Thursday, November 15, 2007

If you can't write movies, just write for the web.


At least that what it looks like some Hollywood writers may be doing. With the advent of so many new web series (just how many of these things are there?), and the proliferation of wi-fi laptops (perfect for punching out a script while serving picket duty), the web seems to be calling and there just may be plenty of takers. But wait minute here... to use a writer's device, it's time for a bit more exposition.

Isn't this the point of the strike in the first place, securing more rights for fair payment in any given medium? So let's get this straight... writer's are on strike to secure more monies paid for the expanding market to which their services are being used in the form of their original scripts. So that would be... you write, say a movie, the movie gets produced and then sold to TV, then of course it's going to DVD, and, oh yeah, now there's all the cash flowing in from digital downloads, and you want a piece of every slice of pie. Fair enough. No bitching, I wish I was getting paid to tap out these words myself. But the fact is, I don't. I'm just trying to make a business for myself. You, on the other hand are what all of us net bloggers and website writers aspire to, a PAID, WORKING writer. And so, just to be sure I've got this straight, while you are striking to have the right to make MORE money, you're going to make some on the side by writing for the internet. Except, isn't that going to create yet another market that will ultimately become a part of some future writer's union pie slice, you'll strike to have a larger portion of down the road... you getting the point here?

Here's how I see the point. It's a load of crap. Writer's already lucky enough to have paying jobs working for web-based story content producers, shouldn't have to worry about high-power hollywood talent taking their jobs away, even if it is (and perhaps especially if it is) temporary. Web-based content producers should NOT be hiring striking union writers to punch up their products. This will all spiral into yet more union territory being staked out and web-production, at this early stage is far too fragile to sustain a sudden mandatory pay structure to compensate it's talent.

Let's not forget that the Directors Guild is looking at entering labor contract talks in December. Will 2008 become the year that the internet goes pro? No one can afford that.

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