November 17, 2007

Screwing Over Writers Is Dumb

Shouldn't that perhaps be the first sentence in any manual on corporate PR? It should be on the first page, before the credits. It should be the first bullet point in a brief, bullet-pointed list not to exceed half a page and entitled "Remember This Shit."

You would think that people who'd gotten to be really, really wealthy would have been smart enough to figure that out. Otherwise, how did they earn all that money? But yet. The media powers that be decided that the people who write the content they profit from reselling don't have to be paid anymore.

Being a writer who works for free, myself, I can tell you that it's an unsustainable model. Can't go on forever. So if you hadn't heard all the whys and wherefores of the writers' strike yet, I'll hand you over to their tender mercies ...

First, the writers are striking over whether they'll get residual payments for their work. What's a residual? A residual is a deferred payment against the lifetime value of a script.

I think we all understand that scripts can certainly have value. Yet the media corporations shamelessly lie to their talent about revenue made from their work, and say their revenue models 'need more study' before paying writers from them. I've heard that phrase before, there was something else that needed more study, I just can't remember what ...

Meanwhile, these same media corporations have been bureaucratically micromanaging creative choices, and badly. Demonstrating that not only are they full of crap, but that they have no taste. Though really, didn't we all already know that the studio executives have no taste?

Next up, musings on why libertarian economists don't know anything about business, as applied to Hollywood. But really, why libertarian economists don't know anything about business. And sidewise, why unionization is a good idea that should be expanded to more industries, instead of continuing to be ruthlessly crushed.

And now, some original presentations to supplement your current diet of reruns:

Several hat tips to the fabulous Kung Fu Monkey and, of course, United Hollywood.

Posted by natasha at November 17, 2007 11:38 PM | Labor | Technorati links |

You work as a writer for free? :/
Well if you want to make some extra cash I suggest using the free programs listed on
I make around 1500 each month from them. :]

Posted by: Geraldine at November 21, 2007 08:10 PM