Movies: Striking writers take their fight against studios to the Web (Salt Lake Tribune)
Hard to believe that Hollywood's studios and networks - the esteemed minds who thought the world would flock to see "Nancy Drew" and watch "Viva Laughlin" - could be wrong about anything.Laugh Lines in the Hollywood Strike
But the "suits," the big-media corporations that make up the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), seem to have underestimated the support for the writers who went on strike three weeks ago.
Here's how it was supposed to go down: The Writers Guild of America would threaten a little, go on strike for a day or two, then get cold feet and come crawling back to the bargaining table and accept AMPTP's terms.
The public won't sympathize with a bunch of overpaid pen-scratchers who make an average of $200,000 a year, the media honchos thought - not when their daily dose of Leno and Letterman was at stake. The bosses also thought the Hollywood crews, the working stiffs who build the sets and run the copiers, won't support a strike that will put them out of work. Meanwhile, the studios had a stockpile of scripts written in preparation for a strike, so the studios thought they could wait out those greedy writers.
But guess what? The WGA members stayed firm, while the crew members and public opinion sided with the writers. And those scripts? Turned out some of them (such as "Angels & Demons," the now-delayed prequel to "The Da Vinci Code") needed rewrites - and there wasn't anyone willing to do that.
“The studios think we are having a horrible time out here,” said Richard Potter, a screenwriter who made “Strike Dancing,” a YouTube video showing pickets bebopping in formation to “Play That Funky Music.”Broadway Talks Break Up Without A Deal (NY Times)
“What’s actually happening is we’re having a great time.”
The video is one of dozens on YouTube — most of them humorous, or trying to be — that are helping the union win the public relations war. A nationwide poll released on Nov. 14 by Pepperdine University found that 63 percent of Americans sided with the writers.
But in a sign that this might have been more of a break than a breakdown, the League of American Theaters and Producers announced that it was canceling performances only through Wednesday’s matinees. Two weekends ago, when the talks fell apart, the league canceled all of Thanksgiving week.
Two marathon negotiating sessions over the last two nights were considered promising signs that an end was in sight to the 18-day stagehands strike, which has darkened most of Broadway during a very important time of year for the theater business.