What about this writers' strike then?

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ThyneAlone
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What about this writers' strike then?

Post by ThyneAlone »

I've been hearing on and off about this for a good while, but now that it looks pretty much a reality I am genuinely anxious, since our writers are involved, as to how it will affect this show. Not yet, but if it continues for a long time, and the US (obviously) before the UK. Frankly I tend to support the writers, but you may think differently. I'm including a link to the Fox message board because it seems to be comprehensive in including most of the news reports on the depressing affair.
http://forums.fox.com/foxbones/messages/?msg=8432.1
Any of our over-the-pond friends got any more on this?
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Post by KimberHodgela »

Hey Steph!

Well, as you may already be aware, the writer's strike is on. Which means no more scripts until this is settled. I'm not sure where Bones is, but most shows have scripts to carry them until at least episode #9, and some of them up until 11 or 12, too. However, it means that if the writers are still on strike, and no advancements have been made by the time the scripts run out, there will be no more shooting to be done, and the actors will be without work.

There are some really comprehensive sites out there with information, and you posted a good one. My personal favourite is this one, via the LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/ne ... &cset=true. You can go to this link here: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/ne ... &cset=true, where there is a list of where all the shows are in shooting, and their outlook. Nothing on Bones yet, but the site is updated quite regularly, so hopefully we'll know soon enough.

I, too, support the writers 100%. Without the writers the show would be nothing. Not to say the actors aren't important (trust me, they are!), but it's the writers who craft the awesome lines our characters speak, and it's the writers who gave us such memorable moments as "The Cleopatra Bed Scene", the "Swing Date", and the whole wonder of "Aliens in a Spaceship". I feel they should be compensated for their hard work, and the fact that the studios don't seem to think that's important really irks me.

I'm just hoping the studios will come to their senses and wise up about how important their writing staff is, and all will be back to normal as soon as possible. *fingers crossed*
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Post by ThyneAlone »

I gather that it is not clear which, if any, eps have been shot beyond 3.09 (Baby In The Bough I believe). Doesn't give our US friends long before they are into repeats.

I guess that, given that much of the fuss is about writers not being paid for 'new media' versions of their work - Net downloads, mobiles etc. - I could probably support the writers by not watching eps on the Net. That would be hard for me at the moment, with no other way of seeing them. So perhaps it'll push me into sorting out our cable supplier, as I have been meaning to do for months. Then I won't feel as guilty!
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Post by KimberHodgela »

As per information posted at the LiveJournal community of 206_bones, Bones is still filming their episodes. Nobody is clear on what this means, and how many have been completed, but we have seen sides through to 3x12.

Information gathered from "FOX NY" stated that: "At this time Fox still has holiday-themed episodes scheduled as previously announced, except for "Back to You" and "Til Death, Bones, House and Mad.tv" -- those holiday episodes will be encores from past seasons.". Nobody is clear on what this means either ... as to whether they've actually shot this episode, or whether the script wasn't complete and it hasn't been shot, or what. But it kind of stinks!
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Post by ThyneAlone »

So that probably means we don't get 'The Santa In The Slush'? Ah, :( that sounded good and all!
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Post by ThyneAlone »

More muddling info available - so much of this is contradictory. An interview with Michaela Conlin on Fox's 'Red Eye' news spot apparently implied that they are shooting till the end of 3.12 before they run out of eps. Does that mean we'll get Santa? Or not? mumblegrumblemumble..
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Post by KimberHodgela »

I, too, figured they were shooting through to 3x12, which meant we'd get Santa, but I'm not sure. That article from Fox NY seems to imply that we won't. I'm wondering if maybe the studios are trying to stretch out their remaining episodes for as long as possible? Maybe they're anticipating the strike to last for months, and figure if they hold out on some filmed episodes, they can make them last longer before going back in to reruns, or *shudder* turning our television sets into the burning hell of reality TV and game shows.

Maybe they are filming the Christmas episode, but will be playing it in the new year? This doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but then again, when does anything Fox does make sense? LOL! This also reminds me about "Player Under Pressure" ... have we seen that in the sides yet? I wonder if they've reshot that episode yet, or if they just trashed it??
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Post by ThyneAlone »

The thing about PUP is that at least some of it is ready, the bulk of the writing is done. Initially I wouldn't have thought the reshoots should be so onerous as to actually stop the ep from being aired. But no-one has mentioned it...why not? It makes me suspicious that perhaps the bits due to be reshot haven't yet been written! Maybe they are planning to junk it. :(
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Post by ThyneAlone »

I have been running around the Net looking for straightforward explanations of the strike situation. Here's a simplified picture of the writers' POV.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJ55Ir2jCxk
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Post by ThyneAlone »

...and the latest is rather depressing.
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2007- ... 219318.htm
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Post by KimberHodgela »

I know ... it doesn't look good, does it.

The page I usually visit is the LA Times page over here: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/ne ... ertainment

It's pretty up to date, unbiased, and has a lot of information. As far as I can see now, the talks have been called off with little progress. *grumbles*. I just want my TV back!!
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Post by sofilps »

Yup, it's so annoying that shows got delayed because of this strike. But I have to say that the writers have their reasons and I'm totally supporting them. But I want my bones back and I want them to finally get to an agreement, soon. At least the last news look promising. :?
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Post by Sinkwriter72 »

On LiveJournal at 206_Bones, Tracie posted a fascinating and well-written (yet painful to read) article by Noah Hawley, one of the Bones staff writers, who penned such scripts as "The Woman in the Car," "A Man on Death Row," and one of my personal favorites, "The Blonde in the Game."

I think you should be able to access it, using this link:

Bones' writer Noah Hawley speaks about the strike

And here's what I had to say afterwards, on 206_Bones:

What scares me too about what Noah Hawley is saying is how not only could the financial aspect of it be controlled by the corporate elite, but so could the creative side. It seems these days the 'middle class' writers already get stuck with very little creative control over their stories. The executives take over and insist upon storylines they'll be able to advertise as 'hot' and 'must see,' even if those script changes devalue the quality of the story arc and the character development the writers were working to accomplish. Losing that creative control -- taking that power away from the professional writers whose job it is to build the show and its characters -- could mean they'll end up like the rest of us corporate drones, punching a clock, being forced to do it management's way or hit the highway.

Small wonder people bitch about the few truly phenomenal programs out there on the TV schedule these days. If the corporate higher-ups keep taking away the writers' power and involvement, the creative aspect of writing will be stripped away. Soon every show will be a running commercial. There is no art in that.

Hawley is right. The words they write do have value. That must be protected.

And another thought -- does it always have to come down to how much money the corporation makes? When is it more important to allow for the creation of something amazing and exciting and unique and expressive, something that makes an impact on people's emotions and actions? Where is the line? Can't we do both -- make money for all people involved and do it right creatively? I guess I've just a big sappy naïve fool, but I wish for a better balance.

What are your thoughts?
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Post by skftex »

Interesting article. I'm thinking middle class in LA makes a lot more than middle class most other places (having seen the base salary for most writers :shock: ), but I do understand about wanting creative license to their work. Or some sort of ownership, because if anyone could write a *good* tv series there wouldn't be so much bad reality tv out there! And almost all reality tv is bad to me. :twisted: I have no problem with the writers strike on that front, if they are going to sign over creative control of what they write, they should be getting those back-end payments.

What I don't really believe is that everything is going to go to the internet, at least not anytime soon, I doubt even in the next 20 years. The big flat-screen, HDTV movement isn't going to die out that quickly-and unless they come up with a better internet option via a TV than web-tv and what MSN has, its very unlikely that people will be wanting to watch tv off their monitors.
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Post by Sinkwriter72 »

You make excellent points, Sharon. :D

I think it's such a tough thing all around because -- no matter what amount of money they get paid, versus regular America or other parts of the world -- what they're fighting for will set precedence for writers (and for the other guilds) for a long time to come. It's less about money and more about rights and future rights.

In a way, I see it like asking for a raise. The WGA has not asked for a raise in this way in over 20 years. In fact, they took a pay cut, with the understanding that when the 'fledgling' videotape world grew into a healthy market (umm... that happened a long time ago; in fact, we've long since moved beyond video tapes), they would get some of that paid back to them. It didn't happen. They've gone 20 years without that raise. No one in middle America or anywhere else would work a job for 20 years without a raise. It's not right.

The WGA has pointed out that 20 years ago they had no idea the videotape market would explode to what it's now become -- that's partially why they agreed to the pay cut so long ago. But they agreed to it with the understanding that when things shifted, the studios would give back what they'd given up. They haven't done that.

Whether the Internet takes over completely in five years or another 20 years or more, we do see that it has a huge influence. This time around, it's important to set ground rules that are fair for everyone involved.

My dad is a retired high school teacher, and I remember once his teachers' union went on strike. I was just a little kid, but I remember him going out in the cold to picket. I remember the big wooden signs and I remember he was tired and frustrated but he spoke out because he felt it was important. No matter what amount of money he made in comparison to people all across the country who made less than he did, depending on the job they held -- and there will always be people who make considerably more or less than we do -- it wasn't about that. It was about rights. And it's definitely important for people to fight for that. :D
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Post by skftex »

Good points, but I do think its about money. There is nothing wrong with that though. People do a job and get paid for what they do, some make more than others, so while they make a whole lot more than I do they also are in a situation I'd never want to be in. They have to come up with new ideas to keep people interested in the show, otherwise the ratings dive and their jobs go with it. I imagine the good ones get other jobs but they still should be paid a fair amount for creating a product that the studios make millions of dollars on through syndication if it ran long enough and those DVD sales. You said they haven't had a raise in 20 years, and yes, I'd definitely want one if I worked at one job that long, not sure I'd expect one if I moved from job to job to job like sometimes the writers (sadly) have to do, but if they stay at a certain studio, yes, definitely deserve a raise. As we all know the best shows aren't always the ones that get to stay on TV. In the end, it all boils down to getting a fair deal for their creative processes-which equates to: $$.

If the base salary was $250,000 20 years ago and thats what it is now and thats the standard for that profession, there is nothing wrong with wanting more. All professions have base salaries, some make more some less, but as Noah Hawley said, they have to sign over rights to what they right with no compensation, there is something wrong with that. I hope that they can work out a deal soon because I'm selfish and want more shows, but I also hope they can do something that is fair to those that are giving away their rights to their creations.

Sharon
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Post by Sinkwriter72 »

Right on! To everything you said. :D

I do think that it can be about both, however (money and rights).

Have you seen this link?

UnitedHollywood

On the right-hand side, there's a little link entitled "Why We Fight" which brings you to a YouTube presentation, explaining what they say they're fighting for. It's pretty interesting. (And it's also where I got the '20 years' statistic, how long it's been since they first set the ground rules for this particular part of their contract.)

I hope it gets resolved quickly and fairly as soon as possible. I want the writers to be able to focus on what they do best, especially for this season of Bones (and future seasons).
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Re: What about this writers' strike then?

Post by ThyneAlone »

I haven't had time to check this out yet, so could one of our US friends enlighten me? What's going on with the strike? What's the offer? I just heard it may all be sorted out before the Oscars, which would be great, but what are the details?

And what sort of chaos will it leave in its wake to be cleared up? :shock:
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Re: What about this writers' strike then?

Post by Sinkwriter72 »

Here are a couple of articles that may help, Steph:

Today, Variety posted this --
WGA to hold 24-hour vote

and someone on LiveJournal's 206_bones posted these comments from Scott Williams, one of the Bones writers, who discussed what it may mean for the show for the rest of this season --

Bones writer Scott Williams interview

One positive thing Scott mentions on page two of the article:

"We have a few scripts that aren't far from being ready to shoot. Best case scenario, we could be ready to resume shooting two weeks after we return to work."

It sounds like things are very, very close to being resolved. Here's hoping the deal worked well enough for both parties and that people can return to work without bad blood or acrimony after how long this went on.
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Re: What about this writers' strike then?

Post by skftex »

HAPPY DANCE because it does appear the strike is almost over. And it looks like other than the DVD sales they got a pretty good deal. Maybe they can get a better deal for the DVD sales thing in the next contract (hopefully this one doesn't last 20 years!). I wonder how it will change the projected broadcasts for Bones if they get back to work and have new episodes complete before the end of April...we can HOPE that means that we'll get a new one sooner can't we?? Thanks for the interview with Scott Williams, Sherry, that was really interesting.

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