WGA Strike and What it Means for Moviegoers and TV viewers

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 10:  Writers Guild ...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Hi all…

I’ve been struggling with how to react to the WGA‘s impending strike in Hollywood. You can read about it here:

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117973660.html?categoryid=13&cs=1

What I read is interesting… Basically the studios are trying to get as many scripts written (for both television and movies) by November 1 to prep for a long stretch without writers. So many projects are in the writing phase at the moment so the movie industry just doesn’t suddenly stop when the writers walk off.

Their grievances are fair I think. They basically want more of the pie. Currently the studios get a ton of money from distributing their wares — and now with the advent of video distribution over the internet, over iTunes, Amazon, and others, it’s proving much more lucrative.

The Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) has been negotiating with the various studios for quite a while and it appears to be a standstill. This means that when October 31 rolls around and the existing contract for the WGA ends — so long writers.

One quote from the variety article stated this:

“By Nov. 1, nets will have enough episodes of current shows in the can to get them through mid-January. But the February sweeps would be decimated, and new shows would halt production well before they’d filled their initial 13 episode orders.”

And that’s just for television. All those new shows which premiered this year… may not survive. It’s expensive to keep sets up and keep actors happy during downtime.

Movies will be hit also, though because the scripts are done earlier in the process, it will hopefully not affect things too badly. Rewrites during the process will suffer, but hey… the studios will get their money, right?

So will the WGA and the studios patch up this monetary disagreement? Who knows. But it’ll be interesting to find out.

–Fitz

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