Striking Writers Plot Their Own Studios


Striking writers and venture capitalists are dreaming up ways to circumvent the traditional Hollywood system and take new shows straight to the web, according to the LA Times, with some of the scribes even looking to start their own studios.

While these entrepreneurial groups have kept mum on the details, a few strategies have emerged. Some want to create a collaborative studio that would be officially sanctioned by the guild; others are looking to create their own studio that creates content solely for the web, ideally bypassing the need to cut TV or movie deals; while others are looking to creating programming that would be distributed via social networks like Facebook.

And there is money behind the talk. Accel Partners and Spark Capital are two firms eyeing the striking talent pool that’s eager to work.

At this point, the writers have nothing to lose. The deadlock between the WGA and the Hollywood studios doesn’t look like it will break any time soon, and the whole reason the writers are on strike is over profits from new media. Now they’ll be able to see, first-hand, how much (or how little) there is to be made online.

But at the end of the day, writers are still writers. Even if they launch studio startups, they’ll have to hire the suits to sell advertising, deal with the suits who gave them money, and work for the suits brought in to run the business.



Yeah $3K a month for ad supported content is a good month. These guys are used to being paid 3% of 50million plus budgets if there film is greenlit. The world still needs writers……


Wonder when they will be on Joost a Newteevee startup funded by CBS and Viacom ;)

Frank Sinton

Yes, the picket lines are getting shorter. I’ve been contacted several times for “help” and it has shed some light on just how little writers understand the Web.

Most of the writers who have approached me have already written scripts that were not picked up by a studio, so they would like to bypass the studio and go straight to the Web.

The problem: as you noted, Chris, they are starting with very little experience on the economics and tech of online. It makes sense for them to connect with VC money who can put experienced people in place. This most likely means giving up creative control – again.

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