WGA Press Conference Today

This media advisory was just sent out by the WGA:

The Writers Guild of America will hold a press conference today, Sunday, Feb. 10, 12 Noon PST, at WGAW headquarters to update the media on important developments related to contract negotiations between the WGA and the AMPTP companies.

Scheduled to appear: WGAW President Patric M. Verrone, WGAE President Michael Winship (available via phone line), WGAW Executive Director and Chief Negotiator David Young, and WGA Negotiating Committee Chair John F. Bowman.


Scott Ellington said...

It might prove instructive to compare the backchannel YouTube video of this event with the edited mainstream media coverage that may (or may not) follow last week's Eisner scoop

Mail said...

That man was right. You guys did blink. You handled the strike beautifully, and had every ball in your court, yet you caved and tossed it away like AMPTP knew you would. They must be laughing and high-fiving each other. So disappointed in WGA. You've made it harder on SAG, and for future WGA generations proving writers are like sheep to the slaughter. We're in film school, already heavily courted by agents, but based on this event we've decided not to be first and foremost writers in our careers.

DLJ said...

Wow... watching some of this on CNN...

So these guys actually think that streaming TV will actually one day turn into 2% of distributor's gross? Fat chance. They've accepted a flat-fee and that's what we'll be getting for the next 20 years. If not longer.

It's amazing. On the one hand, they acknowledge the mistake in trusting the AMPTP to increase home video residuals 20 years ago, but somehow think that the AMPTP will ever let go of the flat-fee now that we've caved on that.

Make no mistake: If we accept this deal, we will NEVER get 2% of actual distrubtor's gross on streaming. Ever. Our leadership is living in a fool's paradise if they think differently. Every negotiation from here on out will be about raising the "imputed value" of distributor's gross, ie, increasing the flat-fee model that this deal sets forth.

The studios have been looking for a way out of paying residuals and here it is on a silver platter. Flat-rate forever. Bon appetite.

Vlad Tepes said...

mail: Thank God. A wise decision on your part, considering the failure of your syntax and your evident lack of conviction. i.e. if the results of a strike are enough to sway your decision to be a writer, then you must not love the craft. Glad you won't be joining us.

Luzid said...

I have to agree - from the outside, it looks like the negcom blinked.

Here's my question - what was gained, when SAG is probably going to have to go on strike to not be robbed of their own residuals via this 'deal'?

PJ McIlvaine said...

I must agree---I am very disappointed in WGA leadership today. While I'm not a Guild member as yet, I do get residuals under WGA auspices, so I do feel invested in a new contract. And even more so, emotionally invested although it's true that I don't have the financial investment of members on the picket line, or those that suffered simply because they were collateral damage.

I did everything that the WGA and UH asked me to. I stopped buying DVD's over the holiday season and urged my friends to do the same. I bought pencils. I bought the strike T-shirts. I boycotted network TV. I e-mailed and phoned the moguls every time you guys sent me an e-mail askng me to do so. I refrained from pitching struck companies. I did this in full support of the union I hope to be a member of.

Now would someome please explain to me what I did all this for? For a contract which is merely DGA Lite with extremely minor improvements? I would really like an answer.

Chris said...

mail: please don't become a writer, a fundamental command of good grammar and syntax is a requirement. Further, given your lack of principles, may I suggest a career as an AMPTP executive?

Mail said...

@Vlad Tepes

Hmm, seems we struck a personal nerve.

You need to brush up on your reading comprehension skills. We said we would not first and foremost be writers, i.e. producer-writer vs. writer-producer.

If you are an example of a fellow writer, it is clear why the writers always lose the game, and it underscore the wisdom of our decision.

Mail said...

"Mail" is correct. You other guys don't address Mail's point because it is valid. Instead you fixate on syntax(which incidentally is not the basis of good screenwriting - ever heard of story and character development)

Looking over the other comments here, the grammar and syntax is off which is customary for fast off-the-cuff blog commenting. Yet you only disparage Mail.

Perhaps it touches a sore point? That you were rooked by your own guild? By the showrunners who wanted to get back to work? That someone else has their whole career ahead of them and has choices?

Why don't you put your energies on that instead of attacking those who tell it like it is.

jkokich said...


Jesus Tap Dancing Christ! Stop complaining about a guy who condemns the people who are supposed to be protecting him and his proposed career when those people cave in and take a deal that SUCKS! Stop bitching about how he writes and look at what he writes. Ever hear of a first draft? I'm sure if he wanted to take the time to proofread and edit, it might pass muster with you perfect writers, but you'd probably piss and moan anyway. The WGA and the DGA have sold us all down the river, and the producers have every right to tell everyone that they won and the writers and directors lost.

On the other hand, writers and directors have the right to negotiate better deals and these contracts only ensure minimums; the big time people will always get more. Even so, the deals SUCK!

I'm a producer-writer and my small production company will try to give writers and directors good deals, better than the minimums these contracts ensure. I'm willing to work with anyone who is a good writer. Hey, mail! Send me your first feature, I look forward to reading it.

Vlad Tepes said...

I'm not complaining. "mail" and a lot of other folks are. If you don't like the deal, don't understand that this deal is the beginning of a new age in media and writer/producer relations, etc...then do something proactive to change it. Get really involved. Turn your vitriol into rocket fuel. Run for office. Don't just whine about what HAS been accomplished and claim that you'll abandon a career to become a "producer-writer" (whatever the fuck that is) on account of what you perceive as a failure to secure the residual rates that you think are fair.

It's so easy to criticize - to tear things down. It's a lot harder to build something. Something positive. Sure the cracks about syntax were cheap shots, but a thoughtful post is a lot more provocative than an "off-the-cuff" bitch and moan.

So, "mail," I'd suggest that you grow up, sack up, and put some positive energy into what we all are trying to create - a future for writers that is fair and secure. It's a process.


jason said...

Subject: Was it all worth it???

I just want to say . . . Thank you, Patric! ...and David Young! My question is when looking at this proposed deal is . . .what the heck were you doing? I mean, was it all worth it to strike for that long of a period? The months of walking the picket lines, costing jobs, costing deals, ruining the Hollywood economy, causing hardship, losing health insurance (because the leadership forgot to freeze the benefits)??? Was it all worth it? I have blogged on here before stating that I worked with this leadership at the guild (under the guild's roof) and have found them to be incompetent boobs. Many of you defended them, including the hosts of this UH website. So, now I am just wondering what is your feeling and thoughts about this leadership group now? You must realize that this leadership group is insulated by their salaries and benefits and the people who politically appointed them at the guild. Therefore, I think it's time for a change. I think these leaders need to go . . . to be removed. They obviously don't know how to run a guild properly. . . somthing I learned while working beside them at the guild. Please tell me you feel the same way that I do and that justice must be served swiftly. We needs WGA leaders who actually care about the membership. Not politically appointed hacks who only serve their own interests. While working at the guild I heard these people utter the words..."Who cares about the writers. As long as our business infrastructure is intact we're fine." I for one am outraged. This is a travesty. What say you???

Not An said...

scott - there was no Eisner scoop - he was running his mouth to show that he still talks to insiders. He was forced out of Disney two years ago and - according to many - is desperately concerned that he may no longer be relevant; let's prove to him that he has reason to be concerned by totally ignoring him.

mail - if you're in film school already heavily courted by agents then you would have topped out this deal anyway - trust me, we don't need any more "we're in film school, already heavily courted by agents" jerks anyway

and to all the guys who pointed out the "mail" post was right and we didn't addres their concerns, I am concerned about those who stood on the line with me not about some people who are disappointed with others when they haven't even been in the fight.

Stay strong, respect to all as it is deserved.

jkokich said...

Can't let this one go...

Gee, let's see, a writer-director is someone who writes and directs, so a writer-producer might be, oh, I don't know for sure, someone who WRITES AND PRODUCES!?!

I KNOW it's the start of a whole new era of media, but the groundwork laid down now paves the way for EVERYTHING ELSE! A flat-fee is NEVER a good idea where revenue can increase and increase. My mother was in the original cast of "Carousel". When they recorded the cast album, they were offered royalties or a week's pay. They took the week's pay and that recording is still selling, 60 years later. Face it; the WGA screwed up. They are accepting that the AMPTP will revisit the terms in the future. Hold me while I laugh myself silly. Would you change things in a few years, given the deal they got? Hell, no.
The strike proved that writers DO have power, so why cave in, now?

Run of office? I'm doing something better; I'm a producer who will do the right thing by writers actors, directors, extras, you name it. That will make the business a better place.

Vlad Tepes said...


I know what a writer/producer is. I am one. "Mail" was making an distinction between a writer-producer and a producer-writer. It was a ridiculous point.

Flat fee? Read more carefully. I quote from Mr. Elisberg's blog:

"First, though, the big thing that leaps out to me is the cap on that third-year 2% of distributor gross for current series, which sort of defeats the purpose of distributors gross. But – it doesn’t strike me nearly as problematic a cap as a flat-fee cap. Though it works out to $1,600 for hour-longs, that's not a flat figure but rather based on an "imputed value" of distributor gross being $80,000. While I'm realistically wary about the AMPTP ever adjusting figures, this is much different from the 1984 home video deal, which had an ethereal "when the industry grows" proviso that could easily get danced around, and has been for a quarter of a century. This deal today on streaming has an actual figure of value assigned -- $80,000. I would think that this "imputed value" can therefore be adjusted in future contracts much, much more easily, especially since it's based on distributors gross, which is easier to police than dark, hidden minutae. If it becomes clear that the value is far-exceeding that $80,000 value (as I suspect it will eventually), that's easier to discover and address than in the past – then a Guild might have stronger bullets to use. Not perfect, and yes, it's a cap.

But it's a cap (for only one year) that has a ceiling which seems much more realistic to address and raise than previously. Whatever its faults, and it does have faults, it is significantly better compared to the DGA deal."

You might want to consider that we are playing a long ball here. We're writers, we're SUPPOSED to be wise and judicious. Unfortunately for as long as I've been in the guild we've had no leadership that hasn't played into the writers-are-weak-sisters stereotype. Now we have leadership. We've accomplished a fair amount with his deal. More than anything, WE HAVE SOLIDARITY and I, for one, plan to do everything that I can to PROMOTE that solidarity and to move forward with firm resolve. The next contract negotiation is in 3 years.

I for one CANNOT STAND the fatalistic, narrow-minded, reactionary BULLSHIT that promotes the idea that because we got corn-holed in the past, we'll always walk with a bow-legged limp.

Go ahead an laugh yourself silly. But I won't hold you.

If you could channel some of your make-the-business-a-better-place producer idealism into what is immediately at hand...this blog would be a better place.

Best to your mom.

Geo Rule said...

So, does someone have a link to video of today's news conference?

Luzid said...

@ Vlad:

Um, the AMPTP lied to the Guild the other night. Where's the MFN clause - IN WRITING, aka enforceable? Gone, replaced with a handshake. Oh, my sides are splitting.

And you think it's bullshit not to trust them? I can't see how that makes any sort of sense.

Vlad Tepes said...

No, Luzid, I clearly stated it was bullshit to promote a fatalistic, backward-looking attitude toward the future.

Consciously ending a sentence with a preposition:

Let's embrace change we can believe in

I'd suggest that if you replace your "z" with a "c" it might be a step in the right direction.

stuiec said...

vlad tepes: off-topic...

Winston Churchill is supposed to have said, "Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put."

Luzid said...

@ Vlad:

"Let's embrace change we can believe in".

What does this have to do with me, as I didn't write those words? And attacking my NAME? Seriously? That's just weak.

I submit that it's not 'fatalistic' to recognize the untrustworthy nature of the studios that have robbed writers for decades.

stuiec said...

luzid: "I submit that it's not 'fatalistic' to recognize the untrustworthy nature of the studios that have robbed writers for decades."

I take it you're strictly indie. You'd never accept the filthy lucre of those untrustorthy robbers, would you?

Luzid said...

@ stuiec:

Indie? Nope, not interested in that in the slightest. I write genre films.

Yeah, I'll take the money I've earned (when that finally happens). Doesn't mean I won't also fight for writers to get the fair cut they deserve (which this deal doesn't do). I think we both know that the studios have taken their unfair cut over the decades.