Talent Strikes Back

The Talent Strikes Back… it’s official.  The writer’s will strike as of 12:01am November 5, 2007 (providing the mediation did not work), and right behind them is the Screen Actors and Directors Guild with their contracts expiring June 2008.  If the writer’s are still on strike during this time, this will cripple the industry and could affect projects up to the summer of 2009.

 

Times are changing, and the “Hollywood System” better get used to it.  I mean, look at the industry in just the last five years: the declining ticket sales, the lack of quality and care of most studio films.  Hell, the newest term in Hollywood is “reboot.”  It seems everything that has already been done is being “re-imagined” or “rebooted” because of the lack of vision and honest passion to create innovative films or the fear of taking a chance on something new.  Wow, imagine that, something new!

 

Just because a film makes millions of dollars doesn’t equate to quality.  Hasn’t Hollywood learned anything from the Youtuber’s yet?  The artists I know don’t do what they do to make a million dollars.  Most artists I know are pretty poor and work for free, and do it because they have something to say to the world, or they have passion for an idea and care about it.

 

The world is so different and people are very busy with life.  People are watching their favorite TV shows and DVD’s when it is more convenient by simply downloading them into their ipods, computers and cell phones, and if we don’t like anything on Network television, we’ll just find something entertaining on the internet, and with ticket prices escalating, you can expect a family of four to spend up to $60 or $80 dollars (after you buy the tickets, popcorn, hot dogs, candy, drinks etc.) just to see a movie at night….. AND THEN THE MOVIE IS BAD!   When did movies become a high ticket event?   Prices have increased while the quality and care for projects have gone down the toilet as far as I am concerned.

 

The industry is in distress, with or without a strike, but studios are still getting rich off of DVD’s, internet downloads, rushed crappy products that are clearly intended only as “Fast Food Franchises.”  The writers are being taken advantaged of and the studios basically want something for nothing.  What does this mean for me and all the undiscovered writers out there?  Well, luckily we still have things like Youtube to get our work and messages out there.  Trust me, I still plan on writing, and when this is all over, hopefully the “Hollywood System” can get back to creating real works of art, and hopefully soon, I’ll have a voice in what’s being created. 

 

The real scary part is coming in the summer of June 2008.  What will the Actors and Directors Guilds do and will the Writers guild still be on strike when this happens?

Whatever happens, this much is certain, I still want to be a part of this industry.  I have stories I need to tell and the passion and vision to do it.   I’m not a member of the WGA yet, but if I were, I would support the strike full-heartedly. 

 

It’s no secret to anyone who is pursuing a writing career or to anyone who is a member of the guild that writers are for the most part treated with little respect for the work they do.  They often say that film is a director’s medium, and actors like to think it’s all about them.  But without the blueprints to spark the fire, without the original vision that allows collaboration to complete a project, what would directors, actors, composers and crews have to work with?  -- meandering visions of ideas with long monologues and no story.

 

The WGA hasn’t been on strike for about twenty years, and let’s face it; media has changed immensely since that time.  It’s no longer just about video sales.  We’ve entered the digital age now, and if studios and producers are getting rich off DVD sales, internet reuse, and ipod downloads, the writers deserve their fair share of residuals for their work.

 

Anyone who is involved with this business understands that it is a collaborative medium, and people need to work together in order to complete a project that is specific, clear and entertaining.  So what happens with the collaborative process when it comes time to “cut the checks” for people’s hard work?

 

It’s truly a sad situation in my opinion, and I really believe any outcome from this strike will be bittersweet.  Because at the end of the day, when all is said and done, will the studios and producers continue to make these “Fast Food Franchises?”  Selling movies that have a trendy CD’s and toys in kid meals?

 

I am an idealist, and my hope is that one day I will work with other artists that do want to tell stories not only for entertainment value, but also to say something about our humanity.  How many “SAW” movies do we really need anyway???  Don’t get me wrong, I love the horror genre, I love all genres…. I  LOVE MOVIES PERIOD.  But what I love more than anything is a story well told.

 

God speed to the writer’s on strike.  I have some friends who have to deal with this, and I hope their families are not too affected by the strike and it doesn’t go on for months and months. 

 

 

 
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