November 07, 2007

Write Enough . . .

on the writer's strike. Keep scrolling; just because a person is a libertarian, doesn't mean he doesn't believe in collective bargaining.

At least one of the entertainment-industry locals—the makeup union—has informed its members that the Writers' Guild is not a real union; it's only a guild. So its members are required to ignore the strike, cross the picket lines, and go to work.

This has led a lot of industry folk into a "damned if I do, damned if I don't" mindset.

Ideally, however, I'd like to see creative people—those who actually come up with ideas that enrich our lives, whether they are writers or musicians, sculptors or painters—get better and more consistent rewards for what they do.

As things stand, being in any creative field remains a hell of a way to make a living (or, in many cases, not). Despite what People magazine would have you believe about the lifestyles of the rich and frivolous . . .

Posted by Attila Girl at November 7, 2007 11:57 AM | TrackBack

MORE Money LESS Moonves!

Posted by: Darrell at November 7, 2007 12:00 PM

Guild? Not a Collective? Or am I warching too many Dick Wolf productions? Amazing how big a role the Patriot Act and the Department of Homeland Security play in everyday crimes in NYC.

Posted by: Darrell at November 7, 2007 02:56 PM

I support the writers, and I support their strike.

Posted by: Chuck at November 7, 2007 07:35 PM

What's up with the studios? It looks like the writers are looking for an extra dollar or so on DVD and electronic residuals. Don't the networks realize that making a 39% profit instead of a 40% profit will make for more motivated and happy writers? (WARNING!, guestimated profit numbers)

Posted by: Dieter at November 7, 2007 08:40 PM

Happy writers?

I've heard of them, but I didn't think they existed anywhere in the universe... (paraphrase of Dr. Lexi Zarkov--Flash Gordon)

The "happiness" of a raise lasts about two weeks on average. About the same as the "new car" high. The industry knows that the actors will knock next. Then every other craft and trade. Right now, internet money consists of the higher ad rates that networks receive due to the ratings bump, since streaming is free. And I believe current contracts already reflect those revenues, no?

I do support writers(heck, I may even be one!). But I prefer to do it directly with premium gin. And socks. Nice socks. My old work is still floating around and I never get residuals. Unless if you consider people making fun of my predictions from twenty-years ago residuals.

Writers and actors can get a cut of TV series DVD sales. Fine. Both sides have to realize that the last time they lost their audience it NEVER came back. Maybe people will realize that they really can live without Leno, Letterman, and Kimmel. Settle now! So shall it be written, so shall it be done!

Posted by: Darrell at November 7, 2007 10:29 PM

On the other hand, I'm not sure that the average engineering career encompasses the same risks as creative writing. Just a thought. And nothing against the fabulous socks I'm wearing AS WE SPEAK. (My warmest ones. So glad I insisted on keeping them, when you wanted me to trade them in for a scarf or something.)

I'm waiting for the Governor to weigh in on this dispute. After all, he went to some lengths to make sure Terminator III was made here, rather than in Canada—including taking a pay cut.

If this drags on too long there are a lot of people who will be hurting; there aren't any easy answers, here. But the producers are, speaking in broad demographic terms, sleazeballs. Thought you'd want to know.

Posted by: Attila Girl at November 7, 2007 11:33 PM

Who's average?
Been a consultant since 1990, and there are LOTS of similarities. And risks. And jacking around. Etc.

I see your point, but I will never pay a fee for every viewing of something I purchased, just like I would never buy a book that had a counter telling them how many times it was opened and assessing a fee accordingly. Ditto for paying for content on the internet.

Get your salary upfront. That's the best way to minimize future risks and uncertainties. And not have to deal with the sleazeballs and creative accounting, by the way.

Posted by: Darrell at November 8, 2007 11:35 PM

I agree with you in theory, but there are a lot of writers and actors who out here who died in dark smelly little apartments while studios raked it in on the fruits of their youthful work.

The thing no one ever spells out is that being a writer or actor in L.A. is very similar to being an athlete, stripper, or whore: one has to sock it away while one is young. The difference being that once in a while one wins the "comeback" lottery, and suddenly finds oneself buying planes (or other silly stuff), a la John Travolta.

It's important to keep two things in mind: (1) in order to work as a TV/feature actor or writer, one must live in one of the 2-3 most expensive cities in the world (L.A., London, NY), and (2) most people who make it here just scrape by. Or, one year there is a $300,000 salary, from which the government takes $100-$150, which will never return. A few years later, the award statues need dusting, the bank account is depleted from an outrageous cost of living, and one cannot afford even to wash the car.

Posted by: Attila Girl at November 9, 2007 12:19 AM

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