Literary Corner Cafe

Monday, February 11, 2008

Do You Feel the Writers Got Enough?

The writers' stike has ended and I'm happy about that, but for now, however, no one seem to know quite how "fair" the new contract is. The West Coast writers seem happier than the East Coast writers and I'm not quite sure why.

One of the problems, I think, is that no one is sure, yet, how much online, Tivo, and DVD content is worth. The writers want to make sure they get their fair share. And they should. The producers want to be sure they aren't paying the writers "too much." It's a complex and complicated issue that will need revision after revision, I'm sure.

No payment for the first seventeen days after Web content goes "live" seems a bit unfair to the writers to me. According to Web statistics, those seventeen days are the days in which the content is going to get the most "hits." And unless the content is extremely popular and visted over and over and over again, the writers will be the ones losing out.

The only "sure thing" is that the world of television and movies, just like the world of books, needs writers and it needs good writers. While TV and film writers more often than not don't have the creativity novel writers have, they can often bring freshness as well as consistency to character and dialogue. They can sometimes make an "okay" film a truly memorable one. And actors have no jobs at all without writers. Not unless those actors are writers as well.

Well, the bottom line is that only time will tell how good and how fair the new writers' contract is. I'm not much of a "TV watcher," but I do love movies, those filmed from original screenplays as well as adaptations of beloved books. I appreciate everything good writers do for us and I wish them the very best.

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