November 20, 2007
The LA Times describes some potential positives that could come out of the writer’s strike (besides more money/respect for the writers, of course).
“Hollywood is a town awash in hyphenates. TV is loaded with writer-producers. The movie biz is full of writer-directors. There’s even a legion of actor-filmmakers like Clint Eastwood and George Clooney. But as the writers strike enters its third week, I think the future belongs to a tantalizing new hyphenate: the writer-entrepreneur.”
After all, it’s already been established that the web is unlocking doors that traditional media has barred when it comes to publishing, so it only goes to follow that other forms follow - like the Hollywood studio system.
“The studios have got to be hoping that this idea about being entrepreneurs doesn’t sweep over the TV show runners, because once you start seeing really good production values on the Internet, I mean, what does Larry David really need HBO for? This is all everybody is talking about on the line. They’re not talking about healthcare. They’re going, ‘Wow, is there a different way to get our movies and TV shows made?’ “
The article goes on to explain why the strike is just a symptom of a larger problem – the entertainment game is permanently changing:
“Even if the strike is settled soon, dramatic change is coming. As more outside money pours into Hollywood and as our computers begin to merge with our TV sets, the studios will have less control over content than ever…
…Whoever enters the fray will still need writers to create this new content. So writers should keep their eyes on the prize. Getting a few more pennies of digital loot is just a beginning, not an end. The ultimate goal should be finding ways to own a piece of your own work.”
Writers, aspiring writers, and other artistic types should pay attention – especially when it comes to owning rights or partial rights to your creative output.