1.03.2008

Soapbox

The WGA picketed the Disney Store on Michigan Avenue a few weeks ago. SAG showed up in solidarity. I was very happy to be there and I proudly ambled around in a loop with a lot of strangers and a few acquaintances.

Like most actors, I'm following the strike very closely, checking www.wga.org daily for updates. Our contract is up in June and whatever the WGA negotiates will be the blueprint for all actors' negotiations - SAG and AFTRA.

Obviously, since the major media outlets are the ones the writers are striking against, there isn't a lot of coverage - especially to break down how STUNNINGLY greedy the producers are being. If it weren't for the late night talk shows, who knows how many people would even notice.

Here's a very informative page about the strike, however, if you don't like links, read this (it's the real issue of the strike) while I still have your attention and I'll post some more amusing anecdotes soon.

In the meantime, ponder the distribution of wealth in America and the rich getting unbelievably richer.

What is “new media” and why is it so important?

Industry experts agree that in the next 2-5 years most American televisions will be connected to the Internet and the shows and movies you watch will be transmitted via an Internet connection. Corporate revenue from video downloading is estimated to be $1 billion for the next three years; proceeds from video streaming will be $3 billion during the next two years.

Writers are asking for Guild coverage of writing for the Internet, basic residuals for Internet content reuse, and the tools to enforce this agreement. These residuals are not a bonus for writers; they are a critical part of compensation. The media conglomerates are refusing to grant the Writers Guild jurisdiction over original writing for the Internet, though nearly ALL writing will likely be transmitted this way in the future.

Aren’t the CEOs saying they don’t know if the Internet will be profitable?

Yes - to the writers. Then they turn around and say this ...

  • “Perhaps CSI will be on the network and it will also be on broadband. At some point instead of 27 million people watching it 20 million will watch it and 5 million will watch it on the Internet. But we will get paid for it regardless... We as the network, as the studio, as the producers and production companies, we will get paid no matter where you get it from.” --Les Moonves, President & CEO, CBS.
  • “Viacom will double its revenue this year from digital.” --Sumner Redstone, Chairman,Viacom.
  • No comments: