Friday, November 02, 2007

Writers strike called.


Just got home from dinner with a writer. The Writers Guild of America has called a strike, date and time to be announced tomorrow. The studio's rep was saying earlier today they had reached an impass because the writers would not back down from their DVD/new media demands (the studios want them taken off the table). Now that a strike has been called the same rep said they could work out this contract this weekend.

We'll see. Nobody wants a strike. The last strike was 20 years ago, lasted five months and cost the industry over half a billion dollars in revenue. Careers were destroyed. Back then flim/tv was not competing with video games, YouTube, Facebook, Myspace etc. I think the hard line taken by the studios is posturing. They must be concern about the low TV ratings this season. Having to resort to reruns or reality all the time is going to make it worse. Some of those eyeballs they will not get back. The writers are not asking for the sun and the stars. Without them there would be no narrative films or scripted TV shows. Don't brag to Wall Street about how your profits are higher than ever then come back to the talent saying, a four cent increase in DVD royalities would ruin your business model. I have an idea, stop paying "A-list" actors 25 million plus 20 percent first dollar gross and maybe your business model would work.

The studios need to step up on the DVD/new media demands and the writers should forget about trying to get reality show "writers" in the union (eventhough the host of reality shows are members of the Screen Actor Guild). SAG (the Screen Actors Guild) and the Teamsters have publicly stated their support. SAG's contract isn't up until June 08 so they can't strike but when they are not working they can picket. The Directors Guild has been very quiet.

5 comments:

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Isn't the DG always quiet? And where would they be without the writers?? And I love the idea of pushing some of that A-list moolah over to the folks who put the STORIES together. I mean, after all, how many reviews have we all read where the movie can't be saved, even by great acting?

Can you tell I have my grouchy face on today ;-)

modelbehavior said...

Must be such an interesting time to be in LA...keep us all posted, the WGA strike affects us all!

gibber said...

keep us posted on what happens. i find the whole thing fascinating...

Janet said...

I'm a little behind on my blog reading...but I have to say that I DID think of you when I heard on the news about the writers' strike. I wondered how you would be affected.

Meanwhile, I'll be going to Rome the first week in December. Rather than running this year's courses out by the airport, as usual, at least I'll be closer to the center of Rome this time. I'm staying at a Crowne Plaza (called "Crowne Plaza, St Peter's") which is in a neighborhood which sounds like it's a couple of miles from The Vatican. Better, but still not great. Anyway, "Italy" makes me think of you as well.

Janet

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

jen - amen. you are not grouchy just speaking the truth. :)

model - I still can't believe the strike is actually happening. The two sides are very far apart.

gibber - Nothing new today, the writers are picketing at the studios.

janet - have a great time in Rome. At least this time you are going to be closer to the center which wil be nice.