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  • Dr Maturin
    replied
    Re: Nice One ZHD....!

    Originally posted by LightStorm
    By the way ZHD, your avatar is seriously cool. Are you a BATMAN fan?
    Thanks. It's the version of Batman from Kingdom Come, painted by Alex Ross.

    I am a huge fan of Bats and I can't wait for the film that's coming this Summer. I've always liked him because he is the antithesis of Superman. I have always felt (and so has Bruce?) that Clark suffers from a certain naivete -- perhaps from his humble upbringing -- and always assumes the best in people while Batman is more of a realist and assumes the worst. It's Bruce's paranoia and undying desire for justice -- HIS brand of justice -- that I've always found fascinating. His obsession with cleaning up Gotham City reminds me of Javert in Les MisÚrables.

    I just hope that the movie at least closely portrays the real character of Batman.

    Leave a comment:


  • grumbler
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan
    You seem to be assuming that DVD residual payments are based on unit sales. Where did that information come from?
    You mean the assumption that
    The consensus seems to be that they do not, but I have to wonder if the consensus is informed.
    ?
    It is just my natural way of being. Nothing personal

    Assuming they get "compensated by increased sales", how much do you suppose they get? $.01 per set? More? Less? And just how much is 'enough' compensation when you consider that the studio will profit much more simply by being able to proclaim that there are commentaries and other extras? If those who participate are being 'compensated' as you say, shouldn't those who chose not to or who weren't available lose that residual? They don't. That's not fair, is it?
    Dunno, and not relevant to my point. If the actors get compensated for increased sales for their participation, then they are in a different league than the "crew types" who admittedly get paid for their time, which was my only point.

    What if the residual is simply a payment for the use of the episode in that particular medium-a one-time payment? Joe DeM gave the links for SAG and WGA. Are you going to research the question?
    Don't need to, so long as the cast gets paid on a per-copy-sold basis. If they are not, then a statement to the contrary backed by the source is enough. If they are, then ten sources stating they are is of no more value than one, because you are debating one who agrees with you.

    I still think that any new material such as interviews and commentaries should be compensated for appropriately. Previous promotional material done might arguably be part of the shows or episodes.

    Jan
    Dunno what "appropriately" means here, which is, of course, the whole issue.

    Should magazines and DVDs pay for interviews? If they do so, should it be just for actors, or should the President's Press Secretary charge for interviews as well?

    My view on interviews is that one either agrees to them unconditionally (ie one trades the publication of ones views for ones right to keep those views secret unless paid to make them public) or one shuts the hell up (as Andre K has done). What one should be paid to publicize one's view is a non-sequiter.

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  • AmyG
    replied
    Even so, it's something of a double standard to proclaim your enjoyment of something but refuse to participate unless you are "fairly" compensated. That's why I don't buy these athletes' claims of "loving the game" and bullshit like that.
    Z'ha'dumDweller, this is a _totally_ specious argument! I enjoy programming, but I also have a mortgage to pay and food and DVDs and books to buy - should I work on my customers' sites for free? No, this is what I do for a living, and if I'm privileged enough to enjoy what I do for a living, that's a bonus. It doesn't mean I shouldn't be paid.

    Similarly, athletes should be paid for _their_ work (but let's not get into those outrageous salaries), and actors should be paid for _their_ work. For _all_ of their work, including DVD extras they work on after the show is over and they are no longer drawing a paycheck. It's more work - and most people can't afford to work for free, and shouldn't be expected to.

    Amy

    Leave a comment:


  • Jan
    replied
    Originally posted by grumbler
    If the principals get compensated by increased sales, then their commentaries and interviews are less selfless than proclaimed here (hough no less appreciated by me). If they are not, then I will be the first to thank them for reminding me of Garibaldi's dents in his head.
    You seem to be assuming that DVD residual payments are based on unit sales. Where did that information come from?

    Assuming they get "compensated by increased sales", how much do you suppose they get? $.01 per set? More? Less? And just how much is 'enough' compensation when you consider that the studio will profit much more simply by being able to proclaim that there are commentaries and other extras? If those who participate are being 'compensated' as you say, shouldn't those who chose not to or who weren't available lose that residual? They don't. That's not fair, is it?

    What if the residual is simply a payment for the use of the episode in that particular medium-a one-time payment? Joe DeM gave the links for SAG and WGA. Are you going to research the question?

    I still think that any new material such as interviews and commentaries should be compensated for appropriately. Previous promotional material done might arguably be part of the shows or episodes.

    Jan

    Leave a comment:


  • grumbler
    replied
    Originally posted by LightStorm
    As far as I am concerned, If your professional opinion regarding a piece of your work is callled for, be it at a convention or as DVD extras, then you should be compensated for it.
    And they are at conventions (at least for nominal costs). The question seems to be whether they get paid residuals based on DVD sales. The consensus seems to be that they do not, but I have to wonder if the consensus is informed.

    There seems to be a distinction between 'Cast members who loved the show' and 'Those just in it for the money'. Why is it so impossible to be a person that loved working on the show (and walked away from it at the end with some real life-long friends) but still being expected to be paid for any additional work done to promote and/or suppliment that original product? Seems perfectly fair to me. And when you consider the lack of interview material actually used (as previously stated) either newly shot or pre-existing, it makes you wonder just what did happen to the rest of it.
    Again, this assumes that the actors and producers did not get compensated through increased sales for their efforts. I am pretty sure, from what I have heard through other sources, that guest stars and extras do not. Principals, apparently, do. I would love to see this sorted out.

    If the principals get compensated by increased sales, then their commentaries and interviews are less selfless than proclaimed here (hough no less appreciated by me). If they are not, then I will be the first to thank them for reminding me of Garibaldi's dents in his head.

    I do have to say that, aside from the commentaires themselves - my personal favourite - the rest of the extras were pretty poor, 85% of them being a touch pointless. The music suite and the gag reels, were probably the best, non-commentary, extras on offer. When you consider the price of the boxed sets (per piece) you feel that there should have been much more.
    Ja, when you see what some series do (like SG-1 having comentary on every episode) you get jealous until you listen to what passes for "commentary' and then thank goodnes the B5 DVDs had an editor!

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  • DGTWoodward
    replied
    Nice One ZHD....!

    By the way ZHD, your avatar is seriously cool. Are you a BATMAN fan?

    Leave a comment:


  • DGTWoodward
    replied
    As far as I am concerned, If your professional opinion regarding a piece of your work is callled for, be it at a convention or as DVD extras, then you should be compensated for it.

    There seems to be a distinction between 'Cast members who loved the show' and 'Those just in it for the money'. Why is it so impossible to be a person that loved working on the show (and walked away from it at the end with some real life-long friends) but still being expected to be paid for any additional work done to promote and/or suppliment that original product? Seems perfectly fair to me. And when you consider the lack of interview material actually used (as previously stated) either newly shot or pre-existing, it makes you wonder just what did happen to the rest of it.

    I do have to say that, aside from the commentaires themselves - my personal favourite - the rest of the extras were pretty poor, 85% of them being a touch pointless. The music suite and the gag reels, were probably the best, non-commentary, extras on offer. When you consider the price of the boxed sets (per piece) you feel that there should have been much more.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dr Maturin
    replied
    <<The two things (liking the work and wanting to be fairly compensated) aren't mutually exclusive, and doesn't make someone "like Shatner.">>

    Shatner doesn't show up because he likes Star Trek. Boxleitner doesn't show up for the money alone.

    TM: Anyway, I like to think all these people comment and show up at conventions because they liked making the show.

    ZD: Exactly. I'd hate to think they were like Shatner.

    I don't want to put words in the venerable Towelmaster's mouth, but I think he meant "in addition to the payoff."

    Even so, it's something of a double standard to proclaim your enjoyment of something but refuse to participate unless you are "fairly" compensated. That's why I don't buy these athletes' claims of "loving the game" and bullshit like that.

    Leave a comment:


  • AmyG
    replied
    Exactly. I'd hate to think they were like Shatner.
    As anyone who was in the cast - or on the crew - of Babylon 5 will tell you, they _did_ enjoy working on the show. Besides the obvious quality of the material, the set was apparently a very friendly one, and an efficient one (we've often heard that most people on the set were home by 8 PM every night).

    However, just because they enjoyed working on the show does not mean that they are _fans_. _We_ are fans. _We_ spend money on DVDs, t-shirts, going to cons, etc. But if you were an actor on a project that you enjoyed, I hardly think you'd run around spending your time freely promoting that property, just because you liked it so much. You'd still expect to be paid for con appearances, broadcasts of the property, and yes, extra work done on behalf of promotion of the property (i.e. DVD extras).

    The two things (liking the work and wanting to be fairly compensated) aren't mutually exclusive, and doesn't make someone "like Shatner."

    Amy

    (p.s. - for what it's worth, I agree with Michael - I'd love the have the _entire_, unexpurgated interview segments filmed for the DVDs. But unfortunately Hollywood doesn't work like that. Editors edit, and someone in a suit somewhere decides how long that feature should be, and there you have it.)
    Last edited by AmyG; 02-20-2005, 01:18 PM.

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  • grumbler
    replied
    Originally posted by Joseph DeMartino
    This is entirely wrong. "Residual" is not some generic term loosely applied to additional payments. Residuals are specific, defined payments governed by SAG contract and they absolutely are guaranteed, in writing, and paid out according to a scale negotiated between the studios and the Screen Actors Guild.
    Since this does not contradict what I said, the rest of your post does not apply, and I am entirely right and not entirely wrong.

    No one gets "guraranteed residuals" because no one can gurantee how many tiomes an actors work will be reused. All they are guaranted is that IF the work is reused, they will get residuals.

    Residuals are, as I said, the moneys paid to actors over and above what they get from their direct salary (you say that residuals do not account for all of the payments over and above, but I would argue that you are making a distinction without a difference).. More DVD sales means more residuals, though the question remains how much compensation the actors were getting for their work in promoting DVD sales (which is what the interviews and commenataries amounted to).

    My key point was that the regulars had an economic reason to do the commentaries, unlike the techs who received poayment for their work, thus countering the "if the sound guys got paid for their work on the DVDs, why didn't Bruce?"

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  • Joseph DeMartino
    replied
    "Residuals" are, in fact, the payments made to the actors for anything over the original salary payments, and are not guaranteed in any case.
    This is entirely wrong. "Residual" is not some generic term loosely applied to additional payments. Residuals are specific, defined payments governed by SAG contract and they absolutely are guaranteed, in writing, and paid out according to a scale negotiated between the studios and the Screen Actors Guild. It was precisely the difference in the way residuals are calculated and paid out for first-run cable vs. first-run syndication that led Claudia Christian to believe that the actors were somehow being asked to "give up" residuals or accept lower residual payments (neither of which the SAG contract would have permitted), which contributed to her decision to leave the show.

    What Are Residuals?

    Residuals are compensation paid for the reuse of a credited writer's work. When you receive credit on produced Guild covered material, you are entitled to compensation if the material is reused. It is important to understand that the compensation is for reuse, and not the original use. For example, if you are hired to write an episode of a network prime time television series, the compensation you are paid for writing services includes the episode's initial broadcast. However, when that episode reruns on a network, in syndication, or in any other market, the Company must pay you for that reuse.

    Similarly, for theatrical motion pictures, the compensation you are paid for your script, either as a purchase or employment, covers the exhibition of the film theatrically, including all foreign theatrical releases. However, when your movie is released to other markets, such as videocassette or pay television, you are due residuals. ®2002 Writers Guild of America, west, Inc.
    Residuals cover the resue of an actor's (or writer's) work by the studio beyond the original planned run of a series, a commercial or what-have-you. For broadcast (MAJOR* network and first-run syndication) the residual payments start out at a very high percentage of the original fee and then descend very quickly on a sliding scale until they run out. For first-run cable the payments start off at smaller percentage (of what is usually a smaller salary) and also decline with subsequent airings, but at a slower rate. Thus the same total amount of residual money will be paid out over a longer period of time with cable residuals than with broadcast, but the total paid remains the same. That's why people sometimes have residual checks of a few dollars or even a few cents coming in years after they worked on a project. (Seinfeld built an episode about Jerry's character receiving tiny checks for a Japanese TV commercial he had done awhile before.)

    There is some kind of very minimal DVD residual formula, but all of the Hollywood unions failed to negotiate additional compensation for contributions to extras, or to increase or extend the residual formulas in their most recent agreements. (Residuals for actors don't kick in at all until a certain point - either units sold or gross dollar sales, I forget which - is met. SAG was able to get this threshold lowered so that its members get start earning residuals faster, and they were also able to increase the rates paid on TV movies released on DVD.) Writers are paid a flat fee per DVD for permission to "publish" their scripts, whether or not the scripts appear on the disc, but it isn't much, either. SAG the Writer's Guild and the Director's Guild all pressed very hard on the DVD compensation issue in the last round of talks, and all ran into a stone wall. So they mostly used "concessions" on the DVD issue to pick up gains in other areas.

    Next time around (in 2008?) expect them to try again.

    See www.sag.org and www.wga.org for more details.

    (* "Major" broadcast network meaning ABC, NBC, CBS and - since around March 2003 - Fox. The WB and UPN are covered by either the first-run syndication rules or the basic cable rules as a concession to help the fledgling networks get on their feet. Writers and actors stand to lose from a shrinking market if new networks fold, so there is a certain logic to this. But it shouldn't have taken as long as it did to move Fox into full-fledged broadcast network status.)

    Regards,

    Joe
    Last edited by Joseph DeMartino; 02-18-2005, 08:14 AM.

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  • grumbler
    replied
    Originally posted by WorkerCaste
    As Jan pointed out, residulas themselves are deferred compensation, so you can't really count those.
    Well, yeah, I know that is the theory, but as we all know this is just the theory. "Residuals" are, in fact, the payments made to the actors for anything over the original salary payments, and are not guaranteed in any case. They differ not at all from any "piece of the action" compensation made to someone not in the SAG.

    The additional residuals that might result from increased sales are, as you pointed out, another possible form of compensation, albeit indirect and speculative. That's kind of the enlightened self interest approach. Do what you can to make a better producte and increase sales. There's also a self-interest aspect with regard to putting your face, as an actor, in front of more people. Publicity, if you will. It might also be considered a demonstration of willingness to go the extra distance in supporting a project. All told, though, I can't think the incremental residuals or the possible PR bump would be terribly large.
    Yeah, i thought of mentioning the value of vaing one's name in front of the public again as an idirect benefit of the increased DVD sales, but didn't want to muddy the waters.

    What you and jan have said confirms what i thought - that the actors were compensated to some extent through increased DVD sales (and so increased payments).

    My understanding is that guest stars (like Koenig) did the interviews gratis, though, as they did not share in the profits from DVD sales. Quite nice, and quite telling, that so many actors and crew would do so.

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  • Darth_librarian
    replied
    They've got MBA's and cash.

    Leave a comment:


  • DGTWoodward
    replied
    Re: Andreas

    Originally posted by mjb
    JMS posted about that. Andreas refused to participate without compensation on princople - which is his right. Peter also did so until the last set, IIRC.
    I can't say that I blame them then. I now have fuller picture than I had before. As a result of this, I can see both side of the issue.

    I, like many others, get a great deal of pleasure for the interviews and commentaries as included in the boxed sets. I would surely miss them if they were to disappear. However, I totally agree that the stars of the show should have been paid for doing these things.

    Let me put it another way...(I know it doesn't strictly apply because WB movies is virtually unconnected from WB television - but the principle sure fits) these actors are the same folks that WARNER BROTHERS want to, effectively, disown so that they can bring in 'names' to launch a BABYLON 5 movie. The cast that everyone knows and loves, that have continued to support B5, building even more appreciation for the show via these interviews and commentaries - and with no real additional recompense (which WB will of course not hesitate to capitalise on). THIS CAST - after all that more-or-less FREE promtional work, is the cast that WB want to ditch.

    That makes me so livid!!!

    Who the hell do these suits think they are?!

    Why is it that those that can, do (ie JMS, Whedon, Kotto and many others) and those that can't, try to boss around those that actually can. What a topsy-turvey arrangement.

    Leave a comment:


  • mjb
    replied
    Andreas

    JMS posted about that. Andreas refused to participate without compensation on princople - which is his right. Peter also did so until the last set, IIRC.

    Leave a comment:

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