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November 27, 2007

Progress in WGA Strike Talks?

Nothing is certain, of course, but there are reports that talks between the WGA and the producers have quietly resumed; and even if there aren't any major breakthroughs at the moment...at least both sides are talking without rancor. Here's hoping this is the start of a deal both sides can live with.


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November 22, 2007

Cat Officially Out of Bag.

Looks like the news is out elsewhere, so it might as well be out here as well:


MI6 News: David Houston to provide voice for James Bond in new videogame

According to several sources, voice-over actor David Houston will be providing the voice of James Bond in the upcoming 007 videogame from Activison. MI6 understands that Daniel Craig will be providing his likeness to the digital 007.  [More...]



Vox Daily has also published the news.

Seems there's some negative reaction among die-hard Bond fans at the MI6 forums. If I recall correctly, however, several fervent 007 fans were also dead certain that Daniel Craig was a terrible choice...before Casino Royale was released. He's now quite the fan favorite.

At any rate, I'm simply hoping the rest of the production comes off without a hitch --- according to the studio, the Bond 22 film won't be affected by the WGA strike as I indicated previously --- so that fans can judge the final product. Still very excited about the gig, and looking forward to the sessions.  



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November 02, 2007

Striking News

Looks like a Writer's Guild strike is imminent, with the most recent reports indicating only the slightest chance of last-minute talks to avert a crippling walkout. 

At first glance, the driving force behind this might simply appear to be a demand for wage increases. In fact, it's as much about the changing nature of entertainment delivery (DVD, streaming media, etc.) as it is about dollars and cents. From today's AdAge:


In the early '80s, the Hollywood's writers made what has become to be regarded as the worst deal since Manhattan was sold for some wampum and blankets: When the writers originally signed their pact with producers about how they would be compensated for work viewed on home video, they agreed that 80% of the revenue would immediately be kept aside for the studios, leaving only 20% of the revenue available for royalties. The upshot? While a film or TV show might sell for $19.99 on home video, a writer will typically receive less than a nickel from that sale.

"Welcome to class warfare," deadpanned Jonathan Handel, an entertainment lawyer at Troy & Gould who specializes in internet law, and who formerly was associate counsel to the WGA from 1994-1995. "The home-video agreement doesn't even make sense for home video anymore, let alone the internet."

Mr. Handel explained that the 80/20 split of home-video spoils might have been tenable in 1982, when video cassettes were a costly media to produce and often subsidized by studios seeking to create a new revenue stream. But the cost of manufacturing a DVD is now pegged at 25 cents; digital distribution is, he argued, even cheaper, because there is no physical media to produce at all. [I'm reminded of the 80s, when the music industry charged more for the "brand-new" CD format, even though production costs had plummeted fairly quickly after the format became a hit. --- DH]

Moreover, the studios are making more than they ever had before: Last year, all-media revenue from filmed entertainment -- money from home video, TV, theatrical release and pay TV -- grew 8% to a record $42.6 billion.


This is 100% speculation on my part, but there's a slight possibility that a writers' strike could push back the previously-mentioned videogame project I'm booked for. The game ties in with a movie release lated for 2008, but that film has (reportedly) already been delayed by script rewrites. I'll just keep my fingers crossed and continue to work as much as possible in the meantime. 

UPDATE: Well, per some information in the link (provided in the comments by my good friend Mary), it looks like my speculation was probably correct. The strike is hitting home, even here in Texas...
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