12/20/2007

Strike Swag Update


Our friends at StrikeSwag.com have just gotten the official strike shirts back in stock (pictured at left).  And for those of you who're just a little bit late with your holiday cards, Simpsons writer Tom Gammill has a custom designed card that you can order.  Click over to pick up some swag and support the solidarity fund!  

38 comments:

peeled minion said...

Also, just know, he has shirts from our Trekkie Day and there's only a limited addition (and they're nice). So check them out. -Cynthia

Frank L. said...

I'm telling you. All the WGA does is cry and complain. Cry and complain. Cry and complain. Like a bunch of babies. When are you going to grow up? You really think taking it out on the audience is really going to help your cause. You are a bunch of losers. All you can do is cry to mommy whenever a picket line is crossed, or if a show comes back.

This is getting tiresome. I'm sick of being held hostage by you people. And don't go and blame this on the AMPTP. They didn't tell you to go on strike. I am really sick of this.

Ruthie said...

Would somebody please rewind the Barney tape for Frank L?

Dissident said...

Yeah, that's what this strike is about! Fashion!

And I thought Horror Writers Picket was embarrassing. Here thousands of people are out of work, and the WGA is hawking T-shirts.

Unbelievable.

Captain Obvious said...

"Click over to pick up some swag and support the solidarity fund!"


Yes this is about fashion, and not at all about propping up the strike funds for out-of-work industry employees.

Dani Payson said...

I've bought two shirts, including that one and I'm proud

Geez Capt, sure are a lot of trolls in these parts today.

Rocky said...

Dissident,

I am a writer. You obviously are not. Although we feel horrible that so many people are out of work, we are doing what is right. The AMPTP is responsible for your predicament. They have not come to the table to bargain in good faith. But you already know that.

You dont like it that some of us make too much money. What is too much money? More than what you make. That's what the IATSE crew is upset about. Some of us make more money than you. That's too bad. If you want to do something about it, start typing. Go back to school and study writing. Go for it. No one annointed us. We earned it.

This might make you angry but I'll say it anyway. We don't really care what you think. We don't care if you think it's right or wrong. Not even a little bit. Your opinion doesn't matter. It will change nothing. You are collateral damage. It's unfortunate. We feel terrible about it and we blame it entirely on the AMTPT and your pathetic union boss. What an appropriate name. Tom Short. Short on balls. Short on Brains.

Redirect your misdirected anger at Nick Counter and your pathetic union (I was going to say leader but it's the wrong word) hack.

I like your passion but you've got it all wrong. Let go of your writer's envy and you will see the issues more clearly.

Rocky said...

Dissident,
Buy yourself a shirt. Go ahead. It'll take the knot out of your stomach.

Dan said...

D'uh!

Dissident - 1

Rocky - 0

Rocky, you really tapped into that whole Unity issue that's been missing from the overall strategy. It's good that the WGA is aligned w/ the SEIU, and is helping them bring attention to their organizing drive for security guards, specially given that the guards that secure the WGA building are non union. In fact the entire staff at the WGA are non union.

If you worked at being a bit less of an ass, and a bit more empathetic, perhaps you could garner some support from the other industry unions, regardless of the political aspirations of all the bosses...

you see, Tom Short is the boss of my union. but that doesn't mean I have to follow his lead.

Brian Jacobsmeyer said...

Rocky:

Go fuck yourself

Brian Jacobsmeyer
WGA member

WGA 1997 said...

Dissident:

Either you're stupid, or you're a shill or both.

Assuming the last and most plausible...

The reason we had to go on strike at the first possible moment was because they were not negotiating (are not negotiating, have never been negotiating) and so with every week we sat around with them saying... sorry, you get nothing... we'd be providing content to the AMPTP that could use to lengthen the strike.

I need you to make sure the concept above sinks in: the AMPTP has not been negotiating. They've offered exactly nothing... save 250 of "optional" payment for a years worth of internet use. That's it. That's all.

And had we not gone on strike... they'd have continued to offer nothing, while we completed every TV season for every series out there. And by June, when SAG went out... they'd have completed movie slates through 2010 and only have to trash one TV season 2008-2009 to keep us out for a year plus.

So, now that's on the table... explain the way we should have gone about getting a fair deal.

Bonnie said...

Brian Jacobsmeyer, Frank, Dan and the rest of you whiners need an education. Have you ever created anything or are you just sore that some people have talent and you clearly don't. Brian, just because you're a WGA member doesn't mean you don't have your head so far up your ass you can't see or shit. Maybe you should check out the Constitution. Rocky is free to express him opinion. Apparently only you, dissident, the AMPTP and a few others aren't aware of that. There are a bunch of you guys that do nothing but trash the WGA. If you're not plants you are missing your calling.

WGA 1997 said...

And while I'm at it, to all the BTL people bitching and moaning, I ask the same question:

Given the fact that AMPTP has never offered anything... ANYTHING AT ALL... in the entire pre-strike or post-strike negotiations... and given the fact that every day the writers continued working they were providing content that would prolong the inevitable strike that would have happened when the AMPTP continued to offer nothing, what would you have us do in order to try and get a fair deal.

There SEEM to be only 2 options:

1) Take the NOTHING deal.
2) Wait on the strike, in order to engage in a much longer strike (summer 2008-early 2010) with a much better stocked up AMPTP.

If the answer is 1... sorry, we can't do that. It would mean the end of the union within 10 years.

If the answer is 2... please explain why a year strike is better than one that is sure to be shorter.

If there's another answer... I'm all ears

Rocky said...

Dan,
The smartest thing you said was Duh! It also reflects your level of intelligence. Read the entire post. It's just like you jack asses to take things out of context. Just look at the AMTPTs last press release and then take the time to read the LA Times article they quoted David Young from. Then you will see what we are up against.

Although we feel horrible so many people are out of work...

You are collateral damage. We feel terrible about it and blame it on the AMTPT

We REALLY do feel bad. None of us wants anyone else to get hurt. But you are barking up the wrong tree. AMTPT. Thats the tree.

Dissident,

See above. How sad. You are a member of the guild? You almost had me when you said since 1988. That was so convincing. Please. Go back and read your posts. You have to be more careful about what you write if you want us to believe you are with us. You are dealing with smart people here. Nice try though.

Brian,
Since you posted your name, I will make it a point to introduce myself at some point. Give you an opportunity to say those words to my face. I'm sure you'll sing a different tune.

I have some notes on your post.

"Go fuck yourself."

Does it have to be fuck? Can it be shit? Shit myself would be easier and makes more sense. Or Piss. Either would be fine. There should also be a period after, yourself. Other than that, nice work. Keep on writing. You'll get there someday. Then, maybe you can be a real member of the guild.

Dissident said...

Ah, yes, from Wga 1997... the ever-clever, ever-effective, "you're a shill" response. A round of applause, please. I can see why you're so gung-ho about the strike. With that sparkling level of creativity, you'll need all the internet residuals you can get.

It's amazing to me how many WGA members can't get it through their craniums that it's possible to be in the WGA and hold the belief that this strike was ill-advised. It just doesn't fit into their world view. For this strike-happy bunch, rationality is something that lives and breathes in an alternate universe that only rarely intersects with ours.

Wga 1997, you say that we had no choice but to launch the strike, that the AMPTP wouldn't negotiate. Well, we were in the MIDDLE of negotiations when the WGA East went out on strike, like a drunken uncle who's stolen the keys to the family car.

You want to know what we should have done? We should've worked without a contract. We've done it before. We should've kept negotiating, kept applying the threat of a strike (a leverage point that has now been lost). And then, if a few months go by without movement from the producers, we hit the picket lines.

But no, we waited a WHOPPING three days from contract expiration to walk. Why, a sane person might ask?

If your feeble, Kool-aide addled brain can remember back that far, the argument for going out right away was this: to hit the TV season hard, to apply the maximum amount of pressure on the studios so that they'll have to cave quickly. That was the strategy.

You can see how well that strategy worked. We're still on strike and people are now talking about this thing lasting until NEXT SEPTEMBER.

I ask you, why should we follow the same geniuses who came up with this?

WGA 1997 said...

Dissident:

This is silly, since you don't know the facts, but since this is a nice forum to get them out...

We were NOT in negotiations when the walk-out happened and the "walk-out" on the East coast had nothing to do with the break down of talks.

1) On that final Sunday, the WGA was told if they pulled DVD's off the table then the AMPTP would negotiate on new media. The WGA did as told... the AMPTP responded with nothing. Nothing at all. No movement. Those are not negotiations. They came back and said take nothing AND don't go on strike. The WGA said, NO, but if you'd like to keep talking, we're here. The AMPTP walked out the door. Had they wanted to keep talking they could have. They could have negotiated all night, while the "striking" writers on the East coast... um... slept? They hadn't lost a thing at that point and if you really think Les Moonves et al stormed out because there were sleeping writers on the east coast... c'mon you're not that dumb.

2) It was three days after the contract expired, but after MONTHS of negotiations and we'd been offered nothing and less than nothing. So, what do you think was going to change on Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday? The AMPTP has now walked away from the table twice, just because they can and are taking the back half of December off... JUST CAUSE... you think they'd bend while we were still providing them with content.

3) You say September. Got any proof of that? Any at all? Cause we're in December now? So, if we get to September then you can bitch and stomp your feet. Right now we're in December '07 and they don't have any real TV to put on. So, I'll take my chances.

Beyond that, I'll ask the simple question again: tell me how you would have done it better? And not what you WOULDN'T have done, but what you WOULD and how it would have given us more leverage.

Dissident said...

Rocky posted:

"You are dealing with smart people here. Nice try though."

If Rocky is an example of "smart people", then we're going to need a specialized digging crew to recover the bar, which has just been lowered far deeper than we ever could've imagined.

Caitlin said...

Let the trolls come. Seeing how senseless they are only helps our cause.

WGA_1997, I cerainly like your views in 3) better than some things I've been seeing. Regardless of dissident's grasp on the facts, they're right that people- WGA memebers posting here, even- have talked about this thing lasting "at least a year" now. And if it lasts that long, you'll lose a lot of the public support. It's not fair, but it's how people are.

Most still don't even realize how this is going to effect them, and won't until their shows go off their air and don't come back. Sadly, this season, or at least a lot of it, appears lost. When viewers realize that, that's the time to really get the word out and use power of numbers to end this strike as quickly as possible. Of course, I'd like it to happen before then, but if it doesn't happen at that point, who knows how anything will recover.

And if people lose not only this season, but all of the next one, they're going to be blaming everyone, both the people who are responsible, and the people whose strike, even if it had to happen, stopped production across the industry.

I support this strike to the end, but I'm frustated a lot because I think it needs to end at a certain point. Not just to save television shows, but for the outcome not to be completely devestating to everyone, inluding the WGA. Things are already pretty damn bad and will only get worse.

Enjoy your holidays, WGA. But, as I've now said too many times to count, come back fighting hard for what you deserve. Otherwise. . .well, I think we all know how bad it will be.

Oh, yes, the actual post: having swag does not make this strike about fashion. It just gives another way people can connect to and support the whole thing. When the WGA starts saying they won't return the the table until the win the Annual National Union T-Shirt Contest, then I'll pay attention to the whining.

Peter Lake, LAKE Real Estate said...

How clever of the WGA to have as an official shirt one with a logo that looks like it was was drawn by Commies -- something from some Workers Party strike in Paris.

I liked the old WGA "lightning bolt" shirt, even though I sold mine on e-Bay years ago.

Dana Friedman said...

I support the writers, and wish I could do more than buy a shirt. I will buy the "We Write. You Wrong." shirt when it comes out in other sizes, though. You are the forces that make television and the movies happen. Without you, the actors have nothing, the studios have nothing. Sometimes, sadly, when some of you are short of work, you have nothing..nothing to eat, nothing to wear....Those residuals checks can make the difference for some of you..And I applaud the ones who don't need the extra money, but who are out there walking the picket lines anyway. Please let us know what else we can do.

Caitlin said...

Also, I may be way behind, but where did amptp.com go? And what about all these late night returns Nikki Finke is talking about? Stewart, Colbert, and nearly all the network late-nighters. We know it's happening, but she has more updates than you. The fact that shows are returning to the air worries me. It's starting to feel like the studios are right about the whole "breaking down" thing. I need to know that's not true. It's what we should be doing to them.

Dennis Wilson said...

Caitlin, I'm happy the Daily Show and Colbert Report are coming back. Wait till everyone sees how thin they are without material. Our point will be made for us.

not a troll said...

Caitlin, are you a member of the guild, a fan or work on a show? I'm just curious. Yes, it's true Jay, Conan, Jon Stewart and Colbert are all coming back. Dave will probably not get a waiver. Don't know why that information is not posted here, do you?

Caitlin said...

I'm a fan, and I support the WGA 100%. But I worry the most about what'll happen if this doesn't end in. . .well, some period of time, for everyone. And I do wonder why that hasn't been here, but I'm just asking. I do hope we'll get information soon, because I'm getting anxious, and hell, I know nothing as it is.

Bartleby said...

caitlin,

Maybe its the Holiday Spirit. Maybe I'm just a cockeyed optimist. But I feel as if the strike will end sometime in January. Don't know if it will be because the DGA makes a sweetheart deal and the WGA will have to follow; or if after force majeure, the AMPTP will have gotten its pound of flesh. Or if enough fear over a star-less Oscar show will get ABC to force its brethren back to the table (Oscar, after all, is the nets most watched show of the year, traditionally).

But I think there will be movement -- and not of the sludge type -- come January.

Fingers and toes crossed.

aerialdas said...

Yes, writers deserve more. We all deserve more money. And the AMPTP is filled with a bunch of money grubbing B-f'rs... but I don't agree with the timing of this strike.

So, why don't all of you WGA types get off your collective asses and go picket some more... instead of taking nearly three weeks off. You might garner a little more respect or understanding from the BTL people, like myself, who YOU have put out of work. (YOU called the strike not the AMPTP.) I mean, it's not like you're working or anything, right? Wink. Wink.

So why don't you do something -you think- productive or have you run out of fun themes?

WGA 1997 said...

aerialdas:

You mean like ALL the events to raise money for crew ad writers who are out of work? Or all the activities for the community in general? Or showing up at the city council meetings and the comedy for charity? Or does only striking empty studios count for something?

Please name the production that you'd like us to try and shut down... putting those BTL people out of work... that is shooting over Christmas and I'll get it out on the strike report.

We want to go back to the table... we have a counter offer ready to go... we will negotiate for a fair deal round the clock from now until whenever, but we cannot make this problem go away on our own.

And again, please explain what choice, beyond go on strike, we had when the other side refuses to negotiate?

Chairman X said...

They don't pay taxes

They use the public airwaves for free! since the FCC only asks in return that the public interest is served! HELLO their use is commercial

They don't pay US the creators, or the make up artists, or the grips or the ushers who work at their multiplexes

So there you have it Free economy !

And on top of that the State of California goes out of its way to keep this Godsend enterprise here.

No wonder they act so spoiled and won't return to the table.

They don't care.

You can't lose money when you don't spend any.

not a troll said...

You can take my posts down all you want it won't change a thing. You will have nothing to show for this strike when it's over. The writers will never make up what they've lost. Let's see how long it takes for you to pull this post.

IanPKnightley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
IanPKnightley said...

I really do not see what all the fuss is about.

99% of all movies and 99.99999999% of T.V. are utter mindnumbingly garbage. Go out and buy a decent book at least you get to choose what you read instead of having some one else decide what you will find entertaining.

(Removed the previous one cos I can't spell)

WGA 1997 said...

Not a troll:

I quite guarantee that we will get more from this strike than you will get for your post.

A boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife would be a better use of your time then poking a bunch of folk who are just fighting to get what's owed them.

So, we're going to keep doing what we feel we need to do and you should, really, go find someone to love you.

aerialdas said...

WGA 1997 said >You mean like ALL the events to raise money for crew ad writers who are out of work? Or all the activities for the community in general? Or showing up at the city council meetings and the comedy for charity? Or does only striking empty studios count for something?<
You miss the point entirely. All your picketing, all your money raising events, all your YOUR community activities, all of it is skewed to assuage your egos --making you think you are fighting the good fight and demonstrating your concern for your fellow man.... Go back to high school. In the real world, real people have families to care for. Newborn babies, college bound students, aging parents. Your own people acknowledge they won't see any of what they are giving up by striking, that they are doing this for the up and coming writers. Well, PHOOEY! I don't care about the up and coming writers, they still have time to write for another industry if they are any good. They can even change their plans and do something else that doesn't involve the risks of unemployment found in our industry. I'm 53, I don't have the luxury to find other work that allows me to take care of my family RIGHT NOW. I'm reasonably good at what I do, I think, at least I stay working. This lame attempt at trying to better YOURselves has the real possibility of seriously hurting a lot more people than you have conscience to concern yourselves with. And that includes your own, not just the BTL's or the vendors or even the staffs of the people you're striking. Call me selfish for not caring about would be writers, hell, call me anything you want as long as you don't keep me from taking care of MY family.

WGA 1997 said >Please name the production that you'd like us to try and shut down... putting those BTL people out of work... that is shooting over Christmas and I'll get it out on the strike report.<

Why is it you think it's ok to try and shut down a production that has already paid for your work but ignore those who are trying to get paid to complete it? How much skin is it of the WGA's ass to let people see a paycheck through the holidays or even the end of their season? Were there that many episodes left to shoot? (Am I wrong in understanding this strike is mostly directed at TV production?)

WGA 1997 said >We want to go back to the table... we have a counter offer ready to go... <

Then why the hell doesn't your leadership make it public??? Why does it have to wait? What, the egos involved can't be the first to say please??? How many F'ing wars have gone on because of this attitude? You want to put pressure on the AMPTP, then do SOMETHING they can't ignore, go public, now, with your offer. You don't need to sit at a table looking bewildered to get something done.

WGA 1997 said >And again, please explain what choice, beyond go on strike, we had when the other side refuses to negotiate?<

You guys put yourselves in this mess and I certainly cannot get you out of it... or I would have already. What I thought should have been done, in my naiveté perhaps, was to have: 1) talked to SAG and the DGA last year and establish a one for all/all for one pact on a common ground; 2) Continue working without a contract but try and negotiate with the AMPTP; 3) If no resolution is reached by the end or middle of pilot season THEN go on strike. This would have: 1) allowed the most people to finish out their usual work schedules; 2) not given the AMPTP few if any shows/episodes for the 08/09 season; 3)shoot down any pilots that might be green lighted; 4) three major guilds could act in concert to truly shut down the industry with minimal collateral damage to the writers, crews, actors and vendors... And then you have all summer to get mad at each other and threaten the 08/09 season. "Oh, but we would be working without a contract!" Blah, blah, blah. How many unions, guilds or locals have worked or are still working without a contract? One reasonable, non-negotiable issue is a retroactive contract.
Please, unlike my previous post, I am not trying to be a smart-ass here. Enlighten me. Would this not have been a reasonable scenario? I don't have a Master's degree and I certainly don't like politics, but if the DGA and SAG didn't wus out, could this not have worked? Serious replies need only be given.

WGA 1997 said...

Aerialdas:

First, thanks for responding with substance. Appreciate it.

You say a lot, then... "Call me selfish for not caring about would be writers, hell, call me anything you want as long as you don't keep me from taking care of MY family."

I get it. We're all taking it on the chin, but the problem is... your and my health and pension comes on the backs of those who were willing to look out for those who were next in line. Same for our right to have our credits determined by the guild and not doled out by the studios to their friends. Same with the residuals that we do get that has kept many people in the business when their base salaries would have been insufficient. At SOME POINT this battle... about the sea change in the way media is distributed... was going to have to be fought and unfortunately for us... that time is now.

You said... Why is it you think it's ok to try and shut down a production that has already paid for your work but ignore those who are trying to get paid to complete it? How much skin is it of the WGA's ass to let people see a paycheck through the holidays or even the end of their season? Were there that many episodes left to shoot? (Am I wrong in understanding this strike is mostly directed at TV production?)

All the hour episodes of television that were written before the strike got shot. Some of them with exec-producers, many without. Half-hour needs writers on the set every day... so they went dark first. As for letting people see a paycheck through the end of the season... hold that thought... because that's the crux of this all.

You said... Then why the hell doesn't your leadership make it public??? Why does it have to wait? What, the egos involved can't be the first to say please??? How many F'ing wars have gone on because of this attitude? You want to put pressure on the AMPTP, then do SOMETHING they can't ignore, go public, now, with your offer. You don't need to sit at a table looking bewildered to get something done.

I'm quite sure the WGA will counter in the press. Probably just after the first of the year. Yet, while there are CERTAINLY egos on both side... please don't believe the hype. If the AMPTP wanted to end the strike... even to negotiate... they would. They've walked away from the table twice allowing this thing to go on for 6 weeks WITHOUT OFFERING ONE SINGLE THING. So, WHEN the WGA counters, know that they will be forced to negotiate against themselves, which is not about ego it's about bargaining position. (I won't recount the DVD disaster the final day pre-strike... but you get the idea.)

Now, to your scenario... well thought out... which I won't retype here because we've already taken up more space than we should have. It's a plan, but what it would have done would have given the producers the following leverage...

1) Complete movie slats through 2010.
2) Completed TV seasons without significant ratings drops, so that stockholders and advertisers would not have been feeling the pinch.
3) A chance to get their significant upfront money... billions of dollars... as an additional nest egg (because even WITH the strike companies are shooting pilots they'd received PRE-strike)

We would've spent 4-7 more months providing content with NO leverage at all, letting the AMPTP set up at leisure for the work stoppage to come in 2008.

Neither you nor I have a crystal ball, so we're going to have to wait to see how this plays out, but I have every belief this strike will be shorter than the one we would have had in the above scenario.

Again, I appreciate your willingness to have a discussion with a minimum of name calling and I look forward to us all getting back to work ASAP.

Skyfleur said...

Why is it you think it's ok to try and shut down a production that has already paid for your work but ignore those who are trying to get paid to complete it?.
He may have missed the point you made but you did miss his as well.
You tell him to go back picketing during the holiday season. He's telling you the reason there is no picketing is because every production is shut down during the holidays. The reason he's asking you to point to an ongoing production is to emphasize the fact they picket with a purpose.
Your answer implies that if they picket they would shut down a production. Which means one thing : people will respect the picket and not cross it. Which implies two things : either they support the strike and refuse to cross or they respect a picket and won't cross even though they disagree with the strike.
The point is not to hurt you or fellow BTLS, the goal is to hurt the production company. You know that, they know it. But you know this to be true : picketing isn't shutting down productions since every other person is obligated to work. The WGA is aware of this and has not shunned people who were under a contract to go in. They applauded those few who called in sick because that was a bold step.

You have a few good ideas. But 1) you assume the studios wouldn't have increased the rhythm of production for pilot season or stockpiled of existing shows. 2) you assume there would not have been a strike come June. 3) if a strike started in June, you would still be out of work and probably the strike would last longer because there would be no real leverage.
Films woulds have been produced through 2010, tv shows would have been stockpiled and the studios would have saved an entire year of shows, a summer season and two seasons of movies.

Now, there is a few things I really liked in what you were saying. One was the idea that the three unions (adding AFTRA) had come together and offer a single main contract. Problem is I believe that would have been collusion and is of course illegal. However, if it were possible, it is a great idea. I'm pretty sure if they could have they would have done so despite their differing interests.

However, in the balance of the interests of many (writers) and the interests of many (BTLs) there is no difference. It would be different if it were the interest of a few against many but this is not the case. This is in in the interests of everyone despite people getting hurt in the process.

Also right they could have continued working, I can't fault this argument. But so that the WGA didn't hurt everyone in the process while hurting itself ? As you said your opinion is selfish and it spawns from another selfish attitude (the writers). But if you're union, you should understand the power of unity. If you guys go on strike, you think the writers would act like the few outspoken btls here ? Maybe a few would, but I don't think the majority would have.
The thing is the AMPTP is responsible for the situation, the primary cause is the AMPTP. The strike is the consequence of its action and unfortunately, everyone is paying for it.
While you can shout at the WGA or on here an unofficial blog, you can't shout at the AMPTP, no comments allowed on their site. Asking the AMPTP back to the table isn't unreasonable and I believe should be on everyone's lips so that they come back to the table. They refuse to come bakc because they want 6 provisions to be taken off with nothing in exchange (And I've said that before). You know what a real negotiation looks like, and ultimatums aren't negotiating.

Also, it does very much affect the movie industry as for streaming they offered no compensation at all.

aerialdas said...

WGA197 says…>I get it. We're all taking it on the chin, but the problem is... your and my health and pension comes on the backs of those who were willing to look out for those who were next in line.<

So simply stated, all you are saying is that the people working now are the people making the money that covers health plans and pension funds, right? Which in part is true, but the key word is “now”. Now, has two meanings in this sentence: Those who are working are contributing; and, those currently in the Industry with the potential to work. (Neither of which is a would-be.) And please, don’t be like so many other half-informed WGA members who somehow believe the 20 cents “their” residuals kick into my Health and Pension plan is its only source of funding. It’s not. The labor of every unionized BTL requires the producers to fund those programs as well, what to speak of the interest and asset appreciations. Your 4 cents is divided among how many writers on a show? Two? Four? Ten? Our 20 cents is divided among 80 to150 BTL regular crew that work on that same show. And I must add, crews that work 12, 14, 16 or more hours a day and then have to drive home and start in the next day after as few as 8 hours of turn around. When was the last time a writer had those hours? But I digress.

WGA197 says…>Same for our right to have our credits determined by the guild and not doled out by the studios to their friends. Same with the residuals that we do get that has kept many people in the business when their base salaries would have been insufficient.<

I am not and have not been a writer nor do I pretend to know, but I have to question: If these people can only work enough that residuals are required to support themselves (and their obligations), then perhaps they are not that good at what they do, or, there are too many qualified people available and perhaps they should consider doing something else less competitive.

WGA197 says…>At SOME POINT this battle... about the sea change in the way media is distributed... was going to have to be fought and unfortunately for us... that time is now.<

Agreed, but I do not agree with the specific timing or how it has been handled.

WGA197 says…>You said... Why is it you think it's ok to try and shut down a production that has already paid for your work but ignore those who are trying to get paid to complete it? How much skin is it of the WGA's ass to let people see a paycheck through the holidays or even the end of their season? Were there that many episodes left to shoot? (Am I wrong in understanding this strike is mostly directed at TV production?)

All the hour episodes of television that were written before the strike got shot. Some of them with exec-producers, many without. <

In spite of your picketing… hold that thought.

WGA197 says…>I'm quite sure the WGA will counter in the press. Probably just after the first of the year.<

Why wait??

WGA197 says…>Yet, while there are CERTAINLY egos on both side... please don't believe the hype. If the AMPTP wanted to end the strike... even to negotiate... they would. They've walked away from the table twice allowing this thing to go on for 6 weeks WITHOUT OFFERING ONE SINGLE THING. So, WHEN the WGA counters, know that they will be forced to negotiate against themselves, which is not about ego it's about bargaining position. (I won't recount the DVD disaster the final day pre-strike... but you get the idea.) <

Ego is throwing your hands in the air crying, “They don’t play fair! They took their toys and went home!” Intelligence, or at least maturity, would be taking another step forward -- publicize your next offer even if they have not. Do it now, not three weeks or more later. Stupidity, or what claims to be business acumen, is walking away - why be part of the same?

WGA197 says…>Now, to your scenario... well thought out... which I won't retype here because we've already taken up more space than we should have.<

And I apologize if anyone takes umbrage at the amount of space we are taking, but at least this is constructive dialog, not senseless barking at passing cars and mailmen.

WGA197 says…>It's a plan, but what it would have done would have given the producers the following leverage...

1) Complete movie slats through 2010. <

Not sure how you figure this, do you have hard numbers on how many features would have been completed by the strike deadline I suggest of mid to late pilot season? If so, put them out there.

WGA197 says…>2) Completed TV seasons without significant ratings drops, so that stockholders and advertisers would not have been feeling the pinch.<

I believe the only pinch has been the minimal refund of upfront advertising, 200 mil or so? As far as the stockholders, you must be joking… they’re going to LOVE their 4th quarter numbers. The strike handed them untold profits from the cancellation of writers’ contracts and the major reduction in payroll.

WGA197 says…>3) A chance to get their significant upfront money... billions of dollars... as an additional nest egg (because even WITH the strike companies are shooting pilots they'd received PRE-strike)<

In the first place, they already have this season’s upfront money, secondly do you not know that the majority of the producers work under the umbrella of multi-national business entities for whom entertainment is an aside? They don’t need no stinking nest egg. Even the lowest producer is getting what? Residuals! The upper echelon is making money off this strike because their numbers look so good. And the next up-fronts are in May, after the pilot season. How much advertising do you think would be sold (or later returned) if there were no programming to be shot for that season?

WGA197 says…>We would've spent 4-7 more months providing content with NO leverage at all, letting the AMPTP set up at leisure for the work stoppage to come in 2008.<

How do you figure no leverage? Again, I’m not a writer, and this question may shoot me in the argumentative foot, but, when do you guys start writing for next season’s episodes? How is threatening the 08/09 season with no programming not leverage? And, as I ask above, how many features would have begun production? Right now the WGA has spent 2 months with no apparent leverage, otherwise, why would the AMPTP just walk away from you (laughing)? And I have been left: one hand in an empty pocket and the other is flipping the bird. –with apologies to Alannis.

WGA197 says…>Neither you nor I have a crystal ball, so we're going to have to wait to see how this plays out, but I have every belief this strike will be shorter than the one we would have had in the above scenario.<

Respectfully, I disagree.

aerialdas said...

Skyfluer says: >…But you know this to be true : picketing isn't shutting down productions since every other person is obligated to work. <

And that, my friend, is what I was saying in my own sarcastic way. Your picketing, and even more so the lack of it, is a joke. If you are not willing to be out there all the time, during OUR holidays, what kind of commitment are you showing? What kind of message are you sending to everyone else who is affected by this strike? If I saw your people out there on the line on Christmas Eve, I'd bring them a coffee, even though I don't agree with the strike, it would give me cause to acknowledge their commitment to what they believe in. Right now, you ain't got that.

Skyfluer says: >…The WGA is aware of this and has not shunned people who were under a contract to go in. <

Shunned? And what, besides disrespectful, would you call picketing a show you were already paid to write while the remaining crew tries to produce it?

Skyfluer says: >…1) you assume the studios wouldn't have increased the rhythm of production for pilot season or stockpiled of existing shows.<

And you assume they would. I believe even your own guild has acknowledged stockpiling hadn’t actually occurred prior to this strike, so just on current demonstration I would say you assume much more than I.

Skyfluer says: >…2) you assume there would not have been a strike come June.<

I assume no such thing, and in fact, I suggest a strike take place in mid-pilot season if negotiations were failing at that time. (Again, with the caveat that negotiations had begun at the end of you current contract.)

Skyfluer says: >…3) if a strike started in June, you would still be out of work and probably the strike would last longer because there would be no real leverage.<

I never said June, you gave that date. Further, I disagree, as I outlined above in my response to WGA1997. BTW, most BTL’s are already out of work in June and May, and parts of April and July, unless they have managed to get a on a feature.

Skyfluer says: >…Films woulds have been produced through 2010, tv shows would have been stockpiled and the studios would have saved an entire year of shows, a summer season and two seasons of movies. <

Again, as I argue above to WGA 1997

Skyfluer says: >…Problem is I believe that would have been collusion and is of course illegal.<

This is a good point but I am not sure you right about this. If there are any real lawyer types reading this (and I am not talking sea lawyers) perhaps they could weigh in.

Skyfluer says: >…However, if it were possible, it is a great idea. I'm pretty sure if they could have they would have done so despite their differing interests.<

Well, given the egos that are so rampant in our industry, even I will recognize the potential weakness in my proposal.

Skyfluer says: >…However, in the balance of the interests of many (writers) and the interests of many (BTLs) there is no difference. It would be different if it were the interest of a few against many but this is not the case. This is in in the interests of everyone despite people getting hurt in the process.<

So the violence of this “war” and the way it is being played out, is, in your mind, really necessary? That, the lives of people working now are expendable? That, this is the only way to achieve a fair and equitable settlement to your grievance? If so, then I say to you, and the AMPTP: You have lost your humanity and are only concerned with the bottom line.

Skyfluer says: >…Also right they could have continued working, I can't fault this argument. But so that the WGA didn't hurt everyone in the process while hurting itself? <

It seems you think I believe we should just roll over and take it? I don’t. But I do believe more thought needs to be taken before harming others in your own defense.

Skyfluer says: >…As you said your opinion is selfish <

No, I never said my opinion was selfish. I said you can call me selfish. Where, in anything I have posted here, do you feel I expressed selfishness?

Skyfluer says: >…If you guys go on strike, you think the writers would act like the few outspoken btls here ? Maybe a few would, but I don't think the majority would have.<

No, I suspect there would be little difference; within every faction there will be little dicks with big mouths.

Skyfluer says: >…The thing is the AMPTP is responsible for the situation, the primary cause is the AMPTP. The strike is the consequence of its action and unfortunately, everyone is paying for it.<

Again, it may be my naiveté, but I have a hard time believing that when those un-named CEO’s get up in the morning they think to themselves, “How can I screw over the little guy?” Ultimately, this situation is the result of a society that has gone stupid. The leaders of which -political, secular, financial- have done nothing to preserve humanity but rather encourage the things that keep them on top. So now all the small fry leaders want their piece, they become puffed up like dogs fighting over bones.

Skyfluer says: >…Asking the AMPTP back to the table isn't unreasonable and I believe should be on everyone's lips so that they come back to the table. They refuse to come bakc because they want 6 provisions to be taken off with nothing in exchange (And I've said that before). You know what a real negotiation looks like, and ultimatums aren't negotiating. <

From where I sit, not publicizing your next offer and insisting, nay demanding, nothing resume until everyone is at the table, is just another form of ultimatum. The only thing I can think of -at this moment- the WGA has done right, is to begin an attempt to negotiate with the individual companies… That was right, not wrong.

Peter Lake, LAKE Real Estate said...

Blart,
Ya outta b in da movies!
Especially since you're already siding with the AMPTP.