s skippy the bush kangaroo: bad news from the negotiating table

skippy the bush kangaroo

Thursday, November 29, 2007

bad news from the negotiating table

the producers have come to the writers stirke negotiations with a bold new proposal: offering even less money than before. united hollywood:

turns out their exciting, groundbreaking proposal is... a residual rollback. and not just any rollback, one of the biggest in the history of the guild. then, stunningly, the companies have the balls to say their plan gives us more compensation. well, i'm sorry, but if you take away a dollar and give me a nickel, the nickel ain't a raise. somewhere, nick counter's first-grade math teacher is embarrassed.

so we decided to do some math of our own: we broke out the cost of the wga's current proposal to the conglomerates into yearly figures. we found that the total payment yearly -- the total that all the companies would make under our proposals -- is $50.54 million. and that, we realized, is about one-third the budget of transformers. we are asking in total, for the equivalent of the cost overrun on a summer event movie.

instead of agreeing that that is a fair and just offer, they've proposed this:

when an hourlong episode of television is streamed on the internet, writers would get a flat $250 payment for one year of reuse. that's $250 as opposed to, for example, $20,000 per episode when it's reused on network television. they proposed nothing new on downloads, it's still the dvd formula for those (ie. two-thirds of a penny for an itunes download). for theatrical movies, they're offering exactly $0.00 on streaming. oh, and they want to be able to define any content they like as "promotional" -- for which they would pay zero dollars. even if they stream an entire film or tv episode, and even if they sell ads on it, they can call that promotional and pay us nothing.

the amptp claims their deal is worth $130 million over three years. but what they don't mention is how much we'd lose under their proposal. as all media distribution transitions to the internet before our eyes, their proposal takes away far, far more revenue than it provides.

a bold, new relationship? sure, an abusive one.
while we are disheartened, we are not at all surprised. at united hollywood, writers guild prez patric verrone explains how much this offer is undercutting the writers' original position and how very little (in terms of gross profit) the writers' proposal would cost the studios.

tho, the parties are going back to the table tomorrow tuesday, so, keep your fingers crossed.

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posted by skippy at 10:06 PM |


Sigh. Yes, it would cost them so little. But they have the power and the money, and enforcing that power dynamic is very valuable to them. All good wishes to the writers.
commented by Blogger Batocchio, 11:01 AM PST  

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