Monday, January 14, 2008

Who Needs Hollywood?

Update: Liman forms new media company.

From; 1/17/2007:

New York and Los Angeles – Director and producer Doug Liman announced today the formation of a new media company, “Jackson Bites,” which will create television-style programming for alternative distribution. He will serve as co-owner of the venture with the support of a wide range of new media and business investors. Liman also announced that the new company has entered into an agreement with the Writers Guild of America (WGA), effective immediately.

As I write this, the writer's strike is in it's third month. A DGA deal is apparently in the works with the AMPTP. but the AMPTP has yet to come back to the table with the WGA for 34 days. The AMPTP will not consider the writer's demands for a 2.5% residual on internet media until the writers remove their other requests which include the sympathy strike, animation, and reality. The AMPTP has no problem letting the strike continue despite the loss of over half a billion dollars to the industry so far. The reason appears to be that AMPTP companies stand to make so much money on internet media that they don't mind a billion or so lost now. What they hope to gain is to not have to pay writers for material streamed over the net. What the think they have is all the cards. They think the writers need them. They are, after all, the big Hollywood studio owners, General Electric, AOL/Time Warner, Sony, NewsCorp, CBS, and Viacom. But what they can't bring themselves to admit, apparently, is that the writers don't need them. The writers have already closed deal with independent studios, World Wide Pants, Weinstein, and United Artists (actually a subsidiary of an AMPTP company). On top of that we are seeing new deals come through almost daily.

Meanwhile WGA writers are forming new media enterprises on their own. A favorite of mine is this one: United Hollywood Live This show is awesome, at least for now, It only airs three times a week. I hope it will grow into something cool after the strike too.


Tune in for another edition of the only show in Hollywood that actually hopes every broadcast is its last, United Hollywood Live (12 pm Pacific/3 pm Eastern).

Tune in by CLICKING HERE (or by using the widget located along the right hand side of The show, which airs Monday, Wednesday and Friday, is also available as a podcast immediately after each broadcast via the widget and on iTunes (search: United Hollywood).

From Strike TV:

Strike TV is an Internet fundraiser. It's an online "channel" featuring original video shows created by working professionals in the TV and Film Industry. These shows are self-funded and owned by their creators. Funds raised by ad revenue will go toward the Writers Guild Foundation Industry Support Fund, assisting non-WGA members, including IATSE and Teamsters affected by the strike. Strike TV videos will not be about the strike. This is a chance for writers to do what they do best - be original and tell stories.

From WGA Makes Interim Deal with MRC

MRC is a new kind of company for a new age in content creation. We'll have more on this deal, and MRC, very soon -- stay tuned.

LOS ANGELES – The Writers Guild of America (WGA) and MRC, the independent film, television, and digital studio, have reached a comprehensive interim agreement that forges a new alliance between writers, producers, and financiers in the production of feature films, television shows, and digital programs.

"This is an exciting agreement that will open up opportunities for writers, especially in New Media," said Patric M. Verrone, president of the Writers Guild of America, West, and Michael Winship, president of the Writers Guild of America, East. "We know that Guild members will be eager to be a part of the MRC creative team."

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