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Old 11-05-2007, 04:18 PM   #16
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Originally posted by randhail
Part of me hopes this goes on for a long time just because Maybe it'll encourage people to get off their asses and do something besides watch tv.
It's hardly going to stop TV from...being on. People who watch TV all day are going to continue to watch TV all day. They're just going to be watching more reruns than usual.

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Old 11-05-2007, 04:19 PM   #17
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I'm siding with the writers. 8 cents is nothing for the BILLIONAIRES MANY TIMES OVER that run these studios and, as evidenced by the strike, outside of reality television, NOTHING you watch on TV is possible without them.

And this isn't only about what the current writers want to earn, it's about how the distrubition of profits for digital media(DVD sales, internet downloads) will be handled with regards to writers and directors and whatnot for DECADES. This is about PRECEDENT.

The studio heads are being greedy bastards and that's that. This has FAR more merit than any professional athletic union strike.

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Old 11-05-2007, 05:28 PM   #18
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I'm just thankful that they invented DVD and I only just started watching The Shield .
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Old 11-05-2007, 07:16 PM   #19
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I'm on the writers' side all the way, but the strike is going to hurt a lot of people economically. Not everyone in Hollywood is making big bucks and can afford to just sit back and live off their savings.

I don't even really care that much about not having any first-run episodes of anything to watch because the only TV series I even watch regularly these days is The Office. I'm sure I'll start missing fresh episodes of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report after a couple of weeks of reruns, but I'll live.
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Old 11-05-2007, 07:53 PM   #20
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Originally posted by Bono's shades
I'm sure I'll start missing fresh episodes of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report after a couple of weeks of reruns, but I'll live.
Yeah, that part is going to suck. Those are really the only two shows I watch every night.

Oh well, at least there's Keith Oberman.
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Old 11-05-2007, 08:19 PM   #21
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Originally posted by Bono's shades
I'm on the writers' side all the way, but the strike is going to hurt a lot of people economically. Not everyone in Hollywood is making big bucks and can afford to just sit back and live off their savings.

I don't even really care that much about not having any first-run episodes of anything to watch because the only TV series I even watch regularly these days is The Office. I'm sure I'll start missing fresh episodes of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report after a couple of weeks of reruns, but I'll live.

Me too.
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Old 11-05-2007, 09:12 PM   #22
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Originally posted by corianderstem
Here's an article spelling out how some shows could/will be affected by the strike .... which is happening. At least one well-known writer was picketing outside 30 Rockefeller today - Tina Fey!

Almost everyone on The Office is picketing, too.

As much as I love watching the show every week, they did the right thing. The writers need their due, it's ridiculous.

Can we send the major studios and RIAA to Caprica or something? Galactica the shit out of them.
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Old 11-06-2007, 01:09 AM   #23
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The LA Times did a short interview about the strike with my hero, head writer/executive producer of The 4400 and Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Ira Steven Behr:


'88 strike survivor ponders a new round

USA Network's "The 4400" is on hiatus, but that didn't stop showrunner Ira Steven Behr from joining his writing colleagues on the picket line at Raleigh Studios in Manhattan Beach on Monday.

Behr is a 1988 strike survivor. He lost many friends during that contentious 22-week strike and stood by the cause, even though financially it couldn't have come at a worse time. His baby daughter had just been born and he was "in a precarious financial situation."

Now, that daughter is in college and an almost 16-year-old son is in private school and though Behr is in a better financial situation, he also has more expenses.

"I'm not jumping for joy, but like last time I will stand by it 'til the bitter end," Behr said. "Back then, residuals helped to get me through and I was able to stay at home with my baby on my lap and bond with her and that's what helped me stay sane. This time around there's this feeling that is for all of us and for all the young kids that are coming up. This is important."

Behr said he has not "sat down to put together an equation," but he is concerned about how his family will be able to make ends meet. December will bring the added expense of the holidays and it will also be time to pay his Laurel Canyon property tax, "and that will be a five-figure bite."

"The 4400" is scheduled to begin production in December, but Behr will not be there unless the strike comes to an end. Additionally, he has sacrificed the development of three other projects at other networks.

"Now that won't happen for who knows how long," he said. "But, you know, I believe this is worth it."
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Old 11-06-2007, 07:40 PM   #24
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I hope the strike is short lived and everyone comes out happy with the settlement. Those writers work just as hard as the actors and behind the scenes folks. I feel for the writers.
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Old 11-07-2007, 04:11 PM   #25
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Carleton Cuse of "Lost"'s reason for the strike:

Cuse explained that when it came to the reasoning for the strike "The crux of the issue is that the studios don't want to pay writers residuals for new media. And everybody understands where movies and television are going. Internet is the new TV and that's going to be the primary distribution mechanism for films and television shows."

Cuse said he felt the networks and studios were "using a technological change to try to skip out on the legacy of residuals, which has been a way that people who create products like movies and TV shows are connected in an ongoing way financially to the work that they create that generates billions of dollars in revenue for the studios. Without the residual system, basically the 11,000 rank and file writers can't make it."

"Most writers don't work all the time," Cuse noted. "They go long periods between jobs. It's residual checks that allow them to exist between assignments. It's the same with actors. That's the crux of this issue. It's a real, working class basic, fundamental kind of issue for the rank and file members who need residuals to keep performing their craft. It was residuals from Golden Girls that allowed Marc Cherry between jobs to come up with Desperate Housewives, which had made a billion dollars for the Walt Disney company."

Turning back to his own show, Cuse noted "Lost is a great example of how new media has changed. Lost is a show which is a top ten show, but it doesn't repeat on network television. There are no network reruns. People watch it on DVDs, they watch it on their DVRs, they watch it streaming on ABC.com or they download it from iTunes. And none of those formats pay traditional residuals."
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Old 11-07-2007, 05:17 PM   #26
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I just posted this in The Office thread, but I thought it would be worth posting here, as well. Show runner Greg Daniels and several writers/cast members on the picket line:

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Old 11-07-2007, 05:22 PM   #27
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Originally posted by randhail
Part of me hopes this goes on for a long time just because Maybe it'll encourage people to get off their asses and do something besides watch tv.

Like type on a message board?
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Old 11-07-2007, 05:49 PM   #28
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I think it's pretty cool that some of the cast members on these shows are joining the writers in their picket lines . Hopefully that extra support from the big names will help the writers out a bit more. Good luck to everyone in the strike, may a proper solution to the problem be reached as soon as possible.

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Old 11-07-2007, 06:54 PM   #29
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Here's a video from the WGA basically telling you their side.

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Old 11-08-2007, 02:47 AM   #30
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Ronald D. Moore, head writer/co-executive producer of Battlestar Galactica and producer/writer of Star Treks The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine has joined the picket line and gives this interview:


Battlestar Galactica Producer Talks Strike
Ron Moore on why he's striking and how Battlestar's final season is affected.
by Eric Goldman

November 7, 2007 - In the midst of the Writers Guild strike, Battlestar Galactica showrunner Ron Moore walked the picket line outside the Walt Disney Studios today, alongside a large assemblage of showrunners from other series. I spoke to him for several minutes for a candid conversation about the issues surrounding the strike and how the situation is affecting Galactica, which is currently filming its fourth and final season.

For Moore, "Fundamentally this is about the internet, and this is about whether writers get paid for material that is made for the internet or if they're paid for material that is broadcast on the internet that was developed for TV or movies." Moore shared a story to illustrate the scenario, saying "I had a situation last year on Battlestar Galactica where we were asked by Universal to do webisodes [Note: Moore is referring to The Resistance webisodes which ran before Season 3 premiered], which at that point were very new and 'Oooh, webisodes! What does that mean?' It was all very new stuff. And it was very eye opening, because the studio's position was 'Oh, we're not going to pay anybody to do this. You have to do this, because you work on the show. And we're not going to pay you to write it. We're not going to pay the director, and we're not going to pay the actors.' At which point we said 'No thanks, we won't do it.'"

"We got in this long, protracted thing and eventually they agreed to pay everybody involved. But then, as we got deeper into it, they said 'But we're not going to put any credits on it. You're not going to be credited for this work. And we can use it later, in any fashion that we want.' At which point I said 'Well, then we're done and I'm not going to deliver the webisodes to you.' And they came and they took them out of the editing room anyway -- which they have every right to do. They own the material -- But it was that experience that really showed me that that's what this is all about. If there's not an agreement with the studios about the internet, that specifically says 'This is covered material, you have to pay us a formula - whatever that formula turns out to be - for use of the material and how it's all done,' the studios will simply rape and pillage."

Moore, like most of his fellow writers, was extremely bothered by the studios attempting to designate content shown on the web as "promotional," even when that content has sponsors and advertisers. "Their position continues to be that this is 'promotional.' That they can have it promotional material, free of charge and they can make you do the work and they don't have to compensate you for it and they don't have to credit you for it. It's undercutting everything that the writers have built up in other media. The notion that just because it's on your computer as opposed to your television set is absurd. It's an absurd position for them to take, but, you know, if they can pull it off, they're at the moment of a watershed change of how your media is delivered to you. Your television and your computer are going to become the same device within the foreseeable future. That reality is staring us in the face."

Moore scoffed at the arguments given as to why no payment system can be worked out for new media right now, saying "They still fall back on 'Oh, well, it's all so unknown. It's all so new! We don't know what the business model is. It's strange!' They act as though this is 1992 and they're trying to figure out 'What is email and how does that work?' Somehow they know how to make money from iTunes, and everybody is tripping over themselves to sell this stuff to you and have downloads. NBC Universal has Hulu, their brand new site, and you can log on there and you can watch The Office and you can watch, probably, my show. I don't think we're on there yet, but we probably will be. And guess what? You have to sit through commercials when you watch them. Well, I doubt very much that those commercials were provided free of charge. So somebody's making money, somewhere. The studios really have only themselves to blame, in terms of the lack of trust of financial accountability and the fact that so many people that are on this line right now were promised net profits or profits from various things that never come to pass. So there's a certain level of 'Yeah, you want to wait to talk about this in three years, while you figure out the business model? Bulls**t. You're making money right now. You're going to make money, and you're just finding a way to hide it'"

As for how long the strike might last, and what can be done to resolve it, Moore remarked "It's in both sides interests to resolve it. A strike benefits no one, ultimately. I think the studios have backed themselves into a corner with some of their rhetoric and the way that they handled the negotiations, where they've become so hard core and hard line I think it's hard for them to back off that position. But at the same time I think they understand that eventually they're going to have to deal with this issue. It's sort of untenable to just keep pretending that the internet is so mysterious and so strange that they can't figure out how to make a deal with the Writers Guild about it. It's kind of absurd. So I don't know. I think there's animosity, there's a lot of ego involved, with people on the negotiating committee, with people on their side and probably on everybody's side. And it takes a while to get these things back on track, but we'll see."

As for how Battlestar Galactica is being affected, Moore said "We have an episode [filming] on the stage right now that will be the last episode. We don't have a script beyond that, so this will be it." There had been varying talk about just how many episodes Battlestar had completed of its 20 episode final season, but Moore told me the episode filming now "happens to be our mid-season cliffhanger, so it's just one of the quirks of the schedule that boom, we will finish our first ten and the network had planned to show just the first ten anyway. The airdate for the back ten was up in the air. Now it's even more up in the air."

In the event of a prolonged strike, I asked Moore how difficult it might be to reassemble the cast and crew, who had thought they would be finishing work on the series forever this spring. "We can certainly do it," Moore said, in regards to getting everyone back. "I know that the entire cast and crew and writing staff are eager to finish and it's very, very important to us to finish, so whenever it's resolved, we'll all be ready to go back in and finish the show. We know what the stories are. We haven't written the scripts, but we know what the stories are, leading up to the finale. "

It had recently been announced that Moore would be making his directorial debut on a Battlestar episode, and he laughed, revealing that was going to be the next episode shot. "It was an interesting week last week, because the very next one was going to be the one I was going to write and direct, and that's the one that we're not gonna do"

Despite his strong investment in Battlestar, Moore felt that stopping all work to begin this strike was well worth it. "This is literally the future of my work in television and film and the work of my writers and everyone involved, because it's all going to become transmitted to people via the internet, in some way, shape or form. Whether it's on your cell phone, whether it's on your lap top, or whatever other devices come along, it's all going to go through that pipe. And either we participate in that formula or we're completely destroyed. If you buy a book, there's an expectation that every time you buy that book in hardback, the author gets a dollar. And if you buy it in paperback, he probably gets a dollar to. Well, you have a situation where suddenly, he doesn't get paid anything if you buy the paperback, then guess what? Then they're only going to sell paperbacks. And that will happen with us too."

Leading up to this week, Moore said he'd spoken to the Battlestar Galactica cast about the possibility of a strike "in general terms", adding "The cast was generally very supportive, because they have the same concerns for SAG (Screen Actors Guild) and SAG is very concerned about the exact same issues, and so are the directors. It's kind of an issue that affects all of us. And even IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) and teamsters, they don't get paid residuals directly like we do, but they're contributed to their pension and health funds, so even the crew is kind of concerned that 'Wait a minute, if this really changes how the residuals move in the future, does that mean I don't get health benefits? Does that mean the pension plan goes away?' It's kind of an industry wide issue."

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