Writer's strike won't hit cinema
Well, it won't for some time at least. As of late last week the Writers Guild of America (the writer's union) announced that the strike was imminent on Monday should a sudden agreement not be reached over the weekend with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, and that isn't looking likely at the moment.
That said, there is a last ditch attempt with a Federal mediator on Sunday for the two parties to meet and try to hammer out a compromise. Except what is this all about, and why should you care?
Well to be honest there's no reason to care, and that's where both unions are failing. They should have been spending much more time explaining to the general public why their TV shows might be going into repeats next week, and why in a few weeks time, smaller serialised shows such as soaps may well be following suit and taking a break from television screens.
I'm sure there's more going on in the U.S., but abroad we hear the doom and gloom of a strike and no writers, and that's about all. Does that mean we're not going to see any more films for a while?
Well not really, if the strike continued for some time then we might well see a drop in quality of the films that are being shown, but not of quantity. You see the studios have been spending time stockpiling scripts, and since films take so long to become completed entities, it's going to be a while before we see the impact there. Just see the previous pre-strike memo story for the list of films the studio's are stockpiling on.
However television is something different. We've already heard about the scrapping of Heroes: Origins, and who knows how many other shows that aren't getting the press that Heroes is have also been cancelled.
The dispute is about the revenues to come. At the moment the writers do receive some of the benefits of DVD sales, but the growing marketplace of the Internet and mobile devices holds the prospect of missed revenue for their work, and they want to make sure that they have a deal that takes account of that.
On the other side the studios say that they already receive a fair cut and that the marketplace already, and so we have a stalemate and the writers are ready to stand up for their beliefs.
The problem here is that this hurts everyone. Writers will lose their jobs and undoubtedly be black marked, however wrong that might be don't be naive, these things happen. Then there's the vast revenue the industry will lose and all those other people that will be affected, the people who work behind the scenes on these shows from Producers to Electricians.
Ultimately though it's up to us. If the strike does come and your favourite shows are suspended, make sure when they come back you watch them as much as you ever did, and if they don't then get on the Internet and shout for them.
In the meantime just be glad that it won't be hitting the cinemas for some time to come, although we're sure to see a rush of scripts that may not have necessarily have been made without a strike and a few that are rushed through to fill a gap with a resulting loss of quality.
Where do you stand on the strike and what are your feelings for the writers?