Monday, October 29, 2007

On the Impending Writers' Guild Strike...

Eric Williams described the impending strike deadline (the clock striking midnight on November 1, 2007) in the Huffington Post as "(A) spooky moment of disharmonic convergence which has created an industry-wide anxiety that feels eerily like a sequel to Y2K. All interested parties are holding their collective breath, unsure exactly what will happen when the clock strikes twelve but bracing for what my aunt Doris would call a "disastrophe."

Let's face it folks, the WGA is right in fighting to get just compensation for its members when their work is shown on the Internet or downloaded from the likes of iTunes. And they are right in their efforts to get reality show writers represented in the WGA. This is all about exploitation, plain and simple. And now that a strike is imminent, mediator or no mediator, you can bet your bottom dollar there will be blood seeping from beneath the doors of the mediation room.

Which leads me to another issue. I've eschewed screenwriting altogether and chose to focus my attention on writing for the stage. The primary reason being authorial autonomy and authorial control. Being the sole copyright owner, no one can make changes in the script without my approval. This is the direct opposite of Hollywood, with its myriad of script doctors and smart-ass, hubris-intoxicated executives who think they can write up a better script. It's not reality television that is killing television, it's lazy C-level couch potatoes who churn out sequels like cows chewing their cuds rather than take risks with something completely different. If you want to find something completely different, brave the Utah snowstorms and venture out to Sundance or even the Slamdance film festivals.

That's karma at work: what goes around, comes around.

P.S. For up-to-date breaking news on the WGA strike, visit Nikki Fikke's Deadline Hollywood Daily blog.

No comments: