Thursday, November 15, 2007

Writers Strike continues to Stop Production

It looks to be a loooooong strike and as more productions stop, NBC has already pulled out of the TCA press tour. It sounds like other big studios will follow and call this season a do over. The shame is that corporate and shareholder responsibility take a front seat, while social responsibility takes a back seat. Should the writers have gone on strike as opposed to work without a contract, I had hoped so. But they didn't, and the studios are using it as an opportunity...yes, an opportunity, to lay off many people and save costs. Will they get hired back when the strike ends? Who knows. But likely, staff will be reduced and budgets cut on EVERY show. And yet, it is these people, formerly employed by the studios, that they should have protected. It is them that will help them get into the digital age, doing the actual production dirty work to get the content looking great. The studios should have treated their own production crews as allies, rather than after thoughts.

Digital media is changing the world. The only thing constant is change. But as traditional revenue sources shift because of new technologies like Tivo and DVRs, cellular and wireless, VOD, streaming, and downloads, it opens up the mind to endless new opportunities for new revenue streams. The potential is there for Hulu and Joost and others to succeed. The shift has already started and the writers don't want to lose their fair share. And studios deserve to earn their profits. The pie's slices may be different sizes, but they are changing every day. Get back to working toward a resolution; treat the slices as one pie and decide on a fair percentage regardless of how the pie is cut.

There is enough to go around; if you work together, the new doors will open wide and all will win!