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  • Is The Screenwriters Strike Scaring You?

    I know it is me. As a writer and screenwriter wannabe I'm completely in agreement with the Guild's positions, but I hope industry remembers the last Guild walkout (one year in legnth) and all the great shows that did not survive the strike. I'm just crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.
    no boom today . . .

  • #2
    The 1988 strike lasted from March to August. Hopefully this one won't be as bad but it could be.

    Looking for a bright side, during the '88 strike, JMS crystalized his idea for B5 so perhaps without deadline pressures for a while he can come up with something as innovative and wonderful as B5 again.

    Jan
    "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Jan
      Looking for a bright side, during the '88 strike, JMS crystalized his idea for B5 so perhaps without deadline pressures for a while he can come up with something as innovative and wonderful as B5 again.

      Yeah there is that And, since Joe writes 363 days of the year it's possible he could have, oh, 32 great shows penned in that time period. Here's hoping. But it might raise heck with fledgling shows like Bionic Woman, Pushing Daisies, Saving Grace, or Galactica to name just a few. Then, again I'm a worry wart.
      no boom today . . .

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      • #4
        I think Galactica's almost done filming on the final season. What the strike might cause though is sci-fi might delay the final ten episodes untill 2009, so they'll have something to put on the air...

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        • #5
          For some reason whenever I hear that there's actually a writers' guild in the US it conjures up images of mead halls, long robes and secret tattoos..

          Isn't it customary for management to step up to the plate during strikes to ensure minimal service? I'd love to see the suits at some of these studios try their hand at writing some of their own shows..

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          • #6
            Originally posted by RMcD View Post
            Isn't it customary for management to step up to the plate during strikes to ensure minimal service? I'd love to see the suits at some of these studios try their hand at writing some of their own shows..
            Two words: "reality" shows. You're right, though. The public outcry if they did would probably force them to come to an agreement quickly. I hope, anyway. The scarier thought is that people might not even notice.

            Jan
            "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

            Comment


            • #7
              [Gabby Hayes voice] Why I remember the ol' strike o' `88... It was one o' the worse times this ol' country ever had saw...[/Gabby Hayes voice]

              Seriously, I remember all the scrambling that the networks were doing to ensure that there would be a fall season. One particular bad memory I haven't been able to shake, is therevival of Mission: Impossible where they reused the original series scripts and just updated some of the references. That V chick, Jane Badler, was in it if I recall correctly.

              Currently, studios are stockpiling scripts like mad in case the writers strike at the end of the month. They're already rushing loads of projects into production so that they'll be finished before a director's strike next year.

              My prediction- Prepare for a lot of mediocre, rushed crap* to make its way to our TVs and cinemas for up to the next two years, whether or not there is a strike.

              *And that's in relation to the normal crap we get now.
              Got movies? www.filmbuffonline.com

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              • #8
                My only real concerns would be with Lost, and to a lesser degree bsg and 24. I would hate for a strike to impact the shows that I'm already hooked on!

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                • #9
                  I seem to recall reading the LOst is currently filming its seventh or eighth episode. Since the season is only going to be 16 episodes long, they may be close to having all the scripts in the can by now. If not, with a bit of a push they could have them ready by the end of themonth...
                  Got movies? www.filmbuffonline.com

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                  • #10
                    I hope that they're never hired back and wind up waiting tables.
                    Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

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                    • #11
                      Don't like unions, LiM?

                      If the studios had acted honorably there might not be such an adversarial situation. While I'm not sure I approve that it seems that the WGA delayed opening negotiations until quite late, I also haven't heard that the studios have come up with anything resembling a reasonable offer. For those who want to read about it, this is the link JMS posted and there's also a link to the text of the proposal from the Companies:

                      http://wga.org/subpage_member.aspx?id=2478

                      Jan
                      "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        No one is irreplaceable. The company has the money. If these people don't want to work for what is offered (and I can assure you that it's a lot more than I make) then let someone else do it. There are a lot of aspiring writers out there and a lot of them could probably do a better job.

                        I haven't watched network TV in well over a decade (although Cavemen has caught my eye) and I will never ever buy an American automobile. I don't respect GM and Ford for caving in to these people.

                        It's not even the fact that unions are Democrat fundraising organizations (and admittedly guilds with elitist professionals are a bit different); it's just the arrogance that they think they're the king of their trade and that NOBODY else can do it. And people wonder why companies try to smuggle in illegal aliens to work for them...
                        Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Attn: moderators

                          Hm. I guess, since I started this thread, I'll ask the mods to remove it, please. Didn't mean to start a firestorm.
                          Sorry
                          luvB5
                          no boom today . . .

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                          • #14
                            Not at all, luvb5, there's nothing to apologize for. It's a legitimate conversation, not a firestorm. We get passionate sometimes but we generally keep it polite.

                            Jan
                            "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by LessonInMachismo View Post
                              No one is irreplaceable. The company has the money. If these people don't want to work for what is offered (and I can assure you that it's a lot more than I make) then let someone else do it.
                              Yes it is more than you make. However, unless you're in a very unusual employment situation, that's completely non-germaine to the conversation. Let's look at some of the differences. (For the purposes of discussion I'm going to use writers as the focus but you can assume that directors and actors are included in most of the points I'm making)

                              - Unless they're on staff, the writers make sales with no guarantees that they'll make any more that year or ever.

                              - Even if you used an employment agency, you don't have to pay an agent a commission on *every* paycheck you get from your job. Writers do.

                              - Your employer takes care of little things like paying all of the taxes withheld from your check for you. Writers have to pay those themselves, which for many means hiring an accountant.

                              - You're covered by Social Security and may have a retirement plan at work. Not so the writers.

                              - Chances are, you're covered by your employer's medical plan. While I believe there is coverage available via the union for writers, there's no substantial employer contribution like you enjoy.

                              - Ditto life insurance.

                              All of the above add up to a substantially lower 'paycheck'.

                              There are a lot of aspiring writers out there and a lot of them could probably do a better job.
                              Perhaps. But also not germaine because the studios are already bound to honor their agreements with the unions. They can't really go to talent outside of the unions. Whether you like it or not, that's simply the way it is.

                              I haven't watched network TV in well over a decade (although Cavemen has caught my eye) and I will never ever buy an American automobile.
                              Is it that you're saying that nothing you watch is union based? Unless you're exclusively watching BBCA or something, that's immaterial. It's all covered by union contracts.

                              ... it's just the arrogance that they think they're the king of their trade and that NOBODY else can do it.
                              Neither a valid nor compelling argument because it's simply not true. What's at issue here is that the writers, in deferring compensation by taking part of that in the form of residuals are accepting part of the same risk the studio takes in making the project in the first place. It's only fair that when the studio resells the work in the form of webisodes or mobisodes or other forms, they should compensate the writers.

                              The unions have traditionally made concessions for new technologies, too. Witness the lower pay scales and residuals formulas that applied to cable for many years. There comes a point when enough is enough, though.

                              And people wonder why companies try to smuggle in illegal aliens to work for them...
                              And this part of it will not be discussed in this thread since it's not in any way relevant to this conversation. [says the Moderator]

                              Edit to add: Nor are any political affiliations open for discussion here. Feel free to take both to the 'Rampant, Irresponsible' threads, however. --Jan in Moderator Mode

                              For those interested, here's a post that JMS made earlier in the year on the subject.

                              Jan
                              Last edited by Jan; 10-06-2007, 07:11 AM.
                              "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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