Sunday, November 11, 2007

The WGA Strike- A Perspective

I find it hard to understand the rationale in striking against the studios and television networks at this point in time. With the proliferation of cheaper to produce reality television programs, newscasts and game show/competitions, it defies all logic why the WGA thought this was the right approach. The studios and networks will have a very profitable Q4 and Q1 in '08, while the hard-working and underpaid writers teeter on financial ruin. It's obvious that the writers have historically gotten the short end of the stick, however, there had to have been better ways to obtain more money for their work. What adds insult to injury is that the money that they are fighting over (royalties for the web, new media, DVD's, etc) are in as yet to be defined areas of profitability for the networks and studios. The only company that is making money selling video content on the web is Apple and I-Tunes. Everyone else in the space is simply fumbling around trying to stake a claim on quicksand.

My first job out of college was at the ICM talent agency in the literary department for one of the top lit agents in Hollywood. I saw first hand that the role of the writer in a film or television show is the least appreciated and most important.

My advice to all of my former colleagues is to use this work stoppage opportunity to create compelling new content for the web. Channel your efforts into building online serials, youtube broadcasts and independent web films. The one thing that the web lacks is really well done professional content. Hollywood writers are the people with the talent to pull real human emotions out of entertainment. They need to bring this type of magic to the web. Sites like funnyordie are a good start, however, if the real creative forces in Hollywood (i.e. the talent) got behind the web as an independent medium, the studios could have a real run for their money. The web is an open platform for entertainment, and despite the power that large Internet companies may appear to have over the platform, there is always room for a new upstart to rock the system to its core.

1 comment:

Dirtyword said...

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Show your support for the writers!