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November 08 2007

Pics of Joss, Marti and Drew on the picket lines. Also tentative details about a Buffy day where former Mutant Enemy staffers will gather at one picket line.

Cheers to dreamlogic for the pics and the news.

what, no scarves?
Well done, Dreamlogic! You are the awesome!! We are SO feeding them at this Mutant Enemy day, that's for damn sure!

And, here's a big question: do we want to get a friendly reporter or 3 in on the action? Eric G from IGN (who posts here) loves the 'Verse, as does Entertainment Weekly, Kristin from E!, Michael Ausiello from TV Guide, AICN folks, etc. Should we get them to come along to our care package drop to report in their columns "Fans are backing their favorite writers" or something like that? I dunno, I'm guessing the ME people have already thought of all that, but maybe we fans should work with some of our contacts as well. *ahem, Gossi et al.*

And...should we see if a restaurant wants to donate any food? I doubt it, since the strike is going to kill them (just read a story from Variety that it looks like it could last into 2008), but it's a thought.

edited to heap more praises on Dreamlogic

[ edited by swanland on 2007-11-07 23:49 ]
How sad that we see and hear more from Joss when he has been silenced than we do otherwise. But I'm glad he was feeling well enough to be out there. Awesome picture, dreamlogic.
Serious strikey related stuff aside for a second, is it just me who thinks that Marti Noxon is really attractive? I'm just sayin...

Really cool pics, even without scarves. Cheers for that, Dreamlogic. :)
Ooo there were jelly donuts!
Variety completely assumes that AMPTP will have everything their own way, but I disagree. Twenty years ago it did take 5 months, and then the writers won, but with the help of the fans we can bring this to a successful conclusion much sooner! We have to make sure the cable companies and advertisers see that they have to bring everyone back into negotiations.
The writers I love have to picket 4 hours every day, I figure I can put in an hour or two a day working online and writing postcards.
Hell yeah, we'll feed 'em. And scarves, they'll be needing scarves...
Ok, like I said at the bottom of Joss's post, right below dreamlogic's link to the pics & Simon's praise of them...

I'd so go & take pictures and do interviews of the writers, and report back here & to the Bronze:Beta (And elsewhere.) if I had the means.

I'll get in touch with my one 'verse contact tonight - she lives & works in the area, and I'm sure she's aware of it, but she might pitch in if there's some kind of organized 'verse day.

Trying to think of other ways I can help...
Thanks for the pictures dreamlogic. Hope Joss is feeling a bit better, that's a great picture with him and the sign.

Joss' sign says "Dollhouse (Not coming soon)" - from Derf's link on the other thread.
Seeing Joss next to that poster really warms the cockles of me heart. (Do people still say that kind of thing?)
Caroline, Willow would say, "Cockles... funny word." Me, I like it.
(Do people still say that kind of thing?)

Maybe we will now, if I can find my cockles.
If I knew what cockles were.
I knew what you meant, Caroline. And same reaction.
Isn't that the hat that Joss wore when he was shooting Serenity? Is it a lucky hat?
Joss and our sign.

I'm getting all teary...
Is that sign still there? How about getting it signed by all the writers, actors and showrunners there and put on ebay? Think how much money, and publicity, that would raise for the writers!
Simon, you need a nerd badge for spotting that.
My gosh he looks like a veritable Indiana Jones! Very strapping.
Sounds like a gear idea. Put it up on eBay and give the dough to Equality Now.
Greatest pics I've seen in...forever.
dreamlogic sign me up for the Buffy day picketing and I will sell all my stuff if I have to to make it there. Ok I will keep one computer.
"Sounds like a gear idea. Put it up on eBay and give the dough to Equality Now.
Kat Jetson | November 08, 01:12 CET"


Just a guess, but I would think that any money should go to the WGA relief fund to help writers affected by the strike.

"Isn't that the hat that Joss wore when he was shooting Serenity? Is it a lucky hat?
Simon | November 08, 00:41 CET

Simon, you need a nerd badge for spotting that.
gossi | November 08, 00:56 CET"


A nerd badge for that, really? Gee, when I saw the picture I remember thinking, "Oh, Joss is wearing the same hat he was wearing when filming Serenity. That makes sense. It looks like a good hat for being out in weather of most kinds."

(Sits down to rethink whether I might be qualified for membership in general nerddom after all.)
There really should be some kind of Internet campaign to stop people from visiting nbc.com, comedycentral.com, thedailyshow.com and any website with (legally) viewable TV shows and segments for the duration of the strike. "I am the consumer, hear me roar." Is that all a bit too daunting and unfeasible?
When I saw that hat I thought 'Nice hat'.
Everytime I click on the "tentative details" link, my browser freezes up. Can someone tell me what these tentative details actually are, beyond "Oh, it would be cool to have a Buffy Day"?
Doesn't Joss have a "Indiana Jones" quality, even with his Serenity hat?
Oh, wait, I see Storyteller noticed it first.
Anyway, he could be ...Wesleyan Whedon and the Hidden Treasure of the New Media

[ edited by impalergeneral on 2007-11-08 02:02 ]
Is that sign still there? How about getting it signed by all the writers, actors and showrunners there and put on ebay? Think how much money, and publicity, that would raise for the writers!

That's a good idea, zz9. I thought we could use it at all the deliveries, but we could get another one.
Just a guess, but I would think that any money should go to the WGA relief fund to help writers affected by the strike.

In fact, the plan being worked on as an outgrowth of the WHEDONesque pizza delivery will (1) send provisions to the strike lines and coordinate fan visits; (2) take out an ad somewhere; (3) contribute to the strike funds if the strike is prolonged; and (4) donate to the Writers Guild Foundation if any funds are left over when the strike ends.
That's a good idea, zz9. I thought we could use it at all the deliveries, but we could get another one.

I bid ten bucks. Twenty if it's delivered by Eliza.

Okay, thirty.

Look, just take my house and my car. Please.
Awesome. I'm glad that fandom is making sure we're noticed. Now, who do we talk to about donating some funds? I've got a halfway decent paycheck coming my way in a day or two...
It's hard to believe that the united hollywood site that Joss linked to has only 54 diggs.
I think those details are coming pretty soon, ElectricSpaceGirl.
Purplehazel, I think that that says more about how few people are into 'digg it' rather than how many are reading United Hollywood.
Thanks, Allyson. I wasn't sure if there was more news on that.
More from Joss, oddly echoing something regarding the strike and the studios which PDX Browncoats members were discussing last night: "This is a chance for them to break us."
"Whedon said he believed the studios were “hungry” for a strike."

It does seem that way. When they say they had informal word that if they dropped the DVD rate increase they'd get the new media deal only to have the studios throw it back in their face you have to come to the same conclusion that Joss has.

DVD (and Blu-Ray/HD-DVD still has a lot of life, and profit, left. I say go for 12c!)
Nice shoutout from James Gunn, along with some handy tips on how to help.
I'm with Storyteller. Strapping.

ETA: Familiar... was all I thought when I saw the hat.

[ edited by April on 2007-11-08 04:32 ]
James Gunn is fantastic! Thanks for the update, guys! A Buffy strike day would blow my mind! So neat!
James Gunn is a Sam Fuller fan? I knew I liked him.

I'm hoping more info goes up soon on how to keep feeding the writers through paypal. I could picket, but doing it here in Toronto somehow seems to lose the meaning.
Well redeem and kishi, you can give money through paypal now for the food fund.

ETA: ooops wrong email
fans4writers@gmail.com and it will be allocated for future food drops.

[ edited by kurya on 2007-11-08 16:27 ]
I'm hoping more info goes up soon on how to keep feeding the writers through paypal.

Currently trying to get that part of the new website up. I'm working on copy.
So does the itunes community know that writers/actors etc get NOTHING when they pay for downloads?

I also think the 4 cents per DVD that writers get only happens when a DVD shows a profit. Don't know if the 4 cents is for DVDs sold already or only after profit. How many DVDs never show a profit on the books?

I don't think the public knows about the 4 cents yet. They are just hearing Writers on strike and you are not going to get your shows.

Is online streaming is only self promotion why are there ads on those sites. I remember American Express all over the Lost section of abc.com when I was checking out Nathan's "I Do" Episode.

If online streaming is only self promotion, there should not be any advertiser sponsorship or ad revenue. If there is advertiser sponsorship or ad revenue, then some of that should go to the writers/actors etc.

I wonder if itunes and amazon unbox and advertisers on the online streaming websites know that nothing of the money they are paying is going to the writers/directors/actors etc.

Just my 4 cents worth.
Huh... James Gunn in St. Louis this weekend? Webster University, and for a screening of Slither... Is it ironic that I grew up in Webster, where my parents still live, less than 2 miles from the university which is directly across the street from my high school... and I left to get closer to the movie industry?

Granted, I do live in LA where all the writers are currently as accessible as writing down the street...

Yeah, I guess rain on your wedding day is more ironic than that. But still.


bobw1o,

So have your parents seen SLiTHER yet?
And on Friday: "It's official: The WGA will channel all of its picket-power on Friday at the gates of 20th Century Fox."
Thank you, kurya!
It's unfortunate that 'realty' show writers aren't unionized. Foremost because they don't enjoy the same benefits that the WGA writers do, but also because that's gonna be the downfall of the WGA's success with this strike. With reality TV so inexpensive to produce, absurdly accessible and popular (and frankly someone should foreseen all this years ago. Come to think, I'm sure someone did) the studios have a profit machine that's not going away. They also have finished if unrefined movie scripts they can shoot with (Wolverine will be shooting down under this winter with a script that was for all intents and purposes finalized just before the strike) that are bound to bring in big monies. Quite frankly I don't see this going too well. Thank goodness 2007 was the year of trilogies (Spider Man, Pirates, Shrek, Oceans, Bourne, Rush Hour) which means fewer franchises to capitalize on next year!

Ooops, totally not trying to paint a picture of hopelessness, just pointing out how big this can get.

I work at a rental house for motion picture cameras, I know they're ready to hold out before letting anyone go, but I might just pop down to target and see if they're hiring...

Oh, and Anonymous1, I don't believe my parents have seen Slither, interest probably isn't there. But I might could convince my brother to visit them from across town if it means he gets to see a real live movie director!
If this was five years ago then I would have agreed about 'reality TV so inexpensive to produce, absurdly accessible and popular', but not any more. Big Brother was canceled for poor ratings, and now CBS hopes that bringing it back will save them during the strike? NOT GONNA HAPPEN. American Idol is still doing well, but even it has dropped in ratings. The new big thing is scripted programming and the AMPTP may be hoping they can get away with reruns and reality shows, but I really think they are wrong. I really hope they are wrong. We have to convince them they are wrong!
'pirates' isn't just a trilogy, there is going to be another one.
Do Marti Noxon's glasses qualify as "arty," at least?
Waning interest or not (I wasn't aware, but praise the TV gods if it's true!), Reality TV is still a powerful force. Interesting that Big Brother is coming back, but I am sure CBS has no delusions that any one show will cover them, but even if they only get their old die-hards to watch, it's more ratings than they'll get on a bunch of re-runs.

As for Pirates 4, so long as there isn't a script already! I've heard talk of a Shrek 4 as well.
Yup. "Dancing with the Stars" is ridiculously well-rated, and "American Idol" is still a ratings Death Star. But overall, a schedule stripped of all shows except reality TV is going to be sporting major, major holes. Mostly because reality TV wears out really quickly: most shows dive in the ratings after the initial season, you can't put them out on DVD or rerun them, and no one wants to download them. Plus there are only about two, three major reality show hits -- the rest of them do extremely modest business. The real reality is that most viewers are probably just gonna turn off their TVs, and that the few shows that do air -- The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Lost will do very well in the ratings with no competition.

Sometimes I wonder if the networks aren't the ones shooting themselves in the foot -- or rather cutting off their noses to spite their faces. The strike comes at a time when the networks are losing viewers to cable, premium channels and the internet, etc. I know that when the strike clears the TV schedule, I'll just stop watching live TV and switch to DVDs. Other people are totally going to do the same, which is only going to accelerate the networks' problems. If the strike lasts long enough, I have to wonder if the networks think that viewers are going to come back to live TV. I know that as it is, with a Netflix subscription, it's more comfortable for me to follow a TV season on DVD than it is live. Maybe millions of other Americans will decide the same thing.
Sometimes I wonder if the networks aren't the ones shooting themselves in the foot ...

Kung-Fu Monkey talks about how the networks lost 10% of their viewers during the last strike, most of whom never really came back. Guess people realised they didn't actually need to watch as much telly as they thought they did ;).

So either multi-billion dollar studios are run by very stupid people OR losing another 10% of the viewership still works out to less money than they think they'd be giving up with the new-media residuals. But of course, according to them, they don't know how much money they'd be giving up which is why they can't commit to a deal with the writers, so i'm sure it's not that (*cough* ;).

If I knew what cockles were.

Cockles are small shellfish, a bit like mussels or whelks, very tasty and medically useful. In Victorian era Britain, before immunosuppressant drugs were available and pig valves became more common, surgeons would replace faulty heart-valves with cockles, hence "cockles of my heart".

It's all completely true (about there being a Victorian era).
For those who want to contribute money to the fan support of the writers strike, the new Paypal email address is fans4writers@gmail.com. Despite the name, the account is still just a Whedonesquedom-based one (RavenU, theonetruebix, me, etc.) The previous email address has been deleted and shouldn't work. If it does work, please let me know so that I can panic in a timely fashion. Just so you know, in basically 3 days we raised over $1,100, making us (ahem), awesome.

Of course, if we want to make our ambitious and probably lengthy plans happen, to support the difficult, and probably lengthy WGA strike, there will need to be more. Ain't that always the way?

[ edited by dreamlogic on 2007-11-08 12:00 ]
If only Molly Malone had known, Saje. There she was, selling those very cockles, "alive , alive-o", yet "no one could save her". Maybe she was, uh, pre-Victorian.
Yeah, the Victorian mollusk-to-human heart transplants must have been kept pretty quiet. And you wonder, Saje, why people don't know when you're kidding, and get all (I believe the British term is) arsed about it.
I just got my cockles a few years ago. They made me feel all grown up. *sound of crickets* I think I might be thinking of something else. Never mind. ;-)
Dreamlogic: I just donated my small bit at paypal using the old email address (sorry I hadn't seen the updated one yet!). Paypal told me it wasn't registered, but assured me an email would be sent to that address to instruct you on how to get my money. Hope it works.

I also just put one of the strike-support avi's up on my myspace page (not that anyone but family ever looks at it, but hey).

And a HUGE thanks to those of you on the ground doing all the work for this. I'm with you in spirit!

I want more Whedon on my TV soonest, but only after the people making it for me get a fair deal. I'll just wear out my Buffy/Angel/Firefly/Serenity discs until then.

*mad honking from Sarasota*
Thanks, beck. The email is closed, but the account isn't, so I should be able to re-direct anyone else who didn't get the word in time.
On MySpace (but I am pretty sure you don't need a membership or to friend her to read this), Jenna Fischer blogged about the shutdown of "The Office" (which Joss directed 2 eps of), and explains an important point -- some shows don't have on-air reruns at all because they stream on the networks' websites, so no one gets any residuals in the current system. So unless they start getting some payment for "new media" (like the interwebs, sheesh), it is a way for the networks to rerun shows forever without paying out a cent to writers (or actors or directors for that matter).
If you have photos of the writers strike you want to share I have started a group on flickr for them ... fans4writers.com on flickr.
If only Molly Malone had known, Saje. There she was, selling those very cockles, "alive , alive-o", yet "no one could save her". Maybe she was, uh, pre-Victorian.

Such a sad case. I think it was a Papal edict, something to do with molluscs and Leviticus and poor auld Molly, being a good Catholic girl, had to obey.

BTW, billz, I had those too, there's a very reasonably priced cream you can buy over the counter, sort 'em right out ;).

And you wonder, Saje, why people don't know when you're kidding, and get all (I believe the British term is) arsed about it.

Dunno what you mean, the Victorian era is quite well documented, most historians accept it as fact ;).

(and it's "arsey" BTW dl. People "can't be arsed" - as in, can't be bothered to do something - but they "get arsey" - as in shirty, stroppy, moody, annoyed, argumentative. Very rarely with little ol' me though ;-)
I'm also mildly disappointed by the scarflessness............. ???
beck- there is a fans for writers myspace up, if you want to join.
Anonymous, the payment to the writers for DVD dies not depend at all on profitability. It only depends on net sales (gross sales minus returns).
Curiosity: I run into a lot of resistance to the writers at work, which kinda blows because it's the big thing to talk about right now. The big points they make are that the writers already make a lot of money, and that they don't deserve residuals to begin with.

Now, I know that makes no sense, but it's hard to convince them when I don't have anything going for me more than what I think I heard or read somewhere. I've seen stuff arguing the income, but don't recall where, and I don't even know where to look to find defensible reasons they deserve residuals, that usually just becomes a subjective conversation.

(IMO if writers don't get residuals, why should anyone else? The point my opponents make is the average Joe gets paid and that's that, why are writers so special? But if that's the case, why these same people argue directors should get residuals is beyond me, cause what makes them so special, the average Joe doesn't get residuals.)

I usually come out on top when I point out that sure, okay, writers shouldn't get residuals, they should get much larger paychecks to begin with. In the long run a lot of them won't make as much, though some will likely make more. But darn, they do get residuals, and sheesh is it really so much for someone to ask for a raise?

But I never really convince them so much as they concede that that is not the problem at hand. So, while the point of whether or not writers should receive residuals is not the true argument, because writers do receive residuals, and that's not changing, I'd like to find an article or blog or someone here who has it downs to explains in simple terms why it makes sense.

Thanks!
I'd like to find an article or blog or someone here who has it downs to explains in simple terms why it makes sense.

On the site some of us are putting together, there will be a Strike FAQ. In fact, it's the main project for today, after which it's likely the site will be far along enough to start pimping out to people.
Well JMS put it in quite a nice fashion that should be included in the blog(I will add it to the links thread on .org) Basically if an author of a book deserves to get royalties for each book purchased, why should it be any different for a writer when it comes to DVD's or new media? Check it out here I think its quite persuasive. And it was that post that made me go from indifferent to pro-strike.

[ edited by kurya on 2007-11-08 20:15 ]
OK, how many members of the Writers Guild/Whedonesque does it take to change a light-bulb?
None! If the light-bulb's out, we're all out!!
Up the workers!
That sounds very useful, bix.
The quick answer is that the writers don't "deserve" residuals, they are owed them. The residuals were part of the initial contract. The deal was that the writers would be paid so much upfront and then a small (tiny) percentage of the total revenue whenever the show was shown again.

What's happening here is that the studios have found a way to broadcast the shows in a different medium, effectively syndicating them online, and they don't want to pay the writers their tiny cut. Instead they claim the entire, unedited, filled-with-advertising-or-sold-through-iTunes episodes streaming online are "promotional" so they don't have to pay the writers anything, neener neener neener.

Oddly, many people consider this unfair.
On the site some of us are putting together, there will be a Strike FAQ. In fact, it's the main project for today, after which it's likely the site will be far along enough to start pimping out to people.

So you all are doing a site? I'm actually relieved. I mean, if I had thought of it and you hadn't yet.... hell just got a little chilly-er.

Love the pictures. Love the sign that was sent. Sweet. Hate that greed once again screws up life.
Cymerin: Thanks for the fans4writers myspace tip. I just joined up!
So you all are doing a site?

Technically it exists already, but the hard launch is scheduled for tonight when we'll all be a little more satisfied with what we've gotten into place.
The arguement for residuals is, as with novelists and songwriters, is that it benefits writers who's shows become popular and successful, it rewards quality work. No different from commission paid to salespeople in a shop. "They've already been paid a basic salary, why do they deserve more?"
They're paid commission as an incentive and they accept a lower basic on the understanding they will earn commission.
Perhaps helpful for your FAQ: The Executive Producer of Criminal Minds gives a decent overview of the argument here, and there's a nicely explanatory YouTube vid here.
bobw1o, the United Hollywood blog had an entry that sounds like what you're asking for. It's the short version of the writers' demands. Also that site includes several videos where the writers explain why the residuals are so important. This one is particularly relevant to your question. Others are on the main page.
Thanks for the help, haven't looked at everything, but so far it looks like I didn't explain myself very clearly. But this does help put the actual issues at hand into a simple, succinct explanation for me to use.

I get that writers have residuals already in their contracts, and that is how they get paid and that's the way it is, and when I point that out, the people I argue against concede that is the way it is.

But their argument is that the writers should not receive residuals, that they should just be paid to do the job and that's it, no more money. This is a meaningless argument to be sure, because again, it is the way it is. But it stops me from being able to convince them the writers need more, cause they refuse to believe the writers should get any.

To them it's not so much about how much a writer is paid, as they recognize the writer would get a bunch more up front if not for residuals. They make the pointless argument (even assuming I agreed with them) that a writer should get a flat amount for each job, like say a camera operator.

These same people are cool with novelists and directors (and others) getting residuals, because it's different (haven't figured out why yet) but that writers should be paid like any other work for hire person. After all, writers have nothing to do with shaping a story, nothing at all.

Again, the argument is royally absurd, and I'm generally able to get around it when I point out that arguing that point doesn't help support either side of things.
You'd be fair just to point out that they're being absurd and extract yourself from the debate bobw1o, it seems fruitless. If novelists can be paid up-front for writing (and they are) and also paid royalties per copy sold then why not screen-writers ? Between them lies only a distinction without a difference.

As with anything else, it makes sense to ask "cui bono ?" i.e. who benefits ? When episodes are shown in syndication or on DVD, the studio benefits because we pay for the privilege - why shouldn't the writer also benefit for their part in creating the episode ?
That's a mighty fine hat.

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