This Blog Has Been Glanced at This Many Times:

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Writer's Strike Ending Soon?

Unconfirmed reports from some insiders are claiming that the Writer's Guild have reached (or are reaching) an agreement with the AMPTP. Is this the end? Some say the strike will be over within a week.

I know I have not posted much about the strike on my blog, but frankly, I just didn't see the need too. Unless there was something different than "the WGA and AMPTP are resuming talks this week" I didn't care to mention anything. There had to be some greater shift in direction, i.e. The strike had to end in order for me to be interested. If the reports are true the end may be soon.

I want to follow that up by saying, I support the Writers Guild and I hope they get what they've deserved for such a long time. I just didn't care about the talks because, lets face it, the only way they will end is if the Writer's Guild gets a fair amount of what they want. So the end is not just good for audiences wanting new material, but surely it will be good for the WGA as well.

Here's a full report on the current negotiations, by Lynn Elber, from Yahoo:

LOS ANGELES - "A breakthrough in contract talks has been reached between Hollywood studios and striking writers and could lead to a tentative deal as early as next week, a person close to the ongoing negotiations said Saturday.

The two sides breached the gap Friday on the thorniest issues, those concerning compensation for projects distributed via the Internet, said the person, who requested anonymity because he were not authorized to speak publicly.

A second person familiar with the talks, also speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to comment publicly, said that significant progress had been made and a deal might be announced within a week.

The people did not provide specific details on the possible agreement. Major points of contention include how much and when writers are paid for projects delivered online after they've been broadcast on TV.

The studios have been insisting that programs be streamed online for a certain period, deemed promotional, during which writers would forgo residuals. When payment kicked in, the companies sought to limit it to a flat $1,200 fee, while the guild wanted a percentage of a distributor's revenue.

The Writers Guild of America did not immediately reply to a request for comment. The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the trade group representing the studios, declined comment, citing a news blackout agreed to by both sides during the talks.

Guild leaders have said they are fighting for a piece of the future, reflecting the widespread belief that Internet-delivered entertainment fare would inevitably claim an increasing and perhaps even dominant market share.

Although work remains to be done on elements of the agreement, prospects for a deal appeared solid, said those close to the situation. The tentative agreement would have to be approved by a majority of guild members.

The guild, whose 3-month-old strike has brought the entertainment industry to a standstill, began informal talks with top media company executives Jan. 23 in an attempt to reach a new deal covering governing work for film, TV and digital media.

Negotiations between the guild and alliance negotiators collapsed Dec. 7 after the alliance demanded that proposals for unionization of animation and reality shows be taken off the table. The guild refused.

During the negotiations impasse, the Directors Guild of America began its own talks with studio chiefs and swiftly reached a tentative deal that was announced Jan. 17 and covered some of the digital media issues key to the writers guild.

Major studio executives called on the writers guild to begin informal talks, which essentially are standing in for formal negotiations, according to those familiar with the situation.

The guild extended its own olive branch before the informal talks started by withdrawing the reality-animation unionization proposal and by deciding to keep pickets away from the Grammy Awards. It has since decided to allow the music ceremony to proceed with full union support.

However, the fate of the Feb. 24 Academy Awards has remained in question, with the guild so far declining to grant its blessing to the show. A union refusal to cooperate with the Golden Globes decimated the ceremony, which was boycotted by supportive actors.

Oscar organizers and producers have vowed they will stage some type of show, with or without union support — but a writers guild deal would allow this ceremony to proceed in its full, star-studded glory, providing an invaluable promotional showcase for movie studios and their films."

No comments: