Quondam Dreams

Monday, November 12, 2007

That Strike Post

When I watch something on a network's web site, I have to sit through what's obviously paid advertising.

If I legally download or stream a movie, I pay for the product.

I've done more than my share of work on network and studio web sites, and I think I'm qualified to make the blisteringly obvious statement that said networks and studios wouldn't be involved in new media distribution if they weren't making money off of it.

And the studios have the chutzpah to tell writers that they're not making anything at all back on new media?

Here are two things about showbiz that many who aren't in the midst of it may not realize: Writers are at the bottom of the Hollywood totem pole, and studio accountants can make numbers say anything they want. They can even try to convince those lowly writers -- you know, the people without whom the studios wouldn't have any product to push -- that there's no money in online sales.

They can try, even if it's in the face of reams of evidence to the contrary.

And we can stand up, hoist a picket sign, look the producers in the collective eye, and say, "We don't believe you." And, "We'd like our share."

(The producers, I'm sure, have a completely different perspective. Unfortunately, they seem to be speaking in an entirely different language, and they don't seem interested in using an interpreter.)

If you're a writer or an actor, this affects you. If you appreciate quality film and television, this affects you. If you work for a studio, agency or production company in any capacity, this affects you. For more in-depth information, opinions and reportage -- and suggestions for what you can do to support the writers, should you be so inclined -- please visit the United Hollywood blog. If you're a fan, you should also check out fans4writers.com. And throw a few bucks in the Food for Thought bucket while you're at it. The pizza delivery people are being hit, too.


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