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When Creative People Protest

Monday, December 3, 2007
by

You find the rest of them at Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily, a great little site for getting the latest news on the WGA strike. llewopemearg

Addendum:

Addendum to the Addendum:

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. James17930 permalink
    Monday, November 26, 2007 11:16 am

    I’m a little confused about this whole writers strike thing.

    I mean, what’s the difference between a writer who’s on strike and a writer who isn’t? Who’s to say they’re not spending an hour a week on a picket line outside some studio in L.A. and the rest of the time at home still writing anyway?

    Or, let’s say they’ve just decided to stop writing the script for Rush Hour 4 or White Chicks 2 or whatever; who’s to say they’re not writing their ‘script of a lifetime’ instead, which they’ll just submit somewhere after the strike is over, and, you never know, have that one made?

    It just seems odd.

  2. Monday, November 26, 2007 8:09 pm

    Because unless you’re top of the heap, there’s no expectation that the spec script you’ve made will ever be bought or produced (hell, even being top of the heap isn’t a guarantee).

    But the writers in the strike who don’t work on spec, the contract writers (which is to say, most of the working WGA writers), they won’t be doing any work. Which means TV stops dead and movies with completed scripts aren’t allowed to make changes to that script during production (here’s hoping that new X-Files script is already perfect).

    The strike means they can’t write Rush Chicks 3, which is how they get paid. They’re free to write their dream project about the sassy robot, but they aren’t making any money off it. Maybe when the strike is over they’ll be able to sell it, but if the strike continues into the summer, when the actors and directors will be free to strike as well, it’ll be Hollywoodageddon. It could go on forever, and WGA members aren’t generally rich. It’ll be damn tough for them (and L.A.’s not a cheap town to live in, from what I hear).

    But then when the strike’s over they’ve all got their lifelong ambition scripts finished and they can sell those for a mint, right? Not likely, since the vast majority of optioned spec scripts never get made and thus don’t make all that much money for the writer (and I think it’s safe to say that the vast majority of scripts written are never even optioned).

    Competition will make it even harder; we can expect a flood of ambition scripts once WGA members are free to shop them around. Not only can writers take the time to write what they’ve always wanted to write, you can bet that’s what all of them are going to do.

    (Maybe; it’s quite possible that a lot of them will refuse to do any work that could ever benefit a studio until the strike’s done. There’ve been plenty of stories about big TV showrunners making some impressive, and I’d imagine very difficult, sacrifices in the name of supporting the writers.)

  3. James17930 permalink
    Monday, November 26, 2007 8:29 pm

    What are they striking over? What at the issues?

  4. Monday, November 26, 2007 11:22 pm

    It basically comes down to studios/media corps. not wanting to give writers any residuals for online-distributed content.

    I’ve added a couple YouTubies up there that explain the writers’ perspective with writerly humour from the writers of two popular — and written! — television shows. The first is The Daily Show, second The Colbert Report.

  5. Monday, December 3, 2007 11:27 pm

    I had to add another from a pair of Colbert writers.

  6. James17930 permalink
    Tuesday, December 4, 2007 1:17 am

    And you changed the date to make it a re-post. Tricky.

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