Super Saturday for the WGA Strike

February 8, 2008

We have Superbowl Sunday for sports, Super Tuesday for the election primaries, and now, Super Saturday for the striking writers.   All eyes turn to Hollywood and New York as the WGA members meet to discuss the latest proposals.  Could this mean the end of the picket lines?  sag_logo.jpg

I hope so.  But then what?  Screen Actors Guild.  That’s what.  It ain’t over til it’s over.


Edie Falco Can Solve the Writers Strike the Sopranos Way

November 28, 2007

From the Late Show Writers on Strike. Gotta love it!

WGA Strikes for Slice of Internet Pie, Uses Internet Publicity

November 11, 2007

This has to be one of the most ironic of ironies, right?  The WGA is striking the AMPTP about Internet residuals, among other things, and are doing an excellent job of using the Internet to support their efforts.   You’ve got to admit, no matter which side of the picket line you may find yourself supporting, that the writers are winning when it comes to using the Web for publicity. 

There are a number of great blogs covering the strike, including Variety’s Scribe Vibe. The standout, however, is the unofficial United Hollywood blog, formed by a group of WGAUnited Hollywood Blog’s Badge strike captains.   In addition to posts and open letters by various WGA members, they share messages and pictures they receive from fans.  They’ve got badges, like the one seen here, for supporters to place on their websites, and a ton of links to other related sites, including a site called Strike Swag that is selling solidarity bracelets and tees, and even mentions plans for a men’s bikini brief (lord, please end the strike before it comes to that!).

And then there’s the WGA’s video coverage on YouTube. wgaamerica is posting daily videos of strike activity and getting lots of viewers.  Even Ask the Ninja has joined in the conversation, in his own unique way.

The writers clearly understand the power of the InteAMPTP logornet to promote their product — in this case, their position and the fight for their livelihood — to the public.   

I’ve been looking for a similar Web publicity blitz  from the AMPTP’s point of view. My search results haven’t turned up much.  The official AMPTP’s website has put up a FAQ to address questions related to the strike, and they do appear to update their “breaking news” section to state their position, but that doesn’t pack the same publicity punch.  I haven’t been able to find any good pro-AMPTP blogs.  If anyone knows of  some, please post the links in comments.  It strikes (no pun intended) me very odd that the AMPTP hasn’t taken their position on the argument over residuals for digital downloads, pay-per-view, and Internet streaming, publicly, to the source, and to their ultimate audience — on the Internet.

It begs the question:  who has a better understanding of the value and reach, not to mention the potential revenue, of the Internet?

WGA D-Day Monday? Mayor of LA offers to mediate WGA strike.

November 2, 2007

According to Carl DiOrio’s report in The Hollywood Reporter, and Dave McNary’s report in Variety, WGA has called for a strike. The walkout may start as early as Monday. The Mayor of Los Angeles has stepped in to try to help:

“In a surprise development, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has offered his services to help bring about an agreement between the writers and logo_hollywoodreporter.jpgthe Hollywood TV and film studios. Representatives of the guild and the Hollywood studios held an initial gettogether in the mayor’s office Thursday.”

Anything could happen, but as of now, the immediate future doesn’t look very bright. Stay tuned.

November 1, 2007: D-day for Screenwriters?

October 2, 2007

It’s been almost 20 years since WGA West and WGA East last staged an industrywide walkout.

According to this NY Times article, it appears the long period of detente betweenwriters-guild-of-america-west-logo.jpg WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers may be culminating in a final show of brinksmanship before the current contract period ends this month. 

Ironically, (at least as it pertains to what we talk about on this blog), one of the main sticking points for both sides has to do with:

“…residuals payment for movies and shows after their initial screening, including…when movies and shows are distributed on the Internet or through other forms of new media.”

Everyone in the film industry is still very much finding our way in this frontier called “new media”. With technology continuously evolving, innovation is providing new platforms for delivery and sharing entertainment content.   Those involved in creating that content, and those who fund it, are justifiably concerned about their rightful place in the frontier.

Things certainly don’t look particularly bright at the moment.  I hope, for everyone’s sake, that a compromise can be reached so all can get back to concentrating on the work of making movies.