Sunday, February 03, 2008

Good news on the strike front! Hopefully.

There is cautious optimism that the WGA strike may soon be resolved. Supposedly, both sides have agreed in principle to the deal but now must convert everything to legal language so the studios have loopholes to get around everything they’ve agreed to. Some announcement could come any day now. And peace and harmony will be restored in the entertainment industry – all the way until June when the actors’ contract is up.

But as we bask in this possible-glow I still have a few questions.

Why did it take the AMPTP four months, billions of dollars lost, thousands of workers laid off, the TV season in shambles, next summer’s feature tent poles derailed, residual animosity that will reverberate for years, the loss of the Golden Globes, and the possibility the Oscars would suffer the same fate when they could have just as easily made the same deal in October?

When informal negotiations clearly cut through the bullshit (as it always does), why go through the whole formal negotiation dance, especially when you have union hater Nick Counter as your lead negotiator?

Why wouldn’t the DGA just sit back and let us slug it out since their deal wasn’t up until June? What was their big rush? Clearly they got a worse deal. The DGA can publicly spin this deal any way they want. The truth is they’re being perceived as gutless. And as a member of the DGA I’m somewhat embarrassed.

What percentage of the audience that the networks lost as a result of the strike will never return?

Will anyone read Nikki Finke once the strike is over?

Is NBC still going to air MY DAD IS BETTER THAN YOUR DAD on February 18th? Come on. Rerun JOEY.

How did Giants receiver David Tyree make that catch?


Barking Up Trees said...

manning made a nice pass to tyree...

not belichick's smartest game, going for a 4th & 13 instead of trying the 49 yd field goal... ? shades of marty shottenheimer...

also, burress gets 1-on-1 coverage from ellis hobbs... ??

pats need to get younger big time on D... they'll need linebackers and corners (especially after asante goes to the jets -- yikes!)...

Anonymous said...

What about that incredible escape by Eli Manning. I am a Charger fan, but that was a really nice performance by Eli in the fourth quarter. Congratulations to the New York Giants and their fans........and Joe Buck can go stick it.....along with his brown nosing of the Patriots.

Joe W. said...

That escape was insane. On the slo-mo it looked like Eli was being attacked by zombies. Like the hero in a zombie flick he scrapped his way to safety with all his brains intact.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the Giants were truly awesome.

As to your other points, the AMPTP had no desire to make a quick deal with the WGA because they wanted to beat them up badly. This was firstly to make sure they don't strike again soon. And more importantly to send a signal to SAG that getting a deal will be difficult and so you shouldn't ask for a lot. Had they not beat the crap out of the WGA, SAG would've asked for the moon, but now they won't and in the end that saves the AMPTP lots of $$$. Sad but true.

Hopefully all you actresses out there will thank a writer personally for their sacrifice.

Anonymous said...

Haven't been following the strike as closely as I should (though I have some friends who are *very* active in WGA/DGA, and I expect to end up in one if not both of these guilds eventually)... so this is all just personal conjecture and stuff I've read:

Could it be that the studios weren't really worried about internet residuals in the first place? Working at a start-up internet video company myself, I can tell you from first hand experience that Eisner is right... there is no money here yet. At least nothing even close to television money. Orders of magnitude difference. So, could the whole thing have been a smoke-screen to get the WGA to drop the demands for unionizing reality-shows/animation? Once that happened, they just hung on for a few weeks for show, and then boom, "you win." They stood to lose a lot more on reality. Just a paranoid thought.

Richard Cooper said...

Manning's great play will forever be known as "The Great Escape." Can't wait to see how NFL Films show it in all its slo-mo, grunting glory.

Regarding the union deals, I want to publicly say, yes, the DGA rolled over and peed like a scared puppy, but you know, what I REALLY want to do is direct… so I'll mind my own beeswax.

(Where do I send my application for a DGA Internship?)

TCinLA said...

Easy to be angry over it all, I know I am. But if you aren't willing to plant one of your Emmies in Nick Counter's forehead up to the shoulders of the statue, then STFU. The only thing anger gets us is the energy to write some good screenplays and the energy to push them through to a green light.

You and I may have been dragged off to Southeast Asia, but nobody dragged us to Hollywood.

Sorry, but the Pope gave Michelangelo a bad deal for the Sistene Chapel.

And yeah, I'm as angry as I was when I wrote the first letter of the first word of this post. I think I'll go spend the rest of the night working on the third act of "Infidels." It needs to be powered by anger.

As Oscar Wilde said, "Living well is the best revenge."

Now I can get on to co-producing a script I wrote 10 years ago and have fought for ever since, whose financing came through last week, contingent on getting past this crap. That's a tradeoff I can live with.

Rob said...

Congrats to the Giants. How much will it suck to be a member of this year's Patriots team.

More importantly, who won the Ad Bowl? My vote goes to the Coca Cola Balloon ad. It was better produced and more original and surprising than anything else. And it featured Stewie, Underdog and Charlie Brown. How could you NOT love it?

Mike McCann said...

The miracle Manning-to-Tyree play goes down in Giants history alongside Bavaro carrying half the 49ers defense on his back in that 1986 Monday nighter.

Congrat's on the apparent end to the WGA strike. Nice to see that unlike some unions, yours held strong and didn't fold.

Bitter Animator said...

Totally unrelated question and one you've probably covered but I can't find it - what did your roles as creative consultants on Frasier involve?

Anonymous said...

"The Giants win the Pennant!"
"The Giants win the Pennant!"
...wait wrong Giants....

Anonymous said...

The most important question of all: Will they actually run a full season of Lost now or will it still be the abbreviated 8 show season?

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear the strike is almost over. There's a niggle that keeps bothering me though. I'm disappointed that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert went back on the air, and also impressed that whenever I've checked in on their shows, it's like they don't even need those writers. These guys have done a fantastic job without their writing staff, and it must flummox the room to see the show go on without them with apparent ease.

Or maybe Jon and Stephen are so good they just make it look easy. Dunno, but the reality was disturbing.


VP81955 said...

...the AMPTP had no desire to make a quick deal with the WGA because they wanted to beat them up badly.

They obviously didn't feel that way about the directors. Then again, in their commercials, do you ever hear the line, "From the writers of..."? Shows you where writers rank on the producers' totem pole.

To Mike McCann: I was wondering why RFK Stadium was in the background of your avatar -- then I came across your blog, "Engaging Images." Nice site, recommended for any ballpark connoisseur. (Wonder if you have some pix of old Comiskey, a place I loved.) Someday we hope to see you on South Capitol Street at the Nats' new home.

Anonymous said...

“I liked it.” “I liked it.”

Like it wasn’t lonely enough being a Pats fan in Dallas?
Think I saw Bucky Dent in the stands
with Jessica Simpson
and Joe Btfsplk.
Tom’s really gotta shuck that gazelle. And is it my imagination or do Buck and Aikman together look like the illicit spawn of Mitt Romney? If there’s only one consolation it’s that, with the exception of a San Diego playoff, this stadium was probably as close as the Giants get to the Mexican border – but there’s drug testing.

On the remote chance that anyone is interested in how the Vegan Superbowl Party we got roped into turned out – it was surprisingly fun. Especially when you consider this was the only Superbowl Party invitation I’ve ever received that encouraged you to come DESPITE the fact that there might be people watching football (e.g. "but the commercials are great"). Stopped just short of adding, "Bring something to read."

PS: The baby projectile vomiting got a bigger laugh after they convinced themselves he must have been bottle-fed.
I just thought Rocky the Clydesdale was right up there with the old one with the donkey.

Hope the strike’s cautious optimism soon turns into rapture. With all the catch up to do, viewers will still have a window to find out even more how much they miss writers.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I've asked for Manning's help getting out of Columbia House and my Verizon plan.

Anonymous said...

My burning question is how did John McCain get on Jay Leno last week? Did he cross picket lines? It's been seriously bothering me...

Dwacon said...

Does that mean I can pitch my reality show where we have a seance to interview cast members from old shows who have gone to the great beyond?

Of course... I have to figure out whether our interview with Jim Backus will be with the "Gilligan's Island" cast or the "I Married Joan" cast.

While the strike continues, we're trying to resurrect Vincent Price to host the show.

Anonymous said...

once the WGA went on strike because they had leaders who were determined to do so they had to be punished so this doesn't happen again for a long while. to be honest, I do not know if the guild has learned, but when most of the main agitators find themselves not hired for a few years maybe this will sink in

Anonymous said...

The studios didn't make this deal back in October because waiting until now allowed them to use force majeure to get rid of over 100 development deals they've been trying to ditch for a while.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think they wanted there to be a strike. I think the first two months of holding out was legitimate on their part. But once it hit the holidays they left the bargaining table and said, "Eh, what's another month."

Mike Barer said...

People are feeling sorry for the Patriots, at least the people who were sad to see Enron go and Bernie Ebbers imprisoned.