Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Martha Rae and Tina Fey!

Yes, we in the world of Hollywood are experiencing the first major creative union strike in 19 years. We have walk outs and we have had protests from S.A.G. in the past, but a full blown writers strike is a rare flower indeed. It is kind of like that Corpse Flower at the Hunntingon Museum that blooms once a year... both smell terrible!

The issue really just comes down to the fact that no one on the creative side makes any money off of internet downloads. All those episodes of THE OFFICE you downloaded off of iTunes this season, well actors, writers and directors did not see a dime of that money. It went straight to the studios pockets, do not pass go, do not collect your $200.00 or your residual check.

So, now that the current contract between the WGA and the Studios / Networks is up, the writers are refusing to negotiate until new verbiage allows for residuals off of these new media sources for content. And now they are eating boxes of donuts, wearing red t-shirts and leisurely working off those donuts by strolling the picket lines at the gates of the studios. No one really knows at this point what is going to happen. We in Hollywood at best hope for a quick end to this strike and that will only happen if the Studios and Networks budge.

However, the short term project is the impact on all the industries surrounding Hollywood. Hey a barber in a town of bald men, doesn't make too much of a profit. Without shows to work on, everyone is pretty much waiting with baited breath for an end that may not come soon enough. There are several dangers to the landscape of television. The risks are simple!

For WRITERS: Television has been gradually delving more costs towards cheaper reality television shows in lieu of expensive scripted shows. If they push more money towards reality because the writers strike, and the public eats it up, and the networks turn a profit, the scripted shows will take a big hit.

For Producers: If the programming they offer bombs, they will have to rush the Writers back to the table, and that will be a big big problem since they will have to pay through the nose.

You can pick a side if you want in this. However, as a member of the Entertainment industry, I would hope this is resolved before the end of the year!

1 comment:

Shandy said...

We are so bummed about this and hope everyone goes back to work SOON! I heard on NPR that even if they made a deal in the next week, we shouldn't expect any new episodes until March!!! What am I gonna do without my Pushing Daisies, Private Practice, Heroes, and Ugly Betty. Maybe I'll get a life because that is too much T.V.