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Hollywood on Strike! (Actors' Civil War!)

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:14 am
by Leckomaniac
I saw a quick mention of this in another thread a while back, but I figured it warranted a thread of its own.

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

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

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

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

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

An excerpt:

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

The writers lost.

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

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

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


So what do you folks have to say?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:37 am
by Chilli
The production designers are gonna be pissed.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:45 am
by Leckomaniac
The thing about this that I find most interesting is just how much the writers got screwed with the home video negotiations in the 80's. I mean actors and directors are obviously important (and they get well compensated), but writers are often viewed as expendable and I find that odd considering that the foundation for a good movie must be laid first by the writers.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:47 am
by Chilli
I think the proliferation of new revenue sources for films/TV is something that needs to be looked at. Take Heroes for instance, the product placement in that doesn't trickle down to the writers at all, yet they have to script scenes where the product placement takes place, which can't be easy on a creative level to justify or execute.

I'm with the writers on this.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:07 am
by Doc Holliday
Leckomaniac wrote:The thing about this that I find most interesting is just how much the writers got screwed with the home video negotiations in the 80's. I mean actors and directors are obviously important (and they get well compensated), but writers are often viewed as expendable and I find that odd considering that the foundation for a good movie must be laid first by the writers.


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

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

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:18 am
by Leckomaniac
Doc Holliday wrote:
Leckomaniac wrote:The thing about this that I find most interesting is just how much the writers got screwed with the home video negotiations in the 80's. I mean actors and directors are obviously important (and they get well compensated), but writers are often viewed as expendable and I find that odd considering that the foundation for a good movie must be laid first by the writers.


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

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


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

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

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


Source.

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

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:19 am
by Hollywood_Bob
Leckomaniac wrote:
Doc Holliday wrote:
Leckomaniac wrote:The thing about this that I find most interesting is just how much the writers got screwed with the home video negotiations in the 80's. I mean actors and directors are obviously important (and they get well compensated), but writers are often viewed as expendable and I find that odd considering that the foundation for a good movie must be laid first by the writers.


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

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


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

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

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


Source.

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


Well just to put things into perspective based on that quote at $0.05 per DVD the writers are currently recieving $100K per 2 million DVD's sold. The actors are recieving $300K per 2 million DVD's sold at $0.15.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:37 am
by Fawst
I'll take that job :D I can reach 2 million people! I'll take my 100 grand on top of payment for writing!

GIMME!!!

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

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:49 am
by DinoDeLaurentiis
Bah!

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

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

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


And we see how well that turned out.....

Hollywood on Strike!

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:51 am
by bastard_robo
This is why DVD's are the greatest boon to Hollywood!

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:52 am
by stereosforgeeks
DinoDeLaurentiis wrote:Bah!

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

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


we all wanna the money, no?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:54 am
by DinoDeLaurentiis
stereosforgeeks wrote:we all wanna the money, no?


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

Hehehehe....

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:55 am
by Chilli
DinoDeLaurentiis wrote:
stereosforgee ks wrote:we all wanna the money, no?


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

Hehehehe....


Too easy.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 11:23 am
by stereosforgeeks
Chilli wrote:
DinoDeLaurentiis wrote:
stereosforgeeks wrote:we all wanna the money, no?


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

Hehehehe....


Too easy.


Dems fighting words.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 1:47 pm
by Chilli
stereosforgeeks wrote:
Chilli wrote:
DinoDeLaurentiis wrote:
stereosforgeeks wrote:we all wanna the money, no?


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

Hehehehe....


Too easy.


Dems fighting words.


Too soon.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:02 pm
by havocSchultz
So does this mean all us struggling writers now have a chance?!?!?!!?!?!



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

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

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:03 pm
by Chilli
havocSchultz wrote:So does this mean all us struggling writers now have a chance?!?!?!!?!?!



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

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


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

I never felt so unappreciated.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:05 pm
by ONeillSG1
havocSchultz wrote:So does this mean all us struggling writers now have a chance?!?!?!!?!?!



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

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


Amen.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:48 pm
by HollywoodBabylon
Well, writers have/are/ and will be always be underappreciated by Hollywood and anything that improves their lot has my support.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:59 pm
by Leckomaniac
havocSchultz wrote:So does this mean all us struggling writers now have a chance?!?!?!!?!?!



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

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


Finally...Havoc's time has arrived.

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

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:01 pm
by Chilli
Leckomaniac wrote:
havocSchultz wrote:So does this mean all us struggling writers now have a chance?!?!?!!?!?!



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

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


Finally...Havoc's time has arrived.

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


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

FOUUUUUUUUUUUR

At the top of my voice.

The moral of the story is that comic-book writing rocks.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:07 pm
by Pacino86845
Just in case you ever write a comicbook about a golfer... it's written "fore." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fore_%28golf%29

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:08 pm
by Leckomaniac
Pacino86845 wrote:Just in case you ever write a comicbook about a golfer... it's written "fore." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fore_%28golf%29


ZING!

Golf PWNT!

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:08 pm
by Chilli
Pacino86845 wrote:Just in case you ever write a comicbook about a golfer... it's written "fore." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fore_%28golf%29


HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

My bad. My memory is mediocre at the best of times.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:09 pm
by Pacino86845
I just want to be sure your research is as good as Stephen Sommers'...

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:10 pm
by Leckomaniac
Pacino86845 wrote:I just want to be sure your research is as good as Stephen Sommers'...


STEPHENSOMMERSRESEARCHESLIKEWHOAILASH!

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:11 pm
by Chilli
Pacino86845 wrote:I just want to be sure your research is as good as Stephen Sommers'...


You mean The Mummy wasn't real?

:P :P :P

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:18 pm
by havocSchultz
No...

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

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

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:20 pm
by Leckomaniac
havocSchultz wrote:No...

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


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






Wait...he did MONKEY BONES? Never mind. Fuck THAT guy.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:20 pm
by Chilli
havocSchultz wrote:No...

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


He was genuinely excellent in Scrubs S1/S3.

I hope this strike doesn't grate as much as the Postal Strike here in England. Those lousy stinking...

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:20 pm
by Pacino86845
Image

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:21 pm
by havocSchultz
Fried Gold wrote:Hasn't this happened a couple of times before.....and studios ended up getting novelists (including some famous ones) to write their scripts....and films actually got a little better for a while.....?


Yeah...

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

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:21 pm
by Leckomaniac
Pacino86845 wrote:Image


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

Truly...IPAMPILASH!

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:22 pm
by Chilli
Leckomaniac wrote:
Pacino86845 wrote:Image


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

Truly...IPAMPILASH!


When did Pacino become funny? :lol:

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:22 pm
by Pacino86845
Now we just have to hide this thread... *whistles innocently*

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:43 pm
by instant_karma
So, do the writers get $0.05 on every actual DVD sold, or just on the number that the studio lies about selling so they can screw people out of participation points?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 4:18 pm
by DennisMM
There have been a number of writers' strikes over the last 40 years. Sometimes they've been about on-screen credit but frequently about money and with good reason.

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

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

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

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

FG, some writers from other media have been involved during writers' strikes, but the results have been very mixed because they don't know how to write in screenplay or teleplay form.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 4:21 pm
by stereosforgeeks
havocSchultz wrote:
Fried Gold wrote:Hasn't this happened a couple of times before.....and studios ended up getting novelists (including some famous ones) to write their scripts....and films actually got a little better for a while.....?


Yeah...

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


Itd be a terrible day.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 5:13 pm
by wonkabar
"I was just thinking what an interesting concept it is to eliminate the writer from the artistic process. If we could just get rid of these actors and directors, maybe we've got something here."

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 5:15 pm
by DennisMM
We'll call it "Survivor"!

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 5:18 pm
by wonkabar
Or better yet, "Big-Brother"

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 5:22 pm
by DennisMM
Right! No DP on that, just a board operator cutting between camera feeds!

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 5:49 pm
by Evil Hobbit
Cartoonbrew ran an article a few weeks ago about the 1941 strike at the Disney Studios.

Image

Watch a rare video with footage of the strike, it's well designed strike posters and a pissed off Disney right here: http://www.cartoonbrew.com/classic/rare-color-film-of-1941-disney-strike

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:22 pm
by Hollywood_Bob
DennisMM wrote:Right! No DP on that, just a board operator cutting between camera feeds!


an what if we get some washed up D celebrity no one has heard of since 1985 to host/star? We won't even have to pay him/her cash we can just give them the free crap our advertising sponsers give us.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:22 pm
by Hollywood_Bob
wonkabar wrote:Or better yet, "Big-Brother"


I smell the need for a riot comming on...

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:24 pm
by wonkabar
Hollywood might be on strike, but Bob isn't

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:22 pm
by burlivesleftnut
If there's a strike, I am totally going to be a scab.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 11:04 pm
by Peven
thing is, i am only pulling for a minority of the writers to do better, since the majority churn out shit at a regular pace and are living a better life than i will ever see for it.