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Television Movies The Media

Will Streaming Media Lead To A Massive Writer's Strike? (latimes.com) 316

"A decade ago, Hollywood writers brought the entertainment industry to a standstill when they walked off the job for three months in a dispute over pay for movies and TV shows distributed online," writes the Los Angeles Times. But they're reporting that it may happen again, with the Writers Guild of America now seeking a strike authorization vote from its members. Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon have transformed Hollywood and contributed to an unprecedented number of quality series being produced -- a phenomenon often described as the new Golden Age of TV. But times haven't been golden for many writers for whom more is now less. Shorter seasons are the new norm, with many series consisting of 10 or fewer episodes on cable and streaming -- less than half the length of traditional seasons on network shows. That has put writers in a financial crunch since many have exclusivity clauses that prevent them from working on multiple shows per season...

"It's getting more and more difficult to make a living as a writer," said John Bowman, a TV writer-producer, and former head of the WGA negotiating committee. Studios are equally dug in as more customers cut the cable cord in favor of streaming options. They're also grappling with a dramatic fall-off in once-lucrative DVD sales and a flattening of attendance at the multiplex. They are releasing fewer titles a year, meaning fewer opportunities for screenwriters... Complicating matters is a lack of transparency. Streaming services operate on subscription models and don't release viewer data, making it difficult to devise a formula for residuals (fees for reruns).

Amazon is a member of the studio alliance, while Netflix "is expected to sign on to an eventual contract." (Though streaming also seems to be hurting the popularity of reruns, which is also reducing the residuals writers receive.) But underscoring the impact of online media, Slashdot reader JustAnotherOldGuy asks, "with all the alternative content available, does anyone care...? Would the writer's strike have any serious impact on your life?"
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Will Streaming Media Lead To A Massive Writer's Strike?

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  • Well (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I for one will drop my subscription to Amazon or Netflix if they try to bust the strike with crap.

    But I doubt most will so I'm looking forward to reading more since last time reality tv reigned for a decade

  • So, if you're a TV writer, why not negotiate a contract which takes into account the new reality of streaming and shorter seasons?

    What's the big deal? Business conditions change all the time in all sorts of industries and small businesses (which is what most writers should be if they're working via contract and for various rights) adjust to it.

    I mean, if they had some sort of big bureaucratic organization which they were forced to belong to and which controlled standard contract terms they might be screwed over while they waited and hoped for it to adjust to the new reality, but if they are free and work for themselves, then it's just business as usual.

    • by sg_oneill ( 159032 ) on Sunday April 02, 2017 @10:06PM (#54162157)

      So, if you're a TV writer, why not negotiate a contract which takes into account the new reality of streaming and shorter seasons?

      What's the big deal? Business conditions change all the time in all sorts of industries and small businesses (which is what most writers should be if they're working via contract and for various rights) adjust to it.

      I mean, if they had some sort of big bureaucratic organization which they were forced to belong to and which controlled standard contract terms they might be screwed over while they waited and hoped for it to adjust to the new reality, but if they are free and work for themselves, then it's just business as usual.

      They are negotiating. Its called a strike.

      • by postbigbang ( 761081 ) on Sunday April 02, 2017 @10:51PM (#54162293)

        You're seeing a massive money shift as people vote with their expenditures, which have to slowly ripple through the thick layers of money and lawyers in Hollywood.

        I'm sad for writers that have negotiated bad contracts. A strike will not further their cause.

        Money now comes from a different source, the online hegemony. The medium has changed because the delivery system changed, because the old one was leaden and corrupt.

        I watched a nice NetFlix produced video tonight on my big screen, which is the place most people can afford to view one, Hollywood and the theater SYNDICATES having made the price of a night at the movies really expensive.

        Between Amazon and NetFlix I have most stuff I want to watch, and I didn't have to worry about screaming children, seats, or what the goo is on the seat. I didn't worry about a cable company-- most all of them are universally loathed-- and I could opt out for the same money as opt-ing in if I didn't like the video.

        So if you're a writer for TV, get out. You're sailing on a sinking ship.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          So, if they don't strike, precisely how do they negotiate more money? The studios aren't just going to give them more money because they want and need it. They'll give the money to the writers if they're forced to because new content isn't being made.

          • So, if they don't strike, precisely how do they negotiate more money?

            Hmmm, let me think, by making better fucking content and not being lazy cunts looking for something from the 80's that hasn't been rebooted yet.

        • The problem is that the money in Hollywood is pure finance dollars: maximize return and minimizing risk. This does not really contribute to "creative media."

          There are a lot of lemmings that are in it for creativity... but the commodity value is gone thanks to the long tail.
        • by guises ( 2423402 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @05:39AM (#54163113)

          I'm sad for writers that have negotiated bad contracts. A strike will not further their cause.

          You seem to be confused regarding who we're talking about here. The Writers Guild of America represents writers for all of TV / Film / Streaming / you name it - if it plays on a screen and it's not a video game, these are the people who write it. These are not people who are clinging to a doomed ship: all of that content which you are watching on Netflix, which you are implying is the future of the industry, that is them too.

          In fact, they seem to be agreeing with you that this is the future of the industry, or at least that it represents a large portion of that future, and are attempting to insure their place in it. I don't know if a strike will further their cause or not, strikes only take place after negotiations have broken down, but I certainly support the idea of good writing in the streaming future and I like the idea of writers who are able to support themselves in this way.

          • by cwatts ( 622605 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @09:04AM (#54163669) Homepage

            Adding to guises post...

            People are asking why the writers are "striking first" They arent. The WGA has been negotiating the deal with the producers since early March.

            ALSO, It's not that the contracts are 'bad'. A decade ago, when most of the last deal was hashed out, there was no original streaming content. The studios were circling the wagons against streaming, and netflix was still doing DVDs. A big negotiating point in tat strike was in fact DVD residuals Streaming was not ignored, it;s just that no one really knew how big it would get and what the side effects of it's proliferation might be. Studios wanted to pay zero residuals on "new media" and naturally the writers werent thrilled with this. So, after protracted negotiations, they struck for 14 weeks and eventually got some concessions. Ironically, the lack of new entertainment on TV was a HUGE boon for Netflix, who got a massive surge of subscribers which wall street didn't really8 notice til the strike was long over. but i digress.

            Now that streaming is huge, the writers are pretty glad they held out, but there are fresh issues- the new guys, Amazon, Netflix, etc. don't obey the traditional season paradigm. In the old days, when a writer was hired for ' a season' they got 30 (or whatever) shows out of the deal. Now, with their giant budgets and more elaborate shows, series like "walking Dead might have 16 (but often fewer) episodes per season. Because writers are often exclusive to the show, and they are paid 'per episode', many of them are making half as much. So its back to the table to negotiiate this and similar issues.

            The AMPTP is the body that reps the studios, networks and independent producers. They negotiate not only with writers, but with the DGA, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE, the AFM, etc. Suffice to say that they are some hard nosed old bastards. They have a rep for not budging and often, a strike is the only way to make something happen.

            By the way, when the writers went on strike in 2007, it was a huge dead weight on production in CA. On a film, lines in scripts get rewritten a little every day During the strike, many directors on already-running films did n ot want to cross picket lines by doing these small rewrites themselves. With writers on strije, there was no one to do it. So a lot of productions stalled, and some stopped altogether. This affects hundreds of thousands of industry workers all over the world.

            I was in the middle of a divorce and had just come off a lucrative 18 month job, a little movie about spartans in red capes. My ex's evil lawyer convinced a judge to award payments based on my employed income. I was out of work for about 6 months due to the strike- with the extra monthly whammy to the ex, plus my lawyers (I fired the one who allowed the preceding to happen) I got murdered during the last strike. If this one happens, it wont be as bad, but I don't thing its going to come to a strike.

            just my 2 cents.

            PS the ex and I get along fine these days, and the kid who was born during the strike is now 10! Yikes!

      • Beat me to it.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ClickOnThis ( 137803 )

        They are negotiating. Its called a strike.

        I get you, but keep in mind that negotiating != striking.

        Many unions and their management counterparts succeed at negotiating new contracts without the union going on strike, or the management initiating a lockout.

        Mentioning the word "strike" in the headline is just clickbait.

        • They want to show they are a force to be listened to, or they want to make their members feel like they are doing something. So they strike, even though they don't really have an attainable goal.

          That happened here with the buses. They are Teamsters and they went on strike for two weeks more or less out of the blue. They weren't engaged in contract negotiations with the city and at a stalemate, they struck more or less right off the bat, at the behest of the national Teamsters. The demands were silly too in

      • Strikes always seemed like a lousy negotiating tactic to me. I don't want to work with you, I want to shut you down if you don't pay me more. But I suppose the company needs to be reminded exactly how valuable their workers are from time to time. Still just rubs me the wrong way.

        • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday April 03, 2017 @07:03AM (#54163281) Homepage Journal

          I suppose the company needs to be reminded exactly how valuable their workers are from time to time. Still just rubs me the wrong way.

          Yes, it rubs me the wrong way that the company needs to be reminded exactly how valuable their workers are from time to time, too. They should not need to be reminded, especially with such a drastic action. They should be thankful that the workers are there to help them profit, and they should offer them fair compensation for their work without them having to beg, plead... or strike.

          • I suppose the company needs to be reminded exactly how valuable their workers are from time to time. Still just rubs me the wrong way.

            Yes, it rubs me the wrong way that the company needs to be reminded exactly how valuable their workers are from time to time, too. They should not need to be reminded, especially with such a drastic action. They should be thankful that the workers are there to help them profit, and they should offer them fair compensation for their work without them having to beg, plead... or strike.

            Not to mention I've basically used the same type of tactic myself. After years of raises below increase in living I got a job offer for a 10% pay increase, when I told my company they gave me 15% increase to stay. If only I could get this kind of thing done without the threat of not working.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by argStyopa ( 232550 )

        A strike isn't a negotiation, it's a tactic to drive negotiation.

        And any sane person wouldn't START the process with a drastic, burn-the-bridges tactic like striking if their real intent was to come to a constructive solution. That's like discussing which side of the bed you sleep on with your partner by starting with "I want a divorce..."

  • Huh? (Score:5, Funny)

    by s.petry ( 762400 ) on Sunday April 02, 2017 @09:55PM (#54162115)

    You mean to tell me they were not already on strike? Nothing but remakes, over, and over and over again.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by kamapuaa ( 555446 )

      Maybe you should start watching something besides superhero movies.

      • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by ArchieBunker ( 132337 ) on Sunday April 02, 2017 @11:03PM (#54162315) Homepage

        Movies with original content are few and far between. I just saw commercials for remakes of The Mummy and then King Arthur tonight.

      • by Alumoi ( 1321661 )

        Such as? Come on, don't be greedy, share the knowledge.

  • it won't be massive. it won't be streaming media's fault. there will be a short strike since some writers spent all their savings already.
  • A decade ago... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by yodleboy ( 982200 ) on Sunday April 02, 2017 @10:03PM (#54162143)
    A decade ago, I quit watching House MD and various other shows impacted by the strike when they stopped mid season. By the time they came back, I had moved on and didn't care anymore. For big shows, the risk is probably minimal, but for the niche stuff this can be a killer.
    • Replying to myself because I hit submit too fast.

      Can these writers be that surprised that it's getting harder to make a living when much of the industry has a fear of anything original? Den Of Geek lists 120(!) movie remakes or reboots currently in progress (as of 3/15/2017). TV seems to be less paralyzed, but they can afford to throw shows out and see what catches.

      Those 120 remakes... http://www.denofgeek.com/us/mo... [denofgeek.com]
      • Re:A decade ago... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Sunday April 02, 2017 @10:23PM (#54162209) Journal

        You seem to be blaming the writers for the stream of remakes and copies. Why? Surely, it's the producers and buyers who control what gets written?

        • Not sure how you read that into my post. The entertainment industry is obsessed with remakes and reboots. When you are just massaging someone else's story, how many writers do you need? Rather than jump on the tired old 'internet is taking our jobs' bandwagon, the writers should be demanding producers and buyers start greenlighting original works. How shocking can it be when the industry has been heading this direction for years? Like any other field, if you have too many people and not enough demand, e
          • ... the writers should be demanding producers and buyers start greenlighting original works. .

            I suspect that a large part of the problem is that worthy original works are very, very few.

            In order to keep the theatres filled, something has to be written -- hence the remakes, reboots, prequels, sequels etc.
            <sigh>

            • Actually, it's the same problem as we have with video games. New ideas are a risk. People may or may not like it. But with every movie (and game) being a multi million dollar wager, you want to bet on the safe side. So what would you fund? A new movie format that may or may not sit well with your target audience or the remake of a story that already drew masses to the movies 20 years ago? A new game style nobody tried before or the same game that already sold well last year with a new year date next to its

            • by thogard ( 43403 )

              There is too much new original content. The problem is if anyone make any of the new original content, someone else will come out of the woodwork and say they wrote that story with a few details that are different, sue for copyright violation and win.

              That is why everything is a remake. They have to have a very long paper trail showing that anything made is simply a derivative work of something they already have rights to. It a problem of Hollywoods own making as they extended the copyright.

              • The problem is if anyone make any of the new original content, someone else will come out of the woodwork and say they wrote that story with a few details that are different, sue for copyright violation and win.
                That is why everything is a remake.

                Now explain why they are remaking old television shows and old movies instead of making newer books into movies, because that offers the same kind of protection and that at least would be an improvement. Why haven't any of Stephenson's books been made into movies, for example?

                I think you are completely wrong, and I think the real answer is that they don't want to adapt anything until the author is dead, so that they can ignore his vision.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by rtb61 ( 674572 )

          Why not. Any half way mature writer should know, 'they made me do it', is the excuse of a child. Face it, the internet is opening up content competition to a much broader field. Even bad amateurs can produce good work sometimes. The biggest threat to writers, the creators of canned content is interactive content, it sucks in huge amounts of end users time and cuts out canned content. Most of my time viewing idiot box content is as background to interactive internet content. I struggle to watch retreads on t

          • by Altrag ( 195300 )

            Self-publishing is a very risky proposition. You have to put in all of the work up front and you have no idea if you're going to see a dime of returns on it. Like any other business, if you're successful you can do well but if you're not, you often lose everything.

            At least when you're selling out, you're guaranteed a paycheck even if its somewhat less than your real potential is worth. That's important to a lot of people. Not everyone is willing to fall on the "risk" side of the risk-vs-reward dichotomy

        • Buyers? Just what is it i buy on free to air TV and a massively lumped and over sold cable contract?

        • Writers aren't constrained by the number of remakes, they are constrained by the amount of original work. Network TV and Hollywood could be all remakes, there would still be more original content on Netflix+Amazon+HBO+Showtime+CC+Indy Film Etc than there ever was when there was just 3 tv networks and a couple movie studios. No, writers are only constrained by the number of writer slots in the city, which is increased by 2 when you build the Writer's Guild wonder.

    • Re:A decade ago... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 02, 2017 @10:11PM (#54162169)

      2007 writers strike started the unplug movement.
      If they try it again in 2017, it will definitely end the unplug movement -- by causing everyone to unplug and switch to streaming-only.

      • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

        Yeah, I think it'd be suicide to do it now. The sliding away will become an avalanche. There's just too many options.

  • Who cares? (Score:2, Interesting)

    TV can disappear tomorrow and it won't matter. People can get their entertainment the good old fashioned way by going outside instead of staring at a screen.

    All to the good, I might add. I swear, I didn't realize how watching several hours of TV each day as a kid had screwed me up until I went a couple of years without owning a TV. Then I got myself a flat screen to put in the living room when I got married and started watching again. Yeesh. Good riddance to the trash merchants. Less money for them means m
    • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 03, 2017 @04:33AM (#54162987)

      I can't stand people like you.

      You think not owning a TV makes you an enlightened superhero above everyone else .You're not.
      You pick crap to watch then blame the idiot box for your choices. You can be watching documentaries and current events. It's not anyone else's fault you are or were stuck on bad sitcoms and reality TV drivel.
      These days you have the Internet and can spend the time watching video that teaches you about the world around you or teaches you a skill. You can do university and trade school learning that use to require a lot of money for the price of your Internet subscription and a working machine. What's the bet you blame the Internet for being full of lolcats instead.

    • TV can disappear tomorrow and it won't matter. People can get their entertainment the good old fashioned way by going outside instead of staring at a screen.

      All to the good, I might add. I swear, I didn't realize how watching several hours of TV each day as a kid had screwed me up until I went a couple of years without owning a TV. Then I got myself a flat screen to put in the living room when I got married and started watching again. Yeesh. Good riddance to the trash merchants. Less money for them means more people are realizing they're putting out crap.

      As far as I know, my area doesn't have any forging groups. Forged in Fire could be better at talking about the process but it is still interesting to have in the background. My local short track doesn't open up for a few more weeks so races on television is the best available option for this at the moment, even though they pretty much ignore most of the engineering. WW2 documentaries and similar are great reads but seeing the video fills in a lot of the gaps my imagination fails at.

      And watching this on T

  • I remember when a season was 39 episodes. Then it dropped to, I dunno, 13. Now it's 6-7.

    Sucks as a viewer, I guess it sucks as a writer, but to be clear, it sucks to be a viewer paying $180/month cable to watch this shit crumble into pieces.
    • by Imrik ( 148191 )

      Seasons of 22-26 episodes were standard for a long time, now they're doing half and quarter length seasons. This typically results in less content at a higher quality. (keeping in mind that higher quality trash is still trash)

      • by thogard ( 43403 )

        Seasons used to average about 25 episodes so they could hit the magic 100 required for syndication. Where you find older shows that shows that had 24, one episode would be a double length season premiere or finale and would get cut in half for syndication.

        In the 1950s shows would often have 40 episodes a year. Things like the The Burns and Allen Show would be written and produced in a week.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 02, 2017 @10:13PM (#54162177)

    Service Network Minimum Cable Minimum
    30 Minute Story $8,062 $5,432
    30 Minute Teleplay $17,343 $8,821
    30 Minute Story + Teleplay $24,183 $13,557
    60 Minute Story $14,192 $9,871
    60 Minute Teleplay $23,399 $17,096
    60 Minute Story + Teleplay $35,568 $24,768
    Staff Writer - 6 Week Guarantee $4,318/week same as network
    Staff Writer - 14 Week Guarantee $4,014/week same as network
    Staff Writer - 20 Week Guarantee $3,703/week same as network
    Any Level Above Staff Writer - up to 9 Weeks $8,055/week same as network
    Any Level Above Staff Writer - 10 to 19 Week Guarantee $6,712/week same as network
    Any Level Above Staff Writer - 20 Weeks or More Guarantee $6,036/week same as network

  • Given the number of new shows Netflix and Amazon are producing, I have trouble believing that good writers are having that tough a time of it.

    So is this about Hollywood or traditional TV writers? Well they can suck the collective dicks of all people across the Earth as far as I'm concerned. They have all but destroying movies being entertaining. Traditional TV sitcoms long ago became such a wasteland that cutting the cord and dropping the antenna was about as hard a choice to make as stopping up an open s

    • If this is the new "golden age" of television and there's so many new shows, I'm kind of confused as to how the math works on the writers not making enough money, exclusivity clauses and the new content getting written.

      At the peak of broadcast television sometime in the late 1970s you had three networks and we'll assume for arguments' sake they had about 14 hours per day of programming, 7 days a week -- and I don't think it was even quite that much, there were big holes affiliates filled with reruns, local

  • My STB has >100 unwatched episodes that I intentionally recorded. And I've skipped several seasons of series I would have liked to watched.

    I have at least 2 years' worth of video to watch before I crave anything new.

    So, dear writers, hold out for what you need to thrive on. I'll probably want what you write by then. Or, maybe not, given that I never went back to watching or caring about hockey on TV.

    • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

      I never missed a Braves baseball game for years. I either watched it on TV or listened on the radio and went to 3 or 4 games a year even though I live over 140 miles away from the stadium. Until the baseball strike. I haven't been to a game since and I've probably watched a total of 9 innings in all the years since. I have no idea who plays on their team anymore. I've tried to watch but it's like I can't even make myself do it. I loathe baseball where I used to love it. It's kind of like a guy who ha

  • by gstovall ( 22014 ) on Sunday April 02, 2017 @10:30PM (#54162233) Homepage

    I haven't turned on a "television" in over 7 years, and haven't missed it.

    Now, I do confess to watching Netflix content with my wife.

    Was visiting a family member at the hospital recently, and the individual turned this "television" on to see what it was all about. "Channel" after "channel" of strange annoying things called "commercials". We didn't like it and turned it off. Grabbed the laptop and fired up Netflix. Much better.

    • by houghi ( 78078 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @08:49AM (#54163587)

      Television is the big 55" screen I bought a lot cheaper (500 EUR 3 years ago; 1080p) than a monitor.

      Link the laptop to the big screen and you have a much nicer experience. Or you can use the TV directly or indirectly to other divices. Plenty of options.

      To me television is just a word for "cheap bigass monitor".

  • by ohnocitizen ( 1951674 ) on Sunday April 02, 2017 @10:45PM (#54162273)
    • "So, if you're a TV writer, why not negotiate a contract which takes into account the new reality of streaming and shorter seasons?" -> The strike is one means of doing so - but TV writers are not like star actors - the studios call the shots. Not everyone works in an industry where it's easy to negotiate if circumstances grow less favorable. And please shut up with the inevitable "why not change professions?". Not everyone wants to, and not everyone should have to. But even if they did - fine. How about all the people upset with their jobs change to yours? Oh what's that? The massive influx of competition is having a negative impact on your salary, work hours, and ability to get a job? Maybe YOU should change professions.
    • "with all the alternative content available, does anyone care...? Would the writer's strike have any serious impact on your life?" -> What is WRONG with you? There is a huge difference between the endless "reaction" videos on youtube and a film like "The Departed" or "Moana". If we want quality entertainment and art - then we have to ensure the people making it can make a living doing it. Which means we just need to be supportive when they say "the studios are making more money and we aren't, and now I need a part time job to support my family, this has to change". Instead of saying "well fine I guess I don't care about tv, movies, or whatever as long as I can watch another youtube star rant about a video game he hates" and sounding like an utter moron.
    • "What is this television you speak of? I watch Netflix". IDIOT. The article is about writers who work for Netflix - and they aren't making enough to make ends meet. You want Stranger Things season 2? The Defenders? Then maybe support the writers who make those shows possible.

    What is wrong with Slashdot?!

    • Are the writers of "The Departed" or "Moana" really the ones having trouble finding work though? I don't think so.

      Remember that you are ALSO defending the writers of compete drek as appears on most TV these days, and in most movies. There are honestly a lot of YouTube videos I would vastly prefer watching to most major hollywood movies, never mind the TV sitcoms.

      You want Stranger Things season 2? The Defenders? Then maybe support the writers who make those shows possible.

      I do. I watch Netflix, I watch thos

  • Aww, too bad (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RubberDogBone ( 851604 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @12:09AM (#54162479)

    Feel bad for these people but nobody ever promised them anything. Hollywood has always been extremely fickle about what it would support and when, and those tastes change all the time. Things go in and out of favor and writers have to cope with that, including periods of starving. OH WELL.

    Now, how the audience consumes content and who, exactly, is making it, is changing. We no longer need TV networks to fund content so they can sell ads against it -and THAT is the only reason TV networks bother with shows anyway, to sell ads.

    Without TV networks, the content that is funded and produced IS going to be different. The customer is different. If you paint houses and your customers decided they want blue houses and no longer want yellow houses, you as a painter don't get to stomp your feet and demand that people want yellow houses. You paint blue houses or you starve. Pick.

    Anyway, the writers are running a huge risk: as the whole distribution model has changed, we may eventually see the writing model change too. Do we really need union writers or could they find freelancers to do it? Of course they could. And with the script to screen path being more streamlined than ever, the union writers are in a precarious position. The client sitting at home won't care who wrote it as long as it is good.

  • Now anyone can write a script and submit it to any new streaming company.
    The once needed access to a select few staff in TV stations or broadcasters is over.
    Creative pay at a broadcaster will slip down to that of an editorial assistant and stay low.
    Make a fuss and a lot of very skilled people are waiting for that job for even lower wages.

    Writers should have done more to protect their profession during the good decades.
    Ensured that only US universities can offer the needed academic standing for the
    • Ensure only a qualified writer can offer work, sign a contract and a have a script accepted.

      Anyone with creativity and basic language skills is qualified to write for television, or movies for that matter, so that is the current situation.

      Given the vast amount of work submitted is junk with poor grammer and spelling,

      Were you shooting for irony there?

      a professional work can quickly move to the top once some other authors have lost their professional standing.

      That's a stupid idea, and you made Slashdot dumber by suggesting it. That is totally irrelevant. They don't just hand a script draft to a director, slap him on the ass and say "Go Get 'em, Tiger!" Scripts go through multiple stages of editing and rewriting. Errors are expected, and expected to be repaired during the editing proce

  • by Sinesurfer ( 40786 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @12:30AM (#54162515) Homepage

    The last time hollywood writers went on strike we got a whole lot of unscripted reality TV such as The Apprentice which in turn made Trump a media 'star'. Can't wait to see the unintended consequences of a second strike.

  • It's not really advisable to workers to go on strikes to combat management replacing their jobs with robots. Because, guess what: Nobody will give a shit.

    Likewise, it's probably not the best way to save your jobs to put on a strike when the thing you're protesting is pretty much what makes you redundant in the first place.

  • anything coming from Hollywood anymore.

  • Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon have transformed Hollywood and contributed to an unprecedented number of quality series being produced -- a phenomenon often described as the new Golden Age of TV.

    I would like to know where all these "quality series" are - I can't think of even one that hasn't become yet another endless, drivel-ridden soap opera. They start out well enough, sometimes even with a brilliant concept, but then it becomes an exercise in recycling, and because that is boring even to the producers, they start adding "drama" (ie. unrealistic idiocy). And then we get "The Movie", "Rebooted" and the protagonists in their younger days. A good series is one that stops when the story has run its

  • Since the last writers strike TV has really gone down the pan, constant remakes of old shows, very little imagination in new ones and an excess of cop shows. Fuck them, ultimately it's the writers fault TV isn't really worth watching anymore and that has a knock on all the way down the line.
    • Fuck them, ultimately it's the writers fault TV isn't really worth watching anymore and that has a knock on all the way down the line.

      They have to share the blame, but they don't decide what actually gets made. An occasional original idea floats into Hollywood, and they usually murder it as rapidly as possible because it is confusing to them. "What's that?" they say. "I don't know, but I fear it."

  • . . . We got "Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog".

    So, if we **DO** get a strike. . . (hint, hint, Joss Whedon. . . .)

  • Since most greenlit productions these days are repeats of comic book movies and previous hits (remaking the Matrix, really??) a lot of writers could be replaced by a photocopier. That's not a lot of leverage.

    The business model is broken. Striking won't fix it.

  • by Gilgaron ( 575091 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @09:56AM (#54163921)
    There used to only be so much available at any one time, so TV shows were more valuable. Now, that you can stream on demand content at will, and shows essentially never become unavailable, there's more content available for viewing than time to watch it. 'Water cooler' talking about episodes as they air has dropped slowly down to Game of Thrones with the occasional bout of The Walking Dead or Downtown Abbey at my workplace. They'd have to go on strike an awfully long time before anyone noticed.

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