11/25/2007

Writer Boi

"Funny rap" is hard. By that I mean it's usually not funny. But then, most funny raps don't have a line like "I got a Housewife but she ain't Desperate, 'cause she knows Marc Cherry is handlin' shit." Or a video featuring WGA president Patric Verrone gamely making a telephone gesture with his hand.



Click here for the hi-res version.

32 comments:

m.o.i.@ warrior ant press said...

Much better than the "Speechless" episodes. It's about time you figured out this strike is more about the W-list and less about the A-list.

Sarah B said...

Ridiculous. I hope writers get paid equally for the shit that they help dump on tv but puhleeez remember the world still turns without another script. In fact, I myself have not noticed the repeats since all the tv show plots are so cliche. I am embarrassed by some of the begging on comment posts for things to "return to normal." As amusing as this writers protest is, let us remember that real art is not bound to this corporate crap and we should all do more to support free, guildless artists. A return to said normalcy is a return to mindless complacency.

Thanks! :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for bringing the noise David. Mother Tongue is one of the baddest bands ever!

Jane Public said...

Funny rap really *is* hard.

As this dismal video proves.

Anonymous said...

"Dismal?" Are you kidding me? This is genius!

Anonymous said...

=\ Writing is supposed to be "for fun", like art, music, ect. Get off your asses and get a job and write on the side like smart people do.

Ian said...

"For fun?" Really? Who are your favorite authors? What is your favorite movie? TV show? Do you really think any of them were written "on the side?" I hope YOU'RE smarter than that.

Anonymous said...

Great fun. Cheered me up on Day one of Week Three. Anyone, and I mean anyone who who tries to diffuse the clear line between right and wrong in this situation is either a studio troll or a free agent for stupidity. Please stop telling writers to 'get a job' or wailing about 'free art'. You are missing the point so completely it's not worth explaining the obvious to you anymore. I know why I have the time and investment in checking these boards. What's your reason? Either you already have a job (trolling) or you need to get a job. Don't bother gettin paid though, it would only compromise your artistic integrity! This strike is hard and it's sad, but it was unavoidable and the Guild members are not going back to work without a proper deal. This video is flat out great. The rally last week with Alicia Keyes was great. Writing is hard, Not writing is harder. But let's face it. We have been in an abusive relationship with stuios for a long itme. They do not want us to change the dynamic. This was just a might versus right bout, but it looks like we've got the moral high ground and the muscle now. It's over, baby. Like a ponzi scheme at MGM.

Unlikely optimist said...

Anyone who says writing is not a real job has never met an agent, an editor, nor a deadline.

Anonymous said...

**=\ Writing is supposed to be "for fun", like art, music, ect. Get off your asses and get a job and write on the side like smart people do.**

Or how about, "get a job astro-turfing on blogs"?

It's easy - no creative thinking required. In fact, no thinking at all. The corporations supply a list of "talking points." All you have to do is type them in.

And for added FUN, mix-and-match!

Choose from:

- "writers are lazy!"
- "writers are greedy!"
- "get a job!"
- "writing is so much fun, it should be for free!"

IT'S FUN! AND IT PAYS! EVEN THOUGH IT'S WRITING! SORT OF!

We are writers. You are a troll. Don't bring a knife to a gun fight.

Anonymous said...

"Writing is supposed to be "for fun", like art, music, ect."

Dumbass. Or should I say plant/troll?

Scott D said...

Could you greedy leaches stop using your kids for photograph fodder on the "picket" lines? If I see one more picture of a teary eyed scribe trying to bolster support for their overpaid position by dragging their Paul Frank clothed kid on the picket lines I'm going to puke. The collective sound of you jokers slamming down the lids on your powerbooks is falling on deaf ears........no one cares, and the world will go on without another shitty episode of "Desperate Housewives".

If you want to be respected for writing (i.e. get paid) go write a book.

p.s. I am neither a studio troll nor free agent for stupidity.

English Dave said...

Scott 'p.s. I am neither a studio troll nor free agent for stupidity.'

Think you have just proven the contrary. Shsssshhhhhhh!

john (not lennon) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ashley Gable said...

Scott D.: It's "leeches." It's "teary-eyed." It's "Paul Frank-clothed." The teary-eyed scribe's kid is "his" or "her" kid, not "their" kid. You need a comma before "I'm going to puke." If you want to be respected for _your_ writing, try doing it with spelling and grammar. Thanks! :)

Ashley Gable said...

That vid makes me so happy. Best line: Negotiate, bitches!

Glickla said...

Some people have to bring their kids to the picket line because they don't have childcare. Unless you're willing to baby-sit for free, because "it's fun"...

Glickla said...

Les Moonves makes more than $20 million a year. Isn't he the kind of overpaid person you should be railing about?

bridget said...

i am an artist and it is hard work, not just some fun pastime. your either:
a. a philistine
b. an idiot
or
c. a troll

or, more likely, all 3

pathetic

Sarah T said...

This video is amazing and shows the why we need the writers. Did you know Scott D that most of the writers on strike are not rich and they in fact need the residuals to sustain them and their families in between jobs. What is something like 6,000 writers in the union are out of work at any one time. Television and movies can affect people just as much as a good book can. And the writers have lots of support of many people. For example, Pepperdine University recently released a study that showed 63% of Americans supported the writers. That's right no one cares.

Angel said...

What a great way to start the week!

LK said...

I'm not a huge fan of most "user-generated" content, as it tends to be of poor-quality or have one note humor. That said --
This was HILARIOUS. In addition to the Verrone (how cute was it that he clearly was embarrassed?)), the Ellen/Leno comparison, the random Julia Louis-Dreyfus moment, and the massive amount of reference points made me giggle and spit my lunch.
Official phrase of the day: "Keep it family like the Walkers on Brothers & Sisters"
Thanks for posting this! Keep up the AWESOME work and great coverage.

J.K. Mahal said...

Love this!! Clever and catchy. Way to go Writer Boi :)

Jen

Anonymous said...

WORST RAPPER EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

look, they showed all of the 3 working female writers in hollywood. oh, but that's a whole other issue.

Anonymous said...

I, for one miss the good ol days when trolls stayed under their damn bridges and didn't have modems.

Captain Obvious said...

^ lol well-said!

Brandon said...

I don't necessarily understand how a person is a troll or a plant by voicing their opinion on a situation in a public forum. Obviously, not everyone agrees with this strike. Furthermore, even people who do aren't necessarily happy or even fully educated about the extent of the issue. Alot of people, including myself, are just upset that their entertainment is being held hostage by "artists" who already get paid a decent amount of money to do something they love. While I know the example is extreme, its like doctors going on strike for more money because the wealth of their knowledge is now freely available on the internet to those who choose to give it a shot, and innocent people suffering for that. I respect that the writers deserve compensation for what they feel is money generated from them net, but does an author get paid everytime their book is checked out from a library or read by a class of children? Yes, in the same way that screenwriters currently do. It brings their work to prominence and garners further attention. It affords that writer the ability to sell more of their work and continue to do what they love. I don't think any of us should be so cavalier or naive as to deny that this issue is just about money. It's not about art or integrity, or the writers would be ecstatic that the studios are freely increasing the distribution of their work and getting it out to people who may not have otherwise seen it. I don't think that the writers should go quietly into the night, as it were. I think they should negotiate for better deals up front, but that once their work is sold and turned over, the reward thereafter should come in the form of continued work based on the success of what they've done. I also think that the Guild should let the writers who are doing okay and who want to write, continue to satisfy the fans of their work and ensure their future profitability. The people who "depend" on residuals to live are people who may not have chosen the proper career path and are not turning in work that is worthy of continued work. The head writers of hit shows are not destitute, unless they are unable to manage their finances properly. And I'm not going to compare a writer to a studio head and then balk at the amount that studio head makes, because its a different job and a different skillset. That's like comparing a surgeon to a nurse and then being offended by the surgeon.

And, no, I don't work for a studio. I'm an independent web designer. I don't get paid everytime someone visits a site I designed or built. I do get the satisfaction of knowing that when more people visit sites I've worked on that I will likely get more work. When that stops happening, I'll need to get another job or hope that I've managed the money I made well enough to survive until I can get more work. I don't hate writers either. I wanted to be one for quite some time, but it's a difficult field to break into. So, if I had been lucky enough to get in the door, I doubt I would happily do anything that might jeopardize my ability to remain there. That's just my opinion, though. You can feel free to call me whatever you feels empowers you at the moment or comment on my inability to comprehend just how much the studios are abusing writers, but I will maintain that the studios seem to have empowered and enriched many writers, as well as having showcased the work of several others and given them a chance at a dream. If I'm a bad person because I feel that a person (who made $20,000 off of something they wrote) isn't getting an additional check in the mail every week for $300 because that item is running in perpetuity somewhere in world and, because of that exposure, they are being offered more work -- then I'm a bad person.

Anonymous said...

Brandon, strangely enough, I also work in design. The two things are not equivalent, which is the basic problem with your analogy. Graphic design work these days comes under the heading of "work for hire". You as designer do not retain any rights to your work, unlike a fine artist whose work is essentially copyrighted upon creation. If you alter a Picasso it is no longer a Picasso, as the artists copyright has been violated. Work for hire carries no such punch. Different disciplines have different standards and rules. Writer’s residuals are also structured so as to be part of a deferred payment. So to be equivalent, you would not be paid your full upfront amount, but a certain amount, and then the rest would be determined by hits and reuse of your original design. If it is not popular and there is no reuse – no payment. A more fitting comparison is a print copyright or song writers licensing. The key is "commercial reuse" There is no real commercial reuse in a book being taken out from a library or that same book being read to children. So again, not a good model for comparison.

The doctor analogy doesn’t really hold water either, as there is medical licensing involved. While the internet is a great source of information, it is still just a machine, incapable of providing a diagnostic service, which is primarily what a physician does.

Everyone knows that the internet in some format will replace TV and that shows will then be pulled down on demand - which will be a commercial business reuse of original material. Therefore, if ad space is being sold on these downloads or streamed shows, and money is generated via reuse, then royalties/residuals are in order. The writers in the WGA do not hold a copyright on their work per say, but they also did not give up all of their ownership; hence, residuals.

Many writers, even the best have fallow periods. Residuals and royalties have always kept novelists and songwriters afloat. Creativity is a hard thing to make a living at. I disagree with your value judgment that the lesser writers will fall away. This is not charity. If they do not wish to pay royalties/residuals, they simply never rebroadcast or resell the material. Otherwise, pay up. If I by a song from itunes, the songwriter gets paid. Why not the scriptwriter?

Entertainment has always been bought and sold, from the Greeks to Shakespeare and onward. I would prefer the cash go to the person actually creating the content, not the mere conduit.

And it isn’t being suggested that everyone is a troll if the disagree with the writers, but they are here. It isn’t paranoia. Misinformation is a big part of any management’s PR battle against a labor strike. Some of the same tactics and accusations being leveled at the WGA (they all make plenty of money, they put others out of work, selfish, greedy etc…) are also being leveled against the striking stage hands in New York. Apparently stagehands are all very very rich and selfish and greedy too. Who knew?

So the answer to your query is commercial reuse and creative rights. The really funny thing is that similar payments for internet and phone usage have already been worked out without a strike in the UK because their studios are much less greedy apparently. They see the reason to pay out for the talent. Their audiences are not missing a single show or movie. I think you are directing your anger at the writers when you should be aiming at the networks and studios. This strike did not have to happen. The studios and mega corporations that own them created this situation.

unlikely optimist said...

Are you hard of reading, Mr. Designer? Need some #ifdefs? Voicing disagreement != astroturf. Regurgitating talking points and making vicious attacks on people over and over while pretending to be the 'average person' despite being on the payroll of the company == astroturf. Why is this so hard to differentiate for only one side of the discussion?

Look, let's put this as very simply as we can.

Long ago, the movie industry faced a serious problem: Some productions were complete disasters, others were megahits. That was easier to deal with when studios more or less owned their talent, but as they lost some of that control, the up-front cost of productions became well nigh prohibitive.

Now, for creative teams, a hit production is the dream. A hit production that can't get off the ground because there isn't enough initial cash benefits no one. Down the line from the stars to the tiny credits no one stays to read in the theater, nobody gets any money at all if there just isn't anything in the coffers to start the movie.

Now they COULD hold out so that movies had to gather full and fair financing before they built the first set. But productions are high risk, and bad investments. Financing can be a struggle even for well-known directors, and a crappily financed production is likely to fold completely, leaving everybody out of work. Or worse, fold incompletely, leaving shooting days cancelled but no one actually fired.

So, the people involved in movies agreed to work for MUCH LESS than the full value of their work, intentionally take less than their efforts were worth, so the initial cost of making the production was over. In return they got residual payments-- the remainder of the worth of their work was determined by how well the production performed over time. Studios benefitted because they no longer had to completely eat the cost of a failed production. Creative teams benefitted because while they were out of work the fruits of their labour continued to trickle in bit by bit and give them a less tumultuous, unpredictable income. They didn't have to hold out and demand enough money up front to sustain them during the time they had to look for another production to work on, in other words, because they had split the income between up-front pay and long-term returns.

I will call you uninformed, and I will call you blind to your own analogy-- because while you object to comparing a nurse to a surgeon, you seem just fine with lumping the orderlies and the people who do the hospital laundry in with the director of nursing staff. Most of the writers are not head writers for hit shows, and just because the average salary in the hospital is brought up by the neurosurgeon's 300,000 operations does not mean the guy changing the bedpan is getting a living wage. Above all, none of them are agreeing to take less than their efforts are worth so that the hospital can make its budget long enough to generate an income. And that's where the blind spot seems to be.

Queen of Disrepair said...

If the majority of people working in a union situation feel that management is taking advantage of them - the right to strike isn't just an option, it becomes mandatory. In order to ensure job security and fair compensation for an effective job being done well enough to generate extensive revenue for the company/industry, standing up for yourself means that you are standing on the shoulders of the people who went before and on behalf of those that will come after you. Most management, even those that are kind and generous and puppy-loving, will screw the workers when push comes to shove. Thank god we can lawfully and righteously shove back.

And,as for those that disagree - okay, disagree. But that dialogue doesn't affect the right to be fairly and equally compensated for work that generates long-term profits. I wish my union could strike but the teachers union in my state long ago lost that right. Everytime a union stands up - whether or not you agree or even like it, every employee everywhere benefits.

Angela said...

I loved the video. It really was pretty good. About the baby sitting comment...yeah babysitters cost good money so when you're on strike you don't have that cash.