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Old November 9th, 2007, 07:54 AM   #16
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I just want everyone to put aside their hurt feelings, and come back to the table. The Internet is the Internet, and is still stuggling to find ways to make money (aside from ads and iTunes). But I'm sure a deal can be struck so when it DOES make big money, everyone will be happy.

I am worried about my friends who are the grips, gaffers, PAs, 1st ACs, editors, DPs, etc. They make decent money, but decent in L.A. isn't much.

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Old November 9th, 2007, 08:43 AM   #17
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Heath wrote:

"But I'm sure a deal can be struck so when it DOES make big money, everyone will be happy."

I'm sure I don't have to point out to you, that the 'creative financing' of studios, is such that a project can be shown to 'never' make money. This has ALWAYS been the bane of contract negotiations throughout the industry. So the notion that 'as soon as there is a profit, we will get a part of that' is no longer a tenable option. Fool me once, shame on me...

Interesting bit of information - ALL residuals the studios paid to ALL screenwriters for ALL movies last year:

$56 Million dollars

Figure paid to ONE high-level exec when he got fired, as a severance package?

$60 Million Dollars.


So, we're not talking about breaking the studio's banks here. We're talking about paying people for their efforts, when you USE their work for your own benefit.

When I license a piece of music or stock footage for a project, I don't say "I'll pay you if I make money with it." I pay a sliding fee, depending on WHERE and HOW I am going to use it. Profit CAN figure into a larger percentage, but NO PERCENTAGE??? Not right.
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Old November 9th, 2007, 08:50 AM   #18
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The IRS got involved with the creative ways of hiding profits in the 1980s, so that may be at an end. Don't forget that they discovered $25 million, among other things, owed to Eddie Murphy during the Coming to America lawsuit.

And Peter Jackson suing to open ALL of New Lines books over the first Lord of the Rings flick.

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Old November 9th, 2007, 09:06 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Hannigan View Post
I think it was the right choice for the writers, and for the industry as a whole. But the people who are going to feel it, with the holidays looming, are the grips and hair-and-makeup and first AC's, followed very quickly by the caterers, set design, ... I'm getting depressed listing them all.
I'm finishing up a pilot for MTV right now. But after that there aren't a whole lot of things in the pipeline because of the strike. So, even though IATSE isn't going to honor the picket lines, there simply isn't a lot of work in the pipeline, so you're right that's who really will feel the pinch.

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Old November 9th, 2007, 09:09 AM   #20
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Reality TV!

heath

ps-ARGH!
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Old November 9th, 2007, 10:14 AM   #21
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AAArrrgh indeed. And to top it all off, 'reality TV' STILL uses 'writers'... they're just not paid as 'writers'!!!

I'm rooting for the Writers, and I know it's tough on the industry as a whole, but there are some important principles at stake.
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Old November 9th, 2007, 01:18 PM   #22
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Trivia time...

AACSLA makes as much on copy protection per Blu-ray and HD DVD disc ($0.04) as writers do on a standard DVD.
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Old November 9th, 2007, 08:23 PM   #23
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Heath, I liked your article. I didn't even know what a showrunner was until I read it. After some reflection, I found myself thinking, aren't most television shows so bad it doesn't really matter who's writing? But on the other hand I started thinking about the shows that are good and that there must be some talented people scraping by. Saying no to a paycheck for a few months . . . that's not something a person does unless they're getting a bad deal. I would not want to come home to my wife and say . . . 'Go buy some peanut butter and saltines; by the way, where's our tent at?' For you writers and showrunners out there, my hats off. Stay strong.
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Old November 9th, 2007, 09:24 PM   #24
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I am not giving anyone a pass, but I am seriously worried about not only the below-the-liners unemployed now, but also the L.A. and SoCal, and heck, California economy. Not to mention Canada, Prague, Australia, etc. All of them depend on Hollywood movies, too, in addition to their own projects.

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Old November 10th, 2007, 06:44 PM   #25
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i was a producer on According to Jim (shut up, I know it sucks), starting at the very bottom and working my way up over 5 seasons. In the last season I made about $300K, which was obviously very nice. But if you amortize that over the 6 years before, when I worked as a temp, waiter, receptionist, etc and made $20k, and then take into account that I haven't worked since January, it's not a ridiculous amount.

I read somewhere that all residuals paid by the networks last year totalled $56 million. ONE high level executive got a severance package worth $60 million. So I find it hugely insulting when the megacorporations can't find an extra 4 cents a DVD for us.
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Old November 10th, 2007, 07:05 PM   #26
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Well, According to Jim was critic-proof. I was always surprised how good it did in ratings.

Anyway, back on topic, I hope everyone can put aside their feelings, and get something settled. Now there's a Broadway labor union strike, but that's a WHOLE different can of worms.

Here are some good vibes to everyone involved, so a nice deal can be struck, and everyone can start working again ASAP!

Heath

ps-I think this strike affects us indie guys and gals in a bad way, too.
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Old November 11th, 2007, 04:33 AM   #27
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There's no question it will be settled. What will the studio's do without writers? They NEED these guys. (Only... WHEN will it be settled?)

And to get a bit off-topic, if we are talking about studios and internet and artists... look at Radiohead's new cd. Of course it takes a lot more money to produce a show or a movie then making a cd, but Radiohead's move (I know they weren't the first to do such thing, but such a well known group doing it on such a large schale is pretty new) pretty much eliminates the need for the record labels.
As a customer you can pay 5 dollar for the new Radiohead cd, you have payed less then you did before, and Radiohead probably received more, then they did before...

Although it's of course very different to produce a 100 million dollar movie, and then coming up with another 100 million to promote it.
I know maybe my comparison isn't completely wright, but I did make the association.

I hope a good deal for the writers AND the studios.

P.s. the whole Peter Jackson/New Line affair was really not correct.
It's so obvious that New Line cheated, else they would have just let him see the open books...
Is that settled already?
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Old November 11th, 2007, 09:41 AM   #28
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Well, consider that the MySpaceTV show Roommates is red hot, and Ed Zwick and company's Quarterlife is premiering there, too. The strike may push making money on the Internet.

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Old November 11th, 2007, 10:24 AM   #29
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Just wondering if writers for cartoons and video games are part of the guild?
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Old November 11th, 2007, 10:33 AM   #30
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I don't think so, esp. video game writers.

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