Writers Strike Continues

- - Photography News

Story in Variety yesterday, “WGA talks leaves bitterness.”

Here’s what I found interesting:

AMPTP insiders said they’re convinced WGA West exec director David Young is trying to make the WGA battles a part of a larger, more global struggle against corporate “greed.”

[...]“For them, this is not a writers strike. It’s about changing society,” one exec said. “We are so frustrated. We’re dealing with people who don’t care about this community. They care about making social change in America.”

There Are 7 Comments On This Article.

  1. Is he saying that he values his Hollywood “community” over that of society as a whole?

    Spock would say “The needs of the many… outweigh. Kirk: The needs of the few. Spock: Or the one.”

    Man… hasn’t that guy ever watched Star Trek?

  2. as much as I reference Star Trek, that is not correct. The industry is worried that the head of the WGA, David Young, is making this strike about corporate greed and not simply about doing the deal on the table, in other words, he is going for the whole enchilada not just the fish taco.

    or something like that. I find it endlessly fascinating that we have this writers strike going on right now and NO one (except APE) has drawn a parallel between what I am talking about and their issues.

    I went over and skimmed the variety article, at issue for the writers is control over Reality TV, Animation, internet streaming, and a host of other issues. Basically everywhere that TV is growing outside of writing original content. Seems like Broadcast has seen the future and has given up on “content” and basically is pitching in with youtube, or “user generated content, aka, “nearly free”.

    someone posted on my blog that maybe editorial photographers should just pitch in and do it for free for the exposure, essentially like people are doing on youtube.

    I think that is not a good way to go. But I am not surprised since we have generations raised on the concept that what you see on the “screen” is “free., and all that matters is getting noticed.

    the link between this strike and the state of photography right now is extremely relevant.

  3. As artists, it’d be a good idea for us to support the writer’s strike.
    They are really fighting for our rights as well as theirs. Our dear photo editor gave us the link to the hillariously honest “pay the writer” video in
    youtube. If you haven’t seen it, watch it. I look at it regularly for
    inspiration. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mj5IV23g-fE

    Check out also the speechless videos: This is one of them:
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=BF5yJklH_jA

    There are several great ones.

    And support the writers at unitedhollywood.com

    And start having royalty paying model releases. It’s not fair for us to expect to be paid for usage rights over and over when we don’t pay our models accordingly. You can have a contract with the model and pay then 10% or whatever percentage of your proceeds from their image. APA has a sample contract like this.

    I am envious of the writer’s solidarity. Can you imagine if all
    photographers could actually go on strike to demand the end to unfair
    contracts. We are responsible for these happening.

    Peace,
    Isaac

  4. Having been on a couple of union negotiating teams I’ve got to say that any leader that starts trying to fix society instead of get the best deal for the workers is heading in the wrong direction. You fix society once the deal is signed and you’ve got a 3 year contract and some time on your hands.

    I know what Robert Wright means but his kids who think broadcast content is free don’t understand the business model. You pay by agreeing to watch commercials. No eyeballs on ads, no broadcast station. It’s the same model as on most of the internet, you get the free program or the free website at the “cost” of watching ads being displayed. Since that’s what the advertisers understand, that’s the one that works.

    Maybe later you’ll get the “content in exchange for information” model (let us track your buying patterns and we’ll let you watch stuff) or similar, but there’s always a cost.

    And the content producers for youtube? They get paid in ego boost, attention, entertainment, self-promotion… not all pay is in the form of cash in hand.

    Editorial photography? Why not make magazines that work on the academic journal format? There are some research journals that charge the authors of papers a page fee to publish their papers. Yes, you pay to be published. The benefit of course was that you sometimes have to publish to get and maintain tenure, sometimes for advancement, and of course to get your work out to other researchers in the “best” journals. I never had a budget to publish so I always found the second tier journals to publish my research papers, the ones that published your stuff for free.

    Kim Taylor

  5. “Can you imagine if all
    photographers could actually go on strike to demand the end to unfair
    contracts.”

    If a photographer strikes in reaction to low pay, then another one will simply walk in and be willing to grab the job. That’s the root of the problem. We’ve done ourselves over.

    How do you remedy this. Encourage everyone to stick to their prices and not budge? A great idea but it often leads to losing the majority of your work to someone who is willing to go slightly cheaper. In the long run that makes it very difficult to live. If you work it out, accepting slightly less money but getting work more often works out for the better. But then we’re back where we began. I don’t condone any of it. I do know it’s difficult not to cave in to it. Especially when you’re hungry, and your family is hungry.

    It is true that if you are offering something individual then you’re more likely to be able to stand your ground.

    As for photographers uniting for the common good… I can’t quite imagine it.

    It’s not exclusive to photography either.

  6. those goddam bastards, trying to change society! Who needs that? Just sort out my pay packet and to hell with the rest of you.

  7. Does anyone know:

    1. Are the writers REALLY trying to change society?
    2. Are changing society and the good of writers mutually exclusive?
    3. Do many writers want more control over their works? If so is that “changing society”?

    I am curious to know the opinions of people who are in the industry.