Thread: Time To Negotiate

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  1. #21  
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    I'm not living in the USA, but it all depends who's taking care of the financing. Here were I live we almost have no support from government or private publishers or production firms. That's when I decided to try to make a living on my own ideas. But in most cases it seems that really have to find the money to live on my own. I'm taking risks and I'm sure these higher paid guys also are taking lots of them.
    And the most important is that you're awake when a deal gets setted.
    It's like the singer from my band who declares "hey man, i've got 50 songs ready to record", then I say , Ok , but will you do all production and finance 4more albums at your risk??? That's the point where they mostly stop talking and wining. Everybody out there has some minor chances to make it out there, luck is an important factor, but eventually everybody could reach everything as long as you live for it and try to work as hard as you can. And mostly people start complaining after something has become a major succes, instead of gathering some money themselves or find partners to produce stuff with.

    And like some off you said, bills don't always explain what's kept left from these kind of productions after taxes and expenses.
     

  2. #22  
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    America is a free market system where people SHOULD be judged by their talent and paid accordingly. Unions, whose officials I am sure are better paid then the vast majority of its members, fly in the face of that premise. I am not bashing all unions - Certain unions with hazardous working conditions and standardized jobs are need of representation.

    However, when you force creative jobs like writers, actors, etc. in a box, it does not make sense. The more talent you have should lead to higher paychecks. What about this is so hard to understand??? If mediocre people need guarantees to survive, there are too many people in the industry. If they are only working 28 weeks a year, they have plenty of time to pursue other ventures.

    I am not against the writers - I certainly understand that a film needs a great script. I am against bloated infrastructure that makes budgets skyrocket where people feel they are entitled to something that don’t deserve. If writers or any one in this industry want a bigger piece of the pie, go out and start your own company and control all the variables - There is nothing more American than that...

    Before I started my production company (with my writer/director business partner), I came from the computer software industry. There are no unions protecting programmers. If you write good code, you will be fairly compensated. If you do not or don’t like the working conditions, quit and find another job.

    I also hope the other unions strike, and strike for a long time. I hope the studios get creamed and unions get busted. Hollywood and their unions are just like the music and other dinosaur industries who rely on archaic business models and bloated infrastructures. They try to monopolize all means of production. Evil studios + evil unions = why I am independent.

    By getting the content out of the hands of a select few, the entire viewing audience will benefit. The internet is ushering a brave new world - the writers see that as a main point in their negotiations. I wish no ill will on the hard working people of this great industry. However, for things to change, the evil empire needs to come crashing down.

    Edgar Pitts
    Independent Producer
     

  3. #23  
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    I've been picketing outside the Warner Bros. lot, since 11/5.

    Let me tell you, it sucks. No one wants to be out there. There's only one thing we (meaning: me and every other writer I've spoken with) want less than walking that damned picket line, and that's a shitty deal. Like the one we were faced with taking.

    Something you might not know: for every four cents writers receive in theatrical residuals, the DGA receives four cents, SAG receives 12 cents, and IATSE receives 20 cents in contributions to their health fund.

    So our fight for increased residuals will also benefit plenty of non-writers.

    Still, trust me on this, EVERYONE wants to be back at work. The ball is currently in the AMPTP's court, as our leadership has said that we want to get back to the negotiating table.

    There's a web-site that has quite a few videos explaining our position. Check 'em out. Some of 'em are pretty clever. --

    http://unitedhollywood.blogspot.com/
     

  4. #24  
    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar Pitts View Post
    Hollywood and their unions are just like the music and other dinosaur industries who rely on archaic business models and bloated infrastructures. They try to monopolize all means of production. Evil studios + evil unions = why I am independent.

    Edgar Pitts
    Independent Producer
    Jeezzs, and they say I'm the dark lord, Just kidding Edgar...I respect your wildcat Texas spirit.

    This is an easy fix.

    Studio's
    Give them what they want on the DVD's. On the Download side. Put it on a scale based on gross downloads. As a market increase is realized a better scale formula is used. This formula is capped at twice what they're asking.

    WGA
    Lower upfront pension and welfare cost's. With a no strike clause, (SAG has one) Make it a 10 year contract, with growth bench marks. Every three years if gross revenue targets are met everybody gets a raise.

    These growth bench marks have to make sense for the financiers, as well as the builders of the dream factory.

    Now we are all partners in success.
     

  5. #25  
    Thank you for posting this. What can below the line people do to help bring the parties to the table sooner rather than later? All sincere ideas welcome. On another note, I have been inviting DPs that now have spare time to take a closer look at Red One and most seem very interested.
    All the best,
    Pete Brown
    "That camera is changing the industry and leveling the playing field" -One of Hollywood's finest DP/Directors
     

  6. #26  
    The best analogy I've heard is that the writers are like those monks who doused themselves in gasoline and lit themselves on fire to protest a war...

    ...Fantastic protest but in the end there is still a war and only a pile of Monk ashes.

    I see some point in the unions but I think they are bloated and elitist to a degree. What possible good reason is there to charge $10,000 to join as a DP or Director? Is it really just a club for those who can "get in"?

    That being said I may be joining soon simply to be able to work bigger accounts.
    "All art is deception."

    My DP reel...
    http://www.evingrantdp.com
    http://www.YouTube.com/evingrant
    360 Cinematography and camera rigs...
    http://www.360dop.com
     

  7. #27  
    Quote Originally Posted by Evin Grant View Post
    The best analogy I've heard is that the writers are like those monks who doused themselves in gasoline and lit themselves on fire to protest a war...

    ...Fantastic protest but in the end there is still a war and only a pile of Monk ashes.

    I see some point in the unions but I think they are bloated and elitist to a degree. What possible good reason is there to charge $10,000 to join as a DP or Director? Is it really just a club for those who can "get in"?

    That being said I may be joining soon simply to be able to work bigger accounts.
    Damn....
     

  8. #28  
    REDuser Sponsor Brook Willard's Avatar
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    Yeah, Evin's - like - totally famous now.

    But it's true. It costs about $6-7,000 to get into 600 as a DIT. The DP entry fee is just about $10,000.
     

  9. #29  
    Best $10,000 I ever spent though -- my yearly income shooting features went from $20,000/year to $80,000/year... within one year.

    Indie features were paying me about $6000 a feature and if I was lucky if I could find three features a year, but even the lowest union rate works out to about $40,000 on a feature, and I could shoot two of those a year. Of course, this also coincided with the leap from under 1-mil. feature to over-3-mil. features. I had shot about 25 features before I joined the union and spent a decade making about $20,000 a year doing it because no one would really pay more than $1500/week for a DP on many indie features.

    So even though it seemed like a lot to join the IATSE, it not only caused a huge increase in my income but I finally had a heathcare plan of my own rather than relying on my wife's work providing it.

    Even now, most producers will only pay a DP a little more than guild minimum rates, but even that is about $5000/wk on a feature. So I'm pretty thankful that there are minimum union rates that are decent.
    David Mullen, ASC
    Los Angeles
    http://www.davidmullenasc.com
     

  10. #30  
    I need to point out the that 20 cents going to IATSE is correct. The biggest diffrence is this:

    “….each individual writer and director recieves 4 cents on their respective projects as each individual actor recieves 12 cents but the IATSE as A WHOLE recieves 20 cents, that’s the ENTIRE MEMBERSHIP….50,000 plus members.”

    Writers earned more in residuals this year than in any year prior: $264 million which equates to the average working writer making $205,000 in 2006. Below the line folks resent the fact that above the line unions even consider striking over residuals, which no IATSE member gets at all.
     

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