Monday, November 5, 2007

Writers Wanted

Members of the Writer's Guild of America, according to an Associated Press story, announced today that, as last-minute union negotiations have fallen apart with studio chiefs, they would strike beginning Monday.

The Writer's Guild represents screen writers all over the nation-east coast and west, big screen and small. They've gone to bat on behalf of the writers, refusing to sign a new contract until a few specific demands were met.

At the center of the controversy are a rather muddy set of demands (which I, admittedly don't completely understand-probably because I don't really care). It seems, though, that the writers are demanding some portion of the rights to income resulting from DVD and Internet sales. They currently receive only a small part of that income stream. They are angling for a more substantive share.

This is, according to the various news outlets carrying the story, particularly troubling in that, while most major movie studios maintain a backlog of completed scripts (giving them some flexibility in the event of a strike), various television shows do not. There's much concern over the short-term future of some key, writer intensive shows-namely the Jay Leno show and the David Letterman show. Apparently these guys rely on a whole slough of comedic writers-all of whom, beginning tomorrow, will be walking a picket line. The question: can Leno and Letterman effectively write their own stuff? Or will the shows go off-air without writers?

A concerning question to say the least. Stay tuned for future updates.

In other news:

California wildfires, to date, have destroyed approximately 493,000 acres, more than 1,780 homes; there are confirmed at least 14 fire-related death and 30 civilians and 52 firefighters were admitted to various hospitals.for observation or treatment. Authorities remain concerned that the fire will re-ignite, destroying additional property.

Saturday morning, a tragic accident (in the fog) on a local freeway ended up being over 100 cars strong, and nearly 2 miles long, as I recall. Two died, many more were injured and taken to surrounding hospitals.

The presidential election is fast approaching. The field is starting to clear up a bit, but I have to say, none of them really seem overly qualified to be President of the United States. Which means that we'll likely end up with a less-than-stellar president.

Do you ever get the feeling that we've got our priorities a little off? That we've lost our perspective? I think that's the case here. How could a story about Letterman and Leno having to write their own material pop to the top of the news feed in light of all the other things that are notably newsworthy?

It's a shame.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey, you always wanted to be a writer... Maybe you can fill in during the strike!