Welcome to my blog.
Today we find out exactly when members of the Writers Guild of America, the union of tv and feature writers, go on strike. It could be as early as today (Friday), or maybe Monday. (ETA: it officially begins Monday, 11/5/07, at 12:01 am.)
The entire city of Los Angeles has been bracing for this for months now.
Am I currently a member of the WGA? No. I’d like to be, one day. I have friends who are union members and have written for tv or film or both.
There are a lot of issues at stake, but if I can boil it down to the few I understand as a lay person, it’s all about residuals from DVD sales and internet distribution. Those methods of distribution were but a glimmer in the eye when the last contract governing pay for tv and film writers was negotiated. And writers missed the boat on residuals from those revenue streams. Nowadays, it’s all you hear from studios: the money they make when you download movies, or when you buy DVD compilations of a season’s worth of tv shows or of movies.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens.
At least a good one-third of the equation–the audience, YOU–are a total unknown. Will being deprived of your favorite shows wean you off the tube forever? I guess it depends how long the strike lasts and what else people find to do besides watching reality shows and the last dregs of backlogged tv episodes the networks were able to squirrel away on their accelerated production schedules for this fall.
Of course, it is National Blog Posting Month every day in November, so the cute little kitty cat in the upper right hand corner of this page? He could be on to something: we may all just post til the internet explodes. because i can’t imagine the people who write tv and film will stop writing just because they’re not paid to.
As for the million monkeys typing? Supposedly that’s typical of how the rest of hollywood views writers–”if a million monkeys all typed day and night, sooner or later one of them would write a blockbuster.” Indicative of the high esteem in which writers are held, or something like that.
I wouldn’t know the ins and outs of how Hollywood operates…I’m indie girl out here, just trying to scrape by and make my documentary on one-tenth of a big Hollywood movie’s catering budget. If we can make it to final cut and get it out on the festival circuit, first I’ll weep tears of joy and gratitude, and then I’ll spam every last person I’ve ever met with the good news that I AM SO DONE AND ALSO ALIVE, WHICH IS REASON ENOUGH FOR YOU TO SEE IT. So I’m truly a tiny fish in this big pond. But I watch with great interest.
Well. Let the games begin.