Monday, October 01, 2007

Writing is writing, regardless of medium

I'm a bit amazed that the industry is still scrambling to come up with a business model for online production that will satisfy all concerned parties, but then again, this is Hollywood we're talking about -- a town not noted for its sympathy towards scribes.
The issue of how to compensate talent for work distributed online is central to contentious contract talks with writers -- and could trigger the first major strike in Hollywood in nearly two decades.

"The more it looks like television is migrating to the Internet, the more important it is for us to ensure that writers are covered under a writers guild contract," said Patric Verrone, president of the Writers Guild of America, West. "We certainly don't want to get left behind the way we were with cable television, reality TV and animation."

Network executives are loath to further inflame the issue by discussing it publicly. Privately, however, several studio and network executives said they were not trying to circumvent the unions but instead attempting to adapt to a changing landscape in which entertainment plays out on multiple screens.

Many likened their situation to being in a vise grip, squeezed on one side by advertisers and fans demanding more online entertainment while pressured on the other side by guild officials who insist that ground rules be established first.

No comments: