Thursday, December 13, 2007

Is It Just Me...?

Am I the only writer, nay only person, in America that thinks this writer's strike is a bunch of bull? I just read an article by the venerable Clarence Page, and he dropped this little gem:

"Gone are the days when Hollywood lured literary giants like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dorothy Parker or William Faulkner to give the place a little class. With notable exceptions like HBO's "The Wire" or NBC's "30 Rock" (which satirizes its own employer), writers are the Rodney Dangerfields of the TV and movie industries. They get no respect. The rest of us walk out of theaters, for example, wondering why some more of the big money that we see up on the screen wasn't spent on developing better scripts."

Um, I'm sorry, but it doesn't work like that, Mr. Page. Throwing more money at a script won't make it any better. Sure, it might make them work a bit harder, but passion and talent are things that can't be purchased.

I think that if you're really dedicated to seeing your work on the silver screen, you've already accepted that you're totally ok with being paid diddly squat for it, because if you're not, there's a bajillion other less talented writers willing to do so. The issue comes down to what you're willing to sacrifice for the sake of being able to show off your creation, and the guy that will take a pay decrease just for the sake of seeing his screenplay made, probably has more talent and passion then the jackasses that fucked up the Beowulf movie to include a sex scene. Yes, those guys are asking for more money for their brilliant works. And would you believe that it took two people to come up with "Hey, let's have Beowulf bone Grendel's mom." "Duuuude! Awesome!"

For these writers to ask for more money while the vast majority of them produce garbage (you're aware that reality tv shows have writers, yes? The writers of reality tv shows are demanding that they be paid more for their services. Wrap your mind around that one.) simply astounds me. And yes, there definitely exceptions to the rule. Members of the WGA that have produced quality writing certainly deserve compensation for their efforts, financially or otherwise. If F. Scott Fitzgerald asked for four more cents for every DVD he sold, I think he should get it. Let's go back to Mr. Page:

"There were certain unions that struck terror into the hearts of TV management. The Writers Guild was not one of them. Still isn't."

Because they're not very good. If you have someone with talent walk off the set, then you worry. But right now, the only thing Hollywood lost is the dynamic duo that brought you hot Beowulf-on-monster-milf action.
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