s skippy the bush kangaroo: not write in the head

skippy the bush kangaroo



Friday, January 18, 2008

not write in the head

we have told you about the directors' guild agreement w/the amptp, and how a lot of people are happy that it might signal an end to the writers' strike.

but we'd caution, not so fast. over at united hollywood, the unofficial blog of the writers' strike, many scribes have ventured opinions about the summary of the agreement, and the opinions run mostly from the "not so good" to "terrible."

united hollywood begins their post with a couple of caveats:

we are not lawyers. we are not business affairs execs. we are not professional negotiators

which brings us to our second caveat: the dga deal summary is just that, a summary. it's not the final comprehensive contract. that document, we've been told, is still being drafted by the dga. so the unclear items in the summary will remain so until the dga releases the contract.
the post goes on to evaluate the summary, point by point, expressing the good and the bad for each negotiation presented.

but the interesting thing (to us, at least) is the reaction of the other writers in the comments section, a smattering of which we present here:

so with that, let me add that the deal set forth by dga is a trap for wga. the studios already have a model set forth for new media which they have not disclosed. this has been their biz develop peeps top agenda since 2003.

don't be fooled... once your content hits their site it will be theirs and you will be screwed. the wga original proposal assures writers will get a piece of the pie, regardless.
hey, if dga members want to ratify this turd, more power to them, but this would be a terrible contract for writers
under the old contract, if you wrote an original episode of grey's anatomy, you'd get $30,823.

if they reran the show on the network, you'd get an additional $21,078.

so, that's $51,901.

if all reruns go to the internet, which is the suspicion of all the new media rollouts of hulu, appletv, netflix, etc. then the second payment would not happen.

and if you max out the internet residuals, you'd get $1,200.

so, a television writer used to getting $51,901 in compensation for normal network practices, will now get $32,023.

old: $51,091
new: $32,023

that's a 38% pay cut for television writers per episode.

for a director, if he/she directs that same episode of grey's anatomy, they got $35,927 under the old contract. and an additional $21,528 when the program is rerun.

old: $57,455
new: $37,127

that's a 35% pay cut.

is that math right?

did the dga just negotiate a 35% paycut for their television directors????

if you could save close $20,000 per episode per writer and director by streaming the reruns through appletv, wouldn't you do it?
... what would be wrong with giving us a percentage of streaming revenue or a sliding pay scale instead of a flat fee? the flat fee just makes everybody suspicious.
wow, they did it! they figured out a way to get rid of residuals. they've never liked paying those pesky things and now they won't have to (and the pension and health that goes along with them). hang tough, writers. residuals come in handy for things like, oh i don't know, house payments.
remember, these are not official reactions of the writers' guild. but an interesting cross-section, nonetheless.

addendum: on the other hand, john wells (er, the west wing) seems to think it's a very good deal.

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posted by skippy at 8:39 PM |

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