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WGA Strike

Posted: Sun, 4th Nov 2007, 8:08pm

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Evman

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Ok, so most of you have no doubt heard something about this by now.

Tomorrow, all writers in Hollywood are supposedly going to walk out on their jobs. They (understandably) want higher cuts of the DVD sales than they were previously getting, what with DVDs becoming ever more popular.

This isn't so much a big deal for films in the immediate future (we all know how long it takes to make a movie after the script is done, and production can continue on written scripts can go on for months to come), with writers for films like Bond 22 rushing to complete the scripts before the strike occurs.

The real problem will be with TV. Around December/January, if this strike continues, we could see almost all drama/comedy shows end for the season, as already written scripts are finally finished filming. Shows like Lost and 24, which got late starts due to their later season premieres might not even air at all this season. Talk shows like Conan, Jay Leno, John Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Dave Letterman, etc will go off the air immediately, as they are written daily. Animated Shows like the Simpsons/Family Guy would be in the best shape, as they are written WAY in advance due to the lengthy animation process.

If the strike lasts a while, it'll most likely lead to an influx of reality and game shows (like back in 2000), which I'm pretty sure no one wants.

This is definitely a problem for TV more than Films at the moment, and most of the bigger projects have been rushed into production before the strike anyway.

Either way, it's annoying, but I hope there's some conclusion reached soon.

http://tv.ign.com/articles/832/832307p1.html
http://tv.ign.com/articles/831/831805p1.html
http://tv.ign.com/articles/832/832458p1.html


So what does everyone think?






EDIT: 2/12/08





So it's official - The strike is finally over.

The WGA and AMPTP agreed to a tentative deal that lasts until May of 2011. The writers got most of what they wanted but the vote to return to work was near unanimous.

This means that many comedy shows could have episodes ready as soon as March, with dramas following in April/May for as many as 5 or 6 new episodes.

No idea what this means for late night Tv, but I assume that they could return as early as... tomorrow...

http://tv.ign.com/articles/851/851735p1.html

I'm just glad the writers got what they wanted and things will soon return to normal and this whole fiasco can be behind us.

Last edited Wed, 13th Feb 2008, 4:45am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Sun, 4th Nov 2007, 8:17pm

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Serpent

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I agree with everything you are worrying about. And what worries me is that the aren't really striking against one particular group like the MLB and NHL players have done in the past, etc. I want this to be resolved in their favor quickly because I need my daily dose of Daily Show.
Posted: Sun, 4th Nov 2007, 8:41pm

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Bryce007

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That it will be prime time to get your indie script picked up by a major studio...
Posted: Sun, 4th Nov 2007, 8:51pm

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pdrg

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Solution for you - outsource all the writing to India like all the tech support jobs of the past 5 years!

OK, only kidding, but since WGA only controls US writers, there may be some massive opportunities here for non-US ones to get established

And remember, all-out strikes are bad news for everyone - if it carries on for anything over a few weeks, the networks and studios will start hunting non-union labour (overseas/blacklegs/etc) and attempt to break the unions - and if they do this, then all US writers are in trouble and will lose their protected market.

Around 1984 (some of you will remember it I'm sure), the UK was held up by a year-long miners strike. As opposed to capitulate, the standoff lasted and lasted - and in the end, we now have NO mining industry left at all in the UK. OK, the worst that could happen is that starving jobbing writers in the US have to break the strike, but I can't imagine the studios giving up easily and giving them a chance to break the union like this could backfire badly.
Posted: Sun, 4th Nov 2007, 8:55pm

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Evman

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Problem is, if you're an indie or non-guild writer, and you start writing for the studios now, you've pissed off the WGA, and if they ever come back (they eventually will), then you'll have NO chance of ever writing anything again. The WGA would insure that.
Posted: Sun, 4th Nov 2007, 9:08pm

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Rockfilmers

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This is where independent film makers and animaters come to play, Lets show Hollywood what we got!
Posted: Sun, 4th Nov 2007, 10:41pm

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petet2

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Bryce007 wrote:

That it will be prime time to get your indie script picked up by a major studio...
Hmmm... that's not really the best way to show your support is it. More like strike breaking...
Posted: Mon, 5th Nov 2007, 2:18am

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Waser

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THERE AINT NOTHING WORSE DEN A SCAB


While a bunch of shows I consider to be living breathing enemies of mine are getting the shaft, allot of the shows and movies I'm looking forward to are getting the can.

Everything is balanced.
Posted: Mon, 5th Nov 2007, 2:38am

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Frosty G

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I read somewhere that 24 would be okay for some reason. I'm pretty sure this will be resolved quickly. The amount of money this takes away from California and jobs the State will intercede and help resolve this.
Posted: Wed, 7th Nov 2007, 1:51am

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CX3

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TV Show Updates
Posted: Wed, 7th Nov 2007, 2:52am

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ben3308

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It's funny, because of the strike, Fox announced for the past two weeks that this past Monday's 2-hour Prison Break episode (which could have very well been a season ender) was the season finale.

Honestly, like "in two weeks, see the explosive 2-hour season finale of Prison Break!"

Well I watched it yesterday, and after the two hours it goes, "Think the story is over? You're wrong! Tune in next week to see an all-new episode of Prison Break!"

Weird stuff happening. And Lost hasn't even begun yet? What's going on...
Posted: Wed, 7th Nov 2007, 2:59am

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Serpent

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I'm pretty sure the Daily Show and the Colbert Report are starting back up with the writers being payed out of their own pockets. I think IGN is wrong or that article isn't up-to-date.
Posted: Wed, 7th Nov 2007, 3:04am

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Evman

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No, I heard that John Stewart is paying his writers AND Colbert's writers out of his own pocket... I don't think that they're actually doing any new shows, it's just a way for Stewart to show his support of his and Colbert's writers. To help them get through, you know, not making any money.

(Both shows were reruns last night, I know that much, we'll see tonight... although I'm not nearly as big a Daily Show fan as I am a Colbert Report fan.)
Posted: Wed, 7th Nov 2007, 3:34am

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Atom

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And right when Heroes became watchable again, too.

Well, I can't say I miss or will miss LOST, as the writer's have already been pulling a shortage fast one on us all. Acting like starting a whole year after a season that itself started 2 months late AND had a multiple month hiatus- and then making this upcoming season, all strikes aside, only 16 episodes.

They can forget about having me watch the ads inbetween their show.
Posted: Wed, 7th Nov 2007, 4:57am

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Frosty G

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Wow, without 24. I don't know what I will do.
Posted: Wed, 7th Nov 2007, 5:41am

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Thrawn

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Frosty G wrote:

Wow, without 24. I don't know what I will do.
Go out and get a life.. just kidding wink
Posted: Wed, 7th Nov 2007, 12:53pm

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Frosty G

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Thrawn wrote:

Frosty G wrote:

Wow, without 24. I don't know what I will do.
Go out and get a life.. just kidding wink
*weeps quietly to himself*




God willing, this strike will be over in a week.
Posted: Wed, 7th Nov 2007, 1:03pm

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pdrg

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petet2 wrote:

Bryce007 wrote:

That it will be prime time to get your indie script picked up by a major studio...
Hmmm... that's not really the best way to show your support is it. More like strike breaking...
If a US manufacturing company had a strike, so people bought goods from China, would that constitute strike breaking?
How about if the farmers went on strike and so you started importing food?

It's a bit of a grey area. Indeed, if you look at it from a non-US perspective, it's the opening out of a protected market - and we all know there's nothing the US hates more than a protected market (if it isn't the protected one!)
Posted: Wed, 7th Nov 2007, 5:28pm

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fxmaniac

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what about heroes? will that be effects?
Posted: Wed, 7th Nov 2007, 5:54pm

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Waser

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I heard Heroes Origins is on hiatus, and they may end the current season early.
Posted: Wed, 7th Nov 2007, 6:36pm

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Frosty G

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I heard Heroes: Origins was cancelled because of falling ratings for Heroes.
Posted: Wed, 7th Nov 2007, 7:52pm

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fxmaniac

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i was really looking forward to them sad
Posted: Thu, 8th Nov 2007, 10:20pm

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Frozenpede

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Honestly they should all be grateful for having the jobs we all dream of. This tells me that they all feel too secure and need their egoes knocked down a peg. I say we let them write out a scene in which their protests are supressed and then we hire actors to beat them with billy clubs smile
Posted: Fri, 9th Nov 2007, 3:12am

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Evman

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Rating: +1

Oh no here we go.

You do realize that the majority of writers are middle class people? It's simply that the ones with the biggest voices are (naturally) the ones with bigger wages.

Writers don't have normal jobs, they go from job to job, with no guaranteed future. They NEED their residuals to at least earn some money to support their families while they are between jobs (because they are in between a LOT more often than most people would be, due to the nature of Hollywood).

It's easy to moan "oh they make enough money anyway", or "They should be lucky that they have those jobs", but in all honesty, they're what makes Hollywood run. You see how everything is shutting down because of this strike?

Take The Office as an example. The writers were asked by NBC to write and shoot 10 webisodes not too long ago. They did, taking time out of their schedules to write/produce them.

These webisodes were put on the internet, with ads in them, and NBC reaped all the benefits, while the writers and everyone who made those 10 shorts didn't get a single cent.

Doesn't matter what your job is, if you're working, you should get paid, and you should get paid fairly. End of story.
Posted: Fri, 9th Nov 2007, 3:25am

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Frosty G

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I'm assuming you watched their strike video, Evman. Now I agree that they do need to get paid residuals for internet viewing and dvds and all of that. The only thing I have a hard time swallowing with this whole strike is the fact that it basically means the crew is out of a job too so they are basicall sol, from what I understand.
Posted: Fri, 9th Nov 2007, 3:28am

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Evman

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From all I've heard (could be wrong), most crews are behind the writers on this one, as they also don't get kickbacks for any of this new media.
Posted: Fri, 9th Nov 2007, 4:48am

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CX3

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I was working on an MTV Cribs set today and got word (from one of the steady-cam operators on Heroes) that Heroes has stopped production all together on the series for the time being, out of respect for the writers.

They need to resolve this strike quick...
Posted: Fri, 9th Nov 2007, 3:32pm

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Frozenpede

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I understand that this is not a regular job, which is what makes them all the more lucky to even have it and if they are going to let it go then others should be allowed to take it. If they think they can just let go of their jobs and still have them there when they come back they should have another thing coming. I understand that it's not a job that creates rich and privilged but it IS a dream job that is hard to get into.
Posted: Fri, 9th Nov 2007, 8:13pm

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Evman

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And because it's a dream job and hard to get into, they should accept the unfair pay? This honestly makes no sense to me. They deserve the money, they live in a town where they're payed relatively little compared to directors/producers, and given very little share in the profits that wouldn't even exist at all without them.

If it's such a dream job, you should go out and write some screenplays and some TV scripts, and just TRY to sell them to the studios. They're afraid to work with any non-WGA writer, and even if you did somehow manage to get a few scripts off, the WGA will NOT be pleased with you, and they will guarantee you won't ever find a job again.

The system's a bit messed, but if it gets the writers their compensation, I don't care.

It baffles me how people wouldn't find this situation unfair. So your favorite shows might be taken off the air, and some movies you want to see might not come out... so what? Everyone is affected by it, and I'm sure that the writers would love to continue work, and allow their fans to continue to follow their stories, but as much as we might try to deny it, we live in a capitalist country, and simply working for nothing or working for an unfair wage just won't cut it.
Posted: Fri, 9th Nov 2007, 11:12pm

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Atom

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Evman wrote:

They're afraid to work with any non-WGA writer, and even if you did somehow manage to get a few scripts off, the WGA will NOT be pleased with you, and they will guarantee you won't ever find a job again.
I'm pretty sure you just explained for yourself why this is a problem. I know it's dominant in a lot of industries and something I guess I should get used to, but the monopolization and control unions have over industry always pisses me off- mostly because it dooms anyone not wanting to join their club.
Posted: Fri, 9th Nov 2007, 11:19pm

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CX3

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Atom wrote:

Evman wrote:

They're afraid to work with any non-WGA writer, and even if you did somehow manage to get a few scripts off, the WGA will NOT be pleased with you, and they will guarantee you won't ever find a job again.
I'm pretty sure you just explained for yourself why this is a problem. I know it's dominant in a lot of industries and something I guess I should get used to, but the monopolization and control unions have over industry always pisses me off- mostly because it dooms anyone not wanting to join their club.
Agreed.
Posted: Sat, 10th Nov 2007, 3:49am

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Evman

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Yes, funnily enough, 9/10, I'd agree with you Atom.

But in this case, I must support the writers, as the majority of the TV shows and movies I enjoy are written by WGA members.
Posted: Sat, 10th Nov 2007, 1:23pm

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pdrg

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Evman wrote:

But in this case, I must support the writers, as the majority of the TV shows and movies I enjoy are written by WGA members.
Just for a bit of controversy...

Would you still enjoy watching those shows if the writers were not in the WGA? Sorry, but that's a false argument. Not that I don't agree with you or your sentiment - there's some idiocy and some sense on both sides of the debate (protecting your market vs free trade, greed over integrity, etc), just that was a weak argument.
Posted: Sat, 10th Nov 2007, 5:56pm

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Evman

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pdrg wrote:



Just for a bit of controversy...

Would you still enjoy watching those shows if the writers were not in the WGA?
Yes, I would. The fact they are in the WGA makes no difference. Since they are in it, and they are striking, there's nothing I can do about it. Geez, you guys are tough.
Posted: Sat, 10th Nov 2007, 6:30pm

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fxmaniac

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so has it happend yet?
Posted: Sat, 10th Nov 2007, 6:31pm

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Fill

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Oh... My... God...

The Office is being cancelled?! No... Nooooooooooooo!!

Do the writers really deserve a raise, or are they just getting greedy? I really don't get why The Office is being cancelled, because three of the actors of the show are writers.

Thankfully South Park is still going on, considering Matt Stone and Trey Parker are the only ones that write it.
Posted: Sat, 10th Nov 2007, 7:47pm

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pdrg

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Evman wrote:

Geez, you guys are tough.
Haha - I'll argue the other way too - forming a good and valid argument is a skill to rehearse, it's sometimes very useful! As it is, I rather have sympathy for the writers and don't really believe they're treated at all fairly.

On the stage, in theatres, the writer's script is holy, nobody would dream of changing a single word, actors and directors are entirely reverent. In film/TV, the opposite is true - everyone adds their 2p.

Do they have to sign those contracts denying them the back-end cash? Yes and no - you don't have to sign any agreement you don't agree to, but could you blame the purchaser shopping around for another vendor in that case?

If you came to my shop, and I agreed to sell you a camera for a good price, but on the grounds that you'd give me another $1 for every tape you used in it, would that be illegal? No, it's just a bad deal, so as the buyer you'd go elsewhere, or at least ask around to see if someone would do you a better deal. The WGA are in effect price-fixing, which is a monopolistic act - the same as if every camera supplier took up my practice and charged the $1/tape levy too. Legally, that would be questionable (anti-competitive). You can see how it's not a cut-and-dried, good vs evil argument...
Posted: Sat, 10th Nov 2007, 8:48pm

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Serpent

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Fill wrote:

Oh... My... God...

The Office is being cancelled?! No... Nooooooooooooo!!

Do the writers really deserve a raise, or are they just getting greedy? I really don't get why The Office is being cancelled, because three of the actors of the show are writers.
That's really the point of the strike. The actors who write are probably part of the WGA or they are supporting their fellow writers/colleagues. They want the shows to go off the air so the network loses money and considers changing their policy.
Posted: Sat, 10th Nov 2007, 10:25pm

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Evman

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fxmaniac wrote:

so has it happend yet?
Yes, it's been going on for over a week now...

Late Night TV is already out and scripted shows will run out come December/January.

As for the Office, the writers who are also actors are part of the WGA... and to my knowledge, the SAG is also supporting the writers strike, perhaps planning their own in a while.

It's hard to complain about a specific show, cause mostly all shows are affected by this (24 isn't even airing at all now this season).
Posted: Sat, 10th Nov 2007, 10:48pm

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fxmaniac

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blimey surprised
Posted: Sat, 10th Nov 2007, 10:52pm

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Atom

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This is all some bulshevic, if you ask me.

Why? Because for as much money as the network may lose and as much money as the writers may gain, both the writers and network are all doing this at the cost of the viewer, and that's really what matters.

Forcing every show to basically go off-air wasn't the right move, it's a move of selfishness. Maybe it'll 'make a difference' or 'show their power/influence', but who really cares? (I mean, I want my writers to be compensated and all, but find some other way)

Because really, at the end of the day, it doesn't matter if you're out of watching any show, anyway. Unions like these make me sick. They flaunt their power and, well, unity to push things so forcefully, even the big bad networks never have a chance to do anything about it before everything is all out-of-hand like this.

As of now, I'm more on the network-side than anything. Maybe it's not how the world works today, but I'd like to think when you want more money and residuals you talk per-person, you don't strongarm through a private club. Maybe that's the point of unions to begin with, and if it is, I won't be joining one at any point (in my possible career) soon.
Posted: Sat, 10th Nov 2007, 11:04pm

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Evman

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Keep in mind that several very lengthy negotiation sessions were attempted before the strike happened. I think the networks should have just bowed to the union this time, would have saved everyone a lot of trouble.

I don't understand the "move of selfishness" argument. I still don't see why wanting fair pay is selfish. I still don't see why they should continue to write and not get fairly compensated for the medium that is a creation of THEIR minds.

After negotiations failed, there's nothing else really left but strike. What "other way" is there?

And to the writers credit, most burned the candle at both ends leading up to the strike, getting tons of work done to make sure that there was some semblance of ending or conclusion for their fans. You wouldn't see steel workers tripling production leading up to a strike, now would you?
Posted: Sat, 10th Nov 2007, 11:19pm

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Serpent

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And you have to remember, some of the smaller writers need the money. Not everyone is in the big-time position. A lot of these people are earning very little and they need that kind of money. Writing to them is their job, they should be fairly paid for it. They need to work their way up to get more money, but it's hard for a lot of them to live off the wages they are currently getting.

As a TV viewer, I agree, the strike sucks. But I am completely understanding.
Posted: Sun, 11th Nov 2007, 7:22am

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Atom

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Evman wrote:

I don't understand the "move of selfishness" argument. I still don't see why wanting fair pay is selfish.
No. They want higher pay, and there's a difference. I'm not saying that it isn't warranted, I'm just saying it's a ridiculous thing to put wanting more money at the cost of the viewer. You want more, you either work it out or leave or stay content with where you are. That's how business has always worked.

So writers work job-to-job, get paid script-to-script. That's how the business works. You should know that going in. The same is true for almost any hand trade or entertainment industry. You don't make enough money script-to-script because you're a low-level writer. Of course, you're a low-level writer. I hate people who say this, but: that's life. That's the way it works. Paycheck to paycheck with struggle until (hopefully) a big payoff for higher-up writing. Why do you think the income jumps so drastically from low to high? That's (at least in my mind) an assurance that you're getting the best writing and paying them the best for it.
I still don't see why they should continue to write and not get fairly compensated for the medium that is a creation of THEIR minds.
What makes you think compensation isn't fair? Sure, it's a creation of their own mind, same as the acting is a creation of the actor. It's all part of a team-effort, and by one link at the beginning of the chain stepping out, it dooms all the others. If I'm working on a production, who cares about paying writers more when they inadvertently (yet knowingly) put the rest of the workers on stand-still. What's that DP supposed to shoot now? How is he/she supposed to make money? Should the network pay them to sit and wait. Surely they can't all be screwed by just the one position of the writer, can they? And if the network does pay everyone else, is that really fair to them to pay someone not working who, really, can't work?

And this is how a strike works, yes, I know. But I hate it. Watch us turn everything to shitt for you guys and you'll break.

After negotiations failed, there's nothing else really left but strike. What "other way" is there?
You know, I've read a lot of history. A lot. And the one thing that always gets me is striking. It's something I've only really agreed with throughout history (American and beyond) when it dangerously infringes on the rights or safety of its workers. This is neither. What do you do? You find another job or stay where you're at. You don't fall back on some club to help you ruin the industry just to get yourself some more money. People aren't that unreasonable. I doubt that pay was that bad for the writers in television up until this point that they couldn't survive. Obviously not, as TV has flourished for at least a good 50 years.

You wouldn't see steel workers tripling production leading up to a strike, now would you?
It's a different argument, completely. Writers essentially control the creativity and direction of all productions. But that doesn't mean they are god. Striking is screwing everyone else over. The actors, the producers, the networks, the viewers. Some actors may vow support to the writers, but that doesn't mean it isn't negatively affecting everyone else.

It's selfishness. If (funny enough) people in the other parts of the television industry weren't so compliant and understanding (actors, DPs, booms, PAs, sound, everyone else basically) you'd see that. Like I've said before, I'm all for helping out the writers, but don't lie to yourself and say everyone is fine and it's warranted.

Ugh. Unions. Need I repeat my previous words? I'm sorry man, I've been tying my mind around this whole thing for the past few days and have kind of switched my views the more I understand about it and think about how it is affecting everyone.
Posted: Sun, 11th Nov 2007, 4:46pm

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Evman

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I believe the entire idea of the strike is to destroy the industry, to prove their power. Producers take advantage of writers all the time, saying that they're "only" writers, and they're not that important. This is their chance to show that they are.

So... "you either work it out or leave or stay content with where you are", eh? They've already tried to work it out (negotiations)and its ridiculous for them to sit back and be taken advantage of. The whole "deal with it" is just lame. If you're not being treated in a way you think is fair, you don't just accept it, then we would never have had any progress and would still be in the dark ages. So out of those options you listed, that leaves LEAVE. So basically you just said an option was leaving, which is what they... just... did... so I don't really see where you're coming from.

Without writers, there would be NO films, and the only shows on TV would be reality and game shows. Come on now, you can't say that they are just as or of less importance than a production assistant.

I still can't possibly understand how it is "selfish" if you refuse to endure what you believe is unfair. Just because some fanboys might be pissed that Heroes or 24 isn't on, doesn't mean that writers should simply "deal with it". This strike, if successful will also aid the looming DGA and SAG strikes (yes, gasp, the writers aren't the only "evil" unions here!), and then these people that are "out of work now" will leave the writers out of work in a while.

I'll just go back to the example from The Office I said a while ago... How would you feel if you spent time writing those 10 shorts, then oodles of money was made on them through ads, but you never saw a cent of this? Keep in mind also, that the directors of those, the actors, the gaffers, all the way down to the PAs who worked on those shorts never saw a single cent of that ad money either... The writer's plight is an analogue for all of the industry at this moment, so it's understandable why so many people are backing them.
Posted: Sun, 11th Nov 2007, 6:20pm

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Bflat5

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I haven't paid much attention to it until shows started canceling. I seem to remember reading that it's based on the writers wanting a percentage of DVD sales.

If that is the case I'm gonna have to go ahead and disagree with the strike. They are paid to write a script and once it's written and they're paid they're done.

What's next? No more Microsoft products or updates because the coders feel they should receive royalties from everyone that makes money using their programs?

But on the other hand if they're making only a few grand for the writing and the studios are making millions hand over fist, which they are, then I'd have say that's unfair.

Maybe I'm way off, since I admit to not paying close attention to it.
Posted: Sun, 11th Nov 2007, 6:40pm

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pdrg

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Just for information, the WGA rate for a feature script is about $15k (plus some points deal). Most writers get this, then the occasional one or other will get more.
Posted: Sun, 11th Nov 2007, 8:29pm

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ben3308

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Evman wrote:

Just because some fanboys might be pissed that Heroes or 24 isn't on, doesn't mean that writers should simply "deal with it".
Not to sound harsh here, but correct me if I'm wrong: isn't the point of the entertainment industry, more than any other venue, to satisfy the viewer?

Yeah, I think it is.

So by cutting the shows at the viewers' expense you're effectively shattering the whole reason we even have scripted entertainment. In effect, striking is actually only hurting the potential customers you'd be gaining DVD/advertising dollars from.

And then, morally speaking, isn't that a little wrong; to harm the viewer you're gaining money from, only in attempts to reap 'fair' profits?

'Fair', but in what context? For the sake of limiting the viewer, who is buying the damn DVDs in the first place?

Yeah, I thought so.
Posted: Sun, 11th Nov 2007, 8:47pm

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Evman

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Rating: +1

ben3308 wrote:

Evman wrote:

Just because some fanboys might be pissed that Heroes or 24 isn't on, doesn't mean that writers should simply "deal with it".
And then, morally speaking, isn't that a little wrong; to harm the viewer you're gaining money from, only in attempts to reap 'fair' profits?
That's a bit of a stretch dude, and you know it. As viewers, we should respect the creators of that material. Rational human beings would understand the writer's plight, sympathize with them, and accept a few less hours in front of the idiot box every week for as long as is necessary to get the writers that entertain us every week their fair share. If anything, it'd be greedy of the viewers to bitch and moan about how the writers should just sit back and allow themselves to be taken advantage of *cough* for the entertainment of the masses. Rome fell for a reason man, razz .

I for one, wouldn't accept a wage that I thought was unfair, and I guarantee you wouldn't either (don't for a second try to deny that), so don't get on the writer's cases for a natural behavior.
Posted: Sun, 11th Nov 2007, 8:48pm

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Fill

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I'm actually confused on how the writers think they're going to get the money they want:

Script > Production > Post-Production > Airing > AdSpace > $$$

That's how a basic TV show works, right? So, if the TV shows aren't being aired, and no adspace is being made, the networks are in fact losing money. The money their losing is the same money that the writers want more of. How exactly do they expect to get it? Is there a vault of money hidden in the H of the Hollywood sign, in which all the large network's presidents have a small fragment of the key to? Or am I missing something?
Posted: Sun, 11th Nov 2007, 8:51pm

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Evman

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Fill wrote:

I'm actually confused on how the writers think they're going to get the money they want:

Script > Production > Post-Production > Airing > AdSpace > $$$

That's how a basic TV show works, right? So, if the TV shows aren't being aired, and no adspace is being made, the networks are in fact losing money. The money their losing is the same money that the writers want more of. How exactly do they expect to get it? Is there a vault of money hidden in the H of the Hollywood sign, in which all the large network's presidents have a small fragment of the key to? Or am I missing something?
Have you ever watched TV shows on the internet? In each commercial break, there are 30-60 second ad breaks, which the studios sell out to sponsors, just like normal commercials, and you can't skip the ads either. Thats the chunk of money they want. (DVDs are pretty self explanatory).
Posted: Mon, 12th Nov 2007, 2:51am

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Atom

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The thing to remember in all of this, and the reason I try and write most of the stuff we do myself, is that writers really are just that. They aren't the end-all, they aren't the sole creators of a work. No, it's a team thing. And whenever someone treats their role like it's the glue to everything and no one else's is, it pisses me off.

So the networks make millions and the writers make thousands. And you're saying this is all off of their ideas, right? That network is holding it all together, not the writers. The network is getting the producers and directors and actors, not the writers. The writers are making the stories.

I've had my own share of people simply get up and demand something out of me or else they will stop working on a movie we're all doing. They jeopardize the work of everyone else because they believe without them the show can't go on, and they can bargain that. Well, yes, they can, but that doesn't make it right- and therefore I don't support them. It's really, seriously happened to me and I've groveled to keep them and done work for it. But you know what? I shouldn't have. I should've done what the networks are doing and letting them go. Why should anyone want to or have to work with someone who believes themselves the only important part of a production? And don't tell me they don't. The writers wouldn't be directly trying to cripple the industry if they didn't think that.

I'm an editor, if I got up and said the production would stop without me editing it, that would be true too. This is the entertainment business. Everyone is mutually dependent on eachother to complete stuff. And that's good, as it mutually assures everyone that everyone else can't jeopardize their situation.

And then the writers go do this. Come on, now.
Posted: Mon, 12th Nov 2007, 3:01am

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Evman

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Atom wrote:

No, it's a team thing.
Yes, this is why the writer's and network executive's wages are the same...

Don't go saying that and THEN go saying that the networks are more powerful... It's obviously not a team thing at all then.
Posted: Mon, 12th Nov 2007, 3:17am

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Atom

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Evman wrote:

Atom wrote:

No, it's a team thing.
Yes, this is why the writer's and network executive's wages are the same...

Don't go saying that and THEN go saying that the networks are more powerful... It's obviously not a team thing at all then.
You obviously don't get it, then. The networks all pay the writers, and the actors, and the pas, and the directors, and everyone else in-between. They get paid a considerable amount more because they're covering costs for everything.

It's not hypocrisy, it's common sense. The producers aren't making millions in profit, they're making millions to make more shows and more millions and pay everybody. I'm not saying they don't earn a pretty penny, but as with any investment that requires faith, they are paid in kind for a reason. The writer gets paid no matter what, not necessarily the producer. If a show tanks the producer still has to pay everyone. I'm not trying to sympathize or pull a turnaround for the network, but as a producer also myself, and dealing with money and lots of work, I can understand the kind of money they make and why. The job isn't harder, but it requires much more actual money invested into it that has no real guarantee of returning, and that's why they make more in the end. Everyone gets paid, everyone is needed to make the whole thing work as one. People get paid different amounts and that's life. But that network money? It's not all pretty houses and fancy cars, it's paying wages itself.

Like I said, what makes you think it's profit?
Posted: Mon, 12th Nov 2007, 2:21pm

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pdrg

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Maybe we could turn this inside out to test the arguments...

What is a FAIR percentage for the writers to be paid? They say that what they get now is unfair (which is totally subjective), so to increase their percentage, and as (by definition) there are only 100%, where do we fund that % change from? Someone else has to lose %age for them to get it, so who should that be?

Increasing the writers %age (right or wrong) will cause the other departments (DoP's, editors, whatever) to want a bigger slice too - and we get an arms escalation (like the one that bankrupted the entire British mining industry in the Eighties). Rightly or wrongly, if the writers get a bigger %age, then the editors campaign and get a little bit more too, then the DoP's (all hypothetical extrapolation!), eventually the % of the pie for the investors shrinks. If by offering a lower % to the investors, the investors decide the risk is no longer worth it (so so so much money gets burned on shows which are never aired - it's a massive risk to develop a show!), well then what? Repeats and tired formats like Big Brother will keep on going rather than any innovation in the sector.
Posted: Mon, 12th Nov 2007, 2:47pm

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Simon K Jones

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What both the WGA and the networks seem to have completely overlooked is that the entertainment world is very, very different now to how it was back in the late 80s, when the WGA last did a major strike.

Back in the 80s, with TV/film writers on strike...that was it. Game over for entertainment viewers - there weren't really any other comparable options to move to. So it was in everybody's interests to resolve matters and get back on the air.

What about now? We have the Internet, with all the various entertainment forms that brings - including many that are similar to TV/film. We have gaming, which is now reaching a new level of audio-visual fidelity as well as storytelling ambition. We also have recent and older TV shows available to a vast degree on DVD - this wasn't the case in the 80s, when VHS was the main consumer format and the range was far more limited.

So what does this strike mean for viewers? Well, clearly it's annoying that they can't get their latest shows. But what are people going to do? They're going to turn towards the Internet, to DVD, to gaming.

In other words, this strike is likely to backfire hugely on the entire television and film industry. This could be the big leg-up that Internet broadcasting has been waiting for. It probably won't be immediately obvious, but look back in 10-20 years time, I imagine 2007-8 will be seen as a pretty major turning point in the way entertainment functions.

Lost's Damon Lindelof has an interesting take on the subject:

http://www.slashfilm.com/2007/11/11/damon-lindelof-on-the-writers-strike/


As for the debate in this topic...I fall somewhere in the middle. On the one hand, I strongly dislike the form that most unions have taken in the last half-century.

The point of a union should be to protect its members, when nobody else will. This is primarily the case when workers don't have a choice to do anything else - maybe they live in an area where there ARE no other jobs.

This obviously was a much larger problem 70+ years ago, when public and private transport was very limited: people often wouldn't leave their home towns, ever. In a lot of cases moving away simply wasn't an option. Therefore they had to take whatever job was going in the area - which often would be focused on a single industry. In that circumstance, the need for a union is clear.

These days, I'm not so sure. For most people in the US and UK, transport is easy. You can move across the entire country without any difficulty, relocate yourself and pick and choose jobs to a certain degree. There's a vast choice of job these days, and there's no real need to stay in a particular job if you don't want to. Nobody is forcing you to do that particular job.

The recent UK postal strike really pissed me off, for example. It's a vital service, and the strike caused lots of problems. And in that case...I can't help but think that disgruntled postal workers should simply have gone and worked elsewhere. There's no reason for them to remain in a post office job if they don't like it. So rather than turn the entire country's economy upside-down and put lots of small mail order companies out of business or into the red, why not just...leave?

On the other hand, I'm a writer. I love to write. And as a writer, you don't really have a choice: you just HAVE to write. It's not like you can easily just go and get another job. However, is this the fault of the network...or of the union itself? Having put a stranglehold on the market, the WGA forces writers to go down a particular route, rather than letting the market dictate its own behaviour.

I dislike the WGA and the networks. And, as I said above, I think all this strike is really going to do is remove power from both of them.
Posted: Mon, 12th Nov 2007, 8:03pm

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petet2

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Tarn wrote:

The point of a union should be to protect its members, when nobody else will. This is primarily the case when workers don't have a choice to do anything else - maybe they live in an area where there ARE no other jobs.

This obviously was a much larger problem 70+ years ago, when public and private transport was very limited: people often wouldn't leave their home towns, ever. In a lot of cases moving away simply wasn't an option. Therefore they had to take whatever job was going in the area - which often would be focused on a single industry. In that circumstance, the need for a union is clear.

These days, I'm not so sure. For most people in the US and UK, transport is easy. You can move across the entire country without any difficulty, relocate yourself and pick and choose jobs to a certain degree. There's a vast choice of job these days, and there's no real need to stay in a particular job if you don't want to. Nobody is forcing you to do that particular job.

The recent UK postal strike really pissed me off, for example. It's a vital service, and the strike caused lots of problems. And in that case...I can't help but think that disgruntled postal workers should simply have gone and worked elsewhere. There's no reason for them to remain in a post office job if they don't like it. So rather than turn the entire country's economy upside-down and put lots of small mail order companies out of business or into the red, why not just...leave?
My wife and I run a small mail order business and we had a lot of problems caused by the postal strike (delayed parcels, missing parcels) but I can't support a view that says "Your employer can treat you like cr*p and you either put up or get another job". The UK and European governemnts have gone a long way to protect employees from unscrupulous employers and to dismiss decades of struggle is something I can't let go by without comment.

Ultimately the only option to gain concessions from your employer, once negotiation fails, is to withdraw your labour. Yes the WGA strike hurts the networks by potentially moving viewers to the internet, that's the point. If a strike didn't hurt your employer then it wouldn't be very effective.

I guess a lot of people on this site are young which is why they are more bothered about missing something as shallow as a tv series (and I think Heroes is one of the greatest TVs shows ever but it's still unimportant in the grand scheme of things) rather than employees rights.

PDRG - don't get me started on the miners' strike. Your explanation of it and its negative effects are one viewpoint which I would say history does not support. Margaret Thatcher (who has done more to destroy society in the UK than anyone else) wanted to crush the unions and deliberately set out to take on the miners and exacerbate the situation and in doing so destroyed a mining industry that could have had a profitable future.
Posted: Mon, 12th Nov 2007, 8:06pm

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Atom

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The Lost co-creator managed to make writers sound like whiney know-it-alls with little support for their argument. What a trip. Normally I find the actual writers to be interesting, but this guy (even though he claims he isn't) sounds flat-out greedy and melodramatic.

Take this quote for example
My weekly salary is considerably more than the small percentage of Internet gains we are hoping to make in this negotiation and if I’m on the picket line for just three months, I will never recoup those losses, no matter what deal gets made. I am willing to hold firm for considerably longer than three months because this is a fight for the livelihoods of a future generation of writers
.

This is a fight for the "livelihoods of a future generation of writers"? Come on, now. That's a stretch. He acts as if 'not working' wasn't completely and utterly his own decision. You want to argue the progression of technology and its effect on television, do so without striking. Progress in technology both positively and negatively affects every market and industry. You can't try and strike yourself to that kind of job security. It wouldn't be fair to anyone.

Tarn, I mostly agree with you, as with pdrg. (the same point I was going to get at with the other fields in entertainment)
Posted: Mon, 12th Nov 2007, 8:23pm

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Simon K Jones

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petet2 wrote:

My wife and I run a small mail order business and we had a lot of problems caused by the postal strike (delayed parcels, missing parcels) but I can't support a view that says "Your employer can treat you like cr*p and you either put up or get another job". The UK and European governemnts have gone a long way to protect employees from unscrupulous employers and to dismiss decades of struggle is something I can't let go by without comment.
Protecting employees is vital, I agree. This is particularly the case with employees that have limited options, or who are at particular risk of being exploited (foreign workers, young workers, manual labourers that have actual physical dangers etc etc).

The point where I get a little unsure is when a group of workers are looking to cripple a company/industry to improve it, when there's really no reason to actually stay in the first place. Some of the salaries I heard the postal office workers complaining about seemed very reasonable to me, given the jobs that were being discussed.

But I don't know the intricacies of either strike action, really, so I'm not speaking from a particularly secure position. I'm all for workers' rights, just not without limit.

My general dislike for unions comes from the repeated mis-use of them I've seen - primarily in the entertainment industries, interestingly - whereby the unions seem to be actively harming not only their members, but the 'art form' they're meant to be tied to. Rodriguez' problem with the DGA over Frank Miller co-directing Sin City, for example, or Lucas being forced to leave the union simply because he refused to put cast and crew credits at the front of Empire Strikes Back.

Ultimately the only option to gain concessions from your employer, once negotiation fails, is to withdraw your labour.
I'm generally not very good at compromise, which is probably the reason for my stance. If I don't like something...I'll simply leave, completely. I won't strike (or the equivalent), or try to 'reach an agreement': most of the time I'll simply end it and move on. Life's too short to spend all of it in negotiations. smile

I simply don't really see the attraction of staying in a company/industry which clearly has no regard for you. This is particularly the case in non-vocational industries, such as the post office. I mean, really, why bother staying if it's so bad? With the WGA strike it's a bit different because, as I mentioned in my earlier post, writers simply have to write - it's what they are, not just what they do.

I don't actually have a problem with the WGA strike. In general I very much agree with their position. My problem is with both sides being so short-sighted and not realising that this is a definite case of "cutting one's nose off to spite one's face".

Yes the WGA strike hurts the networks by potentially moving viewers to the internet, that's the point. If a strike didn't hurt your employer then it wouldn't be very effective.
Yes, but it only really works if the employer still maintains its general position, otherwise you're fighting a losing battle even if you win. In the 80s TV and film were rock solid and established, with no real competition. Things are very different now, and I'm not sure they've quite realised the potential for the public to shift to new forms - even it if takes a decade, this could be the moment that starts the change.

I also don't really see that as a problem, as I think television is a fairly awful system that is utterly broken with regard to the creative process. It's a miracle when stuff like Lost, Heroes, The Office, Battlestar Galactica etc get made.

It's just a shame that the industry can't migrate gracefully into the future, rather than kicking and screaming. You'd think they'd have learnt from the music industry, but I guess not...

I guess a lot of people on this site are young which is why they are more bothered about missing something as shallow as a tv series (and I think Heroes is one of the greatest TVs shows ever but it's still unimportant in the grand scheme of things) rather than employees rights.
I think my youth (well, not compared to Evman, Atom et al...they all make me feel like an old bugger!) is a factor, although not for the reason you mention there.

I'm still in a position whereby I can shift career with relative ease. As you get older it gets far harder to reinvent your life position.


On another note, here's another interesting take on the subject from another established Hollywood writer, J. Michael Straczynski:

http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-17690

(for those who don't recognise the name, he was responsible for writing one of the best TV shows of the 90s, Babylon 5, some of the best comics of the 21st century and Clint Eastwood's upcoming film The Changeling)
Posted: Mon, 12th Nov 2007, 8:35pm

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CX3

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Atom wrote:

The thing to remember in all of this, and the reason I try and write most of the stuff we do myself, is that writers really are just that. They aren't the end-all, they aren't the sole creators of a work. No, it's a team thing. And whenever someone treats their role like it's the glue to everything and no one else's is, it pisses me off.

So the networks make millions and the writers make thousands. And you're saying this is all off of their ideas, right? That network is holding it all together, not the writers. The network is getting the producers and directors and actors, not the writers. The writers are making the stories.

I've had my own share of people simply get up and demand something out of me or else they will stop working on a movie we're all doing. They jeopardize the work of everyone else because they believe without them the show can't go on, and they can bargain that. Well, yes, they can, but that doesn't make it right- and therefore I don't support them. It's really, seriously happened to me and I've groveled to keep them and done work for it. But you know what? I shouldn't have. I should've done what the networks are doing and letting them go. Why should anyone want to or have to work with someone who believes themselves the only important part of a production? And don't tell me they don't. The writers wouldn't be directly trying to cripple the industry if they didn't think that.

I'm an editor, if I got up and said the production would stop without me editing it, that would be true too. This is the entertainment business. Everyone is mutually dependent on eachother to complete stuff. And that's good, as it mutually assures everyone that everyone else can't jeopardize their situation.

And then the writers go do this. Come on, now.
Okay, Atom, answer me this:

Youre working on a project and honestly you are the main reason the project is doing so well. But you aren't getting close to the pay that you deserve. Living off paycheck to paycheck. You try negotiating but it doesn't work. Now are you going to quit? Or do you keep suffering just to please millions of people who watch you project?

Give me a break, you know good and damn well you would quit ha.

O and I love how you said something a long the lines of "Writers act like shows can't go on with out them confused ... And they can't BUT THAT DOESN'T MAKE IT RIGHT!" lol, they deserve their pay for their work.

You know what makes me mad tho?? How slavery ended. I mean, why would all those black people want to quit that??!! Sure they aren't getting paid worth a damn but don't they realize they hurt a lot of people and industries by not working? Selfish Negro's... smile

Last edited Mon, 12th Nov 2007, 9:32pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Mon, 12th Nov 2007, 8:41pm

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petet2

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Tarn wrote:


I guess a lot of people on this site are young which is why they are more bothered about missing something as shallow as a tv series (and I think Heroes is one of the greatest TVs shows ever but it's still unimportant in the grand scheme of things) rather than employees rights.
I think my youth (well, not compared to Evman, Atom et al...they all make me feel like an old bugger!) is a factor, although not for the reason you mention there.
Sorry but I actually wasn't meaning you with the "young" reference smile I'm guessing you are in your (mid?) twenties at least and also have the benefit of a good (UK) education and experience from running a successful business. I was aiming that comment (and it was meant to be observational rather than critical) at the teenagers in the community.
Posted: Mon, 12th Nov 2007, 8:56pm

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Evman

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petet2 wrote:

Tarn wrote:


I guess a lot of people on this site are young which is why they are more bothered about missing something as shallow as a tv series (and I think Heroes is one of the greatest TVs shows ever but it's still unimportant in the grand scheme of things) rather than employees rights.
I think my youth (well, not compared to Evman, Atom et al...they all make me feel like an old bugger!) is a factor, although not for the reason you mention there.
Sorry but I actually wasn't meaning you with the "young" reference smile I'm guessing you are in your (mid?) twenties at least and also have the benefit of a good (UK) education and experience from running a successful business. I was aiming that comment (and it was meant to be observational rather than critical) at the teenagers in the community.
Petet2, I don't think many "young people" are as pissed about missing shows as you claim. I for one, don't like it, but can certainly endure it, as I've said before.

I'd also like to reiterate - I agree that unions are not run well now-a-days, and I think they're monopolizing and too powerful, but I have to support the writers on this one, cause I feel for them.
Posted: Mon, 12th Nov 2007, 9:15pm

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pdrg

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petet2 wrote:

PDRG - don't get me started on the miners' strike. Your explanation of it and its negative effects are one viewpoint which I would say history does not support. Margaret Thatcher (who has done more to destroy society in the UK than anyone else) wanted to crush the unions and deliberately set out to take on the miners and exacerbate the situation and in doing so destroyed a mining industry that could have had a profitable future.
Yeah, I know it's not as black and white as I characterised above, I was trying to draw the analogy for (as you say) the many younger viewers here that striking against a totalitarian regime can go very badly belly-up, it paints both sides into opposing corners. I stood outside Parliament Square 'Maggie Maggie Maggie, Out! Out! Out!' in my time, the miners were provoked true enough, and were deliberately targeted to break the power of the unions in the UK. Conversely, taxes were subsidising every sack of coal thanks to several of the pits being unprofitable, (especially paying high union rates, I'm sorry to say).

But I'm not anti-union at all, their purpose in history has been absolutely essential to create the moderately decent society we have today, and indeed I'm very happy to pay BECTU rates and deal with Equity talent (although Equity is toothless, BECTU still have some sway, and I'm pleased that they do).

End of tirade, apologies all wink
Posted: Mon, 12th Nov 2007, 11:24pm

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Atom

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Oh, Chris, you amuse me. If you're going to attack my argument, at least provide a counter.

CX3 wrote:

Okay, Atom, answer me this:

Youre working on a project and honestly you are the main reason the project is doing so well....
I think you just exactly explained my negative feelings. The writing isn't the main reason for anything, it's always a culmination. Without the score or editing or cinematography it has, Heroes would really be absolutely nothing. And with such lacking writing lately in the series, I'm surprised the writers are haughty enough to think they are the main reason for the positives. That's damn not fair to anyone else's efforts in the production, and it pisses me off when people like you say this. Really, it's damned stupid and conceited. (Which seems to be an increasingly favorable thought) Look at all of the lackluster Heroes episodes: All solid everything except for the writing. One part fails, and it all fails.

But you aren't getting close to the pay that you deserve.
On who's terms? Certainly deserved pay is relative.

Living off paycheck to paycheck. You try negotiating but it doesn't work.
Yes, you live off paycheck to paycheck, and you act like that's something severely bad or only for, I don't know, minimum wage. But that's how the entertainment industry is, and it makes sense. And that's not mentioning you know very full and well going into it that it's a paycheck to paycheck business.

Or do you keep suffering just to please millions of people who watch you project?
They aren't all suffering. Come on, now. Suffering is making minimum wage, which I doubt they are. They aren't on welfare, they aren't impoverished, writing is just a paycheck-to-paycheck job, and really only should be. Same with acting, same with almost any performing or visual art in the entertainment industry.

O and I love how you said something a long the lines of "Writers act like shows can't go on with out them confused ... And they can't BUT THAT DOESN'T MAKE IT RIGHT!" lol, they deserve their pay for their work.
They get paid for their work. They get paid when it shows, they get paid to write it. People act like they are just being saint volunteers right now, working for nothing. Jesus. Lol? Shows can't go on when any part of a production leaves/strikes. Look at the stagehands on Broadway. They're stagehands. It doesn't make it right, even if it's a possible outcome. I don't see what's wrong with saying that.

You know what makes me mad tho?? How slavery ended. I mean, why would all those black people want to quit that??!! Sure they aren't getting paid worth a damn but don't they realize they hurt a lot of people and industries by not working? Selfish Negro's... smile
Grossly inappropriate and unwarranted, not to mention completely different, situation. But you really invalidated your argument long before that.
Posted: Tue, 13th Nov 2007, 9:16am

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Simon K Jones

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Atom wrote:

They aren't on welfare, they aren't impoverished, writing is just a paycheck-to-paycheck job, and really only should be. Same with acting
I don't think you really know what you're talking about here, Atom. The vast majority of writers cannot make a living at being a writer. They have to have other jobs in order to survive. So in that regard, most writers are well below the minimum wage, when looked at as a yearly wage.

All this talk of Heroes and Lost writers is really quite irrelevant: this strike isn't about them, it's about the thousands of writers that aren't working regularly on big shows, who maybe only get a couple of jobs a year and have to work tables in order to pay their rent.

Same goes for actors. The vast majority of actors have an incredibly difficult time supporting their chosen profession. This is even more true for stage actors.
Posted: Tue, 13th Nov 2007, 7:37pm

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Atom

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Tarn wrote:

it's about the thousands of writers that aren't working regularly on big shows, who maybe only get a couple of jobs a year and have to work tables in order to pay their rent.
Same goes for actors. The vast majority of actors have an incredibly difficult time supporting their chosen profession. This is even more true for stage actors.
I said that wrong, you're right, but you're also highlighting my point: it's their chosen profession. It works paycheck-to-paycheck. The same as a firefighter might get inujured on-duty, writers make money by what they create short-term and move on. It's that kind of business, and they/I know what they're getting into.

It's largely a reason I've decided to somewhat abandon writing as a career. It sucks that that's the way it is, but that's the way it is. And it's not the network's fault. Writing/acting/entertainment is a by-the-gig business and that's all it really can be.

I agree, it's even moreso bad for actors (especially stage actors), but in the same regard they knew what they were getting into.
Posted: Tue, 13th Nov 2007, 9:52pm

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CX3

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Atom wrote:

Oh, Chris, you amuse me. If you're going to attack my argument, at least provide a counter.

CX3 wrote:

Okay, Atom, answer me this:

Youre working on a project and honestly you are the main reason the project is doing so well....
I think you just exactly explained my negative feelings. The writing isn't the main reason for anything, it's always a culmination. Without the score or editing or cinematography it has, Heroes would really be absolutely nothing. And with such lacking writing lately in the series, I'm surprised the writers are haughty enough to think they are the main reason for the positives. That's damn not fair to anyone else's efforts in the production, and it pisses me off when people like you say this. Really, it's damned stupid and conceited. (Which seems to be an increasingly favorable thought) Look at all of the lackluster Heroes episodes: All solid everything except for the writing. One part fails, and it all fails.

But you aren't getting close to the pay that you deserve.
On who's terms? Certainly deserved pay is relative.

Living off paycheck to paycheck. You try negotiating but it doesn't work.
Yes, you live off paycheck to paycheck, and you act like that's something severely bad or only for, I don't know, minimum wage. But that's how the entertainment industry is, and it makes sense. And that's not mentioning you know very full and well going into it that it's a paycheck to paycheck business.

Or do you keep suffering just to please millions of people who watch you project?
They aren't all suffering. Come on, now. Suffering is making minimum wage, which I doubt they are. They aren't on welfare, they aren't impoverished, writing is just a paycheck-to-paycheck job, and really only should be. Same with acting, same with almost any performing or visual art in the entertainment industry.

O and I love how you said something a long the lines of "Writers act like shows can't go on with out them confused ... And they can't BUT THAT DOESN'T MAKE IT RIGHT!" lol, they deserve their pay for their work.
They get paid for their work. They get paid when it shows, they get paid to write it. People act like they are just being saint volunteers right now, working for nothing. Jesus. Lol? Shows can't go on when any part of a production leaves/strikes. Look at the stagehands on Broadway. They're stagehands. It doesn't make it right, even if it's a possible outcome. I don't see what's wrong with saying that.

You know what makes me mad tho?? How slavery ended. I mean, why would all those black people want to quit that??!! Sure they aren't getting paid worth a damn but don't they realize they hurt a lot of people and industries by not working? Selfish Negro's... smile
Grossly inappropriate and unwarranted, not to mention completely different, situation. But you really invalidated your argument long before that.
Atom, what you're failing to understand (which really isn't you fault) is the "real world". You are still in this filmmaking life where you live with your parents and make movies for fun (and for your future). I take it you don't have to worry about paying rent, mortgage, health insurance, dental, electricity, water, cable and internet ect... These people are making movies to make a LIVING. It's not "Oh, I make movies for fun and the experience, it's not about the money." Maybe thats the case for highschool and some college students but after you graduate (for most) you are on your own. Not everyone can fall back on mom and dad (and I'm not at all saying you will be, this isn't straight directed at you). These writers have, what we call, "bills" and need them to be paid.

For people to compare their loss of "I can't get my 3hr weekly fix of TV" to the money issues most writers have to endure is ridiculous to me. I think its completely selfish. Yeah, I'm gonna miss watching my favorite TV series but I'm not going to sit around, cry and complain about it. If the people that are writing the material that I like, aren't getting close to what they deserve and having to struggle month to month just in order for me to be pleased one or two hrs a week, I'll be damned if I complain and keep complaining.

And the "They know what they're getting into" argument is ridiculously weak. By that rationale, a LOT of things/jobs/laws would not have changed over time. Their profession has an already set income so that means they aren't allowed to argue for more, especially when they are a CRUCIAL part of production and deserve more? I think that's bs and apparently, they do as well... Thus the creation of this thread and conversation. Whether or not you want to admit it, Writers are the foundation of film making. No script = No shoot. (unless your doing improv or something...)

Other than "Just suck it up and make write my TV shows." How else would you resolve this situation?

Last edited Wed, 14th Nov 2007, 12:56am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Tue, 13th Nov 2007, 10:05pm

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Frozenpede

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No one is forcing anyone to be a writer, it is a job you choose knowing that it dosnt pay well and it's not secure. The attraction to writing is not materialistic, it is simply a dream job and that is its only appeal. The way business works is that an employee competes for a job against other would be employees and an employers competes to get them. When there are lots of people looking for jobs the bad employers still get lots of workers, but when there are lots of employers and few employees then the bad employers dont get any employees. It's simple economics, as soon as one company had a need for writers they would have had to compete for them and that way the writers would have slowly gotten what they wanted. What they did instead was throw a hissy fit and hurt everybody including themselves. They have hurt producers, directors, actors, cameramen....all the way down the line.

if we can't agree on anything else can we at least agree that the strike was a rash decision?
Posted: Tue, 13th Nov 2007, 10:46pm

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Simon K Jones

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Frozenpede wrote:

No one is forcing anyone to be a writer, it is a job you choose knowing that it dosnt pay well and it's not secure.
You're not a writer, are you?
Posted: Tue, 13th Nov 2007, 11:02pm

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Atom

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Tarn wrote:

Frozenpede wrote:

No one is forcing anyone to be a writer, it is a job you choose knowing that it dosnt pay well and it's not secure.
You're not a writer, are you?
Haha. But he's right. Like I said oh so many pages ago, these aren't conventional jobs. They're paycheck-to-paycheck jobs that don't offer much money, but a big payoff for making it big. Basically, the same as directing and acting.

Makes perfect sense to me.
Posted: Wed, 14th Nov 2007, 12:19am

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pdrg

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People see film/TV as lifestyle jobs - they imagine it's all rather glamorous (thanks in no small way to the industry perpetuating that image!), so want to get into the sector.

Most IT jobs aren't rocket science, but pay disproportionately well - because they're dull. Lawyers, accountants, dentists are all very well paid, partly for their skills (although the learning involved in an accountancy qualification isn't that different from say a research biologist, historian, etc) and partly for the lack of glamour!

Tell people you work in IT, conversation over, tell them you're in film or TV, they're all over you...so it's an oversubscribed sector which pushes down rates for everyone. If media had an image of being hard, unpleasant, boring work, all rates would have to be higher to get people to fill the roles.

Just some more late night thoughts...
Posted: Wed, 14th Nov 2007, 12:41am

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Bryce007

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Once you make it to a certain level, it's certainly true that you will accrue enough money that each single paycheck isn't a matter of life and death.

But, from what I understand, TV writers and directors (As well as every other job, like gaffers and electricians) aren't consistent between episodes. Thus, it's rather important for them to get paid for their work so they can continue to perform their job to their best ability.
Posted: Wed, 14th Nov 2007, 1:03am

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CX3

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Atom wrote:

Tarn wrote:

Frozenpede wrote:

No one is forcing anyone to be a writer, it is a job you choose knowing that it dosnt pay well and it's not secure.
You're not a writer, are you?
Haha. But he's right. Like I said oh so many pages ago, these aren't conventional jobs. They're paycheck-to-paycheck jobs that don't offer much money, but a big payoff for making it big. Basically, the same as directing and acting.

Makes perfect sense to me.
O, Adam, you amuse me. When I threw another side of my argument at you, you chose to ignore it haha. Answer the question I asked. How else would you resolve this strike situation besides saying "Deal with it and get back to work."
Posted: Wed, 14th Nov 2007, 1:48am

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ben3308

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Adams would be the last name, Chris, haha.

I think if half the people in this discussion were admittedly open about how much they know about the writer's strike in particular, things could be conducted a hell of a lot smoother.

By this, of course I mean if you know something about unions, say it, but don't apply it to specifics unless you're certain (or near it) of what you're saying. And, at least from what I've read, this should apply to the bulk of either side of the argument.



/end brotherly rant
Posted: Wed, 14th Nov 2007, 3:07am

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Atom

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Sigh. I've already answered all of this. Whether it be true or false or opinion or fact, I've said it all already and lose my argument's integrity every time I repeat it. But, because you're my friend and I'd hate to end on a sour note, I'll go ahead and divulge.

Atom, what you're failing to understand (which really isn't you fault) is the "real world".
Sigh, again. Don't do that, man. That's low. I'm almost 18, I'm going to college. Don't (I'll say it again) impugn my integrity by treating it like I just don't understand. At my age, even you would've commented on how lame and weak that is.

You are still in this filmmaking life where you live with your parents and make movies for fun (and for your future). I take it you don't have to worry about paying rent, mortgage, health insurance, dental, electricity, water, cable and internet ect... These people are making movies to make a LIVING. It's not "Oh, I make movies for fun and the experience, it's not about the money."
You seem to think that I don't know that. Certainly, from your comments about my diction over the years you've realized I'm at least somewhat smart. smile

Maybe thats the case for highschool and some college students but after you graduate (for most) you are on your own. Not everyone can fall back on mom and dad (and I'm not at all saying you will be, this isn't straight directed at you).
I see your last comment here, which makes your tone a little bit clearer, but still. You're lecturing me about the world, man. Remember when people did this to you? smile

These writers have, what we call, "bills" and need them to be paid.
Again, I'm not some 13-year-old you're talking to. Don't treat me like one. I very well understand the real world, as much as an early entrant into it can. (Likely you're young enough to be in my same category of experience in it, if not only a minuscule amount more.)

And the "They know what they're getting into" argument is ridiculously weak. By that rationale, a LOT of things/jobs/laws would not have changed over time.
And some have, some haven't. Coal mining is still a dangerous career. I've said this before already. People know the risks and the rewards, and that's how it does and should work. Jobs changed over time with the same scenario mostly for issues of prejudice and dangerous working conditions. To be repetitive, this is neither. I'm not desperately trying to attack the writers, not in the least. I just won't defend or let an unfair defense trample the opposing party. Relentlessness, you know me. smile

Their profession has an already set income so that means they aren't allowed to argue for more, especially when they are a CRUCIAL part of production and deserve more? I think that's bs and apparently, they do as well... Thus the creation of this thread and conversation.
On who's terms and relative to what do they deserve more? I'm not saying it isn't valid, but these vague "without them there is nothing" and "deserving" statements from everyone are so hard to read. Deserve what? Why? How? I'd just like some clarification.

For the rest, see below.

Whether or not you want to admit it, Writers are the foundation of film making. No script = No shoot. (unless your doing improv or something...)
Every piece is required for it to work. Like I've been saying continually is this forum, you're giving the writers too much credit there, and it isn't fair to everyone else who works on a production. They are all mutually reliant on eachother. As I've stated before, the stagehand-strike on Broadway is an example of that.

Other than "Just suck it up and make write my TV shows." How else would you resolve this situation?[/quote]

I would settle without all this shutting down business. It can be done. When you work with intolerable people who won't offer you something justified, you continue. Intolerance is just that. In this "real world" I'm confident people find resolutions much easier and with less cost than this, and if people weren't out to 'make a statement' after a few writer's deals went sour, and each tried to work it out- they'd likely have been met halfway and we wouldn't at all have this ordeal. But that's just my speculation, no one can know for sure.

CX3 wrote:

Atom wrote:

Tarn wrote:

Frozenpede wrote:

No one is forcing anyone to be a writer, it is a job you choose knowing that it dosnt pay well and it's not secure.
You're not a writer, are you?
Haha. But he's right. Like I said oh so many pages ago, these aren't conventional jobs. They're paycheck-to-paycheck jobs that don't offer much money, but a big payoff for making it big. Basically, the same as directing and acting.

Makes perfect sense to me.
O, Adam, you amuse me. When I threw another side of my argument at you, you chose to ignore it haha. Answer the question I asked. How else would you resolve this strike situation besides saying "Deal with it and get back to work."
This isn't an instant messager, I answer you if and when I feel like it. smile

Seriously, I don't think you're at all giving us enough credit. Lately in all forums you've been under the train of thought that begins with "you're too young" or "you just don't know", which is a lame argument. Seriously, I hope you know what I'm talking about with that.
Posted: Wed, 14th Nov 2007, 3:23am

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Evman

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Atom wrote:


Seriously, I don't think you're at all giving us enough credit. Lately in all forums you've been under the train of thought that begins with "you're too young" or "you just don't know", which is a lame argument. Seriously, I hope you know what I'm talking about with that.
Honestly Atom, I think CX3's right on here. I'm not presumptuous enough at 17 to claim to know how the world works. Theres still tons I don't understand. Theres no way you can understand yet, nor can I.

When you try to act like you do, and then get pissed when someone calls you out, it makes you seem like even more of a juvenile kid (at least these are the vibes I'm getting here). I can't really blame CX3 or any of the older but not quite "old" users, b/c I'd certainly be saying the same thing if I was that age.
Posted: Wed, 14th Nov 2007, 4:02am

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ben3308

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Atom's actually my 12 and a half year-old younger brother, have I, throughout the years, neglected to mention that?

Sorry, some oversight on my part... biggrin
Posted: Wed, 14th Nov 2007, 4:08am

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Atom

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Evman wrote:

Atom wrote:


Seriously, I don't think you're at all giving us enough credit. Lately in all forums you've been under the train of thought that begins with "you're too young" or "you just don't know", which is a lame argument. Seriously, I hope you know what I'm talking about with that.
Honestly Atom, I think CX3's right on here. I'm not presumptuous enough at 17 to claim to know how the world works. Theres still tons I don't understand. Theres no way you can understand yet, nor can I.
I would agree. I'm only saying he's only a few years older than us. I doubt, quite seriously, I'm missing some crucial understanding that he seems to have lately.
Posted: Wed, 14th Nov 2007, 7:36am

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CX3

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Rating: +1

Atom wrote:

Evman wrote:

Atom wrote:


Seriously, I don't think you're at all giving us enough credit. Lately in all forums you've been under the train of thought that begins with "you're too young" or "you just don't know", which is a lame argument. Seriously, I hope you know what I'm talking about with that.
Honestly Atom, I think CX3's right on here. I'm not presumptuous enough at 17 to claim to know how the world works. Theres still tons I don't understand. Theres no way you can understand yet, nor can I.
I would agree. I'm only saying he's only a few years older than us. I doubt, quite seriously, I'm missing some crucial understanding that he seems to have lately.
I'm working to pay off bills, loans and I live 2,300 miles away from any family. Be quiet with all that, I could MAYBE understand that if you were almost finished with college (and yet one still may not even understand). But you haven't even gone to college yet man! Haha What are you talking about??!!

I bet your opinion changes a little towards this topic in a few years.

BTW, you still never answered my question. All that rambling in you last post but no answers.
Posted: Wed, 14th Nov 2007, 9:25am

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sfbmovieco

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I am not a professional writer in any means. I barely would consider myself an amateur. I wrote a short film for an ol' member on here named Cypher and it was the best experience of my life. I'd like to break down some of your points if I could.

First off, blaming someone for picking a profession they excel at is stupid. Obviously if they are writing as a professional, they have some talent. Should someone not become a teacher because the pay is crap? Don't blame the school boards when the teachers walk out! Now I know writing is not as much an honorable profession as teaching, but I think the point remains valid.

Second of all, writers deserve compensation for their work no matter how it's distributed. Imagine you make widgets. Your bosses have been selling widgets to wadget co. who sells them in brick and mortar shops in the US. Now Wadget co. is selling them to China, online, to everywhere! Revenues go up! Except your compensation stays the same. It's not like this is some desk job or something where they earn a salary.

Third, I think you are totally underestimating the importance of a script. There's a reason every single filmmaking book I've read states you need a great script before you can even say go. You can make a bad movie with a good script, but you can't make a good movie with a bad script.

And lastly, I think it is a testament to the writers how the actors are all standing up for them. Obviously some of their alliances are tied but when you have these high society actors up at the crack of dawn delivering donuts and bagels to their writing staff on the picket line, that tells me something.

I'm sorry, but there is no substitution from living on your own, having a wife and kid(s) to support and looking for work. Whether you are 18 or not.
Posted: Wed, 14th Nov 2007, 9:32am

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Simon K Jones

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sfbmovieco wrote:

First off, blaming someone for picking a profession they excel at is stupid.
Indeed, this is a point I've been trying to get across. Writing isn't a 'profession' like other jobs, for a lot of writers.

There's two types of writer: One who writes simply as a job, and would be fine moving into anything else. For them, the situation is a lot easier, as they can simply roll with the times and have a go at something else.

Then you've got your Writers. These are people for whom writing isn't a job, it's a way of life. They don't really have a choice about whether they write or not, because they're simply not happy if they're not writing. It's what they love doing, it's what stops them going a bit do-lally. For these people, moving into another industry isn't really an option. So, for them, striking is the only solution, unfortunately.
Posted: Wed, 14th Nov 2007, 8:15pm

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Evman

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So in conclusion, Atom's been owned. razz
Posted: Wed, 14th Nov 2007, 9:59pm

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CX3

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Evman wrote:

So in conclusion, Atom's been owned. razz
lol pretty much...
Posted: Thu, 15th Nov 2007, 1:24am

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Atom

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Not at all. I still think CX3 has a very weak argument and ad-hominem'd the hell outta it too. But whatever.

Tarn wrote:

Then you've got your Writers. These are people for whom writing isn't a job, it's a way of life. They don't really have a choice about whether they write or not, because they're simply not happy if they're not writing. It's what they love doing, it's what stops them going a bit do-lally. For these people, moving into another industry isn't really an option. So, for them, striking is the only solution, unfortunately.
I see what you're saying, Tarn. Really, I'm a writer myself. I understand the passion. But in terms of practicality, that response sounds like total BS. It's as if I love unicycling so much, I couldn't stop. And for me, not unicycling isn't really an option. Come on, you know that just sounds like ridiculous justification, no matter how true it may be.

Me, I write a lot. A whole lot, and I very much enjoy doing it. I couldn't see myself stopping, really. But I'd be naive and, well, stupid to say I couldn't move out of the industry because I love it so much I'd go crazy without getting paid to do it. Writers will always write. Even if they're not getting paid to. It's a compulsion, as I'm sure you'll agree. It is unfortunate, as you mentioned, but not beyond picking up another type of job like you'll suffer physically/mentally without getting paid to write.

Last edited Thu, 15th Nov 2007, 1:30am; edited 2 times in total.

Posted: Thu, 15th Nov 2007, 1:28am

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Evman

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Atom wrote:

Not at all. I still think CX3 has a very weak argument and ad-hominem'd the hell outta it too. But whatever.
Yes, actually experiencing some of the rigors of life is so overrated in an informed decision.

CX3 wasn't the only one to make a point there, btw...

I was referring more humorously to the fact that there was sort of a 1-2-3 punch of posts there that just sorta killed anything you said or were going to say.
Posted: Thu, 15th Nov 2007, 1:33am

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Atom

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Evman wrote:

I was referring more humorously to the fact that there was sort of a 1-2-3 punch of posts there that just sorta killed anything you said or were going to say.
But, I'm sorry, I just don't at all agree. To the point where I think I'll remove myself from this thread, as I think I've said what I will. To me, sbf (not as much at all as others) and Tarn, however revered they may be (even by myself) pose very two-sided arguments that seem, well, vague at best. And I wasn't talking about the 'rigors of life' comments, I was talking about the mocking and overly-condescending attitude and treatment as a complete juvenile by CX3. But that's over.

Writers write to write and can't be stopped or change jobs because they have to write. Come on, Evman. That sounds pretty vague, and you know it. Either way, though, I've said my case and I'm content with it. This strike is very double-sided, and I don't think either will really change their mind (other than myself, in the beginning).

I was just responding to some personal notes, but other than that, there's no point in me continually debating. You know what I think about it all.
Posted: Thu, 15th Nov 2007, 1:53am

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sfbmovieco

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Atom, see my other points as well.

It's not as if these writers are looking for work. These writers walked on out jobs they had already been hired for. My father in law lives in a one horse town. If you are male, you work at the state prison. That's all there is. If you want to support a family, that is where you work. He is part of a union. Now if other people higher up or even people that are on the level with him start getting more money that aren't in the union or part of some other union, wouldn't you say his union has a right to try and get them equal pay. Not only his union, but my father in law himself.

Like I said, writers who work as writers for a living do have a choice in what they do. But let's say you went to school writing.

As for you...Let's say you go to college and major in some sort of film or multimedia area. What happens if the market crashes and you cannot find a job at all?

'That's too bad, should of picked something else.'

Well I would...If I could just get my 15K a year for 4 years back and go through 2 more years of schooling I would. See my point? You cannot just say that you don't feel bad for writers because they chose their profession and they should live with it. It is you who are vague and make a HUGE broad generalization of workers in what often is a very elite profession. It's like high school kids trying thinking they can make it to the NBA. There's how many millions of kids in the USA and now the world? And some 300 spots in the NBA. These writers have gotten a job in entertainment so they should already be commended for that. They deserve to make a fair wage in relation to the other members of production AND the studios/networks.
Posted: Thu, 15th Nov 2007, 5:19am

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CX3

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Atom wrote:

Evman wrote:

I was referring more humorously to the fact that there was sort of a 1-2-3 punch of posts there that just sorta killed anything you said or were going to say.
But, I'm sorry, I just don't at all agree. To the point where I think I'll remove myself from this thread, as I think I've said what I will. To me, sbf (not as much at all as others) and Tarn, however revered they may be (even by myself) pose very two-sided arguments that seem, well, vague at best. And I wasn't talking about the 'rigors of life' comments, I was talking about the mocking and overly-condescending attitude and treatment as a complete juvenile by CX3. But that's over.

Writers write to write and can't be stopped or change jobs because they have to write. Come on, Evman. That sounds pretty vague, and you know it. Either way, though, I've said my case and I'm content with it. This strike is very double-sided, and I don't think either will really change their mind (other than myself, in the beginning).

I was just responding to some personal notes, but other than that, there's no point in me continually debating. You know what I think about it all.
Blah blah blah... This guy still never answered the question that I asked him three times already which was:

"How else would you resolve this strike situation besides saying "Deal with it and get back to work."

... That makes four times...

He doesn't have another option to throw out. All these complaints and no suggestions to make it work. Everyone has countered his arguments but the only rebuttal he can make is saying "Your argument is weak and you know it." All I honestly wanted was to hear him give me another option the writers could take but he knows the "deal with it and get back to work" option is ridiculous and would make him look like an ass if he said it... Thus he never answered the question... Hmm... With all the proper grammar and big words, it goes to show that book smarts and common sense don't always go hand in hand... but oh well... He's gone now... Just like all the writers...

Can anyone honestly answer the question I asked? I really want to know if there is another route I'm over looking.
Posted: Thu, 15th Nov 2007, 7:18am

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Atom

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Sigh. Normally I agree with you on these things, and you with I. I don't see why you're in such a ruffle over it all. In fact, I'd rate you down if I could on this one, really. And that's not something I'd think I'd say. At least, not to you.

Honestly, I've answered your question to the best of my ability, Chris. It may not be as in-depth as you wanted, but I did. But since your general rudeness just then and constant obliviousness/lack-of-respect for what I've said shows me you have no intention of actually reading what I write. I'm sorry that I take time to think out the wording of what I write and have a fairly large vocabulary thrown into it. I guess you "got" me on that one. Good for you, you insulted me on it. I'd probably have the stronger argument on that one, but I'll refrain.

Either way, I'd like to say I don't share the same feelings. Now, get over yourself and PM me if you feel fit to.

EDIT: Just read your last post, sbf. That's really the view I was looking for an example of. Thanks, seriously. That reasoning is sensible enough, unlike others. wink
Posted: Thu, 15th Nov 2007, 1:06pm

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CX3

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That was yet another detailed post to get out answering the question once more. Maybe it's you who need to re-read your posts because I'm pretty sure a reasonable alternative to this strike was never in any of them... Ever

If there was, I missed it so help me out by doing a little cut and paste action smile

EDIT: I agree with sbf all the way but what exactly did he clear up for you that others have not touched on yet?
Posted: Thu, 15th Nov 2007, 6:08pm

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pdrg

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CX3 wrote:


"How else would you resolve this strike situation besides saying "Deal with it and get back to work."
As I said way ago, strikes have a habit of painting everyone into corners where they can't lose face. Same is hapenning in France with their public transport pension reforms strikes at the moment too - major standoffs with one or more of the parties unwilling to bend and meet partway.

To solve this (like with any face-saving conflict - for instance Northern Ireland, Middle East, etc) you need someone to mediate, to get both sides to agree to talks, have hours and hours of posturing and bravado, and finally hammer out a comprimise where both sides can say they won. Everyone needs a way out of their corners without embaressment - both sides want the shows to start back up again ASAP, so some give and take all round will get us out of this mess. The longer it goes on, the more entrenched both sides become (major risk-factor for the WGA is the networks sourcing non-union labout and just killing the union dead if this goes on), so a fast resolution, even if it's only partially a win for both sides, is in everyone's interests.

How do you go about that? Someone clearly disinterested (politician maybe, or an infulential music industry figure, for example) but with serious credentials in his own industry and major charisma needs to get both sides to agree to talking. Or you need to start watching BBC America and enjoy some new programmes wink
Posted: Thu, 15th Nov 2007, 8:57pm

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Evman

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Atom wrote:

Sigh. Normally I agree with you on these things, and you with I. I don't see why you're in such a ruffle over it all. In fact, I'd rate you down if I could on this one, really. And that's not something I'd think I'd say. At least, not to you.

Honestly, I've answered your question to the best of my ability, Chris. It may not be as in-depth as you wanted, but I did. But since your general rudeness just then and constant obliviousness/lack-of-respect for what I've said shows me you have no intention of actually reading what I write. I'm sorry that I take time to think out the wording of what I write and have a fairly large vocabulary thrown into it. I guess you "got" me on that one. Good for you, you insulted me on it. I'd probably have the stronger argument on that one, but I'll refrain.

Either way, I'd like to say I don't share the same feelings. Now, get over yourself and PM me if you feel fit to.

EDIT: Just read your last post, sbf. That's really the view I was looking for an example of. Thanks, seriously. That reasoning is sensible enough, unlike others. wink
Wow, I could feel the sarcasm, arrogance, and condescending tone just oozing out of this post.

I had a discussion today with my Macroeconomics teacher, along the lines of "Certain people use big words to make themselves appear smarter, to compensate for the fact that they simply aren't. They skirt around certain issues, throwing in big words to confuse people, and to get away with not actually knowing much of anything". In this case, this air of intelligence is there to hide the fact that you don't actually have a viable alternative to mention to CX3. Instead, you've decided to act condescendingly, treating him like an idiot not worthy of anyone's time, distracting everyone from the fact that you STILL haven't answered his question.

Bravo.

(See, I can be condescending too!) wink wink wink

Seriously now, you're coming off as somewhat of a conceited ass with posts like that.
Posted: Mon, 19th Nov 2007, 3:05am

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CurtinParloe

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As I understand it, the main bugbear for the writers is the new media deal they (don't) have. while a strike is regrettable, it's the only recourse to the many writers who aren't in the enviable position of writing for big shows and films.
Writing is a paycheque-to-paycheque career, but the benefits to the studios are significantly increased by internet rights and DVD sales. If you were working in any other profession and your employer suddenly used your work to get a heapload of extra money, you'd expect a raise, or at least a bonus.
Anyone saying that they're being greedy, or that they should "like it or lump it" is talking nonsense. Most writers are content to write for their own satisfaction, but they still have to eat. The studios are big corporations, whose entire remit is to make as much profit as possible - if they could they'd not pay anyone. If the writers accepted the reduction in their pay percentages, then the directors, actors, editors, composers, etc, would also be expected to. Furthermore, if a writer is creating something better than they have before, they're still only entitled to the same wages. Is that fair? OK, they can leave their jobs if they aren't happy. Great idea, but there go the good films and popular TV series, because the new people writing them aren't as experienced or talented, and people stop watching.

As for the "big" writers, those lucky few are risking their own jobs to support the "little" writers. That's how unions work.

Here's a video clip from the Daily Show writers. Whether you support them or not, it's still worth a watch. Clearly they're supported by Jon Stewart et al, as John Oliver makes an appearance.
Posted: Mon, 19th Nov 2007, 6:22am

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Atom

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CurtinParloe wrote:

Writing is a paycheque-to-paycheque career, but the benefits to the studios are significantly increased by internet rights and DVD sales. If you were working in any other profession and your employer suddenly used your work to get a heapload of extra money, you'd expect a raise, or at least a bonus.
Naturally, yes. But I'm seriously doubting it's a heapload of money. I'm not sure if iTunes stuff falls into that category, but as far as the network websites go, the shows are shown without ads condensed into a few minutes or with a 15 second ad attached to the beginning. To me, that just looks like free publicity, really. It may be playing the whole show, it may only be playing a piece of it, and if there were 2 minutes of commercials every so often I'd understand, but that simply isn't the case. 15 second ads in front of 44 minutes, sure, that could be some ad revenue, but I think of that no different than a pop-up on the website. And if we're going that far, should the writers get paid however many clicks a banner ad on NBC.com has because promos, plot synopsis, and pictures of their derivative work of 'Heroes' is on it?

Anyone saying that they're being greedy, or that they should "like it or lump it" is talking nonsense. Most writers are content to write for their own satisfaction, but they still have to eat.
I can't say this enough either. Just because the internet opened up a new source of wealth does not at all mean they're getting paid less. Writers aren't impoverished. I'm not saying they're all wealthy, but I generally believe their salary is adequate, albeit not very stellar. I'm not saying it's great. Some, no, not at all. But this extra internet wealth wasn't keeping writers from eating for the past god knows how many years and I don't think it is now. I'm not necessarily saying they shouldn't be compensated for writing better, merely stating I don't think this sympathy is justified and/or too much.

OK, they can leave their jobs if they aren't happy. Great idea, but there go the good films and popular TV series, because the new people writing them aren't as experienced or talented, and people stop watching.
Writing isn't at all necessarily something based on experience, or even talent, really. It's the luck of the draw as to what an audience responds to. Granted, a more experience writer might have a better time with that, but that's not to say what you're saying is true. For instance, Heroes had some great writing first season that went sour second season. Perhaps this could've been fixed by a less experienced writer, who knows, but it definitely got worse. It's not those 'big writers' that necessary make a hit show, it's everyone working together. I cannot stress this enough. It's not fair to the countless other people working on a production.

As for the Daily Show thing, to me it came off sarcastic in a very prickish way. Fighting for right or wrong, the guy sounded like a condescending douchebag to me.
Posted: Mon, 19th Nov 2007, 7:55am

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sfbmovieco

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Writing isn't at all necessarily something based on experience, or even talent, really. It's the luck of the draw as to what an audience responds to.

That statement is so incredibly wrong that I've actually lost some respect for you Atom.

There's a saying in basketball- good shooters are lucky shooters.
Posted: Mon, 19th Nov 2007, 9:55am

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pdrg

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No, I think Atom hit it more or less on the head with ' It's the luck of the draw as to what an audience responds to.' - there are plenty plenty plenty shows written by pro/'named' writers which never make it past the trailer, and pro's have no monopoly on good/attractive ideas.

That's not to say I don't cringe when I hear clumsy dialogue that a pro writer would avoid, but audiences are impossible to second-guess which is why studios make massive-budget turkeys all the time - they thought the audience might like it, but were wrong!
Posted: Thu, 22nd Nov 2007, 1:09am

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CurtinParloe

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Atom wrote:

Naturally, yes. But I'm seriously doubting it's a heapload of money. I'm not sure if iTunes stuff falls into that category, but as far as the network websites go, the shows are shown without ads condensed into a few minutes or with a 15 second ad attached to the beginning. To me, that just looks like free publicity, really. It may be playing the whole show, it may only be playing a piece of it, and if there were 2 minutes of commercials every so often I'd understand, but that simply isn't the case. 15 second ads in front of 44 minutes, sure, that could be some ad revenue, but I think of that no different than a pop-up on the website. And if we're going that far, should the writers get paid however many clicks a banner ad on NBC.com has because promos, plot synopsis, and pictures of their derivative work of 'Heroes' is on it?
Clearly it is a heapload of money, if Viacom were willing to sue google for a billion dollars. If it wasn't worth much to them, they'd surely have let the court case go.

I can't say this enough either. Just because the internet opened up a new source of wealth does not at all mean they're getting paid less. Writers aren't impoverished. I'm not saying they're all wealthy, but I generally believe their salary is adequate, albeit not very stellar. I'm not saying it's great. Some, no, not at all. But this extra internet wealth wasn't keeping writers from eating for the past god knows how many years and I don't think it is now. I'm not necessarily saying they shouldn't be compensated for writing better, merely stating I don't think this sympathy is justified and/or too much.
I was exaggerating the point there, but my rather vaguely made point was that if the corporations are able to increase revenue without increasing creative contributor payments and not have to worry about any retribution, then what's to stop them paying less experienced writers less money the next time round? Eventually they could even be paying minimum wage for the work, and you surely wouldn't be able to expect the same writing quality from someone earning a few dollars an hour. It's the long term consequences that are at stake for the writers.

Writing isn't at all necessarily something based on experience, or even talent, really. It's the luck of the draw as to what an audience responds to. Granted, a more experience writer might have a better time with that, but that's not to say what you're saying is true. For instance, Heroes had some great writing first season that went sour second season. Perhaps this could've been fixed by a less experienced writer, who knows, but it definitely got worse.
Granted, the whole industry is a hit-or-miss affair, and new writers can be more capable than established writers. For instance, I couldn't say one way or another whether the poorer Heroes episodes were written by the main writer Tim Kring or by some of the other writers(having not seen all of series one yet, so don't spoil it! wink). However, it's more of a concern when it comes to payment, as I mentioned above.

It's not those 'big writers' that necessary make a hit show, it's everyone working together. I cannot stress this enough. It's not fair to the countless other people working on a production.
If it's not fair to the other people on a production, why are those people supporting them? As I've already pointed out, if the corporations are allowed to steamroll the writers now, they'll just as easily steamroll the rest of the creators of the shows later.

As for the Daily Show thing, to me it came off sarcastic in a very prickish way. Fighting for right or wrong, the guy sounded like a condescending douchebag to me.
You're welcome to your opinion, and based on your opinions as voiced in this thread, I'm not surprised it didn't appeal to you. I wonder whether Republicans feel exactly the same way about Jon Stewart.
Posted: Fri, 4th Jan 2008, 4:30am

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Evman

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So, last night most of the major late night talk shows returned with very unenthusiastic results, as most didn't have any writers working, so it was basically just the hosts adlibbing their way through an hour.

Late Night with Conan O'Brien managed to be not funny at all, basically the first time that's happened in 7 or 8 years, although I think the lack of hilarity was intentional, in order for Conan to show just how much writers are needed. They resorted to showing of Conan's rather creepy strike beard, timing his spinning wedding ring on the desk, and remarking that the water in his mug is excellent, simply to fill time.

Jay Leno managed to actually turn out a respectable show. He wrote his own monolouge, which was actually funnier than anything I've ever seen from his show, showing that he is indeed almost kinda funny on his own. The show did a rather lame "free for all" in which the audience just asked unscripted questions of Jay for 5-10 minutes. Makes you wonder - if thats what he can come up with after 2 months, the next few months of new shows are going to be painful. He did, however, have a rather awesome interview with Mike Huckabee, which no doubt aided the candidates with of the Republican Iowa Caucus tonight.

Dave Letterman and Craig Ferguson were back WITH writers, as Letterman's company reached a separate agreement with the WGA. I didn't watch much of their shows, as I was far more interested in seeing how Conan and Jay could handle a nonwritten show. Letterman was sporting an even creepier mountainman strike beard, and managed to get writers straight off the picket line to read his top ten list. Ferguson didn't have any guests and instead had an entire hour of written programming, to show off the power of writing in shows like this.

Apparently Jimmy Kimmel simply ran old clips from his show in order to give his writers residual profits for their work.

Carson Daly crossed the picket line a month or so ago, and understandably this didn't help his popularity (he's not funny anyway and was legitimately surprised to learn that his show ever even featured writers! razz )


Other than that, the two big ones people are waiting on are obviously Stewart and Colbert, who will return with the Daily Show and the Colbert Report this Monday night, without writers. No doubt they will simply discuss the election as humorously as they can, but who knows how well they will fare on their own.



This strike has gone on long enough, the studios need to get their heads out of their asses and just give the writer's what they want. Hopefully with the support the hosts are showing to the writers, viewers who probably didn't even know that a strike existed until now will rally in support and this thing'll be over before it costs Hollywood another half billion dollars.

http://tv.ign.com/articles/843/843493p1.html
Posted: Fri, 4th Jan 2008, 5:02am

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Atom

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Normally I don't care for Letterman as I'm more of a Leno/Conan guy myself, but I saw the show and found it refreshingly hilarious.

Dave even pulled off the beard with several butt-ends of jokes. "I know what you're thinking, folks. I'm the old cook on the cattle drive." Then Robin Williams was an exceptionally funny talk show guest, commenting on Dave's beard making him look like 'death itself', looking like he was converting to Judaism, and it just generally scaring people.
Posted: Fri, 4th Jan 2008, 5:07am

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Serpent

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If you've ever seen Colbert or Stewart speak on other shows or to other people, their wit is unbelievable. I hope their shows are entertaining and good for enjoying the election, it'll be interesting to see them. But I want the format of the show without writers to build up something for the writers, like the format of the aforementioned shows.
Posted: Fri, 4th Jan 2008, 12:40pm

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petet2

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If you doubt the importance of the writers you just have to look at the fact that what are supposed to be chat shows (Jay Leno and Letterman) went off the air when the strike was on. Are Leno and Letterman really that talentless that they can't think of anything to say themselves, they have to have it all scripted? It would appear from the reviews given above that they are. So why should they get all the cash?

As for how much money the networks are making from internet (1) I'm sure it is a good deal more than you believe Atom and (2) the actual amount is irrelevant - the writers still deserve a decent percentage of the pot however small.

Internet revenue will become increasingly more important and it's only fair that the writers get their dues from the outset. And yes, writers should be entitled to a share of all the money generated on the back of their work so banner adverts on a web page for a show that you script should be included. A good script is not the only reason that a web surfer might go to the Heroes page (and then click on an ad to earn the network revenue) but it's certainly part of it - and so the script writers deserve a share.

To be honest Atom your understanding of tv and marketing seems a little naive. I worked as the Brand Protection Manager on the Commonwealth Games in the UK a few years back and it was a real eye opener as to the machinations of marketing and media revenue. Everything a tv network does is carefully planned and designed to maximise income and the majority of programming wouldn't happen without writers.

One of the main reasons this dispute is dragging on so long is that the public don't know who the writers are in the main so support for the campaign is limited. Later in the year the Actors Guild are up for similar pay discussions and the famous faces that will be involved in those negotiations will be much more media friendly. I think the networks are trying to set a marker by kicking the easier targets before getting imbroiled in a pay deal with the actors.
Posted: Fri, 4th Jan 2008, 8:00pm

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Serpent

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petet2 wrote:

If you doubt the importance of the writers you just have to look at the fact that what are supposed to be chat shows (Jay Leno and Letterman) went off the air when the strike was on. Are Leno and Letterman really that talentless that they can't think of anything to say themselves, they have to have it all scripted? It would appear from the reviews given above that they are. So why should they get all the cash?
I am one for the writers, but to say the hosts are talentless is ridiculous. They have the right personality, they help write, they are funny people, they act, and then they can interview well. I'm not a Leno or Letterman fan, but "from the reviews above" it seems they did a decent job (Conan flopped on purpose it seems). They have to do it for a full hour every night with pretty much a one man job. It seems to me like the hosts are respecting the writers totally and are trying to both be relatively entertaining while showing the world without writers and bringing about the issue again. It's not ALL scripted. There is some scripting (and they usually acknowledge that fact), there is some improv, but talk shows usually have more of a "plan" than a script. Obviously sections like Conan's intro, and Stewarts news report (news reporters have teleprompters too). I'm not saying that is specifically what you are addressing, just using those shows as examples. Again, not a Letterman or Leno fan, but I'll stand up for them if someone calls them talentless for the fact that they need their writers. Even the most witty and ambitious person needs the writers. Now people just need to pay them.
Posted: Fri, 4th Jan 2008, 8:22pm

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Evman

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petet2 wrote:

If you doubt the importance of the writers you just have to look at the fact that what are supposed to be chat shows (Jay Leno and Letterman) went off the air when the strike was on. Are Leno and Letterman really that talentless that they can't think of anything to say themselves, they have to have it all scripted? It would appear from the reviews given above that they are. So why should they get all the cash?
Hosts can't write their stuff EVERY DAY on their own. Each show has more than a few thousand episodes under they're belts, with 5 shows a week for most of the year. That's ridiculous for one person to write all that and to keep the enthusiasm, cleverness, and wittiness up.

They're their to guide the writers, keep them in line with their own distinct comedy styles, and to generally maintain a consistent tone for the show... and not to mention... I dunno... HOSTING it?

Conan is by far my favorite late night host, and he's naturally funny. His second show back last night was much better than the one on Wednesday night, and is still hilarious without writers, but you can just tell that he's intentionally keeping it at a lower key, and CONSTANTLY supporting the writers in order to get the word out.

I think this word of mouth generated by Leno/Letterman/Conan will garner huge support for the writer's cause, and no doubt the addition of Stewart/Colbert next week will only strengthen support. The studios are basically bringing back to the air their worst enemies right now, and I hope this'll bring about an even quicker conclusion to this strike.
Posted: Fri, 4th Jan 2008, 11:09pm

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petet2

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Evman wrote:

petet2 wrote:

If you doubt the importance of the writers you just have to look at the fact that what are supposed to be chat shows (Jay Leno and Letterman) went off the air when the strike was on. Are Leno and Letterman really that talentless that they can't think of anything to say themselves, they have to have it all scripted? It would appear from the reviews given above that they are. So why should they get all the cash?
Hosts can't write their stuff EVERY DAY on their own. Each show has more than a few thousand episodes under they're belts, with 5 shows a week for most of the year. That's ridiculous for one person to write all that and to keep the enthusiasm, cleverness, and wittiness up.
And that's why the writers deserve a decent cut. The screen persona that is Letterman or Leno is formed partly by their own personality and delivery style but also partly by the words they deliver - which often will not be their own. A funny one liner or witty retort would arguably be funny whoever delivered it. However a nice guy with a great personality but nothing to say isn't entertainment.

Don't get me wrong I'm not saying the writer is everything, I'm just supportive of their right to a fair slice of the pie.
Posted: Sat, 5th Jan 2008, 4:16am

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Evman

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petet2 wrote:



Don't get me wrong I'm not saying the writer is everything, I'm just supportive of their right to a fair slice of the pie.
So am I... I don't know how we got into this, cause I've stated time and time again I'm on the side of the writers here (I even started this thread). razz

I believe that the writers should get their fair cut, obviously, but I don't at all discredit the power of the host. Afterall, they're who brings the audience in every night, and it isn't solely because of the writers.
Posted: Wed, 9th Jan 2008, 1:26am

Post 106 of 108

Evman

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So Stewart and Colbert returned last night, which means all the major late night players are back.

Stewart's show was rather uninspired and frankly boring. He seemed to not be trying as hard as he could have, although his "Solidarity Unibrow" was funny, along with changing the name of his show to "A Daily Show" to distinguish it from his written show. Other than that, he had a dual segment with a single guest, a professor of labor relations that was generally pretty boring. The only funny/awkward moment came when Stewart claimed that the AMPTP and WGA alike simply were prejuidiced against Jews. Funny, but not enough to save the otherwise lackluster show. Another thing worth noting is Stewart's almost complete lack of any political commentary, which, during this election that is heating up dramatically, has been, and still was sorely missed, with or without writers.

The evening went to Colbert however, whos improv background really showed its stripes last night. If he didn't occasionally mention it, I would never have noticed that his show wasn't written, as it played out relatively normally. Funniest moments included his opening segment before his title credits, where he usually quickly tells in bullet point like quickness what's happening on the show... In the absence of writers, this became "Tonight!".... "Then!"... "Hey! This, is the Colbert Report" (In the last line he actually included the "t"s, which he never does. Quickly following that was a ridiculously long standing ovation from the crowd, followed by Colbert wondering why the teleprompter wasn't working, as he assumed that it normally just read his thoughts and threw them up onto a screen.

The funniest joke of the show, however, was a long one. He stated that he has always been anti-union (or rather, the character he plays has), and made flashbacks to all of the times he's denounced unions. Then, upon returning to the live show, he stated "I'll tell you what, I don't need writers!" Which launched him into the night's "Word" segment, in which he usually goes on a monologue about a particular topic while funny/contradictory words appear on the screen as he's talking. The place where the Word should be was empty. After trying to magically make them appear, he ended up just stating "And that's the word" in a defeated yet tongue in cheek tone. This kind of sarcastic hilarity is what is needed to garner support for the writers, and Colbert kept his show top shelf as always.
Posted: Wed, 13th Feb 2008, 4:44am

Post 107 of 108

Evman

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So it's official - The strike is finally over.

The WGA and AMPTP agreed to a tentative deal that lasts until May of 2011. The writers got most of what they wanted but the vote to return to work was near unanimous.

This means that many comedy shows could have episodes ready as soon as March, with dramas following in April/May for as many as 5 or 6 new episodes.

No idea what this means for late night Tv, but I assume that they could return as early as... tomorrow...

http://tv.ign.com/articles/851/851735p1.html

I'm just glad the writers got what they wanted and things will soon return to normal and this whole fiasco can be behind us.
Posted: Wed, 13th Feb 2008, 7:29pm

Post 108 of 108

CurtinParloe

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Glad it's over. My plans for world domination can now continue...