Monday, November 12, 2007

Strike!

Note: This blog always contains swearing, but this post will contain a higher percentage, just because. If swearing offends you, (a) why would you even be on this blog, (b) why would you even be on the internets, and (c) shittyfuckbiscuits! You were warned!

You've all heard about the strike by now, and probably know all about it, but it needs to be mentioned everywhere, for the sake of solidarity and exposure (I know, I'm behind on my blogging, last to the party, etc etc). It's important to keep talking about it, and showing our support.

On the off chance that you don't know all the details, check out Piers' excellent post here, and Danny's also excellent post here. If you want the Reader's Digest version, the AMPTP is basically saying: 'Fuck you writers, you must keep the shitty "it hasn't taken off yet" residual rate for DVD, even though it actually has taken off, in a big way. Oh, and no you can't have any new media residuals at all, because we don't know if the internet or downloads will ever take off, even though they have, and we're making shitloads of free cash from the internet and download versions of your stuff. We realise that nearly half of all WGA writers are unemployed at any given moment, which means residuals usually pay the rent, but we don't care cause we're fucking evil. Now bring me a kitten, so that I may crush its little head with my boot, it's the only way I can feel any sort of emotion these days. Is this thing still on?'

Thankfully, over here, thanks to the WGGB, we have decent rates for DVD and "new" media (that would include something called the "internet", which you may not have heard of, it's *very* new, and who knows if it'll catch on). So I hope the US writers get what they're asking for. I mean, it kind of goes without saying, but writers are crucial to TV and movies. Yes, it's a collaborative, team effort, and obviously a script doesn't become a movie without a lot of talented people working their arses off - but the writer has to work his or her arse off *first*. Without that writer, that script would not exist, that's where it all starts. To put it bluntly, we MAKE THE STORIES UP, OUT OF OUR HEADS, FROM NOTHING. As for the studios, who are now wallowing in the cash they've been withholding, and might feel they can wait things out, I have one question: If you put a wad of cash up your ass, when you pull it out has it turned into a script? No? Then you're fucked. Sort it out.

I hope things get resolved soon, so that our US brothers and sisters can get what they're owed, and get back to doing what they love. But in the meantime, here are some good blogs to visit for strike info and experiences from the ground:

John August

John Rogers

Bill Cunningham

Ken Levine

Writers and strike captains tell it how it is, with plenty of links and news

If you would like to help: Whether you're in the US or UK, go to Fans4Writers - it started as a pizza run to the Universal Studios picket line by Joss Whedon fans, and has become a full on campaign by all fans supporting all writers. They're doing food runs, organising support and awareness, and generally being supercool. There's info on how to get the word out, who to contact, and you can even contribute to a food fund. I'm gobsmacked at how quickly this mobilised, it's fantastic. The plan is to do food runs at least once a week, to all the picketing locations, so if you want to help out, please stick a few quid in their PayPal pocket. With the UK to US exchange rate, a quid becomes two dollars, so you are quite literally doubling your money - can't say fairer than that. Any amount will help.

Before you mention it - yes, I'm aware there are many, many people dying of cancer and famine, blah blah Hollywood rich folk etc - but this isn't about raising lots of cash, it's about standing beside our US friends, it's a gesture of solidarity. Organised food runs show that people from all over the world are constantly thinking about and supporting the writers, and public support is very important on this one. A couple of quid here and there, and they'll know we're behind them here. Whether you donate or not, let the people running the site know you support them and the writers. It all makes a big difference. Please pass this site around, if you know people who would like to help out, and read the Participate page for information on what else you can do. The best thing everyone can do is get the info out there, correct the false impressions many people have, and present a united front. This isn't about getting extras, bonuses, or lots of cash. It's about getting a fair deal, basic protection, and safeguarding careers. Let's try and help them do that.

10 comments:

Peter Pan said...

hear hear.

James Moran said...

I've removed an advertising comment - DO NOT use my blog to flog your products, *especially* not on this topic. The writers don't benefit from it, and it reeks of you taking advantage of a bad situation.

soulmining said...

Excellent post, sir! I was reading an informed piece by William Boyd in The Grauniad over the weekend about the strike and was going to ask you if you were planning to post your thoughts about the situation... but you beat me to it! Ahh, the old mind-reading trick again... just don't tell them where I hid the bodies, okay?

Anyway, yes - to echo James's post, we should all support the writers on this one. I'm clicking on those links next.

Lucy said...

Marvellous, join the party late why don't you you big fatcat - and what about MY frigging posts, hey HEY?!?!?!? Click my "strike" label and you'll find at least three bitch.

Joking of course, I expect you're too old and decrepit to have noticed my support for the WGA, bless you.

And you're quite right - feel a little unclean of course agreeing with you, but needs must.

Bill Cunningham said...

James,

Thanks for spreading the word. The traffic has picked up considerably since you boys joined the fight, and people are responding, asking questions and learning what exactly is happening over here.

The studios need to learn that the internet fights back - hard.

Now if we could do the same for Darfur/Sudan / etc...

Anonymous said...

Truly great post, James.

UK writers should check out Emily Bell's hugely ill-informed piece on the Broadcast site.

http://www.broadcastnow.co.uk/opinion_and_blogs/emily_bell/striking_writers_are_wrong_to_think_they_should_be_paid_more.html

The clues in the title.

I hope this piece of 'opinion' gets a lot of publicity and no British writer gives another interview to Broadcast while she's editor.

DD

Anonymous said...

Sorry folks, hope this works as a link to Bell's opinion piece. Read it and weep. Or not, if it doesn't.

http://tinyurl.com/3757ob

Dom Carver said...

More money for writers...HUZZAH!!!!! Well any money would be nice...yeah, money...moneylicious!!!

If I had any money I'd jump on a plane and join the picket line. I really hope they win.

James Moran said...

Bill: My pleasure, sir. It's ironic that the very thing they're trying to wangle a way around is the thing that's biting them on the ass.

DD: Thanks for that, doing a post/reply as we speak.

Dom: Wahey! Although just to point out, it's not *more* money, just making sure that they get their fair share of money earned by the networks.

Anonymous said...

James,

Adding to DD's, I think more money for the writer is good, because that would bring back closer to the era when those who have the first idea, got most of the lot, but I know that for now all are settling on fair pay of doing what we love to do.

J.C. Carvill
Email: support@cosmosing.com
URL: http://www.cosmosing.com/jeanclaudecarvill/index.php