FairDeal4Writers Video Contest

Think you know how to get the AMPTP back to the negotiating table? Want to teach Nick Counter and the rest of the AMPTP how to make a fair deal and end the strike? Okay, here's your chance.

UnitedHollywood is challenging you to shoot a video showing us how you would get the AMPTP to make a fair deal. Videos can be up to four minutes long with one condition, you must use the phrase “fighting for the future” at some point in the video. The only other stipulation is the last line must be “We're all on the same page.”

The winner of the most creative video will receive an authentic WGA strike poster with over 150 signatures, autographed by writers, actors, actresses and directors who signed it on the picket line.

To enter check out www.FairDeal4Writers.com for rules and guidelines.


the latest of bloomers said...

Just wanted to say I think Paul is an inspiration. I see him out there every day: picketing at Fox and Sony, on location pickets and at every meeting.
(plus I think he's easy on the eyes, so it's nice to have someone to check out when you're walking around in a circle!) Thanks Paul!

Kevin said...

dp, I'd gladly put that poster on my wall. Those people are fighting for something against huge odds which is extremely important for a great many people.

amber said...

Working is a privilege in this country. I can't believe you are throwing it all away. Over what? 4 cents? Come on! First, you take away my TV shows. Then you take away my Oscars. I'm pissed. You aim to attack the AMPTP, but you hit your fans instead. Please stop!

T said...

This is a fabulous idea. I can't wait to see the creativity that this contest produces. That poster would be a great prize for any aspiring artist or fan.

T said...

This is a fabulous idea. I am looking forward to seeing the creativity this contest produces. That poster would be a huge coup for any aspiring artist or fan.

Shawn said...

dp - "a skid row Christmas"??? Really? While I understand your intent, you trivializing truly homeless people is a bit tactless.

With that said - I too think that this video contest is pretty silly. What does something like this yield for the WGA's strategy to get the AMPTP back to the table?

The purchasing of pencils idea, as dumb as that was (the pencils didn't annoy ANYONE except the security guards at the studio gates), at least the money goes to a helpful fund.

Stuff like this doesn't help the perception of the WGA taking this strike seriously. Theme days throughout the strike, spoofing websites (as great as amptp.com was), cutting picket hours from 20 to 12 PER WEEK, taking a three week holiday break --- all create a sense of frivolity on the part of the writers, and makes it seem like the writers aren't at all serious about this strike.

Come on WGA - show that you're more serious than this. AT LEAST stage more marches like the one we had with other unions in Hollywood. That's a much better use of your energy. Collectively as a guild, I have to question the seriousness in which the members are taking this strike...

amber said...

This sucks. Both the AMPTP and the WGA need to grow up. You fight with eachother like kids on a playground. You really think singing stupid songs and chants is really going to slove anything? I support your reasons but your tactics suck. I don't care who "wins" anymore. I want my TV back.

Rocky said...

If your union went on strike to fight for better wages and better benefits, then you would be thinking about me and my fellow writers, right? You would demand your union call off the strike because you care about us writers. Be honest. You wouldn't give a shit about anything but a fair deal. And I wouldn't hold that against you. Stop crying and call your pathetic union leader and urge him to get behind us and support our strike so it can end as soon as possible. And let go of your writer's envy. It's painful to watch all of you guys whine and cry. It's obvious you resent us because we make more money than you. After all, we're all millionaires. We dont need to get paid. Writers dont have bills. We dont celebrate Christmas. We dont even eat. It's great because we never have to buy food. We don't really like money or need it. We sit in a rocking chair next to our festivus tree twirling our mustaches, trying to think of ways to screw the very people who help make what we write look great. Wake up Jack Ass. Writers Good. AMPTP Bad.

chardkerm said...

"If you want more money then get a better agent. Have your new agent negotiate your above scale deals just like I do. If the producers are unwilling to pay you over scale then you've been beat out by the person that they are willing to pay. That's the way it works for everyone else that wants a better deal. Don't drag everyone else down with you."

What does that have to do with maintaining a fair residual rate for filling the blank pages that put everybody to work?

Slgalt said...

dp - Half the writers in the guild don't make enough money in a year to qualify for health insurance, and they still have to pay an agent 10%!

What the corporations are doing is slashing scale by moving reruns to the internet, and undercutting other unions health funds. What's to stop them from moving original airings to the internet? Nothing.

Writers do not all get a lump sum, they get paid at stages like when an episode airs on TV. When a company makes money the writer makes money, like a book or song author. Imagine if you didn't get paid until your work aired. Now imagine not getting paid at all because the companies claimed "there's just no money in them there hills of the internet!"

Would you accept a huge stealth pay cut after you had your agent negotiate "above scale" as you are so lucky to get?

If the WGA doesn't fight this now, unions like IA will suffer in the near future (especially since Tom Short will never fight for the union, he always sides with the conglomerates).

This is coming to your doorstep too, you just don't know it yet. They think all workers are expendable.

Not-A-Troll said...

You guys ran out of ideas and now are asking the public to solve your problems.......sad

Not-A-Troll said...

Oh an Mr./Mrs. Moderator, this screening process is just plain sad too. Trying to snuff out your opposition only shows the flaws in your armor.

amber said...

WTF? Why are you deleting all the comments? I was here a while ago and there were a few comments on this post, and now theyr'e all gone. I knew this comment moderation thing wouldnt' work.

Fed-tha-f**k-up! said...

Way back in at the start of November, when this two-sided hissy fit began, I had high hopes for this site.

Sadly now, after so many weeks, I'm forced to say I will no longer be hitting it.

What started out as a site for information, discussion, clarification, and reasoned debate has devolved into a never-ending stream of bile and vitriol.

Anyone who dares to disagree with the most radical WGA opinions (as opined here) is ad hoc labeled a troll (as I no doubt soon will be), with absolutely no proof to be up such charges.

This, by the way, is the very definition of a self-perpetuating delusion. Diagreeing with the WGA makes you a troll. Claiming not to be a troll merely prooves it.

Also, for a site run and championed by writers who all pay such extravagant lip-service to free speech to deny folks the ability to post anonymously and to delete posts they don't like is the height of bullshit and hypocracy.

Also also, while I completely agree that animation writers should be members of the Guild, your demands about reality are just stupid. You claim that reality shows are "written" in editing. On the surface that seems reasonable enough I guess. BUT -- should the people who appear in the reality shows and make up their "dialog" as they go on also be forced to join your Guild? Don't they do as much "writing" as the editors of these (shitty) shows?

Again, I cannot express my sadness and disappointment with the lowering of the bar at this site. It has degraded into little more then unproductive, vindictive (and likely self-destructive) harping. When you've become as disagreeable and as disreputable as those you oppose what good are you?

Fed-tha-f**k-up! said...

Ah ha! And now the blog owner must "approve" comments as well. Shame on you!

Maybe you should change your slogan from we're all in this together (or whatever touchy-feely BS you're hiding behind) to "Free Speech for Anyonre Who Agrees With Us Already!"

dp said...

Wow what happened to my comment? Is the Bush administration censuring this blog? Is this the patriot act? Or are the sponsors of fascism making sure their aren't dissenting opinions?

denise said...

Comment moderation sucks!!!!!!!! Bring back free comments!

tionica said...

Fed-tha-f**k-up! is actually right. Every day there seems to be less and less freedom of sppech on this blog. Ironic for a bunch of people who stress freedom of speech in their picketing of movie/TV sets. Maybe you should stop being such hypocrites and let people say what is on their mind instead of turning this blog into a dictatorship.

dp said...

Look they censured my first comment. Where is it? You guys are fighting for fascism now. Dissenting opinions are just deleted, as if they never existed.

Oh and yes people are loosing their homes right now, so that means homeless. Skid row christmas is the correct analogy for them.

You want my union to get behind a bad strategy? If you want people to get behind a bad strategy then get Bush's religious right. They'll help you. Plus they feed off of censured opinions.

dp said...


I love your Bush like 2 line news bites. "WGA good. Amptp bad"=US good=arabs bad.

The WGA strategy is the most contentious, ill concieved disaster that any industry has seen in 2 decades.

It is a sure sign of a failing plan when censures take on a fascist mentality to steer opinion. Do you want to know when the last IA strike was? Never. We negotiate before that happens. We understand that lost wages are lost wages.

Im sick of hearing how writers don't make any money. What about the AP article today saying the average writer makes 62k not 5k? If you really make 5k then you aren't a professional writer and should not get a vote that could displace 100,000 professionals in other craft unions. Thats like the SAG members who only wait tables and say, " Gee if I ever get a job I sure would like to get paid more..let me vote to strike." I say if you don't work you get out of the WGA.

Who censured my original post that everyone is responding to? Was it Hitler, Mussolini, or Bush? More importantly, why are you lemmings following these type of people? Can't think on your own?

dp said...

I am reposting my original comment. IF it gets deleted I will send it to the LA Times. The news story of the week is censorship in the so called creative guild.

Here it is:
How about the winner gets to sit in on the negotiations? I mean since we are doing a national general casting call for the most important role of the season. It only seems fair. Put your money where your mouth is WGA.

Do you honestly think someone is going to hang a poster that represents one of the worst times in the business on their wall. A poster that represents, lost wages, hungry kids, houses in foreclosure, lost health insurance, etc...

Is the WGA really out of ideas? Is this where the writers get in a room and start throwing erasers at each other. The classic idea "block"? Meanwhile everyone else is enjoying a skid row christmas.

If you want more money then get a better agent. Have your new agent negotiate your above scale deals just like I do. If the producers are unwilling to pay you over scale then you've been beat out by the person that they are willing to pay. That's the way it works for everyone else that wants a better deal. Don't drag everyone else down with you.

WGA 1997 said...

Hey guys:

Just one humble writers opinion... MODERATE AWAY.

It's one thing for people to come on this site... the writer's hub for this chapter of our fight... and ask legitimate questions or criticize tactics, but why allow people to come spew whatever shit just for the sake of spewing?

The first amendment gives one the right not to be prosecuted by the STATE for things they say, it does not give one the right to say whatever they like wherever they like. No such right exists in America.

I'd prefer you wack-a-troll the "Not-A-Trolls" away then let them start a site of their own.

Jake Hollywood said...


Working is a privilege in this country.

Ummmmm...not exactly. It's a requirement, especially if you want to eat steadily, have shelter, pay you bills.

Of course if you're a member of the AMPTP you don't care if I make enough money to survive on. In fact, you think I'm dispensable, a schmuck with an Underwood, and according to you I'm two levels below pond scum. You let writers create Tv programs and movies for you and you reap the profits without wanting to share a tiny percentage with the people who actually do the work, who create the shows and movies.

I find the AMPTPs greed contemptible and your ambivalence incredibly naive.

First, you take away my TV shows. Then you take away my Oscars.

Your TV shows? Did you create them? I didn't think so. Talk about rights vs privileges. Hate to break this to you, but watching Tv isn't a right, it's a privilege.

I'm pissed.

Ain't we all. You'd be really pissed if you were a writer and you knew the AMPTP was so greedy that they wouldn't share with you a tiny percentage of the millions and millions they rake in from stuff you created...Talk about pissed, try that one.

I know TV is your life, but writing TV and movies is how I make my living. And right now I'm trying to make sure I get a fair share of the money that comes in to the AMPTP for the work I do. And picketing and not writing is hard for me, I'd rather be working. But in order to get a fair deal from the AMPTP, something has to be done, a stand must be taken. So I side with the WGA and will continue to do so until the AMPTP understands the concept of fairness and agrees to a contract that's equitable.

WGA 1997 said...

Dear DP:

Dear God. To the LA Times? No. No. PLEASE NO. Because I'm sure they're waiting breathlessly for a random letter from some random person about how this random person's comment was... gasp... not posted on a private website. This is the height of hypocrisy, seeing as... well... seeing... as... I don't know why. Lots of idiot ramblings are not posted all over the "internets" for a million different reasons and no one affiliated with the Writer's Guild has ever suggested that this strike had anything to do with the First Amendment (which isn't even applicable considering that's about censorship from the state.) But I digress... PLEASE DP! PLEASE. Not the LA TIMES.

brandon said...

Could you at least tell us why you started moderating comments all of a sudden?

dp said...

WGA 1997-

What has been said on this blog, particularly on these 22 comments listed above that needs to be moderated or censured? Answer now or forever be considered a pandering hypocrite.

Maybe the criteria should be people that have more than 10 years experience in the biz 1997?

Rocky said...

DP or Sean
I loved you in Mystic river. Say hi to Rosie. Give Hugo a hug and give my regards to Amadinejad.

Unfortunately it sounds like you're behind the WGA strategy whether you like it or not. Buckle up. You may be in for a long ride. Glad to have you along even if it is kicking and scratching all the way. It's sort of like being in quicksand. The more you hate, the tighter that knot in your stomach becomes. Try educating yourself about the issues related to the strike. It might make you feel better. Have a shot of Pepto Bismol for me. Happy Festivus comrade.

Rocky said...

For the record, writers dont have erasers in the room. We never make mistakes.

Also, a skid row Christmas?
Sounds like someone needs to do a better job of managing their money.

Hungry kids? Are the adults hungry as well? If not, I suggest they give some of their food to the children. That is all.

Dick Cheney

Rocky said...

I think it's obvious from the quality of your contract that you have never gone on strike. I'll bet Tom Short gets a big piece of meat in his soup everyday. And lost lost wages and benefits resulting from a bad contract are worse in the long term than striking for a fair deal. Just do the math.
Donald Rumsfeld

S said...

Really. All we need is duct tape and rope. That will bring them to the table.

I wish I had time to participate. I'm saving my creative juices for other ventures. But I can't wait to see what people come up with!

Captain Obvious said...

Whack-a-Troll? I lol'd

I'd frame that sumbitch and hang it on the wall where I write. It represents the best of times, it represents the worst of times.

United Hollywood said...

DP, what is it that you want? If you don't like this site then why are you here? You're welcome to say what you, but it really appears as though what you want is to start an argument.

If you want to verbally spar then be my guest but I'm not in the mood to joust with you. We've already got a fight on our hands with the AMPTP.

If you want legitimate answers to questions I'll try to respond to you, but let me set the record straight on a few points:

1. UnitedHollywood is not owned by the WGA. We are all members of the guild. At times we work closely with the guild but we are not an extension of the WGA. Our content and our opinions are ours.

2. The reason for the Pencils campaign and the Video contest are a direct response to fans and the public asking what they can do to help or get involved. Now, these are not the only ways they can assist us, they're just a few of the ideas we've come up with. There are other ways they the public can help, if they want to, like contacting the networks or advertisers, to name a few. And there are more projects that will rely on the publics help in the works

3. We've been on strike for almost two months now and unfortunately will remain so through the holidays. We're not happy about this either. Picketing is a pretty grim and serious part of striking, but you'll forgive me if not everything we do is so staunch and serious. We're as much out of work right now as everyone else being affected by the strike. Someone wrote here they can't believe we're putting people out of work for four cents. I can't believe the AMPTP is keeping us out of work over 4 cents. I can't believe Jeffrey Immelt, president of Universal Studio, who earned almost twenty million dollars in salary, bonus' and compensation last year, is allowing 4 more cents to stand in the way of everyone going back to work.

And I dare someone tell me I shouldn't begrudge him his salary and then caustically attack me for standing up for my own paltry earnings by comparison.

We take this matter very serious, DP, but through it all we've also kept our wits and our sensibilities. I'm sorry if you're upset that there won't be any new episodes of Smallville or Desperate Housewives to watch come January, but I'm upset that I don't have a job right now. How's your job going, because right now, two days before Christmas, I'm fighting for my future here.

bluestocking said...

Thank you, trolls, for making the case for moderating this site.

There are 23 comments as I write this. (One is a repeat, so there are actually 22.) Now, this is a site created to provide support and information for writers and others involved in the strike. As we've seen from the last WGA meeting (not to mention the many pickets and events), the writers are strongly pro-strike.

So you'd think the site would be too. Let's look at it the 23 comments:

1- pro-strike. Actual comment on subject of post!
2- pro-strike. Another actual comment on subject of post!

...and we're off.

3- anti-strike, angry, pissed. Nothing to do with post.

4- pro-strike, final comment on subject of post.

From now on, all energy will be devoted to anti-strike posts and the responses to them. Let the tedium begin.

[5- repeat post -- not counted for either side.]

6- middle of the road (at least, not hostile)

7- anti-strike, with words like "stupid" and "suck."

8- response to troll
9- response to troll
10- response to troll

(In a more efficient world, we could take the energy put into these responses to trolls and divert it into actual strike work.)

11- anti-strike from Not-a-troll
12- anti-strike from Not-a-troll
13- anti-strike
14- anti-strike
15- anti-strike
16- anti-strike
17- anti-strike
18- anti-strike
19- anti-strike
20- anti-strike
21- anti-strike

(The preceding group included strongly hostile phrases like "sponsors of fascism," more "sucks" (this time with many exclamation points), "dictatorship," "hypocrites," etc. Don't try to tell me any of this melodramatic invective was meant as discussion.)

22- pro-strike
(Perhaps an assumption; the commenter was a writer and simply made the point that moderation of these comments would be good. Gosh, I wonder why.)

23- response to troll

It's odd that *so many* people feel a need to jump onto every post and use the comment area to throw rocks at the writers. I mean, especially given this is essentially a writer-oriented site, and you would think the majority of people here are writers, or supporters. Even outside the industry, polls consistenly show a majority of Americans support the writers, not the AMPTP.

Except here. Eerie, isn't it? Not that anyone here is a troll, goodness no. Censorship! Censorship!

You know, some of us might actually like to DISCUSS things from time to time, maybe even the posts the comments are attached to. The troll overload makes this whole area a confusing mess, and I know I'm not the only person put off by it.

Another vote for moderation. For the love of god.

bluestocking said...

Actually, here's an idea that will make navigating the comments easier.

Take the hostile responses, especially the ones that have little or nothing to do with the post at hand, and move them to a new section called "The Debate Area." Obviously, calling most of this stuff "debate" is foolish, but a small part of it might qualify. At any rate, we glorify it with the title.

There can be a link to "The Debate Page" off the main page, on the right, with the other links.

In fact, to be fair, we might get some real debate there, once people get used to it. Heaven knows there are plenty of writers who like to argue; give them something to respond to.

Take commenter #3; she claims she's pissed because the Oscars have been "taken away." Perhaps she can get up a discussion of that on the debate page.

Of course, then she came back three comments later to talk about "singing stupid songs and chants," so I'm not sure what her point is. But a debate page might be able to tease it out, if there's one there.

Not-a-troll posts that the writers have run out of ideas. We can put that on the debate page, and discuss it. When did it happen? Does this mean the strike is over? Discuss!

DP references Hitler in one of his comments; move it to the debate page. Has Godwin's Law been invoked? (I.e., that any time someone online compares his opponent to the Nazis, he's lost his argument.) Will the WGA make the trains run on time? Or will the decendants of WWII survivors suggest this is poor taste? Discuss!

Seriously. There is a long tradition on the Internet that posts may be moved to areas where they are more appropriate. No one calls it censorship. Go to any fan board; if you try to talk about the arc of episode six of season two in the area for costume discussion, your post gets moved.

Move the chaff out, and the people who visit this blog will be able to find the wheat.

tv writer said...

dp -

You can't compare an IATSE contract negotiation to this WGA contract negotiation. Last time your contract was up, your fearless leader got you... drum roll... a whole 75 cents more an hour! Wow, how did he swing that?

dp said...

Hows my job going? I have been a member of the IA for over 18 years. How long have you been in the WGA? I am not upset that I don't get to watch Desperate Housewives. I am upset that I am ripping through my savings as your strike campaign is frivolously being run into the ground. I support the argument that artists should receive compensation for their work. I believe that there are two kinds of people in the biz, artists and people that make their money from artists. You should get residuals from all markets. However, the WGA has gone about this the wrong way from the beginning. These are a few other reasons I am upset.

1-Some people on my 45 member crew only make 20k a year. How much did you expect them to save? Unlike you writers I hire 10 grips 10 electricians 11 camera crew a Gaffer, Key Grip, my post colorist, etc.... They are like family to me and I know all of their families. I have seen them get married , have kids, etc... They are all hurting now. How many writers hire 45 other writers on every job? Even a show runner only hires a handful. My crew family is my family. There are no strike benefits available to us because, legally, we are not on strike. Yeah no free meals at Bobs Big Boy or Swingers, no freeze to keep health benefits like the wga. Think about it.

2-When your strike started you only stuck from 9 am to 2 p.m.. Was that a joke? I was shooting at the time. Hardly a shut down of hollywood. Its like the writers haven't ever done a real hard day of work. The crews get there at 5:30 am and work until 6:30 p.m.. They don't work 9 am to 2 p.m.. Sometimes they work all night long etc.. We all said, as long as we get the trucks in and out of the studio before that time or after we can keep shooting. Now you are taking a christmas hiatus from picketing as if you deserve this break from your show. If the WGA can't get their back into it and work just as hard as the BTL works everyday how can we take you seriously? Why aren't locations being struck? You should be striking 24/7 because this strike is hurting everyone 24/7. If you want anyone to believe your serious then there should be no holiday break. Please tell me what other strike movement has taken a holiday break? Or gone home at 5 p.m. when the company is still working? Or decided it was too rainy?(the btl works in the rain every time it rains)

3-This moderation is hypocrisy. You say you stand for creative freedom but you censure opinion. I know this site is not owned by the WGA, but it is called "unitedhollywood". After 18 years in the union and many more before that, I have earned the right to interject my opinion. I am sorry if "stay the course" isn't my catch phrase. What exactly have I said that requires moderation or censure???? Please tell me. Like it or not this site is a reflection of the WGA because the WGA members started it and invited every union to blog. Shame on you for censuring the people who are directly affected by the actions of the WGA. You haven't kept your wits and sensibilities. You have to the contrary shown the amptp that you need to steer opinion through censorship, a very sad and weak maneuver.

4-I am angry that there are no checks or balances at the WGA. Why does a united front have to mean a blind following like lemmings into the breach. Everyone else has predicted how your strategy would play out and it has to a T. Its time to stop being a petulant entitled child and learn from people that have done this before. Young's strategy is not working, get it? His last action with the garment workers and Guess jeans ended in the company leaving the country. You are endanger of weakening the guild and now there is talk of ficore movement. This echoes exactly Young's last movement. It's time to acknowledge and move on to something more productive. Remember Guess supposedly wouldn't return to the table either. The art of striking a deal means getting the other side to see your side, identifying what is attainable, and convincing everyone that there is a fair deal for all. Simply saying the deal is fair and standing obstinately by has never proven to be a winning strategy(even if it is fair). Young instead has antagonized the other side by: refusing to negotiate early(he had the opportunity in 2006), not identifying what is truly attainable, and not convincing the other side that this is a fair deal. Isn't that his job? The WGA members would like to keep thinking this is working but it just isn't.

5-I am angry about the WGA disdain early on about the affect this has on the BTL. The absurd premise that IA is benefiting from this strike in the form of residuals to a health plan. The patronizing attitude that this only affects you, which is proven in your statement , "I'm sorry if you're upset that there won't be any new episodes of Smallville or Desperate Housewives to watch come January, but I'm upset that I don't have a job right now." Don't tell me that you don't know what a DP is. Typical of most writers who never take the time to learn who is on the set.

BTL Guy said...

Wow, this particular thread may not be the best place for it (or, to look at it another way -- it may be the perfect place for it), but...

I just wanted to take a break from the debate for a moment and wish everyone who celebrates a very Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays to all.

This is an incredibly tough time for all of us right now, but let's take a day or two to recognize all the good things we still have and to remember that our current hardships and differences are hopefully just temporary.

Sincere best wishes to all (and a couple of days of truce),


not a troll said...

The WGA is losing this battle, watch for them to hire their own PR machine
in the next few days. Some Showrunners are getting ready to go back to work once the late night talkers do. You will see SAG cross the picket lines to do late night since some are profit participants and need to promote their movies. Just the facts.

Fishos said...

Hi, I'm not a writer neither one of those AMPTP puppets attempting to wreck havoc in this site. I'm a person who likes watching TV and thinks that the people who write my beloved TV shows deserve appreciation.

And I want to say to all the moderators: PLEASE, listen to "WGA 1997". He/she is so right. I find what goes on in the comments damn disgusting.

You should be ashamed of yourselves, AMPTP representatives. Quit this and get a decent job please.

dp said...


I would love to do some math with you. Lets see if the numbers work out here. I have 12 years to retirement, so lets see if I an recoup my earnings in 12 years from a strike that lasts 4 months. We will take the average income for a DP since that is what I do. On a tv show a DP makes between 6k and 8k a week. On a feature it is 15k to 30k a week. So lets take the average tv show at 7k and feature at 22.5K then we'll average those two which equals $14,750 a week. Now multiply that by 16 weeks. Thats $236,000 of lost wages for a 4 month period. So that means in the next 12 years taking a 4 month period from each of those 12 years I would need to get a contract that ensures me at least $19,666 more for each month or $4916 a week more. Thats a raise of more than 33% over the original $14,750. Not likely it will be paid off in 12 years. Or if you want to amortize the 33% over the whole 12 year period, which is not comparing apples to apples, but I understand some of you like simple math. That would be 2.75% raise over 12 years, not really keeping up with a normal 4% inflation rate is it?

What happens if the strike goes longer than 4 months, say 8 months? 66%? A payoff in 24 years? You get the idea.

It doesn't matter the weekly rate every one gets but the percentages remain the same for everyone. Is your contact going to give you a 33 % raise? How do you like your new 12 year strike mortgage?

"Yo Adriane I was told there was no math!!"

p.s. rocky that 75 cents was on a $19 an hour rate, so thats almost a 4% raise. Pretty much even with inflation. Not exactly giving away the farm there is it? I thought maintaing the lifestyle of union workers was a good thing.

Caitlin said...

The frustration I feel with everyone involved in this is beyond words right now. The AMPTP deserves no sliver of anyone's time or sympathy, but here we have BTL-ers making long, ranting posts that have surpassed soapboxing and entered the land of pure bitchery, and writers who refuse to admit a single fault in their own efforts and act as though they never had any choice or played any part whatsoever in any of the hardships being felt, which simply isn't true.

For Christmas, I think I'll avoid this place for the day. I respect the people who post and many of the commenters, but the attitude overall- from everyone- is embarrasing. Now Nikki Finke has a dysmal title on her site, as of the time I write with no article posted underneath it, and I'm wondering if all my shows are doomed for good.

Please, writers, come back from the holidays and fight harder than ever. Don't hold anything back. Otherwise, I can't see the benefits of any deal outwheighing the bad that will come. I still support you until the end, but if the "end" is the end of anything, then I can't say I won't wonder whether it was worth it.

And, all whining about moderation aside, I can't help but notice comments simply can't be left for the three most recent posts. *sigh*

Post Guy said...

DP, well said. I agree with most of what you are saying.

Interesting, I didn't know how the Guess action was resolved. Thanks to Nafta, I "Guess" they resolved it easily. C-Ya.

I'd like to add as an IA member of now 29 years, I am not at all concerned with Pension, or even Insurance, I am concerned with survival. I believe, based on the strategy of striking before SAG and AFTRA, when you had power in numbers, that we will still be at this NEXT Christmas, I am planning accordingly.

For the record, Tom Short is doing what his members want. We would rather work to be at the "top of our game" and make "above scale", and not sit on strike for months or years, to get things we don't even want. I have no complaints except I wish the pension was better, but that has been that way for generations, long before Tom Short.

Honestly, I am furious with both sides. I'd lock Counter and Young in a room, with no adult supervision, until this is solved.

WGA 1997 said...

Dearest DP:

I'm utterly fine with a person who clearly doesn't know a single actual living writer and who throws out thin and baseless stereotypes ("of course you people don't know what a DP is"... "disdain for the crew") being censored... just cause. Just cause it's better not to have to listen to your drivel. Just cause this strike might go on for a while and if you want to yell and scream... you can start your own site. And just cause... on the pilot I did just before the strike, I hired the DP, who then went and hired all the people you speak of. (And now with thick British accent...) Good day, sir. Good day.

WGA 1997 said...

And to the BTL guy:

Thanks. Hope you are well. Hope you are enjoying the holidays. Hope to see you on a set very, very soon.


thomas said...

How come none of the new posts have comments on them? Are you doing away with them? I'm scared.

United Hollywood said...

Thank you, BTL Guy. Happy holidays to you too. And to everyone.

Harold said...

All unrealistic optimists and clueless others can read the bad news here.

All these things that I've written (for which I've been accused of being a troll by people that aren't even WGA members) are comping to pass.

Because of stupidity. Because of negotiating stupidity. Because of the stupidity of rushing to make a deal with Worldwide Pants when it doesn't even have the rights to Internet broadcast of its shows and then having to back away from it.

1988. Did anyone learn from it?

For all of the people that claim to be collateral damage from this strike, I have marginally good news for you. If this strike does wind up as another 1988 fiasco, you can be certain that the next WGA strike will be a lot longer than 20 years from now, if ever.

Going 0 for 2 in the last two strikes will make the WGA more compliant than IATSE.

It's all in the hands of the DGA now. What a crappy situation that is.

bluestocking said...

DP, you seem to be genuine, if angry, so I would like to put the appropriateness of this venue aside for a moment, and also try to address your points. I know I won't change your mind -- clearly you feel this very intensely -- but for what it's worth, here is my take as a writer.

1. You say there are no strike benefits for crew. True. But there are *three* other funds -- the Actor's Fund, the Writers Guild Industry Support Fund, and the Motion Picture Work Stoppage Relief Fund -- which are all open to crew and others in the industry. The latter two are specifically for non-writers. You don't mention them, but they're there, and I have to question why no one in IATSE seems to be informed about them. If I were a cynic, I'd think the leadership doesn't want people to know because they might be less angry at the writers.

I believe -- I wouldn't mind being corrected on this -- that those funds are made available in the form of grants. The WGA's strike fund, on the other hand, is simply a loan, and there's not much to go around, so if your point is that the WGA is superior in some way, I would suggest it is not.

2. "The WGA only struck from 9 to 2." The WGA is on strike 24/7. I think you mean that picketing didn't go on 24 hours a day. I have to say, if I saw an empty studio being picketed 24 hours a day, I would laugh my ass off, and I'd expect the executives to do the same. It seems you would find 24/7 picketing somehow helpful to your attitude toward the writers. In which case, I would respectfully suggest that it is not your attitude in this that matters, but that of the AMPTP. Should the WGA ever strike against *you,* we would consider picketing round the clock.

3. I did not remove any of your posts, but I've already spoken my piece on general moderation. I'll pass this one by.

4. "Everyone else has predicted how your strategy would play out and it has to a T." Like when they predicted there would be no strike (as many did). Or when they predicted it would be in June (as many did). Or when they predicted the hyphenates would all continue to work (as many did). Or when they predicted the WGA would go to the law to try and get the AMPTP back to the table -- oh, wait, they didn't predict that one.

So far, in fact, I haven't seen much in the way of prediction playing out, except for one fact. When we went into this, everyone -- writers, non-writers, execs -- had the sense it could be a long strike, perhaps six months or more. So far it's been two. I can't say I'm shocked by this, nor do I see how this means the WGA strategy is not working.

You seem to think Young could simply "convince" the AMPTP that it would be a fair deal to pay the writers reasonably. Respectfully, this seems naive. Is this the same AMPTP that didn't want to give health and pension benefits? That took away copyrights? That would like to have everyone working as non-benefited freelance workers-for-hire? (As Viacom is already attempting to do.) I'm not sure how you would suggest one convince these negotiators of the "fairness" of one's arguments. It is not Nick Counter's job to acknowledge "fairness"; fairness is a concept. It is his job, as it is the job of his superiors, to get as much as possible for as little as possible. The only way to convince someone that as little as possible is just gonna have to be more than *this* is to say, "This is a strike issue." And then, if you don't get it, the other side should really not be surprised that a strike follows.

I will add that the AMPTP are grownups. They know how important the Internet is, both to them and to us. I'm sure they have all the numbers at their fingertips. If they are really keeping this town at a standstill because they're "offended" by Verone or Young... that just seems ridiculous. Or, if true, despicable.

5- You're angry about the WGA's early "disdain" of BTL folk. I would be angry too, if I'd seen any disdain. I saw nothing but deep concern from everyone involved in my production. I know plenty of writers who paid money they could ill afford -- I'm not talking about showrunners here -- to chip in and give a few weeks pay to the people at the very bottom of the rung, the PAs. I did so myself. Why in God's name would you think otherwise?

The only specific reference I can find in your comment, in this regard, is to the idea that the IATSE health and pension money is heavily funded by residuals. If it is *not* funded by residuals -- well, I don't know what to say. But I can tell you this for sure: it does not somehow translate into "disdain."

bluestocking said...

Thanks, BTL Guy. Happy holidays to you and your family.

Len said...

Moderate away. Feel free to exercise a zero tolerance policy on trolls. Anyone who has had experience with adminstrating or moderating a site, group, wiki, forum (discussion board), etc. will totally understand.

No one likes trolls except for trolls themselves.

dp said...

wga 1977-

Im sorry to inform you but I do know a lot of writers. Another thing that you said which really cuts to the quick about the attitude that the WGA keeps asserting. That egotistical arrogant sentiment that has the whole BTL up in arms. Your statement that you personally hired the DP on you last pilot. I can't remember when I was ever hired by a writer, or any of my colleagues for that matter. Usually, (unless your David Kelley or Alan Ball, Sorkin etc. and even then you still have to kick and scream) its the Director that hires the DP. Yes that relationship between director and dp. You know the guys that actually make the shots, put them together and create a visual dialectic of the written word. This assertion that the mighty and bold writer forges ahead alone on his crusade to single handedly craft the project on their backs is offensive. Maybe we should call the DGA and tell them they can't hire their DPs now. The writers have made their decision. Oh sure if you're a show runner and your in regular season then you may say, "well im in charge of everything!" , but I have had more studio execs have a say in which feature or show has what dp than the writer.

This echos in your strike strategy. Don't contest us because we know what were doing. If you do then your a shill or strike breaker or a member of Macarthy's communist poker club.

It won't matter anyway. The DGA will make their deal in January and the WGA will be 0-2 with visions of "88 running around their heads. You guys were arrogant then and lemmings for WGA leadership and you are now. History repeats itself.

bluestocking said...

DP...I don't know what to say, except, you're wrong. You don't have to be one of a handful of famous showrunners to hire a DP. The director of a pilot will usually have input into the choice of DP -- most showrunners have more experience writing than directing, and are therefore happy to facilitate their director's ability to work with the people who fit him or her best -- but the average TV director? No input whatsoever. The DP is permanent to that show; the directors come and go. TV directors work freelance.

Suppose for a moment you're a showrunner, and Director X says, "I'd love to do this pilot with you, and I'd like to bring So-and-So on as my DP." Nine times out of ten, the writer/exec producer of the pilot will be happy to go along with it. What happens after the pilot is completed and the show is picked up, and Director X goes on to do his next feature?

All bets are off, the DP is gone, and the budget that was made available for the pilot is now slashed. The showrunner must now hire a number of new people. Including a DP. This DP will be hired with strong input from the EP or co-EP in charge of production, who may or may not have directing experience -- I've seen both -- after which, the DP will remain, as directors come and go. Until there's some kind of trouble, in which case, the executive producers will consult together, fire him, and hire someone else.

They will not turn to whichever director happens to be shooting episode #10 and have him hire the DP. So, no, the idea of a "writer hiring a DP" is not an "egotistical arrogant sentiment," the like of which has never been heard of. Happens all the time.

I assume you work in film.

More importantly, though, I don't know why you want to interpret everything in such a way that means you need to take offense. It seems that on a second's notice you want to "call the LA Times!" "Call the Directors Guild!" Residuals equal "disdain"; one person saying they hired a DP equals "arrogant" and "whole BTL up in arms"? I doubt if every BTL person in town even knows this guy, let alone what he said in a comment here. And if the very idea of being hired by a writer is distasteful and offensive, there are a lot of people in this town who've been "offended" by being offered a job. It's really not a horrible thing.

When you state with relish that all writers are "lemmings" and the strike will end in failure, I have to wonder. This doesn't feel like discussion to me; I'm picking up hatred.

dp said...


I said on a pilot. Not series. In fact I said maybe the show runner hires the DP on series, because the pilot DP usually never stays. The PIlot director, is usually not an episode 4 or 5 director. Usually the DP and DIrector of a pilot are of higher caliber than those that would take a series. You beg for a famous pilot director and he takes his DP. I am sure your the one show runner that tells a David Nutter that he can't have his DP. You're lucky to have him as you wish like a little kid that your pilot will be the one that is picked up, "Oh god, please pick up my pilot, I have the best director in pilots and his dp....I promise I'll be good... etc..".

It is a pity that writers don't read. Then it would be called the Writers and Readers Guild. I agree not as catchy.

Don't attack me because you haven't read my comments. Its boring to me and confusing to everyone else. I made the difference between PIlot and Series clear. Go re read it.

Also re-read my La Times post where is was talking about blog censorship. Not just calling the La Times because someone made me mad. Lots of talking with no one listening here. Real productive kids.

bluestocking said...

DP wrote:

"I said on a pilot. Not series."

Actually, wga 1977 said pilot. You said:

"I can't remember when I was ever hired by a writer, or any of my colleagues for that matter. Usually, (unless your David Kelley or Alan Ball, Sorkin etc. and even then you still have to kick and scream) its the Director that hires the DP."

You said that neither you nor any of your colleagues was ever hired by a writer. As though you had never heard of such a bizarre thing. It was this I was responding to. If I'd known that you meant, "I've worked on pilots, and was never hired by a writer/exec. producer, and neither have my friends who worked on pilots," I would have taken your statement as meaning that.

You also said:

"It is a pity that writers don't read."

It's a pity not everyone can write. But, unlike you, I'm generally not snide about such things.

dp said...

Typical. Attack semantics but stay away from the issues. You sound like a writers assistant who feels like they wrote the script because they made some typo corrections.

My point is valid. For the vast majority of pilots, the writer does not hire the DP. Is there anything that I said that is so confusing to you that you can't get that simple point? Are you that thick? Is your only defense to totally divert attention away from the point and argue semantics? No wonder the amptp doesn't have time for bullshit.

I said pilot and Wga 1997 said pilot. You're the only one that didn't get that.

bluestocking said...

Enjoy the last word, DP. I'm sorry you want to take things this way.