Sunday, October 14, 2007

More Rotten News from the World of Television Writing

So you've realized what I'm doing here. I'm trying to distract you from noticing how my promised major update isn't up yet by posting a series of brainfarts. Bread and circuses, my friends, bread and circuses. You learn a lot about that when you're working in the entertainment industry.

Speaking of which, here are more bad news from the world of televison writing. The recent rollback in the talent fee rates of writers, I've come to learn, is due to this newfangled scheme regarding the little bits of maggoty cheese they pay wordslingers. Before this, you see, talent fees were decided through lots of haggling with producers. The bigwigs have decided to do away with all that by standardizing talent fees. At Crusaders-Sacking-Constantinople rates, I must add. Under this scheme, a noob writer in, say, a televison soap gets fifteen pieces of maggoty cheese per script. On his next soap show, he gets a bit more. It goes on that way with each succeeding soap show until the writer either dies of exploitation-induced cancer or he reaches the limit at thirty pieces of maggoty cheese. Thirty. Yeah, something like how much Judas sold Jesus to the Pharisees for. The rotten thing about this is that a seasoned writer who's just starting out on a soap will still get noob rates.

The Fourth Crusade is at the gates, friends.

On another front, I've been somewhat arguing with one of my bosses regarding what a writer is and isn't expected to do. As the reality head writer of that show, I have repeatedly been denied my request for a researcher for my team. My boss' position is that a writer should do his own research. I disagree on a few counts. For one thing, a writer isn't given any phone allowance or weekly call cards for that. But that's not really the point. What I'm trying to do is protect the interests of fellow writers by refusing to set a trend. If I agree to the writer-as-researcher principle, other shows will follow suit and require their writers to do their own research without any increase in talent fees. This will also jeopardize the jobs of researchers in the company. Anyway, the jury is still out on that issue.

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