1/31/2008

John McNamara: A Fair Deal Is Worth the Cost

John McNamara sent this letter to leadership, and submitted it to us to reprint. McNamara is a TV writer/producer whose credits include The Adventures of Brisco County, Profit, Lois & Clark, Vengeance Unlimited, The Fugitive, Eyes and Jericho.

He is currently writing haiku.

On January 14th, my overall deal at CBS/Paramount was terminated. So this is actually my two cents... plus hundreds of thousands of dollars.

I bring this up so you'll understand that starting on November 5th, I began losing a substantial amount of money. (To put in perspective: I started my career as a playwright, and what I made in my first year of writing theatre, I lost each day as a suspended showrunner.)

As of the 14th, I’ve now lost everything due me under my term deal.

Given that this financial blow is due to the strike and the fact that it's been well over a decade and a half since I made any real money via the MBA, I should be writing to you gentlemen begging you to take the DGA deal.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

I'm writing to urge you -- don't settle for anything less than the best deal possible.

Because this isn't about me or my losses. This isn't about any one writer. This is about thousands of us, up and down fortune's ladder, some who are better off than I am right now, many much worse off, but each of us linked by this:

We all know the difference between a good deal and a bad deal.

"Good" is any provision where our share grows alongside all possible delivery forms.

"Bad" is anything else.

The DGA deal as it stands today is bad. It may be a bad deal with a few good points but it is not the reverse.

Don't be swayed to think otherwise. You know what's right here. Everyone does, no matter what they say out of anger, desperation, greed or exhaustion.

My Dad was a trial lawyer. He spent most of his life trying to sway people. A job that was always easier when he represented a client whose plea or defense was legally sound. Because then he didn’t have to use as many words. My father always said, “The more words you use to explain something, the less true it is.”

What you’re trying to do can be boiled down to two short, declarative sentences:

If they make nothing, we make nothing. But the more they make, the more we make.

Any argument against those sentences would have to be elaborate in the extreme. Possibly confusing. And certainly disingenuous.


Do what's right. Don't back down, don't concede, don't give in to fear, pressure, or worst of all, the common wisdom.

I set out to have a long career that would weather many ups and downs. So far, that's what I've had and there's no denying I'm in one of life's little troughs at the moment. But I'm not alone. And I haven't lost my bearings. This is a fight for the future.

Someday, when that future becomes the present and I look back on all of this, I want to say I was a small part of a big fight that mattered. I stood with people who knew that. We rose together and took action.

I'm proud to do what I do for a living; more proud of that than any check that's ever crossed my desk. Checks, and jobs, come and go. But I'm a writer -- with you -- forever.

- John McNamara

64 comments:

Josh said...

I'd like to second that emotion.

Josh Pate

Daniel said...

This is a wonderful letter, John.

Daniel Sussman

JimBob said...

Rat own!!

jimmy said...

Inspiring.

helen said...

In haiku form:

The internet stream
If they profit, so do we
It's just that simple

Not An said...

Off thread a little but saw an interesting piece on CNBC's Street Signs and wanted some feedback. Julia Boorstin reported on 60frames.com. The CEO Brent Weinstein says advertisers are eager to enter the market. Revenues are shared with the creators and the site has a dozen partner sites. One vid had 300,000 views on youtube along. Has anyone had any experience with this site and - not looking for any personal financial info or confidential info - does anyone know how the revenue share is set up?

Thanks.

Ashley Gable said...

My haiku to John:

Truth spills from your pen:
When they get paid, we get paid.
Nothing else will do.

stuiec said...

The other key point as haiku:

don't give in to fear,
or pressure, or worst of all,
the common wisdom

Geo Rule said...

Have somebody play "America the Beautiful" behind that and put it on youtube. :)

Susie S said...

How humbling and inspiring
I have nothing more interesting to say
As I am striking. With you.

Susie S said...

oops, missed haiku 101. I'll try again...

Ten years writing words
Hoping one day to be paid.
I'll wait a while more.

Stephen said...

Beautifully said, John. Thanks for posting this.

Stephen Tolkin

rHob said...

I just want to ask a serious question and I mean that, and I want the writers out there to seriously answer me.

So if I understand it correctly, you currently receive $40,000 for the first airing of a broadcast episode and then it's either another $40,000 or it's $20,000 for the rerun and then progressively it goes down from there.

So what you really want is the same thing for straight to web episodes (webisodes)??? So this is going to cost the studios $40,000 per writer per episode for the net. Let's say that there are 5 writers, that's a cost of $100,000 right up front that the studios will have to pay just to get something started to go onto the web. Now, as I have been reading, you want to venture out on your own and stream your own shows, skipping the studios. So now you are going to compete with the studios directly but you don't have that initial $100,000 overhead. Is that fair? If this is the case, then you should have a Non-Competition clause in your contract, otherwise, how are the studios supposed to compete? The very studios that have made sure to give you employment for the past 100 years. Riddle me that Batman!

rHob

deuddersun said...

No poet am I, just a hammer wields this one, yet for you I write:

Heartless winds blow ice
Leafless trees bend not breaking
Fighting for the sun

d.
IATSE
Local #52
New York City

Laeta Kalogridis said...

rhob --

Just a quick correction/explanation, I'm sure other people will do it better than me, but here goes:

For an hour of network prime-time television, you get paid around $40K to write (which involves lots of outlines, drafts, read-throughs, many, many revisions, and so on until you finally shoot.)

You DON'T get paid any further when it airs. You got paid to write it.

You then get paid $20K for the first hour-long network prime-time rerun. In cable, you get paid a lot less (I forget the number, more like $6K) and on cable it goes down proportionally from there each time the rerun airs. Also, half-hour rerun $'s are lower, and non-primetime network reruns are also lower.

For the second part of your question: the residual (whatever dollar amount it is) isn't multiplied by the "number of writers." It's usually one, max 2 writers per episode (there are credit rules about that) and they split the resids. The residuals don't increase by the number of people who are credited on the script. This is the same for features. The residual number is fixed, and you just split it between however many writers are CREDITED (which in features usually can't be more than 3 max, again, as per credit rules.)

The idea that we want "the same thing" for "straight to web episodes" isn't correct. First of all, reuse of existing shows ISN'T "straight to web" -- that's streaming of something that's already been shown somewhere else first -- and what we're asking in the broadest terms is that we get a percentage (probably less than 2%)of whatever revenues the companies make when they rerun that content via streaming on the Internet. We DON'T want a fixed flat number, like $20,000, or for that matter, $1200, per episode. We want a percentage precisely BECAUSE it's the only way to be sure we're being fair -- if they get paid, they pay us, basically, somewhere around a penny and a half per dollar they make. That means that their costs NEVER outstrip their income; that problem only ever happens with flat fees.

What we are asking for with Internet-first (i.e. "straight to web") content is that we have jurisdiction over production so that we can get health, pension, resids and separated rights. Internet-first means something like Ask a Ninja, that's not a rerun but an original created expressly for the Internet. (It can also mean "webisodes" that are made to go along with existing television shows but go straight-to-Internet, like webisodes for Lost or Battlestar Galactica.) "Jurisdiction" just means that the companies agree it's under signatory rules for health, pension, resids and separated rights. And if your resids are a percentage of your overall distributors revenue, then that number doesn't make it too expensive to produce that content. SAG already has a "Straight To Internet" framework that allows even the lowest budget work to be covered without making the costs so high it's unaffordable to make that content.

And just like the streaming, if we get jurisdiction on Internet-first, the only payouts that are going to be big for the companies will come in success -- if they have to pay for someone's rights to a world or a character (say, Buffy Summers or the Buffyverse itself) then they'll only be doing it because the Internet-first content is successful and is being exploited "up-channel", i.e. being made into a movie or a tv show or something with a bigger revenue stream ALREADY. So again, companies only have to pay money out in success.

That's what we're asking.

BTL Guy said...

John writes that the Guild should not settle for anything less than "the best deal possible."

The real question, then, is: "Is this the best deal possible?"

Look, it's nice to say "if they make something, we should make something." But is that achievable? And what price is everyone willing to pay to get it?

No one denies that those who were being paid the most before the strike are also the ones who are losing the most in terms of actual dollars.

But the wealthy writers (and I'm not saying that all writers are rich) are also the ones who can best survive the Strike because they have far more cash on hand, plus additional assets that could be sold, than do the rest of us.

If a version of the DGA deal is rejected by the WGA, it is very likely that this Strike will extend through the Summer, possibly well beyond even that.

Is the price to be paid worth the benefits to be gained? Are you sure??

If the Strike goes on for 9 months, are the gains at the end worth more than a 3 month strike now and a 6 month strike 3 years from now (when more concrete numbers are going to be available)? Are you aware that you don't have to wait 20 years between Strikes if there is inequity in your contract?

The title of Jon's post is "A Fair Deal Is Worth The Cost." Well, define precisely what a fair deal is, in terms of dollars to be earned.

Then define what precisely what you are willing to pay to get it, in terms of months of waiting and paychecks lost.

Only then will you really know whether "a fair deal is worth the cost." Everything else is just talk, no matter how eloquent or how heartfelt it may be.

Because what's the point in a moral victory if there's no one left to share it with?

QuoterGal said...

On Fans4Writers, we've called these little gems "straiku" - much to the consternation of members who actually know something about poetry. Since most of us don't, however, we happily peg away undeterred at our very bad straiku: http://www.fans4writers.com/forum/index.php?topic=353.0

(And many thanks to you, laeta kalogridis - your explanation cut right to the heart of the issues and covered all the bases...)

stuiec said...

btl guy: the more this strike accomplishes for the writers, the less likely another strike will have to be called in the future. Not because the contract this time will be perfect, but because when it comes time to negotiate away inequities in this contract, the companies will be under no illusions about the will and commitment of the writers.

I hope that another legacy of this strike will be an infrastructure to promote solidarity between the guilds and unions so that the leverage of each is amplified by the commitment and preparation of all.

4merBTLer said...

Ms. Kalogridis,

Can you please, please post your reply to rhob on the main page of this site, for those who have no time to peruse the many Comments Sections but would appreciate the clarity of your explanation? There are many people I know (BTLers) who have asked me about this, and I would love to be able to easily direct them to your words.

And if you do so, can you also explain "residuals" for those of us that may be unclear/unsure of the concept?

From what I understand, a writer takes a portion of their fee up front and "invests" the rest in the future success of the finished product, reaping dividends (or not) down the road... Therefore, residuals are not bonuses... Yes, no, maybe kinda? Isn't that why the residual system came to be; to offset up-front production costs?

Please "unconfuse" me and my friends.

Thank you!

just a thought said...

John I'm truly sorry you lost your deal. I know your a nice guy and good to your crews.
That being said does anyone know what a fair deal is. I've been trying to make sense of this, what does everyone want. Each time I read one of these threads I get the feeling that there is 12,500 ideas of what fair deal is.
Let your NEG COM work it out.
Haiku
The wind blew
and the shit flew
and for days the vision was bad
Bob Dylan I think

4merBTLer said...

"Well, define precisely what a fair deal is, in terms of dollars to be earned.

Then define what precisely what you are willing to pay to get it, in terms of months of waiting and paychecks lost."

Unfortunately, btlguy, even though I would hope that these things have been considered, discussed and defined, the point of negative returns can't be disclosed on a public forum for those of us "outside the room", because then the AMPTP would also know exactly where that is, and would happily sit back and wait for the WGA to reach it and break. And then SAG would be forced to strike. That would REALLY suck.

"Hope for the best and prepare for the worst" is as much for the AMPTP's benefit as ours.

So, I'm willing to sit quietly (okay, not THAT quietly) in the dark, hemorrhaging money, as the NegComm does its work. *sigh*

Rocky said...

Laeta Kalogridis,

I don't think anyone can explain our position better than you did. That was awesome.

I think many of the posts that led to your explanation illustrate the lack of knowledge on the subject by many who blog on this site. Some of the non-WGA who are being hurt by the strike are quick to point the finger of blame at writers. I believe that is because some of them are not up to speed on the meat of the issues. Your post will hopefully help change that. Thanks.

Captain Obvious said...

This was great, John, thanks for telling your story.

As for the haiku theme...

It has to be said:
Only a fair deal will do
Only with good faith

Fred said...

The simplest, most elegant theory is, if they make a buck we make (x) cents. Fill in the x. Any buck, anywhere, on anything we created. (And BTW, we really should b fighting this battle to get copyright back. It's ludicrous that playwrights and authors have copyright and we do not). That's the way it's always been, since writers became independent of studio contracts. We let the studios/networks talk us into a deal which paid very little on the promise of riches to come. The studios/networks are just lucky we aren't asking for retroactive pay for the years they cheated us.

John, your letter was so simple and heartfelt. Yours is a voice the WGA should evoke more often.

Chris Darling

Brian said...

Wonderfully Said, John.

BTLguy -
I understand your thoughts - but it also rings of what I hear in this industry and others, which is this: That the people who do the work are not deserving of fair compensation. More and more people seem to think that they can not get a fair deal. That only the rich and powerful deserve to get paid for the work their employers do. That is why I believe this strike is about more than residuals. For me it's been a wake up call to the unchecked greed of the few and the capitulation of the many.

I hope this ends soon. And I hope that the many begin to realize that they are the ones that make the wheels turn around and begin to value their contribution - and stop seeing the Rich and powerful as the deserving ones - just because they have found a way to wring every last cent out of the working guy.

Luzid said...

@ BTL Guy:

>"Look, it's nice to say "if they make something, we should make something." But is that achievable?"<

Considering that the only acceptable end result (economically and morally) is that writers get paid when any money is made off their creations, yes, it is achievable... because writers are not going to allow themselves to be bilked out of monies THEY RIGHTFULLY EARNED by creating the profitable stories in the first place.

Are you suggesting that writers don't deserve to be paid every time someone who *didn't* create the profit source makes money off of it? I don't mean to sound rude, but let's be clear: without the writers creating the stories that make Hollywood so much money, you wouldn't even have a job.

If you want to kill BTL union work, go ahead and support turning creative entertainment writing into the fast-food industry, where writers don't get paid fairly for creating the very ideas that make others rich.

Maybe then you'll realize exactly why it's imminently reasonable to pay the profit creators their fair share.

(And, for the record, I reiterate that I think *all* involved in production should get some form of residuals. Not only is profit-sharing fair, it strengthens all, from BTL to ATL.)

UNITED said...

Loved the letter! I'm losing money along with you, but believe this is an important stand for our membership and to avoid another strike in three years.

I agree with FRED. We should have our copyright back. Then they can't air anything without our permission.

Jan said...

John, You're a good writer. What you wrote here moved me deeply. I'm sorry you lost your overall deal. It's the studio's loss, too. in the overall deal of life you are definitely a winner.

deuddersun said...

Here it is in a nutshell. Contracts are deals written down on paper. Residuals, overtime, benefits are all part of the "deal", hence they are part of a person's compensation. In NY we have had many East Coast Council jobs where the producing company didn't have the upfront cash to finance their movie, so they entered into a separate contract that promised the crew would be paid in full if the film turned a big enough profit. In the meantime, the crew agrees to do the film for much less than they are entitled to. This is called a "backend" deal. The crew becomes a partner, in a sense, of the production company. If they make money, so do we. Now if the film turns a handsome profit and the production company tries to weasel out of it's obligation, (and this has happened more than you would think, anyone familiar with Hollywood book-keeping can attest to this), is the crew wrong to demand payment? After all, this is n't a bonus, it's part of their deal, compensation agreed to by both parties.

Residuals are like that. They are not bonuses. They are part of a persons compensation. Companies are asking writers and others to defer part of their fair compensation until the film/show makes money. If the film/show doesn't, no-one gets paid. It involves a risk and anyone who is asked to participate in a risk should be fairly compensated for it.

I have worked on a number of TV pilots that never went to series, never made a dime. No residuals there, and chances are the original pilots were written for WGA minimum. Now if that seems excessive to you, consider that it takes months, sometimes longer to bring a show to that point. So that minimum must be amortized over the period of time needed to develop a show. Point is, there is a very real element of risk involved and writers and others are asked to participate in the risk. When we do, are we wrong for asking for our fair share of the rewards if the show is successful? No-one ever has a problem with us not getting paid if the show fails.

d.
IATSE
Local #52
New York City

dp said...

BTL-

Great point. Is a good deal even attainable? And at what cost?

While everyone supports the writer's points, "if they get paid so should we", we need to realize that this is a more complex dynamic. It can't be served with the sound byte like slogans which serve to rally the troops. I think the sound bite is ruining all of politics in every arena. No longer does the public want to delve into a complex issue and truly understand and deliberate. They just want the cliff notes so they can pass the test with no homework.

My point is this:
1- Time is money. We seem to forget this basic business paradigm. It works for us as leverage to hurt the congloms, and against us in regards to lost wages. Is that coefficient working as a positive for our side or for their side. Meaning is the Time/Money coefficient lower for the congloms as they are very well diversified in other industries and other investments that are working to support the whole of their bottom line? Or are we, as industry workers, as diversified? Do we have income sources from other industries that keep us as shielded as they are?

2-Is the deal attainable? Meaning we know that what we ask for is fair. We know this because as people we have the capacity to reason what is fair, we have ethics. These things are important to us as people because we have relationships, professional and personal with other people. The con-gloms do not have the same sense of ethics. Their only relationship is with the dollar. The dollar has no ethics and neither do they. The only ethics that they consider is the law. That pesky thing that sometimes causes business men to break out in handcuffs. They will do everything they can to ride that line as close as possible sometimes crossing it, witness Enron.

3-The contract is for 3 years. The issues can be renegotiated at the next contract. The point that the WGA makes by striking will resonate at the next contract negotiations. The congloms are feeling it.

4-How "good" does the deal need to be right now?

Look at other movements in our country's history.
-the civil rights movement
-women suffrage
-the idea that workers could be represented by unions

The list goes on. One thing in common with all of these is that it took more than one step to correct it. None of the first steps were perfect and some say it is still not perfect.

Get the best deal you can now. Not the best deal forever now. Put DVD's back on the table to tell them that whatever concessions you make on New Media now will be renegotiated in the future. Get a good foothold on New Media, lower percentage but no free time use. Then in the next contract up the percentage.

PaperCut said...

Great article, and second the idea of posting Laeta's explanation front-page. Laeta, if someone could, in fact, do better, it wouldn't be by much.

As to the question of "cost", it's been covered many times before.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofgRlAaxN-U

Haiku:

AMPTP
Hates the WGA
For wanting what's fair

strangelove said...

Holy Haiku, people, when are you going to wake up? "Wonderful," "Inspiring," "beautifully said," yeah, yeah, yeah, have a good cry and after you've been moved to tears, blow your nose and READ his post again. Would Mr. McNamara be preaching brimstone and fire if his gigantico deal hadn't been shit-canned? I doubt it. Everything is bad, bad, bad, because McNamara has nothing to lose, apart from what was conveniently lost for him (the man who moved us all to tears also was responsible for "Fastlane.") "The more words you use to explain something, the less true it is.”
Well, I suppose it's time to seriously abridge The Bill of Rights -- not to mention McNamara's post.

dp said...

and what happened to my comment?

stuiec said...

dp: clicking on the "said" next to a poster's name collapses/uncollapses a comment. Your comment that starts, "BTL - great point," is posted.

RightHereNow said...

Just to set the record straight -- BTL Guy is and has been a plant on this site. We've posted before about his attempt to divide the writers. But all you have to do is go over to the site: DividedHollywood.com. All the posts are his. It's on that site that he shows his true colors. Here he's a bit more restrained knowing all too well that his credibility will be revealed.

Once again, I'd like to shine a very bright light on the lack of his credibility. Others have posted similar sentiments about him -- but make no mistake about it, this guy is a divisive and manipulative individual.

The best way to handle BTL Guy is to ignore him.

And to John McNamara, who said: "We all know the difference between a good deal and a bad deal. "Good" is any provision where our share grows alongside all possible delivery forms. "Bad" is anything else." – John McNamara

Simple and clear. Couldn't come at a better time. Many thanks.

BTL Guy said...

There were a couple of comments in a row that seemed to miss my point, or at least read into it something that wasn't there.

I never said that Writers did not deserve a better deal. I never said that the congloms deserved more money than you.

I'm merely being realistic and pragmatic about it.

This Strike isn't "give me freedom or give me death." This is "give me a bigger piece of the pie."

That's not wrong, but it's also not worth achieving at any cost.

Many writers have already said that whatever increases this contract might achieve, they will never break even with the losses they have incurred. They are fine with this, as they have a broader goal that they're trying to accomplish.

This is a good and noble thing, as they are making that decision for themselves.

But, when you add up the total cost, and factor in all the people who are forced out of work and cannot survive this strike, you have to ensure that this cost does not massively outweigh the benefit.

You also have to determine what are the acceptable casualties. You can't say "there are no acceptable losses," because people have already lost their homes. Families' finances have already been ruined. Ruined.

Each week that this drags on, more and more people fall into financial disrepair.

So far, the WGA position has been that these losses, though regrettable, are acceptable. Writers may not say as much, but actions make the point undeniable.

So, how many more losses are "acceptable?"

Someone pointed out that if it weren't for writers, the crew wouldn't have jobs.

This is true.

It's a symbiotic relationship, though.

If it weren't for crews, your scripts wouldn't be worth very much. And this strike is killing off crew members by the day (figuratively, of course -- but they're gone and not coming back).

BTL Guy said...

Rightthere--

"Just to set the record straight," huh? Nice one.

Like so much else that is written in the comments, just because you say it, don't make it true.

Many Shill Shouters have slandered my name because I do not buy what the WGA leadership is shoveling.

This does not mean that these accusations against me are correct. I have defended myself repeatedly here and elsewhere. John Aboud has promoted one of my postings to the front page of United Hollywood, even though he did not agree 100% with the comment I was making at the time.

Of course, you are welcome to ignore me. You are welcome to plug my site (thanks). You are welcome to argue my position. You're even welcome to call me names and sling false accusations.

But just because I am anti-Strike does not make me anti-Writer or pro-AMPTP. How many readers of this blog are anti-Iraq War, but love the US and think Saddam was a pretty bad guy?

If you wanna say I'm divisive and anti-Writer, that's your right. But you sure sound a lot like George Bush saying "you're either with us or you're against us." There are no shades of gray in your black-or-white world?

And yes, I do tone down my arguments a bit on this site. I do so out of respect for the Writers who read it and for the people who run it and allow dissenting voices to be heard. It's called courtesy.

4merBTLer said...

Rightherenow,

I have to disagree with you re:BTLguy.

It doesn't matter who he is or what his motives are, his comments are read by people all over the internet who aren't necessarily directly involved with this Labor Action. By responding with civility and logic, you can answer many unasked questions of those who come here to get information (and never post), and whose support for your cause could be used in ways not yet explored.

Yes, it could mean that points would be made over and over in different threads, but many (non-industry) people don't read every Comments Section, so logical point-by-point rebuttals can be much more useful than letting his comments just hang there, unaddressed.

But hey, maybe I'm just NuTz...

stuiec said...

btl guy: at this moment in time, the people who post on this blog and those who read your blog aren't in a position to end the strike, because there's no contract offer to be voted on. The best and most constructive thing you can do to help the strike reach a speedy conclusion is to counsel patience and solidarity to all entertainment industry union and guild members.

Luzid said...

@ BTL guy:

"This is "give me a bigger piece of the pie.""

That's an outright lie, or you don't know how to do the math that results in writers losing huge swaths of residuals they rightfully earn when their work is reused to profit others.

It's about not taking a pay cut, and you damn well know that.

Stop lying.

Ken said...

rightherenow – Good for you, man. You are right on the money with btlguy. I've called him on it myself with some of his other postings, many people have. He likes to paint himself as the harmless martyr trying to share his point of view and nothing more. Except the point he always seems to miss is that his opinions of the current situation keep getting repeated over and over and over… and each time he lands on the same theme, blaming the writers for not making a deal. Mind you, not a fair deal – but ANY deal that ends this strike. If we’re lucky enough to get a decent deal, great. If not, oh, well – try again in three years.

His relentless effort to continually beat down writers and their efforts during this negotiation is disgusting. He always ends up in the same place with each posting: writers need to end this strike now or they’ll destroy the industry. It’s a clear strategy that has nothing to do with concern for the little guy, another theme he repeatedly throws out. He doesn’t need to come back here and chip away at writers to make his point. But he keeps doing it, relentlessly. Unless you’re a sad soul who has nothing to do with your time, btl, you are here for a reason. That reason is certainly not about educating the non-industry types as to what’s going on in these negotiations. Nor is it to put a dissenting voice out there. You’ve done that already, you did it back in November. We get it. Certainly your postings do nothing to help writer’s find a path to a fair deal. Rather, it’s a pathetic attempt to lead them down a path to ANY deal. And your analogy to compare rightherenow to Bush and his cronies is laughable. It didn’t sound like he was suggesting "you’re either with us or against us." Rather, he said we hear your dissension loud and clear. Now please go somewhere else and preach to your own choir as your comments are a consistent and repetitious attempt at breaking down writers goals of getting a fair deal. People have tried telling you that in a direct way and as politely as possible. But, like George Bush, you simply don’t listen. It's ironic you brought up Bush because - again, like him, you can’t bear that people aren’t buying what you’re selling.

Writers are well aware of the hardships going on right now. They pray it ends tomorrow. But they won’t take a crap deal just to see that happen. Your postings lead one to believe people are left to fend for themselves during this strike, with no help whatsoever, despite the fact that numerous financial help funds have been set up (many by the writers themselves) to help writers and non-writers alike. We never hear you talk about that, btl. Writers have continually gone out of their way to find new solutions to help EVERYONE affected by this strike. Does that sound like a group of individuals trying to ruin people’s lives? Does that count for anything? And who are these people losing their houses when there is money out there readily available? Give me their names and I’ll put them in contact with someone who can help. I haven’t heard of one person losing their house. Not one.

What would be nice is for you to take a step back and realize that the reason a fair deal is worth a hefty price to everyone is because history has taught us you don't get a do-over with the AMPTP. Whether it be 3 years or 23 years. That was a hard lesson to learn but it is one that will never be repeated. I think you underestimate what an important part of the mix this is. It’s not about being spiteful or angry for empty promises made in the past. It’s about treating this like a business. A smart business. One that we value with our lives and have learned not to make the same mistakes again. Sometimes difficult sacrifices have to be made in a business to protect its long-term survival. The fact that others are hurt by this is horrifying. But every person in our industry knew that this issue was coming and every person had a chance to prepare for a potential strike should one side or the other refuse to negotiate. That side was the AMPTP, not the writers. No one denies that, including you. You can try and steer writers in the other direction all you want but this is a pretty smart group of people. It won’t work this time. Put your energy into the AMPTP site and post your frustrations out on them. Even you admit they are hugely responsible for leading us to where we are right now. So go to their site and give it to them. Or spend more time on your own site, keep the visitors there happy. They seem quite caught up in your repetitious mantra of “what could those wga leaders be thinking?” Assuming you have the time to do it, although history has taught us that you definitely have the time to do it. So good luck with that, btl. Not to worry, no need to stay in touch.

Sorry rightherenow, I know we’re supposed to ignore him. But I felt I should respond in some way so that 4merblter could see what we’re up against with this guy. I won’t do it again. Promise.

Great posting, John Mc Namara!

dp said...

Ken-

There is a little history that needs repeating here. Let's not try to rewrite what has already happened.

It was the WGA that refused to talk first. In 2006 the WGA refused informal talks with the AMPTP, opting rather to wait until there wasn't enough time to hash this out before they could legally strike. Even then a strike is not inevitable. You can still hold talks into November without striking by simply evoking the passive extension of the current contract.

Where are you now?

Informal talks in 2008.

Your negotiating team has put you in exactly the same place after 2 years, except the "havoc" is now everyones problem. They even put DVD, Animation and Reality on just to take it off again.

Also, if this is really a business decision then lets do the math. Your 4 months into a 36 month contract. This is not a 20 year contract like the deal you LET play out on DVDs, you can go back in 3 years. Why did you wait so long before?

Let's look at your statement, "It’s about treating this like a business. A smart business. One that we value with our lives and have learned not to make the same mistakes again."

The same mistakes????? Your exactly where you were in 2006 with your dream team.
-informal talks which you didn't want to do, but are happy to take now
-no animation
-no reality
-no dvd

Let's see about the "havoc" Young/Verrone talked about.
-Yep, everyone is out of work.

There was another option to striking. The WGA didn't want to play that way. Sure the AMPTP walked out. They aren't going to stay in rushed talks if you aren't willing to extend talks past November or if you constantly threaten to strike. They know you can strike, but you don't have to. What about all the News writers that worked without a contract for a long time??? Why didn't the WGA strike then?

I have an idea. When this is all over why don't members of the WGA wear a t-shirt that says something like "I am a WGA member and I voted for the strike". Just so the guards at the gates, the facilities people etc.. all the people who don't make it to the set but where affected by the strike can see who voted to strike. They are law abiding citizens so don't think anything will happen except you might eat alone at the commissary.

4merBTLer said...

Hi Ken,

That was an awesome post re:BTLguy.

As a small business owner whose existence in the community hangs in the balance, I've been obsessively reading UH (and other sites) since the start of the strike. I am well aware of BTLguy's divisive and repetitive commentary; I just don't think it's a great idea to leave his posts unanswered, scattered throughout the site.

Heck, I'd be thrilled if you just C&P'd what you just posted right after each of his posts!

There's a lot of anger floating around; it seems prudent to keep reminding readers who aren't directly involved in this Labor Action where that anger should be directed.

But then again; what the heck do I know?

In any case, thanks for your post! :)

Ken said...

DP – So your logic is: reward the AMPTP for refusing to negotiate with the WGA when both sides said they were prepared to discuss the upcoming contract, but scold and blame the WGA because they wanted to be as prepared as they could before entering into any kind of discussions – formal or informal? Strange logic. Even the DGA said they wouldn’t sit down for talks of any kind until they were adequately prepared with up-to-date information from their 2-year study. Anyway…

You mentioned not rewriting history re: what has already happened. I’ve done no such thing. You either have a very short memory or you haven’t done your homework. Chernin and several others DID SIT DOWN for informal talks with the WGA leaders back in July 2007. The reason WGA leaders waited until then is because it wasn’t until then that they had the necessary research to discuss things responsibly (same thing the DGA did). I’m guessing you’ll be very disappointed with this information (which has since become very public and very much discussed on this and other websites) because now it contradicts your main point of contention.

And what happened during those informal talks and subsequent ones leading up to November 2007? Chernin and the AMPTP began their strong-arm tactics of telling WGA leaders that DVD’s wouldn’t be discussed. New media would be what they offered and nothing more. And if we didn’t like it, tough. No one could discuss it then, but now it’s become common knowledge. Nick Counter and the AMPTP held onto that tactic through November and December 2007. You think if we didn’t go on strike they wouldn’t have done the same thing to the DGA? You can’t be that na├»ve. I give you more credit than that.

So January 2008 arrives and magically, the AMPTP suddenly decides to offer the DGA several of the very same proposals they told the WGA were off the table and wouldn’t even be discussed. You see where this is going…

A strike was necessary. A strike was the only thing these guys would respond to. And not because I say so. Just look at what happened. Just ask DGA leaders if they think their current contract would be what it was if we hadn’t gone on strike.

You made a few strange comments that are inaccurate and make no sense at all. DP said: “Sure the AMPTP walked out. They aren't going to stay in rushed talks if you aren't willing to extend talks past November or if you constantly threaten to strike.”

We never rushed talks. In fact, we did the opposite. We said negotiations take time and require both sides to reach a compromise. They were the ones who put forth a “take it or leave it” scenario, then walked away. You should at least try and get the facts straight. In late October, they also pulled the infamous “take the entire DVD proposal off the table and we’ll negotiate the new media proposal”. Then, of course, they wouldn’t do it. Stephen Gaghan (an incredibly smart, reasonable and fair minded individual - and a member of the wga negotiating committee who witnessed all of the above) talks about that moment a lot in his interviews.

Hmmm… see a pattern here?

You may not like it but going on strike was a last resort – the only one writers were left to pursue when trying to take on an organization the likes of the AMPTP. An organization who not only showed contempt and arrogance and wouldn’t budge in early informal discussions, but who will always push as hard as they can to see how strong any union will be. That was Nick Counter’s job. A powerful group like this only gets serious about negotiating when they see that the group they are facing will not be intimidated by their strong-arm tactics of “our way or the highway”. If you’re troubled and stressed out about being in a business with that kind of reality, you should reconsider another line of work. And it’s not going to get easier down the road. Things are changing way too fast in this industry. You'd be smart to brace yourself for the future. It won’t stop with this contract or this union. Every union is going to run into it. And I truly hope your union stands behind it’s members the way mine has. I hope they fight to get a fair deal, which is the only one you deserve. And yes, the only one worth fighting for. I’ll certainly support you every step of the way. No matter what. There’s not a writer out on the picket line who wouldn’t step up and get behind yours or any other union’s fight for a fair deal.

Because you deserve a fair deal. Just like we deserve a fair deal.

dp said...

Ken-

I never said as you say, "So your logic is: reward the AMPTP for refusing to negotiate with the WGA when both sides said they were prepared to discuss the upcoming contract, but scold and blame the WGA because they wanted to be as prepared as they could before entering into any kind of discussions"

You want to be prepared? What is that, cheating off the DGA homework? Why didn't the WGA do their OWN damn homework? Everyone on the blog says well you knew the strike was coming. Didn't your WGA leaders know the contract was ending? Isn't 3 years enough time to study those issues? Was the internet created in 2006 and hit you blindside? The DGA didn't need a wake up call but apparently you did. They knew how complicated the issues would be and wanted to start talks even earlier, but waited for you to cheat off their homework. You didn't commission your own study-why? You did NOTHING. I am sorry that the WGA acted as if the internet started a year ago.

I say rushed negotiations not as a time table taken from the start of the negotiations, but back timed from the end. It's time to have a little forethought here Ken. I know it's lacking over at the WGA. Do your homework early and start talking early enough to cut off the end date. That should have been the end goal. It's a big project that takes more time so why were they starting late. July is late Ken. Obviously, if it weren't late, you would have hashed all this out by strike time. Thats why the DGA wanted to go in 9 months early but waited a few months for you. SAG is also waiting to go in but would rather go in now. No wonder scripts are always last minute or late. It appears to be a cultural thing.

The DGA came in with their homework and showed it to the AMPTP and said, we know what you know and here it is. That had the biggest impact on their negotiations. You came unprepared and late with your only leverage being a strike. They had numbers and facts with a comprehensive study. Your using their homework right now.

Everyone keeps talking about fair. Where does it say they have to be fair. They only care about money. Fair is for summer camps and picnics with cotton candy.

Luzid said...

@ dp:

"They only care about money."

Indeed, which is why they must be made to lose money until they are forced to give writers a fair cut of the wealth they create in the first place (and IMHO, all who work on the production deserve a cut).

Ken said...

Okay, dp -- take a breath. Besides being a smug know-it-all (which is funny, because as you’ll read below – most everything you say is WRONG) – you really are one angry guy. Please drop the attitude and condescension, otherwise it’s hard to take you serious at all.

The WGA did have their own study - it's the very same study they brought into the informal AMPTP meeting in July 2007. They waited until then to present it because they wanted the information (which included 6 years of information from Movielink and years from iTunes – as well as numerous other sources) to be up-to-date with a quantity large enough to review with the AMPTP. Preparation was of utmost importance to WGA leaders and their membership – who were all kept informed of the strategy and why this research was critical for fair and respectful negotiations.

But it sounds like you don’t really care about what happened before they started informal negotiations. Sounds like you've already made up your mind that the WGA is to blame – facts be damned. You say the WGA didn't have informal talks. Wrong. You say they didn't do their own research. Wrong. You say the DGA wanted to go in 9 months before their contract ended and were waiting for the WGA. But that, too, is wrong. Michael Apted was very clear that the DGA wouldn’t be ready until mid-December. Then he agreed to wait through the holidays to see if the AMPTP would agree to come back to the negotiating table. When he saw that wasn’t going to happen, he decided to move informal talks forward in January. The DGA had 5 months of additional data to use in their research. Did it make a difference? You better believe it did. That was the number one thing the AMPTP was throwing out as a reason to delay addressing new media issues, saying they needed more time and data. 5 additional months of data is huge. Not that it mattered – turns out DGA research and WGA research was almost identical. And the additional 5 months helped back what the WGA had been saying. So yes – the WGA did do their homework. My point to you is: you're certainly welcome to have your own opinions about things, but you're not welcome to come on here and misstate the facts.

You sound really, really angry, dp. I suggest you find a way to deal with that anger. So long as it doesn't involve making up more facts that are clearly wrong and ill-informed.

rHob said...

Luzid

Remind me to never deal with you, you seem to despise everyone but writers.

Here is what I want to say. The WGA keeps throwing numbers around and averages their wages with how many writers are in the WGA...wether they are working or not...they keep throwing around terms like "Working writers". The only reason why there is between 12,000 and 20,000 writers and only 2000 that work, is because there is only 2000 jobs but the reward is so high that many people are waiting in line for their "SHOT". There are tons and tons of actors, most of which will never get a paying or decent paying gig....there are tons of musicians that will never make it. It's like that with athletes...at the high school level there are tons and tons of players, then in college there are fewer and in pro there are only the elite, the best of the best....the NFL doesn't average their salary over every player that tried out before they made their cuts. So quit averaging your wages out over people who really don't work!

Then you lump all of the BTLers into one category...realistically, there are only so many DPs, only so many prop people, only so many editors, only so many makeup people...but you keep making it sound like their are hordes of BTLers.....that would be like me lumping all newspaper writers, news writers, magazine writers, playwrights, commercial writers, music writers, editorial writers, etc...together.

rHob

deuddersun said...

Hey DP, where can I get one of those "I Supported The Writers Strike" tee shirts? Can't wait to wear it to work.

I've survived almost 30 years in this business because I'm good at what I do, I'm dedicated and I give 848, (NY saying, 8 hours work 4 8 hours pay). I've already been "blacklisted" for my organizing efforts in Philadelphia. I don't give a rat's ass what Production thinks as long as it doesn't involve my obligation to provide them with the absolute best scenery humanly possible, on time and on or under budget. You would be surprised how soon they get over their petty anger when they need you. I'm sure I'm not alone here. From where I stand, the writers posting here are every bit as dedicated to their work as I am to mine and every bit as loyal to their Guild as I am to the IA. Speaking of which, you weren't one of those scab DP's shooting non-union commercials in Philly a few years back were you? Was it your Arri I "accidentally" knocked over & broke? Hmmmmm...there's something awfully familiar about you...just asking.

d.
IATSE
Local #52
NY City

dp said...

Ken-

Just saying the facts are wrong doesn't make them wrong Karl Rove. I have proof. You do not. Here are my sources. Wanna copy my homework, again?

I like how you glossed over the fact that the WGA was asked in 2006 for informal talks. July 2007 were formal talks. PIck up a newspaper.

Heres The Hollywood Reporter Nov 2006:"We've been going back and forth trying to jump-start early negotiations," said Counter, who negotiates about 80 contracts with guilds in the U.S. and Canada. "At one point, we had envisioned talks as early as fall, then they suggested January, and we accepted that. Apparently that suggestion was taken to their board (and) was turned down."

Talks break off in Aug 2007. Not solely because of you, but because the Teamsters contract was up and needed to be negotiated. That was over in a week and the AMPTP again asked you come back to the table.

The Hollywood Reporter AUG 7, 2007:"Members of Teamsters and four other largely blue-collar unions are expected in the next couple of weeks to ratify a new three-year agreement with the AMPTP (HR 8/2). So with that Basic Crafts contract wrapping up, the AMPTP formally notified the WGA on Friday that its negotiators are ready to reconvene the talks with the writers.

"The AMPTP sent a letter the WGA a letter saying, 'Give us a date for a new negotiating session,' " AMPTP spokeswoman Barbara Brogliatti said. "The WGA has a harder time (because) they have a number of people who are volunteers. So we have to find out for what dates they have available, as a courtesy to them."

Indeed, several members of the guild's 17-person negotiating committee must work around other professional obligations, and some members are from out of town. So if the AMPTP were to suggest holding a negotiating session this week, it's dubious whether the WGA could muster a quorum of its committee to attend. "

You see why early talks are important. You're not the only contract that needs to be negotiated. I guess you think the world spins around you.

Oh yeah heres the announcement about the delay of DGA talks to wait for you.

USA TODAY Dec 2007-LOS ANGELES — The Hollywood directors guild said Thursday it may open contract negotiations with studios next month, a move expected to put more pressure on striking writers to reach a deal to end their six-week walkout.
In a statement, the Directors Guild of America said it was deeply disappointed by last week's collapse of talks between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

Directors delayed starting their contract talks for two months "out of respect for our sister guild," directors union President Michael Apted and negotiations chair Gil Cates said in the statement.

"But now the situation is dire. The WGA-AMPTP impasse has cost the jobs of tens of thousands of entertainment industry workers, including many of our own members, and more lose their jobs every day the strike continues," the statement said.

Talks between directors and the studios could start after New Year's Day, the statement said

There you go smart guy, I've done your homework for you again. I have cited my sources in actual news articles. WHERE ARE YOUR FACTS?????

Im not angry and smug. I am right and backed up facts with sources.

dp said...

deuddersun-

Sorry 18 years and not one non-union job. How are they deuddersun?

Sorry not my Arri you knocked over. My crews know better than to knock over the camera. I guess that's a NY/Philly thing. Thanks for the warning.

I am just as committed to my union also. I have been nominated over 8 times to a union leadership position. I support the WGA. I have shot some of their "strike videos" also. I do not support the WAY the negotiating team is going about it and I feel the strike could have been averted. That has been my unwavering position in all of this. Look up all my other posts. There needs to be the opportunity for dissenting opinions regarding leadership strategy in a healthy democracy otherwise you have what is called Fascism.

Ken said...

dp - Your facts are quotes by Nick Counter? Great. You stick with that. Or the Hollywood Reporter repeating what Nick Counter said - that's your quote? The WGA quote is one week of one part of the informal talks. "If the AMPTP were to suggest holding a negotiating session this week, it's dubious whether the WGA could muster a quorum of its committee to attend." So they ended up meeting the following week. What about this aren't you paying attention to?

Please read all of my posting instead of skipping some of the important parts because they might not support your self-created theories. The AMPTP very early on said they STILL DIDN'T HAVE ENOUGH DATA to discuss new media (starting with the July 2007 meetings). That's a fact, deal with it. They continued to stick with that through Aug, Sept, Oct - until finally saying they'd discuss it as soon as the WGA took DVD's off the table. We all know what happened then. Imagine the directors having to deal with that kind of negotiating for 4 months. Think they would've just shrugged and said -- okay, no problem. We'll tell our members new media can't be discussed. Come on, dp. You're smarter than that... aren't you?

Stop trying to create some strange and twisted version of history based on quotes by Nick Counter (speaking of Karl Rove) -- or your perception of what was actually happening behind the scenes. Every time you do it, it makes you look petty and small. If there really is a deal that both sides have agreed to right now, we shall see how this all plays out. In the meantime, take a breath, dp.

And by the way, my facts are directly from the people in the room. Not from some quote by Karl Rove... I mean Nick Counter.

deuddersun said...

Bravo DP, I stand corrected. Glad it wasn't your Arri. Here's the thing, Brother, and I know you're not going to like this, but I have to say it. For all you have done to help the Writers in their efforts to secure a fair deal, when you make negative posts here it only serves to fuel the dissenters and strengthen the AMPTP's resolve. Divide and Conquer. When are we all going to wake up and smell the goddam coffee? This isn't just about the Writers, it's about the way this industry will be run in the future. Who gets what. WE all need to present a United Front. Maybe we need a "Labor Council" of some kind, I'm not sure, but we need to be able to effectively counter the almost monopolistic hold the studios, under the AMPTP umbrella, have on our business. Otherwise, we may as well burn our Union cards and line up like good little corporate minions, pleading, "Please Sir, may I have some more?"

I know the frustrations many feel, I feel them too. I too, am out of work and have been. Two shows I was booked on are on indefinite hold due to the strike. Add to this the fact that the Actors may walk in June and the Horizon looks bleak. I'd rather settle it now, once and for all, and maybe avert an Actors strike that could really tank the works. In addition, as I've posted else-where here and front page at my blog, we've all known this strike could happen for a year now. Our officers constantly warned us to prepare. Some of us did, some of us didn't. I did. In addition, I have been supplementing my unemployment benefits by remodeling bathrooms, kitchens, etc. Maybe you should try shooting Bar Mitzvah's or weddings or something, you know, to tide you over, lol! Sorry, bad joke, (ahem!)

You hit the nail on the head tho when you mentioned Facism, because that's what we are living under. Simply put, isn't that where Business controls Government? Just take a look at the Sec of Labor and the recent rulings of the NLRB and ask yourself if any Union can get a fair shake there. Brother, this strike is the result of an arrogant corporate mentality supported by a big business owned and operated government who wants it all and to hell with the average guy trying to support a family.

I apologize to you for taking a cheap shot at you. Look we all have to work together, Your interests closely parallel my own and those of our Brothers and Sisters in the WGA. All we are looking for is the American Dream, to do better than our parents did and to give our kids the leg up to do better than us. We have a much better chance of realizing the Dream together than we do alone, and I'm speaking collectively here, meaning our various Guilds and Unions. Your points have been well made. We all understand. Repeating them constantly or looking for other ways to attack the WGA doesn't help and is amazingly inconsistent with someone who has volunteered his/her precious time to non-profit work on behalf of the very same people you criticize.

d.
IATSE
Local #52
NY City
http://deuddersun.blogspot.com/

dp said...

Ken-
"Please read all of my posting instead of skipping some of the important parts because they might not support your self-created theories."

Self created means I have no sources. I do. Where are yours?

Skipping some important parts? You skipped this Ken:

What what the DGA quote is that bogus too? Are the papers USA TODAY and THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER in it together in a vast amptp conspiracy? Please. Maybe the same guy on the grassy knoll came up with the plan to attack on 9/11....Hows the weather in Area 51?

Where are your sources? My perception of what happens behind the scenes? Your right I was reading newspapers at the time. I am not in the room with them. Are you?

Can you name just one source? You can use this thing called Google. Or did you not have enough time to learn about search engines. I have named independent sources, why can't you? Build your credibility right here in front of everyone. Did the WGA issue a press release about Counter's statements in the HR article? Which paper printed them?

Ken said...

deuddersun - that's exactly what I'm trying to point out to dp. Thanks for saying it. He reminds me a lot of btl guy. I wonder…

dp -- again with your charming condescension and know-it-all attitude. Okay, we get it. You know how to use the Google search engine. No one's done that yet. Oh wait, they have. I know how to use Google, too. So does my 6 year old daughter. Good for you for using reporters articles as the final word on what has happened. Especially since that has proven to be so "accurate" at this point of the journey.

I actually got my information about DGA matters from a real and reliable source. Michael Apted. I happen to know him personally and spoke to him in late November. "We're still discussing and refining our priorities and proposals. If talks break off and progress can't be made in the wga negotiations, the DGA will decide if it's time to sit down with the AMPTP.” That’s exactly what he said. If I remember correctly, NPR had a mention of this in early December.

But that's not really the point. The point is what Deuddersun said in his post. What's the deal with you? Is it so important that you smash your opinion and ideas down the throats of everyone, citing all your Google searches and references to articles and journalists and AMPTP leaders that have proven to give inaccurate accounts of this story time and time again? The scary part about this is that you prove the very point Deuddersun is trying to make by relying on faulty information in articles like USA Today and Variety and Hollywood Reporter, etc. etc. etc. Articles that many times have the effect of dividing the ranks of all the unions. That’s not good for any of us, in any union. No, I don't think there's a big conspiracy against writers by every journalist. But I do think they want to sell newspapers. And when information behind the scenes is kept under wraps for the good of everyone while things are trying to get sorted out, newspapers will take anything they can get. Just because it's in print doesn't make it a reliable source. Deuddersun mentioned everyone being told a year ago that we should all prepare for a possible strike knowing the stakes were huge with new media. He's right, all of us were - in every union. The AMPTP was already suggesting that new media was too new to discuss. The WGA knew they better have enough information to back up their positions. It's all been said, what aren't you getting?

Both the WGA and AMPTP have made mistakes – no one is saying differently. But you paint a picture that all the responsibility for the strike is the fault of the WGA leaders and their lack of preparation. And that's simply not the case, no matter how many Google articles you want to quote.

By the way, who did you actually speak to, dp? Meaning a human being. In person. Even one individual who is a negotiating committee member on either side? Chernin? Iger? Do you know anyone that has even a hint of credibility in this negotiation? You might, and that’s great if you do. If not, which is also okay -- then please state your opinions and move on. And stop trying to portray yourself as the knower of all facts and information about these important negotiations just because you know how to use the Google search engine. You're not, none of us are. But the few of us who have spoken to people actually involved in these negotiations are more equipped to speak the truth and have been more respectful in the way they report the information. Not in a condescending way like you do. I've never done that and abhor the practice. So I would appeal to you to please sit back and see what comes out of all the hopeful signs from this weekend. Remembering that these reports are from unnamed sources. Nothing to hold your hat on, but at least a signal that both sides may have finally found a common ground.

Enjoy your day, dp. Especially if you’re a Giants or Patriots fan…

deuddersun said...

DP:Sorry 18 years and not one non-union job. How are they deuddersun?

Sorry not my Arri you knocked over. My crews know better than to knock over the camera. I guess that's a NY/Philly thing. Thanks for the warning.


Just wanted to clear the record up, I wasn't a crew member on the commercial where the camera was allegedly knocked over and broken. Glad you got the gist of my post tho, it really is a NY/Philly thing when we catch folks scabbing. Glad it doesn't apply to you.

d.

dp said...

Ken-

Ken says, "Besides being a smug know-it-all (which is funny, because as you’ll read below – most everything you say is WRONG) – you really are one angry guy."

and then Ken says, "But the few of us who have spoken to people actually involved in these negotiations are more equipped to speak the truth and have been more respectful in the way they report the information. Not in a condescending way like you do. I've never done that and abhor the practice."

Which is it Ken? Am I a smug know it all or have you never said anything condescending?

Maybe if you're going to contradict yourself you should do in on different posts.

deuddersun said...

DP, dp...sigh, are you sure that means Director of Photography? I once worked in another facet of our industry where that had a different meaning altogether...

Anyway. Ken, condescending and smug? Gee, I haven't seen that at all. In fact Ken's posts are well thought out, superbly written and easy to understand, even for a simple hammer swinger like me!

I'm kinda curious now. You are showing the traits I have come to recognize whenever I would nail some neo-con to the wall over at my place or some other blog when they insisted Saddam was harboring WMD, "we just haven't found them yet!" Sadly, there are some out there who still believe this. They quote any tidbit they can find on Faux News to support their arguments. Many of these people also believe the planet is only 5,000 years old, and will offer all sorts of proof backing this up, including a museum, in,(where-else), Texas, demonstrating humans and dinosaurs living side by side. You know the folks I mean. The ones who think "The Flintstones" was a documentary. Yes, you remind me of those folks. With every post you quote more unreliable sources, you become more shrill in your denouncement of the WGA leadership.

So tell me, "DP", what strike videos did you film for the WGA? I'd like to know. I guess I might not be the only one. I'm sure at least ONE of the many writers here would remember you. After all, a BIGTIIME "DP" donating his time to the Writer's cause is a very noble and noticeable endeavor and you must be very proud. So...uh... which ones did you shoot?

Tell you what. I'll post my real name and link to my IMDb credits if you will. I have my picture posted along with my resume on IMDb and the same picture can also be found on my blog, so you can be sure I am who I say I am.

What about you? Who are you really? If you're the bigtime guy you say you are, you need not fear reprisals. Shit, I don't! And I'm just a little guy. Because after reading your comments, "Brother", I think you are either full of shit or masquerading. So you tell me. Which is it? If you can point to any video you have done for the WGA, I'll apologize and move on. If you can't or won't. Shut the fuck up and go away, ok??

Now that's about as "New York" as I can get.

d.

Note to the webmaster, you can publish this or not, it's up to you. I'm just sick of posers and their bullshit opinions in this as well as our national politics. It's time to call these people. Like they say in Texas Hold 'em, I'm All-in.

dp said...

deuddersun-

"Anyway. Ken, condescending and smug" I never said that.

I was reposting Ken's posts regarding me. Scroll up. Those are his words not mine. You do know what quotes mean don't you?

Another thing, Fascism is not , "Simply put, isn't that where Business controls Government?" Lookup the word. You remember High School where they talked about that little thing in Italy(1922-43) with that guy Mussolini?

Maybe porn better suits you. You tell me I have never worked on one.

I'll say it again for you as I have posted before. You can mouth the words if it helps. I support the Writers. I think they should get everything they are asking for. I do not support the WAY in which WGA leadership has gone about achieving this goal. That doesn't mean I support the AMPTP. I don't. I think the difference between the mistakes of both parties is that the WGA has good intentions while the AMPTP does not.

When you watch the superbowl today, and if one of your teams is playing, remember you can still support your team while questioning why your coach chose to run a slant play instead of a play option without divesting your support for your team.

deuddersun said...

Gee, DP, the Superbowl, huh? My team won. How did yours do?

You know for the past year I have had to listen to many of my friends and Union Brothers tell me Eli Manning was a chump, not half the man his father was and certainly no Payton. At coffee-break and lunch, every Fall Monday morning, the same tired group of Giants' "fans" would take much glee in trashing Eli, the coaches, the game plan etc. When I defended Eli or asked them to show some patience, I was derisively snorted down. Who was I to pass judgement? What did I know? I was the traitor who had decided to leave NY for a more pastoral existence outside Philly. "Worry about the Eagles, you don't know squat about the Giants." I constantly advised them to have patience and believe, Eli would pull through for them. They laughed at me and gave me a million different reasons why the Giants sucked, Eli needed to go and so did the head coach Coughlin. All the while being told this by mutts in Giants' jerseys and hats. Now, not all Giants fans were like these few individuals, but this minority of malcontents was loud and vocal enough to silence any opposition from real fans, fans who knew that Coughlin was on the right track and that Eli needed just a little more time to mature, depressing the hell out of everybody. (Funny thing in our modern society, it seems if you repeat something often enough, even if it is untrue or unfair, folks begin to take it seriously. Just ask John Kerry or Mary Mapes, the 60 Minutes Producer of the Bush/National Guard story with Dan Rather, who was thrown under the bus by CBS after the Always Wrong Right swiftboated a well researched and important news story regarding Bush's non-service in the Texas Air National Guard).

It has always puzzled me how people who are supposed to be fans of a team can so completely trash their team while sanctimoniously declaring themselves real, dedicated supporters, pointing to various "facts" like, "Hey, I'm wearing their joisey, ain't I?", or, "Look, I went to 2 of their games last year!"

Well, this morning they are all jumping for joy. Even the most ardent naysayer is praising the Superbowl's Most Valuable Player, Eli Manning. Amazing, isn't it?

But there were moments over the past season, when their constant bleating about how "wrong" the Giants were cast doubt on the integrity of the team, it's coach and it's franchise player, to the point where I almost thought they were right. Thankfully, I kept my mouth shut and adopted a wait and see attitude.

That attitude served me well and this morning, last night's victory was that much sweeter.

So, uh...what videos did you shoot for the Strike Commitee?

d.
IATSE
Local #52
NY city
http://deuddersun.blogspot.com/

PS: You probably don't give a rat's ass about the New York Football Giants or the Superbowl, the above story is an "allegory". Look it up.

dp said...

deuddersun-

That's interesting logic. So the guy who tells you that you're wasting your money on lottery tickets should be quiet now as you proceed to the liquor store and demand your winning ticket? Just tell the clerk that the Giants won when the odds were against them and so should you. Enjoy your lottery winnings.

P.S. I didn't misuse the word "allegory". You misused the word Facism.

Ken said...

Deuddersun -

Wow, man. Sorry you got pulled into dp’s postings, although you handle yourself with class and like a true professional.

After dp’s latest attempt to beat you down with things like: “you do know what quotes mean don’t you” and “Lookup the word. You remember High School where they talked about that little thing in Italy (1922-43) with that guy Mussolini?” – I think we know what kind of human being we’re dealing with here. Your analogy to fascism was right – he just has trouble following along. And yes, you were right – he did suggest I was being condescending. To quote the charming dp: “Which is it Ken? Am I a smug know it all or have you never said anything condescending?”

By the way, loved your Giants story. And I’m a Patriots fan. Funny how level-headed people can actually disagree on things and be okay with it.

The smart individuals on this site have seen dp’s brand of angry and divisive rhetoric disguised as an opposing viewpoint before. Probably best not to encourage it. How about we just ignore him and hope he goes away. Although I do have one question: Can you imagine working with a guy like him? My crew members would destroy him. It would be a bloody mess. And you’re from NY, I can imagine what you guys would do to him. Mind you, I’m not being condescending. Just throwing that out to you alone, deuddersun. As a thought. Nothing more…

Anyway… to everyone else, hope John McNamara’s posting helped put things in perspective. We got kind of side-tracked on that. Let’s hope for the best this week.

deuddersun said...

You're absolutely right, Ken. The "war" is over. This is no place for personal fueds, lol!

Pax Tibi,

d.

Luzid said...

@ rhob:

No, I just despise liars and fools.

Having been BTL myself, I consider them important to the production, and feel they should share in the wealth writers create as well (but that's an even more impossible dream than writers retaining copyright).