As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Support The Strike - Don't Let This Happen

As a member of the creative community in Los Angeles, every production I've ever worked on included a script. Somebody had to generate it, be it a writer, a story producer, a post producer, or in some cases, the editor (me). If that production ends up making a profit, whoever generated that script is entitled to their share of it. The first step in that process is this Writer's Guild strike. They are the firewall beyond which every other group can argue for fair wages, fair benefits and meaningful residuals. All of us must unite behind this most commonplace of labor actions; a fight for respect.

To that end, some friends and I have done our part by making a short comedy video in support of the writers.

In many ways, the realization of this project is what alternately scares the studios and sets their greed buttons off. This went from concept to conclusion in 3 days for a total cost of $50. In an age of increasing democratization of digital media, studio heads know that there's an awful lot of money hanging out there, without a need for much of an outlay to get it. What we're going to see is television used as a promotion for the content online, not the other way around. The profit margins are simply greater.

The only roadblocks in the way of that dream are the pesky creative personnel. Internet delivery is an effort to control content and keep labor costs to an absolute minimum. The studios have made billions on digital content ALREADY, through ad revenues inside the content and also as part of their overall websites.

The writers are striking because the studios don't value their employees, and they'd be all too happy to, as in the short, outsource the writing to India or Pakistan if they could get away with it. The studios are trying to hold back the dam, with other union contracts up next year, and the only way to break their stranglehold is through unity. That's why we put this together.

Support the strike. We added United Hollywood on the back end of our sketch, not because we're in any way affiliated with them, but because they offer the best information to follow the WGA actions. The same media companies that are on the management side of the strike are the media companies that are reporting on it. So there's little chance of them getting a fair shake. These are middle-class workers (an average income of $55,000/year) fighting for a share of an astronomically profitable business. Let's all pitch in and give them some help.

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