to make the writers look bad: if they lose this one, they lose everything.

So basically, it's in the best interests of directors and actors to finish what they're doing and help out on the picket lines. Enlightened self-interest, if you're being polite.
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Postby HollywoodBabylon on Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:26 pm

I'm no great expert on this strike but instinct leads me to say that writers are the bread and butter of the Industry and deserve every penny they get.They're not asking for the earth, it seems to me, just genuine fairness. As regards 'scabs' my attitude is simple. If you don't want to strike, fair enough. That's your choice and should be.

Only don't expect to receive the same pay and deal as those who did strike and sacrifice hardship - if and when an improved deal is negotiated with the union.
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Postby MasterWhedon on Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:34 pm

The Reno 911 cops provide security at the Sunset Gower pickets.

One of the guys pictured is my friend's roommate. Small world.
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Postby Zarles on Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:36 pm

LOL. Only in LA would people show up at a picket line to get their pictures taken with the picketers.
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Postby papalazeru on Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:37 pm

MasterWhedon wrote:The Reno 911 cops provide security at the Sunset Gower pickets.

One of the guys pictured is my friend's roommate. Small world.


Go MW and your hollywood associates!

I did however notice the comstume department are on a sympathetic strike too! :lol: ;)
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Postby Tenacious N on Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:20 pm

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Postby papalazeru on Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:22 pm

It's all going pear shaped. All decent USA TV will be delayed until....well.....too long.

Looks like you guys have to live with NFL reruns or something like that while we get reruns of Eastenders.

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Postby Chairman Kaga on Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:24 pm


If true about delaying it until 2009 they may as well consider that show dead.
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Postby MasterWhedon on Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:27 pm

Chairman Kaga wrote:

If true about delaying it until 2009 they may as well consider that show dead.

I don't know about that. Didn't The Sopranos wait almost two years between Seasons Four and Five, or Five and Six?
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Postby so sorry on Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:29 pm

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Postby stereosforgeeks on Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:32 pm

MasterWhedon wrote:
Chairman Kaga wrote:

If true about delaying it until 2009 they may as well consider that show dead.

I don't know about that. Didn't The Sopranos wait almost two years between Seasons Four and Five, or Five and Six?


Something around there. Most HBO shows have long breaks. I think Wire and Oz went 2 years at one point as well.
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Postby Chairman Kaga on Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:35 pm

stereosforgeeks wrote:
MasterWhedon\" ][quote=\"Chairman Kaga wrote:

If true about delaying it until 2009 they may as well consider that show dead.

I don't know about that. Didn't The Sopranos wait almost two years between Seasons Four and Five, or Five and Six?


Something around there. Most HBO shows have long breaks. I think Wire and Oz went 2 years at one point as well.[/quote]
Exactly those are HBO shows plus the Sopranos hadn't suffered the massive dropoff in ratings that LOST has in the most recent season due to the mini-season start. I think that will be a major problem for a network program.
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Postby stereosforgeeks on Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:39 pm

Lindelhoff and Cuse said that they have 8 eps written but that it would be a major disservice to air those 8 without the remaining 8 as it sort of ends on a chapter cliffhanger (with the season being a book) and to have to wait a year until you start the next chapter in a book would be unfair.
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Postby MasterWhedon on Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:52 pm

Devil's advocate time again!!

Here's a point that was brought up on talk radio last night, that I think is worth considering:

The guy who invented the socket wrench did so when we was working for Sears. Since he was working for Sears at the time, Sears owened the invention and all of the rights to it. This guy never saw a dime outside his normal 9-to-5 paycheck even though the socket wrench took off and became the everyday tool we know and love. Sears made a fortune off the guy, who invented the tool as part of his regular work duties.

So, why is entertainment different? Why is it we assume musicians, authors, artists, etc. are entitled to residuals from their works--outside of their up-front pay--when other "inventors" aren't necessarily? If, as a screenwriter, you enter into a contract with a studio wherein the studio owns all rights to your work product, as 99% of screenwriters do, why should you be entitled to further compensation (assuming they've paid you fairly up-front)?

I'm not saying I agree with any of these points, so please no lectures. I'm just interested in hearing your thoughts.
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Postby so sorry on Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:54 pm

stereosforgeeks wrote:Lindelhoff and Cuse said that they have 8 eps written but that it would be a major disservice to air those 8 without the remaining 8 as it sort of ends on a chapter cliffhanger (with the season being a book) and to have to wait a year until you start the next chapter in a book would be unfair.


Man, that would suck ass, but no fucking way in hell would the long(er) delay make me want to watch any less.
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Postby Nordling on Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:00 pm

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Postby stereosforgeeks on Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:01 pm

MasterWhedon wrote:Devil's advocate time again!!

Here's a point that was brought up on talk radio last night, that I think is worth considering:

The guy who invented the socket wrench did so when we was working for Sears. Since he was working for Sears at the time, Sears owened the invention and all of the rights to it. This guy never saw a dime outside his normal 9-to-5 paycheck even though the socket wrench took off and became the everyday tool we know and love. Sears made a fortune off the guy, who invented the tool as part of his regular work duties.

So, why is entertainment different? Why is it we assume musicians, authors, artists, etc. are entitled to residuals from their works--outside of their up-front pay--when other "inventors" aren't necessarily? If, as a screenwriter, you enter into a contract with a studio wherein the studio owns all rights to your work product, as 99% of screenwriters do, why should you be entitled to further compensation (assuming they've paid you fairly up-front)?

I'm not saying I agree with any of these points, so please no lectures. I'm just interested in hearing your thoughts.


Even if he invented something outside of his 9-5 hours sears could own depending if it was in the same field as his job. Actually it can even be applied to inventions outside of his job field.
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Postby MasterWhedon on Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:02 pm

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Postby Nordling on Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:06 pm

It's not that you're arguing apples and oranges. You're arguing apples and, well, socket wrenches. There's intellectual property issues involved, to protect the writer from having their work copied and plagiarized. It's still their work, unless specifically contracted otherwise, and no sane writer would ever sign away their work like that. Sure, writers are often called to punch up existing product, but Guild rules state that unless it's a substantial rewrite, they won't get credit.
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Postby MasterWhedon on Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:08 pm

Nordling wrote:It's not that you're arguing apples and oranges. You're arguing apples and, well, socket wrenches.

Again, I'm not arguing anything. This was an issue brought up on talk radio last night I thought I'd bring it up for discussion.
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Postby Bob Samonkey on Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:11 pm

MasterWhedon wrote:Devil's advocate time again!!

Here's a point that was brought up on talk radio last night, that I think is worth considering:

The guy who invented the socket wrench did so when we was working for Sears. Since he was working for Sears at the time, Sears owened the invention and all of the rights to it. This guy never saw a dime outside his normal 9-to-5 paycheck even though the socket wrench took off and became the everyday tool we know and love. Sears made a fortune off the guy, who invented the tool as part of his regular work duties.

So, why is entertainment different? Why is it we assume musicians, authors, artists, etc. are entitled to residuals from their works--outside of their up-front pay--when other "inventors" aren't necessarily? If, as a screenwriter, you enter into a contract with a studio wherein the studio owns all rights to your work product, as 99% of screenwriters do, why should you be entitled to further compensation (assuming they've paid you fairly up-front)?

I'm not saying I agree with any of these points, so please no lectures. I'm just interested in hearing your thoughts.


Having worked for Sears for 4 years and answering email and letters for the executive office I think I can answer this one.

[answer]Cause they do not sign a contract that states that everything you do or make while in their employ belongs to them and not you?[/answer]
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Postby MasterWhedon on Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:20 pm

Bob Poopflingius Maximus wrote:[answer]Cause they do not sign a contract that states that everything you do or make while in their employ belongs to them and not you?[/answer]

See, but they do. The language from writer agreement to writer agreement may vary, but for the most part they all say "everything you write on X project is 100% owned by us."

There's a great book on the subject called The Writer Got Screwed (But Didn't Have To).

Nordling wrote:It's not that you're arguing apples and oranges. You're arguing apples and, well, socket wrenches. There's intellectual property issues involved, to protect the writer from having their work copied and plagiarized. It's still their work, unless specifically contracted otherwise, and no sane writer would ever sign away their work like that. Sure, writers are often called to punch up existing product, but Guild rules state that unless it's a substantial rewrite, they won't get credit.

See, but that's not the case. A purchased screenplay no longer belongs to the writer; it belongs to the studio/production company/producer who optioned it. Additionally, a writer who is brought in to punch-up another's script has no rights to any of the material they write for that project. Credit is a whole separate matter.
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Postby Hollywood_Bob on Wed Nov 07, 2007 7:01 pm

As more and more of the TV shows stop production and the studios begin to show rerun after rerun...I had the thought that the average joe might be able to help the writers out by cancelling their cab;e subscriptions. refuse to watch the reruns and the crap the studios are putting on the air. by refusing to watch even the smaller revenue the studios are getting from advertisers will eventually disaper....hit em where it hurts is what I say. After all I have no problem playing xbox live until the writers go back to work :)
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Postby junesquad on Wed Nov 07, 2007 7:17 pm

Hollywood_Bob wrote:As more and more of the TV shows stop production and the studios begin to show rerun after rerun...I had the thought that the average joe might be able to help the writers out by cancelling their cab;e subscriptions. refuse to watch the reruns and the crap the studios are putting on the air. by refusing to watch even the smaller revenue the studios are getting from advertisers will eventually disaper....hit em where it hurts is what I say. After all I have no problem playing xbox live until the writers go back to work :)


Nice... I know the ending of the shows I like has definitely put off my decision to get cable. I will stick with XBOX and the cheap DVD store nearby. Oh and finish catching up on Law & Order: SVU.
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Postby Peven on Wed Nov 07, 2007 7:39 pm

junesquad wrote:
Hollywood_Bob wrote:As more and more of the TV shows stop production and the studios begin to show rerun after rerun...I had the thought that the average joe might be able to help the writers out by cancelling their cab;e subscriptions. refuse to watch the reruns and the crap the studios are putting on the air. by refusing to watch even the smaller revenue the studios are getting from advertisers will eventually disaper....hit em where it hurts is what I say. After all I have no problem playing xbox live until the writers go back to work :)


Nice... I know the ending of the shows I like has definitely put off my decision to get cable. I will stick with XBOX and the cheap DVD store nearby. Oh and finish catching up on Law & Order: SVU.


the WGA should be scared shitless of this kind of thing happening; people finding alternate sources of entertainment, developing new habits, weaning themselves off of the vast amount of crap they usually watch. bookstores and videogame stores are going to love this. every day the strike goes on and drives people to look for other ways to amuse themselves is potentially lost demand for product once the strike is resolved.
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Postby junesquad on Wed Nov 07, 2007 7:40 pm

Peven wrote:
junesquad wrote:
Hollywood_Bob wrote:As more and more of the TV shows stop production and the studios begin to show rerun after rerun...I had the thought that the average joe might be able to help the writers out by cancelling their cab;e subscriptions. refuse to watch the reruns and the crap the studios are putting on the air. by refusing to watch even the smaller revenue the studios are getting from advertisers will eventually disaper....hit em where it hurts is what I say. After all I have no problem playing xbox live until the writers go back to work :)


Nice... I know the ending of the shows I like has definitely put off my decision to get cable. I will stick with XBOX and the cheap DVD store nearby. Oh and finish catching up on Law & Order: SVU.


the WGA should be scared shitless of this kind of thing happening; people finding alternate sources of entertainment, developing new habits, weaning themselves off of the vast amount of crap they usually watch. bookstores and videogame stores are going to love this. every day the strike goes on and drives people to look for other ways to amuse themselves is potentially lost demand for product once the strike is resolved.


As a dog returns to its vomit, people will find their way back to their first love...
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Postby CeeBeeUK on Wed Nov 07, 2007 7:41 pm

Interesting list here detailing where shows are up to with production, scripts, etc.
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Postby Peven on Wed Nov 07, 2007 7:41 pm

junesquad wrote:
Peven wrote:
junesquad wrote:
Hollywood_Bob wrote:As more and more of the TV shows stop production and the studios begin to show rerun after rerun...I had the thought that the average joe might be able to help the writers out by cancelling their cab;e subscriptions. refuse to watch the reruns and the crap the studios are putting on the air. by refusing to watch even the smaller revenue the studios are getting from advertisers will eventually disaper....hit em where it hurts is what I say. After all I have no problem playing xbox live until the writers go back to work :)


Nice... I know the ending of the shows I like has definitely put off my decision to get cable. I will stick with XBOX and the cheap DVD store nearby. Oh and finish catching up on Law & Order: SVU.


the WGA should be scared shitless of this kind of thing happening; people finding alternate sources of entertainment, developing new habits, weaning themselves off of the vast amount of crap they usually watch. bookstores and videogame stores are going to love this. every day the strike goes on and drives people to look for other ways to amuse themselves is potentially lost demand for product once the strike is resolved.


As a dog returns to its vomit, people will find their way back to their first love...


yeah, but it will take some time.....
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Postby DennisMM on Wed Nov 07, 2007 7:57 pm

digital spy wrote:Jimmy Kimmel Live: On hiatus
The Late Show with David Letterman: On hiatus.
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: On hiatus.


What has become of entertainment?

In 1961, Jackie Gleason was the host of a prime time game show called You're in the Picture. It was a remarkably stupid program, even in Gleason's opinion.

Wikipedia wrote:The show consisted of a four-member celebrity panel sticking their heads into a life-sized illustration of a famous scene or song lyric. Each panelist would then take turns asking yes/no questions to Gleason to try to figure out what scene they were a part of. If they were able to figure out the scene, 100 CARE Packages were donated in their name; if they were stumped, the packages were donated in Gleason's name.


Ratings and reviews were disastrous and the program was canceled after one episode. The next week viewers saw Gleason, on a bare stage, with ever present Smokey Thingie and drink. He told the audience he regretted having been involved in such a bad program. He spoke of the vagaries of show business, how seemingly good ideas go bad, and how talented people can come together and still create crap. He spoke for the entire half-hour the quiz show would have run that night. Reportedly, he used no script.

Unless Kimmel, Ferguson and Letterman are on strike as writer/producers they should be ashamed of themselves.
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Postby King Psyz on Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:22 pm

Man... that Chris Kelly rant makes me really want to side with...














The studios.

What a fucking pretentious twat. So he thinks the writer of a show should make 90% of the (potential)revenue? So the grips, scenic artists, carpenters, cameramen, producers, assistants, lighting crew, sound guys, actors, catering, costuming, post production, studios, lots, ect. have to split the remaining 10%?

Fuck him and every other million dollar crybaby. Yes there are strugling writers out there but do you really think the rank and file will see any of these so called benifits? Hell to the no. The big perks will come to the million dollar cybabies who have more pull in their contracts and hence a residual clause. The rank and file are staff writers who get usually no residuals or rights to the collective work.

This is the problem with the hollywierd bloat. So much money being made that everyone feels entitled to the lion's share. When in reality, even though it's easy to call them the man, the studios put up actual revenue and resources on what's essentially a hunch that they might have a profitable project. They make the big risk. Should writers get a cut? Yes, but you have to remember there's a lot of plates that are waiting for a piece of this pie and with out one of those people, the whole thing falls down.

This will backlash badly against the WGA and the studios. People will get sick of the entitlest attitude of the unions, and tired of the crap the studios shill in the meantime.

I worked both with and around unions and I can attest they're nothing more than modern orginized crime. A shakedown service to the highest order.

Yes mr. worker bee, give us 5% (or more) of your average income (meaning on slow or non-working months you still have to cough up) and we promise we'll make sure you're entitled work. then when negotiations come, the contract will only benifit higher ups and the union itself.

I work at a car dealership right now, and we're being picketed. Not for anything Toyota did, not for anything the owners did, not even for something our dealership did. We're being picketed because the contracter brought in his own crew and used a method of putting up wal units that best fit the project and the timeframe. SO because this contracter didn't use an overly expensive method of building that would not only cost more in materials, but require a carpenter to make $31/hr, we're being picketed and having our sales staff threatened and our customers filmed and insulted by the rank and file.

So I ask, what makes anyone think they're entitled to employment or extra compensation just 'cause? If these writers were so great they could go indie and only sign contracts that they felt were fair with the suits. Instead, we have a lot of people calling themselves writers who do nothing more than rewrite older shows/films, or pilfer other media for ideas.
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Postby Chairman Kaga on Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:23 pm

IMPAMPILASH.
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Postby RogueScribner on Wed Nov 07, 2007 10:30 pm

MasterWhedon wrote:Devil's advocate time again!!

Here's a point that was brought up on talk radio last night, that I think is worth considering:

The guy who invented the socket wrench did so when we was working for Sears. Since he was working for Sears at the time, Sears owened the invention and all of the rights to it. This guy never saw a dime outside his normal 9-to-5 paycheck even though the socket wrench took off and became the everyday tool we know and love. Sears made a fortune off the guy, who invented the tool as part of his regular work duties.

So, why is entertainment different? Why is it we assume musicians, authors, artists, etc. are entitled to residuals from their works--outside of their up-front pay--when other "inventors" aren't necessarily? If, as a screenwriter, you enter into a contract with a studio wherein the studio owns all rights to your work product, as 99% of screenwriters do, why should you be entitled to further compensation (assuming they've paid you fairly up-front)?

I'm not saying I agree with any of these points, so please no lectures. I'm just interested in hearing your thoughts.



I think the key difference is job stability. Very few writers have a regular paying gig. They bounce from project to project to earn a living and there could loads of downtime inbetween. The guy working at Sears knows (for the most part) that he'll be okay financially for the duration of the time (years, potentially decades) that he works for Sears. Would it be nice if Sears gave him an appreciation award for his invention? Yeah, but unless he took the steps to patent it himself, he has no recourse for further compensation. If writers didn't receive residuals who'd have time to write? People would be too busy at "real jobs" to get anything done.
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Postby stereosforgeeks on Wed Nov 07, 2007 10:36 pm

RogueScribner wrote:
MasterWhedon wrote:D evil's advocate time again!!

Here's a point that was brought up on talk radio last night, that I think is worth considering:

The guy who invented the socket wrench did so when we was working for Sears. Since he was working for Sears at the time, Sears owened the invention and all of the rights to it. This guy never saw a dime outside his normal 9-to-5 paycheck even though the socket wrench took off and became the everyday tool we know and love. Sears made a fortune off the guy, who invented the tool as part of his regular work duties.

So, why is entertainment different? Why is it we assume musicians, authors, artists, etc. are entitled to residuals from their works--outside of their up-front pay--when other "inventors" aren't necessarily? If, as a screenwriter, you enter into a contract with a studio wherein the studio owns all rights to your work product, as 99% of screenwriters do, why should you be entitled to further compensation (assuming they've paid you fairly up-front)?

I'm not saying I agree with any of these points, so please no lectures. I'm just interested in hearing your thoughts.



I think the key difference is job stability. Very few writers have a regular paying gig. They bounce from project to project to earn a living and there could loads of downtime inbetween. The guy working at Sears knows (for the most part) that he'll be okay financially for the duration of the time (years, potentially decades) that he works for Sears. Would it be nice if Sears gave him an appreciation award for his invention? Yeah, but unless he took the steps to patent it himself, he has no recourse for further compensation. If writers didn't receive residuals who'd have time to write? People would be too busy at "real jobs" to get anything done.


He couldnt patent it himself.

Also, I want to make it known patents coast an extreme amount of money to get and for upkeep. Also, if one does not have someone policing their patent for infringement there is no issue.
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Postby junesquad on Thu Nov 08, 2007 12:18 am

CeeBeeUK wrote:Interesting list here detailing where shows are up to with production, scripts, etc.


Thanks for sharing... I hate that so many shows are getting cut way short. I truly hope that it is resolved before Smallville looses the episode that Allison Mack is supposed to direct.
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Re: Hollywood on Strike! (Now w/ 100% More Strike!!!!)

Postby bastard_robo on Thu Nov 08, 2007 3:22 am

junesquad wrote:
bastard_robo wrote:
In the end, they lost more money going on strike than they would of if they didnt go on strike.


Maybe, but does it come down to a matter of principle? If the studios need them to make a show or movie, why shouldn't they make more than they are? Without them, they don't have the show in the first place. Otherwise, we wouldn't even have this worry thread about how this will affect our entertainment.


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