I could have inarticulately explained the ins and outs to him, but thankfully, I didn't have to it. Instead, I found a very talented wordsmith who could!
Damon Lindelof, co creater and head writer of "Lost" penned an insightful, honest and heartfelt op-ed in the NY Times.
It is aptly titled: Mourning Tv
Television is dying.
I should have realized this four years ago when I first got my TiVo box, but denial is always the first stage of grief. I simply couldn’t acknowledge that this wonderful invention heralded the beginning of the end.
The Writers Guild of America (of which I am a proud member) has gone on strike. I have spent the past week on the picket line outside Walt Disney Studios, my employer, chanting slogans and trudging slowly across the crosswalk.
The motivation for this drastic action — and a strike is drastic, a fact I grow more aware of every passing day — is the guild’s desire for a portion of revenues derived from the Internet. This is nothing new: for more than 50 years, writers have been entitled to a small cut of the studios’ profits from the reuse of our shows or movies; whenever something we created ends up in syndication or is sold on DVD, we receive royalties. But the studios refuse to apply the same rules to the Internet.
My show, “Lost,” has been streamed hundreds of millions of times since it was made available on ABC’s Web site. The downloads require the viewer to first watch an advertisement, from which the network obviously generates some income. The writers of the episodes get nothing. We’re also a hit on iTunes (where shows are sold for $1.99 each). Again, we get nothing.
It should come as no surprise that actors have joined the picket lines in solidarity, and look for directors to do the same. They too, are asking for a share of the monies earned by studios off the net.
While the revenues are certainly not huge at this point, make no mistake about it, within 10 years, we will all be watching tv shows & films streamed onto media devices, be they handheld, or sitting on your desktop.
As Damien reminds us, WGA members are doing this for those future generations of writers "whose work will never “air,” but instead be streamed, beamed or zapped onto a tiny chip."
While I remain politically at odds with Hollywood, as a former Hollywood agent, who worked with and personally knows many writers, actors, and cinematographers now affected by this strike, I applaud the WGA for taking this tough and drastic measure.
As a fan of Lost, Heroes, Desperate Housewives, CSI, Law & Order, Numbers, Monk, Chuck, Gray's Anatomy, Brothers & Sisters, Men In Trees, NCIS, The Unit,Rescue Me, Bionic Woman, Smallville, and Shark, I am ANGRY that I won't be able to enjoy these shows much beyond December 2007 and then not again until January 2009!!
I am ANGRY because unreasonable greed, unfathomable selfishness and blatant dishonesty on the part of the Studio and Network Alliance motivates, and continues to motivate, their decision to refuse to table a deal that would provide *WGA, *DGA, and *SAG members with percentage based residuals from revenues derived off the Internet.
"How selfish can they get, they won't share the internet"
Politics and perceptions aside, the majority of those working in Hollywood are good decent hardworking people. They are NOT mega millionaires who will be able to sit poolside while they weather out this strike. I m talking about casting directors, hair and make up people, art directors, music composers, editors, grips, gaffers, locations managers, and other various crew members, assistants to all the above, graphic designers, illustrators, animators, those that work in post production, and of course, agents, actors, (working actor whose names you don't know but faces you see on your favorite shows) directors, and writers, will all suffer.
Many are being laid off now, and Hollywood - being an "industry town"- doesn't offer many other employment opportunities. You either work in the industry or servicing the industry.
Waiters, waitresses, cooks, bartenders, dry cleaners, restaurants, bars, retail, ----everyone suffers!!
All because Studios won't share residuals from the internet!
HOW SELFISH CAN THEY GET, THEY WON'T SHARE THE INTERNET!
I SUPPORT THE WGA!
United Hollywood - A blog created by WGA strike captains
Must See Video: Heartbreaking Voices of Uncertainty
Essays from the genius that is Peter Tolan:
Humor Gets Lost in Strikes Shuffle
How To Negotiate, Or Not
For the best insight on what's happening moment by moment during this strike:
Nikki Finke "Deadline Hollywood Daily"
*WGA - The Writers Guild of America
*DGA - The Directors Guild of America
*SAG - The Screen Actors Guild