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Summary:

Toxic. I spent last weekend in Los Angeles, and that’s how the local environment was described to me. It wasn’t in reference to the smog. The potential Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) strike is looking more like a certainty as recent talks between the Guild and […]

Toxic. I spent last weekend in Los Angeles, and that’s how the local environment was described to me. It wasn’t in reference to the smog. The potential Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) strike is looking more like a certainty as recent talks between the Guild and the studios broke down. The worst part of this whole mess is that the main sticking point is over compensation for Web and new media. With Web shows and series just now gaining popularity, this couldn’t have come at a worse time.

Web entertainment has finally moved from an afterthought to top-of-mind with studios and networks. No longer the bastard stepchild, everyone in the industry recognizes the potential and power of Web shows to become mainstream phenomena — and eventually make money. Hence the digging in of heels in on both sides.

Contrary to popular opinion, LA is not a hellhole. LA is not a wasteland of superficial, artificially-augmented airheads who perpetuate the lowest-common denominator style of entertainment.

Well, wait, yes it is. But LA is also home to some of the most genuine people you’ll ever meet, and also some of the most creative. And ironically, this strike means that the Web, which was built around the idea of letting anyone create content, is shutting out the very people who could give Web series and shows a shot in the arm — professional writers.

Go ahead, call me a sell-out for not wanting all of my entertainment to come from some guy with a Web cam in his garage. But I want to see what the writers from Heroes could do with an online series. How awesome would a web show be from the team behind The Wire? And I’m excited at what the TV pros manning quarterlife could deliver.

The online video world just needs a little more time. Give us another year, then we’ll have a better idea of what people are watching and when, what works and what doesn’t. And then online shows and series will really kick ass, and the toxic cloud hanging over LA could clear.

  1. Yeah it’s a big problem.

    It’s one of those things were the guilds should be encouraging their members to try and make web stuff on their own.

    The studios are trying to get more for less, and the guilds are fighting it, but what if every writer had their own AskANinja?

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  2. Kent, you make a great point, and we would certainly be delighted if a few of these folks headed toward the Revververse to make their own stuff in their upcoming free time. They may not want to go back to the much more “toxic” real world when the strike is over.

    But, frankly, there is and always will be only one Ninja!

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  3. I lived and worked in LA with writers and producers for years. The problems is that they’ve all been living off of the fat of the pig so long that, given the opportunity to really CREATE art and express themselves, they’re AT A COMPLETE LOSS (especially the writers). Why haven’t the writers moved to the internet? Because the greedy bastards would rather lay back and get paid six figures to put out the crap that Hollywood generates.
    I, for one, hope they strike for MONTHS – let them have to FIGHT for something for a change and PROVE themselves online.

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  4. [...] Guild Makes Stake Perfectly Clear As the toxic tension surrounding contracts in Los Angeles drifts closer to an expiry date at the end of this month, the [...]

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  5. [...] Guild of America (WGA) and Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) were a game of chicken, then the AMPTP just hit the brakes by taking the “Residual Payment Point” proposal off [...]

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