Tuesday, November 20, 2007


So I've wanted to get to this post for over a week now. And finally here we go.

And I am going to come down on the side of ... nobody.

Let's be honest here. Strikes in our modern age never make anyone look good. We aren't talking about unsafe working conditions. We are talking about greed on both sides of the table pure and simple. Because if you don't like what you are getting paid you can always find a new job. If enough people did that, you might be offered more for your old job to get your level of expertise back. That's the free market economy at work.

I can see an argument for the writers. All creative endeavors pay royalties of some kind for new copies of the original. If these writers were writing books, they'd get paid every time their book was sold. Why not for TV and movies?

And let's be honest, CEO's get paid too much money as it is no matter what industry we are talking about.

On the other hand, it is the production company that is paying the majority of the costs of making the shows and movies to begin with.

And writers get paid an up front fee for writing the script. These royalties are in addition to the fee. And those fees are rather nice. Heck, one script is almost as much as I make in a year.

Of course, that would only really be helpful if a writer was on a TV show, which doesn't happen all the time. In fact, I keep hearing about how half of the writers are out of work at any given moment. So, um, work in a profession with better job security. Or, get another job during those down times. No one is forcing you to work in a job with no security.

And comments like this one do more to push me to the studio's side. Way to resort to preemptive name calling, Paul. See if I ever knowingly support you again. Ever.

Frankly, I am getting tired of the overblown rhetoric over the whole thing. One essay I read said this was taking a stand against all corporations and if the writer's caved it would make things horrid for all of us in any industry. Um, okay.

But let's be honest, this will impact me. And everyone else who enjoys some entertainment. But especially me.

I'm not worried about the returning favorites I watch. True, Lost or Heroes might have short seasons. 24 might take a years off (and maybe it will do them some good.)

I am, however, worried about the new shows I've found that I love. I can't wait each week to watch Chuck and Pushing Daisies. Neither show is exactly high in the ratings, but they have begun to build an audience. A long strike could ruin a chance the shows will last a long time. Either people will forget about them, or the studios will preemptively cancel them.

And let's talk DVD releases. Oh, I know the studios make millions off them. They hardly cost anything to produce, so most of the sale price is pure profit. So the studios could realistically eat the cost of what the writers are demanding without feeling much of anything.

But anyone who thinks that studios will do that raise your hand so I can come whack you on the head.

Once this is settled, watch for DVD prices to rise by several dollars. I won't predict how much for sure, but you'd better believe that we, the fans, are the ones who ultimately will be paying for the raise the writers are demanding. Especially since the Screen Actors Guild will be doing the same thing over the same issues come summer.

And, when the writers realise how rich the corporations are getting off their work, we'll go through the entire things all over again.

There are new talks scheduled for Monday. I hope they lead somewhere. Because if this drags out, it will get resolved in time for the actors to strike. And then we'll essentially loose two years of TV and new movies before this gets resolved.

Making everyone involved on both sides of the issues look like big babies.

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