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November 07, 2007

Power to the People

I'll be walking a picket line on Friday, outside of Fox Studios.

Of course, I'm working hard to become a professional writer, so even though I'm not yet a member of the Guild, I'm going to support those who are. For those of you who don't know, the main issues of this strike are DVDs, and other "New Media" -- which are online downloads, digital delivery, cell phones, etc. Little bit of background: back before anyone knew what a cash cow DVDs would be, the studios said to the writers: "We don't really know how much money these can really make, so we can't really promise you anything concrete in terms of money from DVD sales. How about we just see how the sales go, and then re-negotiate something fair? For now, you can have 3 cents (yes, 3 pennies) per DVD sold."

That was... oh... almost 20 years ago. Guess how much the writers... the people who make up the lines, the scenarios, the stories, the characters make now every time you buy a TV or film DVD? 3 or 4 cents.

So this is why they (we) are striking. Because now that digital, online distribution is the wave of the future, what are the studios saying? Exactly what they said about DVDs. And the writers are saying, no, we deserve more. You never re-negotiated after you found out just how much money you could make.

I appreciate that the writers now are unified and striking now, because their sacrifice will benefit me once i start selling and working. So I'll be there with them, Mr. Labor Union.

Support your Writer's Union.

For more information about the strike, here are some great links:
John August's website
Up to minute coverage – the best around.

Posted by jason on November 7, 2007 07:20 PM

Comments

Cool--let us know how the picket line is...But man, I hope they can work something out before the only thing left on tv is reality shows!

Posted by: jessica on November 7, 2007 09:25 PM

I think the writers should get alot of money and I hope they do -- what do they make now annually and what are they asking for?

Posted by: Anonymous on November 7, 2007 10:36 PM

the average writer's guild writer makes five thousand dollars a year... not much, but there are tons of members.

they now make 3-4 cents per DVD and basically nothing for online / downloads.

What they're asking for can be found here.
http://www.wga.org/contract_07/proposalsfull2.pdf

Posted by: jason on November 7, 2007 10:41 PM

Is this what a writers strike looks like?

Writers Not Writing

Posted by: Jason J on November 8, 2007 11:50 AM

Here are two great sites for tracking the strike.
The first is Wikipedia and it offers a list of our favorite shows and how many episodes they have left to run.

The second is a blog with some embedded YouTube videos by the writers/actors on the Office, Lost, and Desperate Housewives stating their opinions from the picket line. There is also a small video about the history and how much they are paid.

Posted by: Joe on November 8, 2007 01:34 PM

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