Friday, November 02, 2007
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.