Animation and Reality - Complications Ensue
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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The WGC recently won representation of animation writers, I believe in the last round of contract negotiations. That's one area we're ahead of the WGA.

Here are two interesting blog posts from United Hollywood, on why the WGA must not give up their demand to rep animation and reality writers, and a reality writer explaining why it's a lie that reality writers have "chosen" not to belong to the WGA.

The simplest explanation why the WGA must not give up on animation writers: because more and more movies are going to be animation. Think BEOWULF. Technically that was animation -- and was written on a non-WGA contract. Personally I thought the crap animation and videogame-quality rotoscoping seriously distracted from what might have been a reasonably cool live action movie. But animation is going to get better and better, and who knows if in a decade, any fantasy movies will be shot "live action."

A big chunk of the AMPTP's effort during this strike has been to identify where the movie and TV industries are going -- CGI animation, internet distribution -- and then get a contract that excludes the future. Think of the US policy towards the Indians. Keep making deals where the Indians accept less territory, then once they're weakened, break the deal and make another deal for even less territory. The AMPTP wants us all on the rez.

But it seems clear from how united the membership is -- with support from all over the industry -- that the WGA isn't interested in the plague blankets. And at some point, the shareholders will tell the AMPTP to come to its senses and accept its creative partners as real stakeholders.

(incidentally, the Huffington Post has an interesting post asking why exactly the AMPTP gets to negotiate with the WGA at all? Isn't that industry collusion? Isn't that illegal?)

What can you do? Don't buy any DVD's this Christmas. (American ones, anyway.) Buy videogames, mp3's, Blackberries, whatever you like. Just don't buy anything from the AMPTP. The worse their bottom line, the sooner they come around.

Labels: ,

6 Comments:

On the topic of not buying American DVDs this holiday season...I finally bought a copy of Bon Cop Bad Cop and watched it last weekend. Damn, that was good Alex!

If there are any other slackers out there who haven't watched it yet...run out and get it now!

It does suck to pass on the TV box sets I was going to pick up this year, though. Frakin' AMPTP.

By Blogger R.A. Porter, at 8:17 PM  

Of course, the win of the WGC for animation for instance, does happen in part by negotiating with a partner that represents all companies. Just saying that "collusion" as you put it, is the very mechanism which allows the Guild to apply any advantages it has gained through negotiation to all companies. It may not be perfect, but it cuts both ways.

By Blogger Ed McNamara, at 8:43 PM  

It's weird to see that Animation and Reality TV Writers AREN'T already a part of the Guild. Animation and Reality TV's been around for a while now, why wouldn't they've been included a long time ago?

Hrmmm... I'd always just thought that they were a part of the Guild too.

And that whole idea of Collusion... how would anyone even go about stopping something like that from happening (now or in the future)? If it's against the law, shouldn't there be something done about it? Breaking the law is breaking the law, right?

Or am I being naive?

By Blogger Brandon Laraby, at 4:19 PM  

In the case of reality, the studios call them "producers" to skirt around the guild. For animation, well, check out what Micah Wright had to say about the WGA and animation.

By Blogger R.A. Porter, at 4:27 PM  

Yeah, the uncanny valley for Beowulf made it hard for me to enjoy it. I couldn't put my finger on the reason for the longest time of ruminating on the issue until someone made it apparent to me.

By Blogger The_Lex, at 5:10 PM  

I just bought a bunch of Slings&Arrows box sets for my family in the States. It's more of a treat to get something you can't just set your TIVO for.

By Blogger Lisa Hunter, at 12:33 PM  

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