Sunday, November 25, 2007

Are these talks, or are they diversions?

A few things will happen this week.

* The strike continues. Will the pickets be as large? Or larger? If the strike rolls on full force, even with talks happening, it will show the companies the writers aren't still sleepy from their Turkey coma.

* Will the showrunners return to run shows? Many have said they would return to their shows IF talks continued. But the fact is, so what? There's only so many scripts left in the pipe anyway. At this point, it's almost moot... except for the wedge it might drive between the haves and the have mores.

* How do movie writers feel about this? Probably the same way we do, actually... That this Thanksgiving, they've been at the kids table just like us. After all, the immediacy of this strike is in television, late night and daily up front, then series television. The city had been preparing for a strike and was stockpiling movies for YEARS. That being said, there's a whole lot of movie writers that aren't pitching and writing movies right now.

* What will IATSE President Tom Short have to say about things now that people are back at the table. We're part of a union that's 140,000 large. This would be an excellent time for IATSE to weigh in, throw their weight behind their fellow entertainment professionals. And, considering the venom that was spewed from IATSE when this first started, I wonder if our people will be a little more supportive.

* Will the guild put the DVD residuals back on the table? Personally, I don't know if it's important... but they've got to get something to surrender it. In five years, DVD's are going to be as relevant as CD's and VHS tapes. I saw a commercial today for "On Demand" where it showed a guy (natch) desperately clawing at a DVD box to get to the movie he bought. Why? Because DVD's are for stupid people. Cars are coming with screens and hard drives. And your nano plays movies. See where this is going? New Media will soon just be "Media." I'll take more of the future for less of the past.

It's going to be an interesting week in which, to be honest, most of us in 839 will be spectators. I personally don't think anybody was going back to the table unless there was some sort of framework in place... because neither side can afford to look like dicks at this point.

But I have been wrong before. Probably, even, in this post.

Hope you guys had a good thanksgiving.


Kevin Koch said...

If you care what other unions say or, more importantly, what they do in the next few days to support these talks, it's not Tom Short and the IA you should be worried about. I'd be interested in what the DGA is doing in those back channels, and whether they're hoping for resolution, or still pissed at the way the WGA has handled things.

Steve said...

I'm not a member of the DGA. I'm a member of the IATSE and the WGA. Those are the only two unions I can actually care about that I consider myself vested in.

Kevin Koch said...

I hear what you're saying. Over on Mazin's site, he sounds almost hopeful. Damn, I hope he's correct that the framework is already in place, and it's a matter of hammering out those pesky details.

Steve Hulett said...

The IA official family is going to do what it does. Don't figure that President Short is going to change his position.

Even so, there's IA members out on the WGA lines. I've now picketed with the writers twice, and will picket again.

I think it's important for individuals to demonstrate support if support is important to them.