Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Strike over. What now?

My favorite song about the strike:

What ought to become of this blog now? Should it be dedicated to a mindset of sticking it to the man, or simply shut down? Your thought in the comments.

Brett Ratner has already weighed in: HALLE-FREAKIN’-LUJAH!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Bionic Woman Saves Hollywood

How the NY Times didn't come up with the headline "Bionic Woman Saves Hollywood" for this story is beyond us.
Over the last two weeks, Laeta Kalogridis, a movie and TV writer and a founder of United Hollywood, a pro-union Web site, emerged as an unlikely peacemaker.

Working the phones and e-mail during her forced hiatus, she operated as a conduit between David J. Young, a militant leader of the guild, and Peter A. Chernin, the News Corporation president, who was similarly protective of company interests.

As Ms. Kalogridis joined those trying to resolve the dispute, players on both sides finally shifted ground, most importantly on the issue of new-media compensation. That cleared the way to a deal that will be reviewed by writers in meetings here and in New York on Saturday...

Even as Mr. Bowman became more vocal, Mr. Young was listening closely to Ms. Kalogridis, who had become a guild confidante. Described by associates as vibrant and impassioned, Ms. Kalogridis — whose credits include the “Bionic Woman” television series — had joined with a half dozen associates to make their United Hollywood site ( a rallying spot for striking writers. As recently as last week, the Web site shook the continuing talks by posting a strong critique of the directors’ deal by Phil Alden Robinson, the writer and director of “Field of Dreams” and a board member.

Ms. Kalogridis and her friends, in fact, had become a pipeline to the guild members holding out for sizable gains, whose support would be needed if any deal was to be reached. And she, like Mr. Bowman, had become convinced that the current round of talks must not be allowed to fail...

Mr. Young put together the ultimate compromise — a flat fee for part of the contract’s life, a percentage during the rest. Ms. Kalogridis, late last week, then found herself in the thick of a bargaining process that eventually won a handshake on the point. She stressed to Mr. Rosen and others that guild members would never approve a deal that did not have a percentage payment for Web streams. Mr. Rosen became an advocate with Mr. Chernin. Mr. Chernin, at one point, invited Ms. Kalogridis to communicate with him directly. And shortly afterward, he signed off.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Writers strike "economic catastrophe" (press request)

Here's a press request from our friends at Money Magazine. Please contact them if you're interested:
Here at Money we have a monthly feature called One Family’s Finances in which we look at the finances of a family going through some kind of relate-able economic catastrophe. I’d say that living for 3+ months without salary fits the bill! I’d love to do a story with a writer or other union member for whom the strike has taken a huge toll. The story would get across the points of the strike, but it would also personally help the family that volunteers in that we will be setting them up with a financial planner who will create a comprehensive financial plan for them.

I’m looking for someone who...
-->is comfortable with full financial disclosure
-->normally has an income of $100K or more
-->is aged between 30 to 60
-->married, possibly with kids
-->having some kind of financial trauma/anxiety as a result of the strike (maybe they’re realizing the didn’t have an emergency fund, maybe dipping into retirement savings, maybe building significant credit card debt, maybe afraid of not being able to pay the mortgage)

If you fit the bill and are interested, please email me a brief work history and financial story, with your age, location and contact info. And include a photo if you have one! Thanks much,
Margaret Magnarelli

Monday, February 4, 2008

After the strike: Will writers still get screwed?

Word's spreading that the strike's coming to an end. Newscorp chief Peter Chernin apparently told buddies at the Super Bowl that a settlement has been reached.

But life goes on, even after victory. And writers will still need studio execs, producers and directors to share creative vision to make great entertainment. The NY Times thinks the studios will screw writers harder than ever before. Brett Ratner (as imagined by sick but funny minds) explains that WGA stands for “Whiny Girl Assfaces”.