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Writers & Producers
Returning To Talks!!

I am – Hercules!! The Monday after Thanksgiving, three weeks after Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers suspended negotiations, the AMPTP and the Writers Guild of America are returning to the negotiating table. Word of the renewed negotiations came just 12 days after the start of the strike. The AMPTP walked away from an 11th-hour Nov. 4 negotiating session (reportedly brokered by CBS’s Les Moonves and Fox’s Peter Chernin) after AMPTP officials “learned” that the WGA had kept to its word to strike at midnight. Read all of TVWeek’s story on the matter here. The writers on the Friday strike lines in front of the Universal lot were in good spirits even before news of the renewed talks came down, thanks in part to the many “Galactica” fans who took up pickets to support the writers in front of the studio’s main gate. Despite the dire circumstances, the Friday line attained a party-ish ambiance. Actress Justine Bateman (supercute) was flitting in and out among the picketers with plates of brownies. A three-piece band arrived to provide marching instrumentals. Screenwriters are introducing themselves to – and getting to know – lots of other screenwriters. “Galactica” showrunner Ron Moore, the one writer I felt compelled to introduce myself to at the previous Friday’s Fox picket, was planted at the main gate, holding court with camera crews. I met yesterday for the first time my longtime email pal, “Buffy”/”Galactica” TV writer Jane Espenson, who had just returned from Carl’s Jr. run with another old friend of mine, Sarah Watson of “Standoff” and “Lipstick Jungle” fame. Both Watson and Espenson greeted with hugging, and spoke of a Mutant Enemy day tentatively scheduled Dec. 7 at Fox if the strike continues. (I can’t come to it! I’m already in Austin for Butt-Numb-A-Thon that day!!) (Espenson also spoke of a non-fiction book she was contemplating, but I can’t remember if I’m supposed to talk about it or not, so I won’t for now. Her funny boyfriend, Bob Harris, has a new book out: “Who Hates Whom: Well-Armed Fanatics, Intractable Conflicts, and Various Things Blowing Up – A Woefully Incomplete Guide.” Espenson herself has “Serenity Found: More Unauthorized Essays on Joss Whedon's Firefly Universe,” which hit store shelves about three months ago.) Watson tells me NBC’s “Lipstick” (starring Brooke Shields, Kim Raver and Lindsay Price) has seven scripts banked, and its midseason debut will apparently not be scuttled by the strike. I was introduced in short order to Bradley Thompson (“Deep Space Nine,” “Galactica”), who said production on “Galactica” 4.11 (or 4.13 if you count the 2-hour “Galactica: Razor” TV-movie), the last scripted before the strike, would be finished on Tuesday. Amy Berg writes for “The 4400” (which shoots at the old Columbia lot at Sunset & Gower) but was picketing Universal Friday because she shares in the “Galactica” fanaticism. She confirms USA has still not ordered a fifth “4400” season. The writers are networking like crazy, and there’s a lot of talk about working around the AMPTP, negotiating with independent producers willing to meet the WGA’s demands and perhaps even taking screenwriter talents to comic books or the Internet. The Internet wasn’t really much of a thing during the last strike. WGA members Will Ferrell, Judd Apatow and Adam McKay have already started a website called “Funny Or Die.” I don’t think an AMPTP member sees a dime from Funny Or Die. See if you think it funny as “Carpoolers”:


Read the Letterman writers’ hilarious strike blog here.

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“Serenity Found: More Unauthorized Essays on Joss Whedon's Firefly Universe”

Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 17, 2007, 8:21 p.m. CST

    Thank God...

    by TheFutureDirector

    Maybe, just maybe we'll see our favorite shows come back just in time this season.<br><br>Please?

  • Nov. 17, 2007, 8:25 p.m. CST

    I really hope these guys get their due

    by Atomica

    I really want to see my shows uninterupted but I totally understand their PoV. The AMPTP needed a dish of humility, and you know their scrambling with this strike. Go Writers!!!

  • Nov. 17, 2007, 8:29 p.m. CST

    OK, that video was funny

    by BeeDub

    Good stuff.

  • Nov. 17, 2007, 8:29 p.m. CST

    Mad. Hope this doesn't fuck up SCRUBS last season.

    by MMacKK

    Because that would be the worst thing I can possibly imagine. Like having no final Potter Book, no ROTJ, no ROTK. Plus, this season has really hit its form again.

  • Nov. 17, 2007, 8:35 p.m. CST

    The Ender Smites Foes

    by ZooTrain

    Such anger. Wow. And 24 isn't even any good. Granted, I only watched Season 1...but it was bad. Like...laughable bad. Look at that. A whole post and no vulgarity.

  • Nov. 17, 2007, 8:36 p.m. CST

    As much as I would like...

    by James Westfall

    ... for the Hollywood leftist civil war to continue and hurt both sides in this destructive conflict, there are production crews (lighting, sound, camera, etc.) who don't own second homes and sports cars being put out of work right before Christmas thanks to the idiot writers. So for the sake of those folks and their families I hope this gets resolved. That being said - fuck the writers *and* the studios.

  • Nov. 17, 2007, 8:40 p.m. CST

    I SUPPORT THE WRITERS ON THIS ONE

    by Pound Sand

    Still do. Hope this is properly resolved, and soon.

  • Nov. 17, 2007, 8:40 p.m. CST

    TESF brings the obscenely funny...

    by Pennsy

    About 1000x better than Dane Cook does. I think Heroes shut down on Friday, too after reshooting its 12/3 episode; will get that confirmed hopefully tomorrow when I meet Kristen Bell at BigAppleCon. :D

  • Nov. 17, 2007, 8:48 p.m. CST

    funny or creepy

    by snowpuff

    That video was kind of both.

  • Nov. 17, 2007, 8:56 p.m. CST

    The writers will get a cut of the internet...

    by snowpuff

    ...go back to work, and then the studios will begin promptly begin reporting they lose money on the internet for the next [x] amount of years they can get away with it. This battle was fought over reruns, syndication, VHS/Beta... The studios will lie, people will sue, the studios will have to admit they make a fuckload of cash.<br> <br> "All of this has happened before, and all of it will happen again."

  • Nov. 17, 2007, 9:36 p.m. CST

    I SUPPORT THE AMPERSAND ON THIS ONE

    by chrth

    <nt>

  • Nov. 17, 2007, 10:34 p.m. CST

    yeah, you jerks!

    by necgray

  • Nov. 17, 2007, 10:37 p.m. CST

    yeah, you jerks! but with content

    by necgray

    Stupid pinky finger hitting the Enter instead of the Shift... Anyway, Ender, I think it's hilarious that you're cursing because you can't do without your precious 24. Well, gee, isn't that the work of a writer? Yep, sure is. You want to make a statement to them about how rich they are, quit watching their shows, you hypocrite. And for the 1204357234058977577575020203948th time, THE VAST MAJORITY OF HOLLYWOOD WRITERS ARE NOT (REPEAT NOT) RICH!!!! How many times do you fucking idiots need to be shown the statistics on this?

  • Nov. 17, 2007, 10:38 p.m. CST

    "I" SUPPORT "E" EXCEPT AFTER "C" . . .

    by underscore_only

    But really I support the writers.

  • Nov. 17, 2007, 10:38 p.m. CST

    oh, sorry

    by necgray

    Shit. Didn't think the big number would fuck up the forum. Sorry, guys...

  • Nov. 17, 2007, 11:26 p.m. CST

    Hearing "What the eff?!" is supposed to be funny?

    by TheSeeker7

    I really don't understand this. Okay overall I thought the skit was pretty good, but hearing guys scream "What the eff?? What the eff?!?!" not only sounds annoying particularly after the 20th time they've said it, but if you have them saying "fuck" outright in the video too, why bother having them censor themselves?<br> <br> The only people that say "eff" are those working on FM radio.

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 12:13 a.m. CST

    I SUPPORT BRINGING "24" BACK ON THE AIR!!!!

    by TallBoy66

    I agree with everyone who says we need 24, like, now.

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 12:15 a.m. CST

    CIVIL WAR: I'M WITH THE WGA

    by Ye Not Guilty

    LOL

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 12:22 a.m. CST

    Speaking of unproduced scripts...

    by Severus Snape

    what the fuck ever happened to GHOST TOWN? Is that project dead? Did it ever really exist at all?

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 2:27 a.m. CST

    Fuck the Suits

    by CrazyJoeDavola

    fuck 'em

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 2:38 a.m. CST

    90% of SNL STAFF FIRED

    by Sakurai

    Good Riddance. This is where hard line demands get you. Lets hope this is only the start of the sacking of the selfish writers who put others out of work because they want more money.

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 3 a.m. CST

    'putting others out of work'

    by oisin5199

    Again, you people really need to educate yourselves. If you did some research, you'd see that the vast majority of workers in the industry are supporting the writers, even if it means work stoppage. Not just because of workers' solidarity, but they know that this strike is setting a precedent. Whatever is decided here will affect the future contracts of other unions, especially the directors' guild and the screen actors' guild, whose contracts are expiring in the next year. This is groundbreaking and by making their stand here, those others that they're 'putting out of work' will have a better chance to get fairly compensated in the future. For the last time, it's not about 'more money' - this is NOT a salary raise - it's about being included in residuals and actually being paid for work done, like all those webisodes that directors, actors, writers and crew all do for free right now - that the studio DOES get paid for. Regular workers understand that you have to make a stand if you want to stop getting screwed. <p>And you people really need to stop with the 'getting our shows back' rant - no shows are even off the air yet, with the exception of late night comedy. If you really cared about the craft of making television, you'd be for this and not selfishly whining about missing your entertainment which, for the most part, hasn't even happened yet.

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 3:01 a.m. CST

    I'm with the writers and I'll be joining SAG and the WGA

    by Trader Groucho 2

    in Tuesday's march down Hollywood Boulevard.

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 3:06 a.m. CST

    snowpuff

    by Trader Groucho 2

    Look for the WGA to hold its ground on the issue of getting a percentage of gross, not net. We all know that net profits are monkey points. They mean nothing. Forrest Gump and the Simpsons (the TV show) are still in the red, according to studio accountants. You don't ask the Fox for an accurate accounting of the number of chickens in your henhouse.

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 3:19 a.m. CST

    talk is cheap

    by lettersoftransit

    so they might as well as much of it as they can.

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 4:38 a.m. CST

    Both Studio Execs & Writers aret tne ones suffering

    by theycallmemrglass

    Sure we will suffer from show cancellations, mid season BS wrap up endings. But the ones who are suffering the most are the poorer crew members, the cooks, the technicians etc. Writers and Execs have money. Why do you think the writers are all in a jovial mood while picketing? Go meet the poorer crew members who out of a job as a result and see how much they are laughing.

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 6:32 a.m. CST

    American public really doesn't care about this strike

    by FlandersBum

    This is a waste of time. Things like the price of gas actually bother the normal average American. Unless you're one of the elites who lives on the coasts, we don't care all that much about when the overpaid writers sit back in front of their laptops with a Starbucks in one hand to start writing "According To Jim" episodes and all the other useless drivel on TV. Seriously...the strike could go on for months and the public will get by just fine. Maybe they'll start reading books, getting more exercise away from the boob tube......in a way this strike is one of the best things to happen in this country in a long time. Personally I hope it goes on forever. I only wish the McDonald's workers would go on strike next and shut down the fast food places all over the world....

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 7:47 a.m. CST

    People are so simple minded and one sided about this...

    by Executor

    While I support everyone's right to strike, it's the blind "if you don't support the strike-you're evil" mentality that is ridiculous. The strike will benefit the writers. Yes. And probably actors as well, since SAG renegotiation is coming up. But actors would want to support the writers anyway because THE WRITERS WRITE FOR THEM. I seriously doubt that if a camera union went on strike, or grip or lighting, that we'd see this kind of solidarity. Because ABOVE THE LINE (actors/producers/writers) stick together...they just don't care about the BELOW THE LINE. (with exceptions...thanks Letterman.) <p> Look, everyone is saying that the writers SHOULD get increased residuals. I'm saying...why? Showrunners, yes. People who hammer out story beats and arcs for the season. Or writers for movies. But most TV writers are hired guns who are given a story to write. Sure their work is creative and inventive, but it is something they are hired and tasked to do. Is their work any more creative than, say, an art director who builds a great set that is used over and over and over again yet sees no residuals? Why are they "entitled" to more residuals?<p> Also, some TBers above have said that writers are not asking for a raise, but just a share of residuals. True. But do you think studios are just going to eat a loss when they start paying out these thousands and eventually millions of dollars? No. They will cut back where they can: the shows budget, which means non-unioned and non-contracted workers (i.e. the lowest paid of the entertainment rung), such as production assistants, craft service, office coordinators, etc. WILL BE PAID EVEN LESS. Thanks writers.<p> Again, I'm not saying all this to suggest the writers SHOULDN'T get their due. I'm just saying it's not as simple a situation as people are making it out to be. Yes, studios are greedy fucking corporations. No argument there. But whoever thinks the WGA (and SAG, and the DGA) is the David to that Goliath better have their head examined. This is two Goliaths going at it. The little guy are all the other showbiz workers who are scraping by right now just trying to pay the rent and buy some groceries.

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 7:57 a.m. CST

    I do

    by NudeandAroused

    The writers are all brilliant and creative people who make TV shows, plays, books, movies and songs work. Anything that you see and enjoy has to do with the writers. This is not to take away anything that actors, and, yes producers do, but writers do not get the piece of the "pie" that they deserve. Their Union represents them well.

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 9:30 a.m. CST

    1000 Monkeys & 1000 laptops

    by Yeti

    Will eventually produce the great american novel. Or they'll more lilely all become addicted to internet porn.

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 10:32 a.m. CST

    Alot of ignorant pricks out there ...

    by gripman

    Executor, remember when the teamsters struck back a number of years? Writers danced across that line and all the way to the bank. Considering the greedy requests of 18,000 guild members are putting well over 100,000 out of work (grips, elect., etc ... not to mention the non-union shops that support the industry, caterers, lift companies, prop houses etc.) I'm not very supportive, and many below the line aren't either. When you realize that very few of those members actually make a living as an entertainment writer, you see that very few people are fucking up alot of people's holidays and threatening their homes. Those few writers make obscene amounts of money for garbage like 'cavemen' and 'how i met your mother' ... they can afford to take time off ... I can't so I go to work each day without feeling guilty and raise a proud middlefinger salute as I drive past those greedy pricks. Problem is, when I default on my mortgage , those writers will raise their lattes in the air as I find a warm spot on the sidewalk in the jewelry district in downtown LA

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 10:34 a.m. CST

    I support Liverpool FC

    by DirkD13"

    So suck on my farts you writer bitches.

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Executor and gripman

    by DirkD13"

    Thankyou for the most intelligent comments on here. I would love to see how the writers and actors would manage if all the grips, painters, runners etc went on strike. I am 100% behind the below the line people on this. It's nearly Xmas for fuck's sake!

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 11:03 a.m. CST

    The Ender Smites Foes

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    He brings the passion.<br>He brings the fire.

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 11:22 a.m. CST

    Good posts from Executor and gripman.

    by mrfan

    Enough said.

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 11:44 a.m. CST

    Thanks Executor & Gripman! As for Bateman's brownies...

    by RetroActive

    Are you kidding me? When my company's warehouse and truck drivers went on strike, I was almost ripped from a truck by a union mob as I tried to make deliveries. These guys are sitting out there with tanning mirrors, eating brownies, and giggigling about their misfortune. 4 cents more per a DVD?! How about one dollar more an hour for the guy holding the boom mike? Or, like Executor mentioned...the production assistant fetching their coffee and running the dailies to archives every day. The ones who struggle to get reimbursed for the unsanctioned cab ride one of the producers sent them on to pick up more curtains for lot 62? This is such a joke.

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 1:41 p.m. CST

    I support Jesus

    by JeffManSixtyFo

    I do I really do

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 1:56 p.m. CST

    why no mention of Letterman PAYING his employees?

    by INWOsuxRED

    Oh, because you met someone connected to Buffy. Yes, that is big news. While all the other companies seem to be doing all they can to fuck with their employees, Letterman is paying people not to work. Thats pretty cool.

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 2:10 p.m. CST

    half the writers in the guild

    by INWOsuxRED

    didn't make enough money ($30,000) to be covered for health insurance last year according to that Letterman writers site. How are all these writers rich again? Half the writers in the guild appear to be making McDonald's starting salary or worse.

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 4:35 p.m. CST

    Trader Groucho 2

    by snowpuff

    Sounds good to me.

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 4:49 p.m. CST

    A Faustian Bargain

    by snowpuff

    Let me just add this: As much as the writers paint the studios as greedy douche bags (and they are)...<br> <br> ...how often do you hear a big writer say "Damn, this is project is so important, my fans are SO important, that I'm going to finance this show out of my own wallet!!"<br> <br> Nev-er, Ev-er.<br> <br> They're not that stupid. The studios play an arbitrage game of burning tons of money on X number of shows and movies to beget the X/100 hit movie or series. On the back of every hit show like Lost are 50 pilots or aborted series that went nowhere.<br> <br> Take Fox for example. We all deride them as the King of Kancellation, but consider this: Everytime they put on a show like <i>Drive</i> for 7 episodes and kill it, they burn through about $15-20 million (actually it is the production studio, not the network, but lets keep this simple). So we may mock them, but they're spending a huge wad of cash to find shows people will tune into.<br> <br> The studios are spending the money, not the writers. Much as we'd like to pretend otherwise, Joss Whedon is not going to announce that he's financing the next <i>Firefly</i> movie because it's <i>that important</i> to his fans (forget for a moment that he probably doesn't have the rights to do so). And yeah, I think some of these guys do have the equity/earning potential to be able finance/borrow enough money to do something like this.<br> <br> Why don't they do this? Because they don't want to lose their own money. That's the studio's job. As lame as the studios are, execs often feel under appreciated by writers and this is often true. A lot of writers do want to have their cake and eat it, too. They want the money, they want the financing and they want to complain about the executives.

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 5:42 p.m. CST

    I support Jenna Fischer's boobs

    by Little Beavis

    with my long dong

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 6:21 p.m. CST

    How about instead of just fuck the man

    by Sick Fixx

    How about fuck the man, the studios and the writers? How about just fuck em all?

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 8:12 p.m. CST

    "The Internet wasn’t really much of a thing during the last stri

    by TheRealRatigan

    ...You mean the one in 1988? In 1988, an "internet" was a female intern for all we knew, unless you worked in a lab at NASA.

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 9:16 p.m. CST

    xiphos

    by necgray

    Really? There are directors and producers and camera men and lighting guys and catering and electricians and grips on a TV set? That's so funny, because I thought there was a tube running straight from the writer's head into the transmogrifying adaptamator which then turned the brain waves into an image that is projected to my TV. Thanks for telling me how the industry works. Your point is taken, ass. It's not like I'm unaware of the dozens and dozens of positions OTHER than writer being affected by the strike. But as has been said over and over, just because some people are out of work for now doesn't mean that the writers are wrong to strike. Jesus, that kind of stupid attitude would have kids in 3rd world countries chained to sewing machines because the guy who works at the Gap on weekends might lose his job if he doesn't sell their shirts. And before anyone acts the dick, yes, I'm fully aware of my hyperbole.

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 9:22 p.m. CST

    snowpuff

    by necgray

    Robert Rodriguez. Quentin Tarantino. Sam Raimi. John Carpenter. I could keep going. All guys who financed their own projects, written solely or with help of a screenwriter. What happens is that big writers are shown to be profitable, then they are courted by studios. And most writers or directors or actors, etc., would naturally rather risk a producer's money than their own. I think your point is valid, but I also think you overstate things a little. It would be interesting to see what would happen if the WGA started encouraging writers to finance their own material.

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 9:42 p.m. CST

    re: All guys who financed

    by snowpuff

    I'm not talking about first films that were shot on a shoestring. I'd like to see the list of directors that have self-financed anything above an even $3 million budget. I believe there are a couple rare instances - maybe Coppola did it once (?) - but that's about it.<br> <br> They don't gamble their own money because they rather... not. And also because they want to take artistic risks. What better way to take a risk than with someone else's cash?<br> <br> I don't think I'm overstating it or understating it. I just think it's part of the equation.

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 9:43 p.m. CST

    Get used to the phrase "force majeure"...

    by Pennsy

    You're going to hear a lot of it, starting now. This is from Deadline Hollywood Daily, the blog that seems to be on top of all things strike:<p> "I understand that NBC Universal mailed out a stack of these 'force majeure" letters which began arriving Friday at the agencies of various actors. One of the Battlestar Galactica thespians tells me: "When our agents and managers phoned business affairs for clarification, they were told that we are on suspension without pay. We are not terminated. We are on hold to BSG with no pay in perpetuity until the strike is over. When the strike does end Universal/Scifi will then decide whether they want to bring the show back or let us go. Until that time we are in first position with BSG and will have to clear any other project with Scifi/Uni.<p> "They are not following article 61 of the SAG agreement and are about to get a lot of calls from SAG lawyers. They say that since we have shot the minimum 13 episodes of this season, as per our contracts, that they are under no obligation to pay us or let us go. We are essentially on hiatus. To say yesterday was a tough day on set as this information was slowly presented to us would be a profound understatement."<p> "But it appears the actors and their reps are planning to fight this idea of putting actors on indeterminate hold without pay under a "too bad we own you" power play. Regarding BSG, NBC Uni's SciFi channel is being told that, since the terms of Article 61 appear to be breached, the actors can terminate their deals and attempt to find work elsewhere.<p> I smell a brawl brewing."<p> <p> Ron Moore on his own blog about this: "I refuse to believe that we won’t finish, that we won’t be back to film our final stories, but I know and accept there is that possibility."<p> That oughta to send shivers down everyone's spines.

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 9:43 p.m. CST

    I should say... writer/directors

    by snowpuff

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 9:45 p.m. CST

    Here's RDM's full blog post:

    by Pennsy

    http://tinyurl.com/2jxwgx

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 9:46 p.m. CST

    Wow that would SUCK

    by snowpuff

    And Jeff Zucker holds grudges.<br> <br> Not good news.

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 10:29 p.m. CST

    My brother was there

    by slone13

    He said it was almost exactly like a regular taping only with more sketches and cursing.

  • Nov. 18, 2007, 10:56 p.m. CST

    OHMYGOD. I just had the best idea.

    by IAmMrMonkey!

    You go along to one of these protests, right? And you introduce yourself to others as a writer. You start networking and.... a few weeks later you're writing an episode of Heroes! This is genius. I'm flying to the U.S.A tomorrow!

  • Nov. 19, 2007, 1:18 a.m. CST

    Snowpuff

    by buffywrestling

    Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz (the team behind thirtysomething and My So-Called Life) have a 36-episode Internet show called "quarterlife" on MySpace.com. The show has been financed by Herksovitz and Zwick with advertisers and private investors and they retain 100% ownership and creative control. <p> There is more linkage to this story - the good, the bad and the ugly - at Deadline Hollywood Daily [dot] com for more information.

  • Nov. 19, 2007, 10:20 a.m. CST

    Polled Americans don't give a shit...

    by thegreatwhatzit

    They're supportive of the writers but, bottom line, Americans are indifferent to the strike. The WGA speculated that the country would react with panic. Nope. Americans are "turning to video games, more DVD rentals, et al" (apparently, reading isn't an option). Tina Fey and Julia Louise Dreyfuss are vocal because they're desperate for some limelight (outside of their immediate families, nobody is cognizant of their extremely low-rated sitcoms). I support talented writers, the scribes who sweat blood. The rest should be flipping burgers (by the way, is it true that 90% of the SNL staff is fired?). As for Justine Bateman...wow, ancient history. In lieu of a series, she passes-out snacks. Commendable but a little sad. Hey, wrestling is scripted...right? Obviously, the strike has handicapped that industry. Little wonder that the dialogue lacks the usual bite and sparkling wit. The Undertaker is losing his subtle but rather brittle panache. This is a job for the WGA!

  • Nov. 19, 2007, 11:52 a.m. CST

    snowpuff...

    by -guyinthebackrow

    George Lucas. Episodes 1-3. He put up all of the money for production, and thus soley owns the films. Fox distributed the film.

  • Nov. 19, 2007, 1:21 p.m. CST

    Oh please

    by seniorspeilbergio

    you jackasses are supporting the studios in this? The same motherfuckers you all call greedy and corporate controlled and who you all claim are ruining movies? You want to know why movies suck so much right now? You want to know why shitty movies that everyone says sucked or didn't even bother to see keep making a profit? Because no matter how bad these movies blow, they make it all back on DVD sales and rentals. Therefore, EVERYTHING is profitable. Notice how the last good year for movies (1999) also coincided with rising DVD sales. It seems as soon as VHS started to be phased out for DVDs, the studios started turning out shit like it was going out of style. And what happens if they have to start sharing that avalanche of money? What happens when they can't make all there money back on Stealth 2? They'll look at the numbers and go "oh, shit! Looks like we'll actually have to put some originality and thought into these movies again!" You know, like the 70's. In case you guys haven't figured it out yet, these studios are making money hand over fist for doing almost nothing. Writing actually takes a lot of hard work and talent. Being a studio head just takes great Bullshit skills. The more money these fucking suits make, the more arrogant they get. Do you think it's a coincidence that both Chris Carter and Peter Jackson had falling outs with the studios over profits the studio was trying to keep for themselves? Give me a fucking break! These corporate lackies are making more than enough money and then some and they don't want to share it with the people who actually concieved of the idea? And if you guys think all the writers in hollywood are riding around in Bentleys and fucking super models on the Riviera your beyond fucking ignorant. I know that's how it seems when your living in Idaho but when you actually live here, you realize that reality of the situation is very different. With the exception of a few heavy hitters, they don't make shit and are the very definition of a starving artist. The rich writers like Ron Moore and the like account for a very small percentage of writers. What about all the low budget and independent film writers? They're lucky if they can pay there rent on time. And you think they have money enough to finance their own film? You're fucking high. Even commercial filmmakers can't do that and that's because even a low budget movie cost a SHITLOAD of money to make. But you guys wouldn't realize that living in Wala Wala, Washington.Oh and as far as all the tradesman who will be out of work, they'll be on unemployment and probably get non union work through some friends where they'll be paid cash in hand. Oh, and for the guy who said that tv shows are made by the technicians and craftsman then maybe they can write the shows from now on. Oh yeah, that's right. They can't! I guess you forgot that without the fucking script, these guys don't have anything to work on in the first place. And yes, I am aware that anyone can write a script but not a good one. Ever read a script written by a grip? Don't. "Vampires versus Werewolves man! It's gold. Here, hit this." Now excuse me while I fly on a private jet to an island owned by the guy who wrote the third season finale to Everybody Loves Raymond.

  • Nov. 19, 2007, 4:47 p.m. CST

    Of course the rest of America doesn't give a shit...

    by drewlicious

    It's really not news anywhere else. Sure your regular shows are in danger but they're not life altering to your average person. In LA and New York it's a different story because the economic ramifications affect almost everybody. I don't think everyone is being callous but how affected do you expect people to be when they're nowhere near missing the effects. Think of it this way, would your average person in LA lose much sleep a small town's economy being swallowed by a Wal-mart? Of course not because they're not living in the mess. As for the guy who implied Tina Fey was going off on an ego trip I just have to say I highly doubt that' the case. She writes for the show herself and works with that staff on a daily basis. She knows what they want and what they deserve. These are co-workers and friends. I would think less of her if she didn't step up.

  • Nov. 19, 2007, 6 p.m. CST

    INWOsuxRED, 30K!

    by irrelevntelefant

    30k a year, really? Why that is more than enough to make my lamborghini payments, get a $10 coffee every morning, and pay mortgage on my Malibu beach house(you know, the one where supermodels blow me while I type my scripts)<p> in fact, I am negotiating for the studio execs to make more money off my writing- they have blind-homeless puppies to nurse back to health.... who am i to deny blind-homeless puppies... did i mention the puppies have puppy aids as well? no...well they do. and on top of everything else , these kind caring studio execs have to chew the puppies food for them just so they won't starve to death(did i mention the puppies are toothless too?)<p> gotta go, my 4pm blowjob is here...<p> i support the blind-homeless/tootless- puppy aids- care givers that run the studios

  • Nov. 19, 2007, 6:16 p.m. CST

    To Drewlicious and Irrelevntelefant....

    by seniorspeilbergio

    True.

  • Nov. 19, 2007, 6:27 p.m. CST

    Status on TV Shows?

    by RaRoMo

    How about a TB that lists all shows, and gives the current status on each? i.e., how many unseen episodes are in the can, how many more episodes can be filmed before the strike clause kicks in? For example, Are all episodes of the last season of The Wire filmed? Alan Ball's new HBO series, True Blood, is, I believe, halfway through their third episode. How many more can they film before they have to stop under the rules of the strike? It seems to me that information would be useful to know, for all us fans. And is The Office really out of new episodes, or are they showing a repeat this Thursday simply because it's Thanksgiving?

  • Nov. 19, 2007, 6:30 p.m. CST

    senorspielbergio

    by irrelevntelefant

    i got tired of using facts and logic to support my argument.<p> sarcasm is much easier<p> let one of them come out here and try to even make it... they'll be fluffing on bi-curious midget porn by spring...

  • Nov. 19, 2007, 7:57 p.m. CST

    The "greedy suits" aren't the ones making the money...

    by Banshee7

    the CORPORATION is. And who has a stake in the corp? SHAREHOLDERS. Who's a shareholder? Anyone that has a 401k or IRA. In other words, people like me. So the more money the studios make the better it is.

  • Nov. 19, 2007, 8:59 p.m. CST

    Banshee

    by seniorspeilbergio

    You're an ass. Trust me, the "suits" are making lots and lots and lots of money. The money doesn't just bypass them and go to the shareholders. They bank big time. What separate fucking galaxy are you from? The suits ARE the corporation dumbass. Last time I checked, shareholders don't get to green light movies.

  • Nov. 19, 2007, 10:49 p.m. CST

    banshee, wake up dipshit

    by irrelevntelefant

    really...seriously...?<p> how long before you got used to the smell?<p>i gotta imagine with your head up your ass for so long, at some point you just got used to the smell<p> do you not understand the root of the strike- the studios are making profits off "alternative media outlets" and the writers see none of those profits. <p> so the suits make more money, the shareholders make no money, but the creative talent that behind the money making talent doesn't? please explain why that is "better".<p> the reason the shareholders profit above the writers/actors/crew is because (are you ready for this) THE SUITS ARE MAJOR FUCKING SHAREHOLDERS DIPSHIT!!! Who do you think gets big profit sharing and stock packages(not to mention golden parachutes)? writers? key grips? best boys? NO, THE STUDIO EXECS DO!<P> they don't give a rats ass about your 3% paycheck contribution into a 401k plan<p> i suppose you also believe that when you go to las vegas, you actually believe you have a chance at winning?<p> if you are going to insist on having your head that far up your ass, at least try to keep one foot in reality

  • Nov. 19, 2007, 10:51 p.m. CST

    also, 1000 monkeys and 1000 laptops

    by irrelevntelefant

    will produce 1000 monkey-shit-stained, broken laptops....

  • Nov. 20, 2007, 2:31 a.m. CST

    Below-the-Line Residuals

    by buffywrestling

    Why Production Crews Should Be Cheering On the Writers <p> "I've talked with a few IA guys over the past few days, and they were generally unaware of a few things in their own contracts with the Alliance. To whit: <p> 1) Their unions, including I.A.T.S.E., IBT Local 399, Studio Utility Employees Local 724, IBEW Local 40, Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 78, and the Plasterers & Cement Masons Local 755‚ ALL RECEIVE RESIDUALS. <p> 2) These residual payments go directly into their PENSION AND HEALTH FUND. <p> 3) RESIDUALS earned working on shows CONSTITUTE 55% OF THEIR P & H. <p> 4) If there are funding surpluses from residuals, retirees receive a 13th and a 14th check in that year, instead of the normal twelve. <p> We're talking $339 million in residual contributions to the funds in 2006, and a projected $351 million this year. But it gets better, and this is why IATSE members should be supporting us as the Teamsters and others are. Last year, the AMPTP entered into an agreement with IATSE, which states in part: <p> The bargaining parties agree that if any other Union or Guild negotiates as part of its collective bargaining agreement with the AMPTP residuals on product for iPods or similar devices, the Producers will meet with the IATSE to negotiate an appropriate residual formula. <p> Strike captains have been passing out leaflets at the studios for a week explaining all this, and maybe in a hundred years, every production crewmember will get one. Or, if you"re on a crew, maybe you can just steer your colleagues to this site, and speed up the process. Because here's the thing: if residuals are NOT paid for reuse on new media, every union member in Hollywood will suffer." <p> The following was posted on the unitedhollywood[dot]com website. Also on Tuesday, members of ALL unions will be marching in support of the writer's strike.

  • Nov. 20, 2007, 10:58 a.m. CST

    seniorspeilbergio & irrelevntelefant

    by Banshee7

    Bottom line idiots: the more money the studios make, the more successful the company, the higher the stock price. If the suits have stock options then good for them. Maybe the writers should be asking for that instead of residuals.

  • Nov. 20, 2007, 11:50 a.m. CST

    touche' douche banshee

    by irrelevntelefant

    let me break it down to a very basic level (as it seems to not be sinking in)<p> writer writes script. studio makes movie. movie makes 100 mil box office, another 100 mill dvd sales. writer gets paid residuals off same. <P> a new medium of generating revenue comes along, studio makes another 100mil, writers get no residuals off new media. cost of making dvds drops over time, studio keeps additional profits, screws the writers<p> using your logic- if i wrote a script back in 1986, i should only get residuals on vhs tape sales and not dvd, digital downloads, or any future medium that gets developed <p> i'm all for companies making money, just not at the expense of the people responsible for creating the product that generates the revenue for those companies<P> is it really that hard to understand?<p>please tell me why the writers don't deserve the additional residuals off the additional revenue the studios are receiving from all of the "new media" sources <p> and if you can do it without useing the tired and flawed arguement that writers are all rich sychophants living in malibu, driving corvettes and getting blowjobs every 30 minutes, it would be greatly appreciated

  • Nov. 20, 2007, 2:08 p.m. CST

    Why not hire those monkeys to write the scripts?

    by thegreatwhatzit

    Would have to be an improvement over the usual network filler.

  • Nov. 20, 2007, 3:14 p.m. CST

    Ok, irrelevntelefant. I think I see your confusion.

    by Banshee7

    You're coming from the assumption that this is all about the writers. It's not. If it was, there never would have been a strike. What this is about is SAG, and the DGA. If the studios cave to the writers, then the DGA will want their raise and SAG will want even more. That cuts directly into the studios profit. How can it not? I am against residuals in principal. And I'm a wannabe filmmaker. But I want to follow George Lucas and Robert Rodriquez, both quit the unions and both finance thier own movies, the studios only distribute them. I think if writers have a good script, they should get as much as they can for it and then walk away. If they want more they should kick in some of thier own money, THEN they can participate in the profits thier script generates.

  • Nov. 20, 2007, 3:17 p.m. CST

    while i am opposed to monkeys writing...

    by irrelevntelefant

    there does need to better monkey representation on tv.<p> knight rider is coming back, why not bj and the bear. instead of the landry twins, the olsen twins. and instead of greg evigan, rob lowe.

  • Nov. 20, 2007, 5:12 p.m. CST

    banshee

    by irrelevntelefant

    wow. you are a filmaker who is against residuals? tarantino and rodriguez quit the guild so they could give frank miller a directorial credit. do you really think they are against residuals?<p> ask tarantino how much he makes off 'true romance' in residuals and if he is willing to give up that money<p> residuals are how studios are able to keep production costs down- they don't have to pay up front, and only have to pay if the creation makes money<p>just remember, the post office is always hiring...