Directors Settle on New Media, Sets Script for Writers

I’m a little nervous. The Writers Guild of America has been on strike for over two months. If it goes much longer the studios will be shooting their version of Fear Factor for the big screen, and I won’t get my fall film fix. By the way, Television has become even more of a wasteland (if that’s possible), but who cares. Make it all stop!

The Writers want a cut of the digital rights wealth currently being horded by the moguls. Don’t you just love the juxtaposition? An old school Union technique being played by the Writers to force the hands of the studios and networks over New Media. You couldn’t write this stuff.


My father was a Union member, and as a child I can recall when he once went out on what’s known as a Wildcat Strike. It was tough. Walking picket lines in the Midwest in January is a little harder than doing it in LA. There were nights we didn’t eat, and once my dad took me down to the picket line. There were fights with those who crossed the line, and a family closeness between those who stuck it out in the trenches. The Writers have tried this in the past and quickly folded. But this time they have got some moxie. Good for them.


But it may have just gotten a little tougher for the Writers as the Directors Guild of America reached a 3 year deal with the AMPTP. The moguls obviously knew that it would be really bad to have the Directors strike while the Writers were already on the picket line. In only six days of talks the two sides closed a deal. Here are highlights of the settlement.

  • Royalties will be paid to the Directors based on grosses vs. earnings
  • The DGA will have some say over Internet productions
  • Internet download residual rates will double and include ads and clips displayed online

Get the facts direct from the DGA here.


Griffin Mill actually killed a writer, and Larry Levi felt he really didn’t need them. No one wants it to end up like that. So Writers. Act now. Get down to business and close this thing. We want our Fall 2008 film slate without fatalities.