"The Moment of Truth" on Fox proves stupid, venal people will do anything stupid and venal for money… including destroying their marriages and humiliating their spouses in front of a (sadly sizable) national audience. It makes me sick, and embarrassed to be human.
I’m looking at a schedule that has me working straight through April 2009. Which, in the grand scheme of things, is very good news. Good news for EUREKA, good news for someone who has two kids in High School. So… who has the best perscription meds?
Wow. NewTeeVee picked up on a speech Bruce Rosenblum gave at Stanford last week in which he sounded the death knell for TV as we know it. Ad-supported online and renting through Netflix is where TV is going, says he. Guess we were striking for something pretty important, weren’t we?
This is a big deal: making sure writers (and actors and directors and…) don’t get screwed by the forces of big business and vertical integration. Read and be educated. And this is nothing new: I wrote ten episodes of a network show 15 years ago. When that network sold the syndication rights to a cable network they owned… I received a total of $1800 TOTAl for ALL TEN EPISODES RERUNNING.
I remember having this discussion last year: if you don’t have a DVR, you head to the kitchen or the bathroom when the ads start. If you’re Tivo-ing, you stare at the screen (and ads) with great concentration, looking for the precise spot to resume your show. Which means you’re actually WATCHING THE ADS. And, if something looks entertaining, you’ll actually go back and REALLY watch the ad. Right?
Today, it is our pleasure to inform you that members of the Writers Guilds of America, East and West, have voted to ratify the MBA contract with 93.6% approval. With a total of 4,060 votes cast, the tally was 3,802 to 258. These numbers reaffirm the tremendous level of support and commitment our membership has continuously demonstrated over these last few crucial months.
We are also pleased to report that the trustees of our health fund voted yesterday to follow the recommendation in our strike settlement agreement to provide additional coverage and an extension of the earnings cycle for a full quarter (three months) to participants who would otherwise lose health coverage following an earnings cycle that included all or a portion of the strike period. Participants whose health coverage is paid for by points will only be charged points if they have ten or more points as of April 1, 2008.
As we close this chapter in our union’s history, what we together have accomplished should not be underestimated. The 2008 MBA establishes a beachhead on the Internet and in new media that will guarantee our share of a potentially vast and bountiful future. Writers already are working on new media projects under this agreement and residuals must now be paid for streaming and downloads of our library of films and TV shows.
Language in the contract will allow us to monitor and audit these new technologies and new business models, but it will take vigilance on the part of our membership to make sure that original Internet writing is done under a WGA contract and with appropriate terms and conditions.
The same sort of vigilance will be needed to assist members of SAG and AFTRA. They are about to go through a similar process to the one we experienced. Their support of our cause was invaluable. We must use all our efforts and experience to support them as well. Further gains that they can achieve will have an immediate, positive effect on our contract.
We must take our newfound spirit and unity and use it to move our two unions forward. We look to the future and our newly revitalized member engagement to reaffirm writers as the first among equals in the most collaborative art form in history. As the last few weeks proved once and for all, we are all in this together.
Of course it did. But profits are something else. Yes, the networks didn’t have to spend as much money as they normally would have… but, in the long run, as viewers turn to other sources for entertainment…
Seems that if a network can make the advertisers happy, they’ve done their job. Product placement is going to be more and more common; you’ll see it in EUREKA this year. And that’s okay - it’ll help us make the show. We just have to protect the stories from becoming devices to service a product. I’ll keep you apprised.
I’ll make it easy for you: they were boring. I’ve edited enough hours of TV to tell you there’s a fine two hour show in there. Drop Sound Editing and Mixing, drop Makeup and Hair and Wardrobe and VFX, cut anything involving singing by 75%. Drop “funny” bits about bugs and binoculars, etc. Drop showing me ALL 79 BEST PICTURES. Boom, there you go.
This is EXACTLY what the WGA tried to avoid and kept mostly under wraps: top wage earners are telling union leadership to hurry up and make a deal. Of course, this only serves to undercut the power of the actors’ negotiators. These people are of course many of the same who want to disenfranchise almost all of the SAG members by establishing an earnings eligibility for voting. This is not the union way.
So 24 hours after fending off a Slavic assault on my PayPal account, I’ve changed every pa33w0rd I have. I’m now totally secure, as those changes have wiped out my Internet connection and my iPhone. I’ve spent three hours on the line with India with a nice guy named “John,” and I’m totally screwed. It’s going to be a long weekend.
The highlight reel starts tomorrow, when we move into the official EUREKA trailer suite of offices.