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Ramaniscence

Writer's Guild Strike. TV = owned.

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The difference between a writer and a software programmer is that the inherent relation between the writer and the finished product is different.

Don't kid yourself software programmers, people do get more money based on a software's success. It's just not you. Look at your supervisor, or at the guy above him. It's called profit sharing.

It's actually a fairly standard clause in most contracts as soon as you hit management.

Programmers are at a lower level. Think of the screen writer as a "project" manager, and programmers would be the equivalent of copy editors and proofreaders.

The guy who proofreads a show like House is most likely paid a similar amount to the guy who proofreads Two and a half men...

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I've actually been following the strike pretty diligently in the New York Times and the San Jose Mercury (when there have been articles) because I am a graduating senior in Radio/TV/Film and I am currently taking a screenwriting class (100% of the class is writing an hour of a film screenplay). My two favorite shows, How I Met Your Mother and Big Bang Theory, are being threatened here, and it's bugging me because they're saying that this could be twice as long as the last one (which was 5 months), and that would put it at the end of the agreements for the actors and directors - I don't think that the writers would agree to anything so close to a wider strike vote, so unless this gets solved by February sweeps, we won't have new TV at ALL in 2008 - except for reality shows with horrible direction. Of course, I may see some positives - I could move to L.A. right after the agreements and enjoy fat times :)

One good thing: American Gladiators will return in 2008.

One bad thing: I'm not directing it :(

I don't hold sympathy for the writers, union factory workers, the "suffering" middle class(it's your own fault if you let yourself go into debt) or big movie studios. Go try living out of your car or a tent for a while. Then tell me of the woes of middle class life.

The thing about screenwriting is that you get pretty pathetic pay if you write for TV (they are serials, and the creator usually gets a lot of the credit), but nowhere near the poverty line if you're working full time. The point is that the writers, as a union, are seeing the profits from online sales going to the producers. It's not really about who's suffering more (it's a higher money industry, after all), but rather who gets the money from the sales of shows and movies on DVD and iTunes and things like that.

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The thing about screenwriting is that you get pretty pathetic pay if you write for TV (they are serials, and the creator usually gets a lot of the credit), but nowhere near the poverty line if you're working full time. The point is that the writers, as a union, are seeing the profits from online sales going to the producers. It's not really about who's suffering more (it's a higher money industry, after all), but rather who gets the money from the sales of shows and movies on DVD and iTunes and things like that.

Which is why I don't care about them. People with money going for more money. If they get it, great. If not, fine. The only reason this is even a blip on my radar is that I watch Heroes. But you know what? If Heroes stops showing I'll find some other way to occupy that one hour each week.

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Which is why I don't care about them. People with money going for more money. If they get it, great. If not, fine. The only reason this is even a blip on my radar is that I watch Heroes. But you know what? If Heroes stops showing I'll find some other way to occupy that one hour each week.

If I'm a writer and I have the option to strike to get more money for my creative work, I'm going to do it. I'm not going to keep lining the pockets of the richer producers and networks without a fight. It's not the same strata as a CEO vs. a Factory Worker, but the class conflict still exists.

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As a Computer Science major/Creative Writing minor, I feel inclined to step in here. Then again, I've not yet done either professionally, so I could be full of crap. You decide. But consider the inherent subjectivity in one and objectivity in the other. If you write a program meant to perform a certain task, it will either function as it was meant to or it won't. And even if it does, someone could write a more efficient program to do the same thing. Then they have made an indisputably better creation.

Not so with writing. Assuming comparable circumstances (ie two decent writers working on the same show) it can be very difficult to say if one is better, or even if either are good. Yes, there are some standards for writing but they can be broken if the author excels in another area, such as poor character development but an excellent plot.

Case in point: in 12th grade I wrote this silly little film noir story about who killed Ms. Jacobs. Ms. Jacobs was the name of our writing teacher, and the five other characters in the story were obviously based on myself and my four classmates. People in my school loved it, but I didn't think it'd have any appeal beyond my school. But my first semester in college I heard about this mystery short story contest, and I submitted the Jacobs story for kicks. Imagine my shock when I won second place, and the author mentioned that "there wasn't much daylight" between his picks for first and second place. When I decided I wanted to be a Creative Writing minor, the teacher told us someone had to submit a story first. I volunteered with this story, and they tore it to shreds. The moral: you can never be certain what you'll get with a story.

So that's how I see it. The writer takes more of a risk, but if they've got something good they should definitely be recognized for it. Moreso than a programmer, who can test, retest, and optimize all he wants before submitting it.

Also, while one can indeed deem programming a creative act, it is not a form of expression. Writers put themselves out there through their stories and, for lack of anything else, are oftentimes judged by them. I wrote an exercise in which a guy has sex with an open wound, and no, I'm not kidding. Anyone who read that without knowing me would have a distinctly different opinion of me than someone who did.

So no, I don't think programming and writing can necessarily be equated.

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I think the only correlation is in the more fair distribution of profit, nothing else.

But as subjective an issue as writing quality is, it's still a genuine job. To say that they deserve less in a unionized setting just because their jobs are of subjective quality doesn't sound very logical to me.

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I think the only correlation is in the more fair distribution of profit, nothing else.

But as subjective an issue as writing quality is, it's still a genuine job. To say that they deserve less in a unionized setting just because their jobs are of subjective quality doesn't sound very logical to me.

Oddly enough, I need to go write. I have 17-22 pages due on Tuesday.

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Programmers are at a lower level. Think of the screen writer as a "project" manager, and programmers would be the equivalent of copy editors and proofreaders.

wow, ive never heard anything more inaccurate.

the project manager does not in any way make the product. they manage the time in which the developers create it. ultimately, the developer is the creative force, just like the writer. the management says "we want this" and the developers create it. to say we do something as mindless as copy editing or proofreading is insulting.

The thing is that the whole situation is simply unjust. The studios and networks hog all the money and they treat the writers and the actual creative staff (arguably THE most important aspect of any show: the writing) like trash and relegate them to a barely surviving salary, and they expect to get away with it.

welcome to life. name an occupation in which this DOESNT happen.

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