Friday, November 30, 2007

A Strike Sitrep

Photo by Lisa Klink on Flickr.

United Hollywood fills in the details on what went down in the latest round of talks with the media moguls and a Teamster lays out some numbers to consider.

Mark Verheiden posts an email from the creator of Without a Trace, Hank Steinberg. If what Steinberg suggests is true, this strike will go on for weeks.

Also check out a recent strike news round up from Maureen Ryan.

Keep sending pencils.

Paging Ron Moore again...

This is actually a great idea from livejournalist wisteria: if a BSG fan wins the Pencils2Moguls throwdown, how about letting them choose either a personal phone call from their favorite actor - or a personalized voicemail outgoing message recorded by that actor...in character, or out.

Heh. That's fun.

More Prizes for More Pencils

More of the BSG cast has stepped up to encourage fandom to win this multi-fandom "throwdown" while also sending a truckload of pencils to Big Media to show them what we think of their behavior during this strike.

Per Ron Moore on his blog:

The potential rewards for fans buying into the Pencils2MediaMoguls campaign just got bigger:

Mary McDonnell, Tricia Helfer, Michael Hogan, Jamie Bamber, and Michael Trucco have all agreed to make a personal phone call to fans who win the raffles in their names. The way this will work is simple: when you go to the Pencils site, the first box you’ll see asks you the name of the show you wish to support. Type in “Battlestar Galactica” and then the name of one of these actors, and your name will then be automatically entered into a raffle, with the winner in each category receiving a personal phone call from that actor. You can certainly buy boxes of pencils for more than one actor, but each box can only be assigned one name.

Also, in the event that the winner of the Aaron Douglas raffle is not in Vancouver, or cannot travel there (on their own dime), Aaron has offered to make a personal phone call to that fan and send a piece of signed memorabilia.

This is a really great and generous offer from our cast members and it could be a once in a life-time chance to get to talk to them, so take advantage of the opportunity and help us drown the moguls in pencils!


So this is how it works: go to the Pencils2Moguls widget on the right side column of this blog, and type in "Battlestar Galactica (actor name)" and then order the pencils. If BSG fandom wins the throwdown, the winner will get a call from the actor they chose. If an Aaron fan wins, and they can fly to Vancouver, they get to go to a hockey game with The Chief.

Fun!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ron Moore talks to Eclipse

Eclipse has posted an interview with Ron Moore. In it he mentions that the season 3 DVDs will include a 70-minute cut of the episode UNFINISHED BUSINESS. Also very interesting:

Eclipse: How do you feel about the rumor that Sci-Fi is going to split the final season into two seasons?
RM: It is under consideration. The writers’ strike is complicating everything. Even before the strike, we didn’t know. There will definitely be a break between the first half and the second half. The season was designed with a midseason cliffhanger.

It doesn’t feel like it’s real, more like a stunt to “artificially” stretch the show for another year and charge loyal fans for extra DVDs.
It is a network decision – the DVDs are the concern of the studio. It is not the same people making those decisions. The network doesn’t care about the DVD. The studio doesn’t have any say over the network schedule. The season is up to Sci Fi and how they are going to program their channel. Do they have other shows up and running? Do they want BSG to run into the summer? It’s all about scheduling issues with Sci Fi.

Do you think you’ll pull a Joss Whedon and continue BSG in Comic Book form?

I don’t have any plans to do that. The plan is to end the show definitively. I don’t know if there’s another story beyond that that I want to tell in comic book form.

What’s next for you after BSG?
I have a series in development at NBC. I am supervising another series at Fox Broadcasting. I have some features in development that I’m writing – the sequel to iRobot and a version of The Thing for Universal. It’s connected to the 1982 film.

More on the prize

According to Aaron Douglas fans, if a BSG fan wins the Pencils2Moguls contest between fandoms, and they cannot make it personally to Vancouver, Douglas will be calling that person and sending them some autographed goodies.

Word from the WGA

Contract 2007 Negotiations Statement

To Our Fellow Members,

After four days of bargaining with the AMPTP, we are writing to let you know that, though we are still at the table, the press blackout has been lifted.

Our inability to communicate with our members has left a vacuum of information that has been filled with rumors, both well intentioned and deceptive.

Among the rumors was the assertion that the AMPTP had a groundbreaking proposal that would make this negotiation a "done deal." In fact, for the first three days of this week, the companies presented in essence their November 4 package with not an iota of movement on any of the issues that matter to writers.

Thursday morning, the first new proposal was finally presented to us. It dealt only with streaming and made-for-Internet jurisdiction, and it amounts to a massive rollback.

For streaming television episodes, the companies proposed a residual structure of a single fixed payment of less than $250 for a year's reuse of an hour-long program (compared to over $20,000 payable for a network rerun). For theatrical product they are offering no residuals whatsoever for streaming.

For made-for-Internet material, they offered minimums that would allow a studio to produce up to a 15 minute episode of network-derived web content for a script fee of $1300. They continued to refuse to grant jurisdiction over original content for the Internet.

In their new proposal, they made absolutely no move on the download formula (which they propose to pay at the DVD rate), and continue to assert that they can deem any reuse "promotional," and pay no residual (even if they replay the entire film or TV episode and even if they make money).

The AMPTP says it will have additional proposals to make but, as of Thursday evening, they have not been presented to us. We are scheduled to meet with them again on Tuesday.

In the meantime, we felt it was essential to update you accurately on where negotiations stand. On Wednesday we presented a comprehensive economic justification for our proposals. Our entire package would cost this industry $151 million over three years. That's a little over a 3% increase in writer earnings each year, while company revenues are projected to grow at a rate of 10%. We are falling behind.

For Sony, this entire deal would cost $1.68 million per year. For Disney $6.25 million. Paramount and CBS would each pay about $4.66 million, Warner about $11.2 million, Fox $6.04 million, and NBC/Universal $7.44 million. MGM would pay $320,000 and the entire universe of remaining companies would assume the remainder of about $8.3 million per year. As we've stated repeatedly, our proposals are more than reasonable and the companies have no excuse for denying it.

The AMPTP's intractability is dispiriting news but it must also be motivating. Any movement on the part of these multinational conglomerates has been the result of the collective action of our membership, with the support of SAG, other unions, supportive politicians, and the general public. We must fight on, returning to the lines on Monday in force to make it clear that we will not back down, that we will not accept a bad deal, and that we are all in this together.

Best,

Patric M. Verrone
President, WGAW

Michael Winship
President, WGAE

*******

For more information about the Writers Guild of America, West, please visit www.wga.org. For more information about the Writers Guild of America, East, please visit: www.wgaeast.org.

The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) represent writers in the motion picture, broadcast, cable, and new media industries in both entertainment and news. The unions conduct numerous programs, seminars, and events throughout the world on issues of interest to, and on behalf of, writers.

See also this from United Hollywood.

Latest Strike News

Deadline Hollywood Daily reports that it looks like progress is being made on the talks between the WGA and AMPTP, however the WGA has asked for time to study the newest AMPTP proposal, and so talks are on hold for now until December 4th. Don't get your hopes up, but keep checking DHD for the latest.

See also some information from Sitrep co-editor ProgGrrl:

Two very engrossing (and depressing) new posts on the Writers Guild strike: this one is about the less-publicized, and highly dangerous, anti-union practices involving reality TV. And this one is written by a lawyer in digital media, entertainment and technology law – discussing just how much the AMPTP are so NOT GETTING THIS in a basic way.

Series Rewatch

GDG of the Battlestar Blog has organized a rewatch of BSG starting tonight with the miniseries. So fire up your DVD player and join in. The rewatch schedule works out nicely to about the time season 4 should start to air in March as well as when the season 3 DVDs should be out.

See a Hockey Game With the Chief

Well it looks like Ron Moore has replied to the challenge from the SMALLVILLE showrunners.

Okay, this is pretty cool.

How would you like to go to a hockey game with the Chief?

That's right, our own Aaron Douglas will take one fan to a Canucks hockey game, along with another buddy of his up in Vancouver. And how can you score this treat? Simple. By going to Pencils2MediaMoguls.com and buying as many boxes of pencils as you can. On the first page (which is a subset of United Hollywood) you'll see a place to identify which show you're supporting. Type in "BSG Aaron Douglas" and we'll enter your name into a raffle, with the lucky winner getting to attend the hockey game with Aaron.

In case you haven't heard, the Pencils Campaign is designed to send a huge amount of pencils to the major studios as a symbol of fan support for the strike. More information can be found on their website.

Look for other offers from other members of the Galactica cast in the near future -- no idea what the offers will be or how many there may be. I'll keep you informed.

More from Sarah Corvus herself

An update on that BIONIC WOMAN rumor Logan posted below: according to Katee Sackhoff, it's not true.


This has nothing to do with whether or not the show is coming back after the strike, however.

Paging Ron Moore & David Eick...

C'mon guys - you can't just sit there while the SMALLVILLE showrunners issue a challenge like this?

Can you?

Your fandom is standing here waiting. Tapping its collective foot.

From United Hollywood:

The Pencils2MediaMoguls campaign is moving forward. And I'm happy to report that Miles Millar and Al Gough, the showrunners of "Smallville," have announced a fun incentive for those of you who haven't joined in. This email was sent out to "Smallville" fans this morning:

So, Miles and I were sitting around the other day (which is what writers do when they can't write and their picketing shift if over) wondering what we can do to kick this Pencils2Moguls campaign up a notch. Don't get me wrong, we are stoked by the response so far, but we felt there must be something we can do to really light a fire under it going into the holidays.

Then the answer hit us -- the greatest criminal mind of our time -- Lex Luthor.

We will give the gift of Lex.

Well, not really since he is, after all, a fictional character, but we do have Michael Rosenbaum, one of the best young actors of our time (in our humble opinion). We thought, why not offer a challenge to some of these other shows who have devoted fanbases (that's right Battlestar and Buffy I'm talking to you!) and see whose fans can really deliver the goods (in this case, pencils).

So here is the skinny:

For every box of environmentally friendly pencils you buy at Unitedhollywood.com, your name will be entered into an e-raffle. We will then pick a winner at random and they will receive at phone call from Michael Rosenbaum thanking them for their support of both the cause and the show.

That is right, Lex Luthor will call you directly! Make sure you list SMALLVILLE as the show you are supporting when you click on the icon.

So, Craig, please spread the word far and wide.....and thank you all for your continued support and good wishes. We are all in this together.

Best,

Al Gough

What am I? A man. Or am I a machine…


AfterEllen has an interview with RAZOR writer/producer Michael Taylor and actress Tricia Helfer.

SPACEcast has several videos up of RAZOR cast discussing the movie. [via LJ’s battlestar blog.]

Eclipse Magazine and GIANT Mag have interviews with Jamie Bamber.

The actors' trade magazine Back Stage talked to Katee Sackhoff.

Slice of SciFi and PopCandy recently interviewed BSG writer Jane Espenson, who has also worked in the past on BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, ANGEL, FIREFLY, ELLEN, and STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE.

CheapPop has an interview with BSG writer/producer David Weddle.

Livejournalist gdg has interviewed animator Dustin Adair, who has worked on BSG cylon effects for S1 & S2, and created the fraktastic short film “We Were Centurions.”

Glitterati Gossip covered Tricia Helfer, Katee Sackhoff, Michael Trucco and their beloved hogs at this year’s Love Ride (see above photo).

Michael Trucco has been cast as the lead in a new NBC comedy pilot.

Tricia Helfer told Vancouver 24 Hours that she has a TV development deal for next season.

Strike Videos O' The Day

"The Strike, Your Marriage, and You" by SAMANTHA WHO? writer Bob Kushell and actress Christina Applegate:




"Edie Falco Solves The Strike" by Edie Falco and the writers of THE LATE SHOW:

Come in Major. I’ve been waiting for you for a long time.


Here is a fascinating, though hard-to-believe, item from the Skiffy boards: apparently the newest Sky One program magazine has a BSG RAZOR listing in it that reads: 'Battlestar Galactica: Razor - A thrilling two-hour flashback ahead of January's Season Four.’ It has been discussed for several months now in fandom if this might actually happen: that Sky One got UK television broadcast rights allowing for a January 2008 start date. The implications here are obvious – but is this really happening? (And does anyone have a scan of this magazine listing? Thanks to reader John for the scan.)

Entil2001 has posted some thought-provoking, in-depth analysis of RAZOR.

Livejournalist brokenmnemonic has written up BSG military analysis to address the fandom discussion of “how did Lee end up in command positions within the fleet (CAG/Commander of the Pegasus), what makes someone suitable for command, and how does battlefield casualty replacement work?”

Yes the ratings for RAZOR are out. They are not surprising. Also notable: the RAZOR unrated/extended DVD has been on Amazon’s Top 50 Best Sellers list for several weeks now.

Livejournalist gdg found this nifty LocateTV widget that can tell you when all the new and rerun BSG eps are airing in your specific broadcast region.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

If Review

Daniel Schweiger in If Magazine reviews Bear McCreary's season 3 BSG soundtrack.

It’s fitting that Bear McCreary has used BATTLESTAR GALACTICA to reveal himself as one of the most innovative, and intriguing composers on tv. For few other, already-clichéd ’70s sci-fi shows seemed to promise further (if lovable) goofiness than this STAR WARS knock off. Yet no tv relic has ended up being so brilliant in its in-your-face revisionism, particularly as heard in its music. For what started off as the dull, beat-heavy music of Richard Gibb’s pilot would soon turn into something wondrous under McCreary’s stewardship. As the show found its footing, the its music opened up into a seemingly limitless galaxy of melodies, among them the dangerous percussion of space battle, ethnic melodies for the twelve colonies, and the ethereal atmospheres for the gods they worshiped. It was a religioso sound that made heroes and villains into one glorious enigma. The heavy orchestra you’d expect was out the airlock (at least until the second season), proving that this young composing Turk wasn’t John Williams – thank Kobol. And with every slow step that the Galactica took towards earth, Bear McCreary unveiled some new, melodic mystery that he doesn’t so much intend to solve as explore.

That sense of discovery reached new heights in Season 3, where music seemed to carry the show more than ever before, especially in some episode’s knowing void of dialogue. The interior of the Cylon ships became a haunting, lone piano. Dark bluegrass embodied a recall of war crimes. An Indian Sitar became a space battle cry, and the unforgettable, and frankly insane of use of “All Along the Watchtower” rose Starbuck from the dead while revealing unlikely Cylons in Galactica’s midst. But old musical friends returned as well to re-affirm McCreary’s musical continuity, among them the bagpipe theme for Lee Adama and his stern father, as well as the lush, flowing string melody that announces a new generation of Cylons that prove them as more human than human.


Full review.

She's Done With Bionic

Slice of Sci-Fi picks up on various reports indicating that Katee Sackhoff won't be back on Bionic Woman. However, it's also most likely that Bionic Woman won't be back at all anyway, since the ratings have slipped so much.

Is NBC shocked that people quit watching that crap? Katee was the only draw on that show anyway. And a fine actor like Miguel Ferrer was woefully underused. It seems like that show never knew what it was, and it felt like they had too many chefs, when all they needed was one good one.

So Say We All
















Here's what a pallet of Pencils to Media Moguls looks like. Keep sending pencils to keep the pressure on the studios to make a deal. I hope truckloads keep arriving.




Sign by psychicphilosopher

Jacob Speaks...

Another wonderful aspect of RAZOR, is that we finally get a new recap on Television Without Pity. Yay. This one is 26 pages. Enjoy.

Strike Info.

From Deadline Hollywood Daily, the latest negotiation news, and it's not good.

Speecheless #15 "Just What's On The Page"

Jericho


BSG YouTubers should get cracking on a similar video.

Some data points on exactly how much money the writers are asking for.

Deadline Hollywood promises a negotiations update here, but as of this moment the update hasn't arrived.

Mark Verheiden has a weather report from the Barham Gate.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

On the line


This is what they are fighting for.

Check this out from Ben Stein.

See also.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Quick Hits

Entertainment Weekly and The Seattle Post-Intelligencer review Razor, as does the Battlestar Galactica review blog.

In strike negotiation news, Nikki Finke reports that progress was made in day one:

I am thrilled to give you a report on how today's much-anticipated resumed contract talks went between the writers and the producers. And they went well, according to my sources. "It was very productive, very level-headed, and it seemed as though the producers came ready to bargain," an insider told me tonight. "Reasonableness ruled the day."

In fact, the AMPTP reps for the studios and networks showed up to the first day's negotiating session since the WGA strike began November 5th with what was described to me as "a very comprehensive proposal which laid out to all the entire roadmap to the deal. Over the course of the session, the producers addressed every single issue, and the writers listened and kept getting up to caucus."

..."So they basically went through all the proposals on the table: what they'd already agreed upon, and where they needed to go from here," an insider explained to me. "Tomorrow, they really start advancing the ball forward."
To keep the pressure on the AMPTP keeping joining the writers on picket lines, send pencils and make those phone calls.

For some Sci-Fi/Razor humor just click here. Trust me, if you watched Razor on the Sci-Fi Channel you'll enjoy this.

Speechless



More Speechless videos.

Fan Call-in Blitz today and tomorrow

Pencils are terrific...letters are awesome...and emails are effective too.

But if you fans who support the WGA in their strike want to make the biggest impression on studio/network honchos, a personal phone call is always best.

If any of you are interested in participating in the fan phone call blitz today and tomorrow, organized by livejournal community WGA_SUPPORTERS, please go read this. And note that down here in the comments, you will find info specific to calling the Sci Fi Channel, btw.

Calling today during ongoing negotiations is not going to hurt the writers side. It will only help.

[via United Hollywood]

Will it be over soon?

Nikki Finke of the always reliable Deadline Hollywood Daily and the L.A. Weekly reports that the basic framework of an agreement between the WGA and AMPTP has been achieved, and that both sides are working through it:

"It's already done, basically," the insider describes. That's because of the weeks worth of groundwork by the Hollywood agents working the writers guild leadership on one side, and the studio and network moguls on the other. I was told not to expect an agreement this week. But my source thought it was possible that the strike could be settled before Christmas.

Remember that many TV shows take a Christmas break anyway, so it shouldn't be too difficult for Battlestar Galactica production to get back up and running not long after the new year once scripts start being written again.

Rounding Up Razor

The L.A. Times and New York Daily News have reviews of Razor.

T.V. Guide had a preview by Michael Logan.

Critic for the Newark Star-Ledger Alan Sepinwall shares his views on his blog.

Bear McCreary writes about how he approached scoring the music for Razor, and how he developed a theme for Kendra Shaw that he used throughout the film.

Be sure to check out the Battlestar Wiki entry for Razor.

And for more insight into Admiral Cain and her leadership style read Maureen Ryan's Chicago Tribune interview with Michelle Forbes.

Ryan: Cain has obviously been a very important figure in the ‘Battlestar’ universe. There was a huge response to her among fans, and I think that’s because, in some ways, there are things that are really admirable about her. She’s very dedicated. She’s smart. She doesn’t put herself first. Do you feel that’s the case, that she has good qualities?

Forbes: I think that’s quite accurate. There’s always a sense in that universe that your time is about to be up. You have to prepare whatever future there is. Cain is always aware of her mortality and is quite willing to sacrifice her life and she expects the same of everyone around her.

I’m a big fan of Cesar Millan [host of ‘The Dog Whisperer’], and he states on many occasions that by nature, dogs will follow a strong leader. They will not follow a weak energy, and that’s true of people as well. We want a strong energy to follow. We want someone who seems fearless. And that’s true of Cain. I think that there is something compelling and comforting about her sense of duty, and her sense of getting the job done at whatever cost. There is comfort in that in difficult times, in times of war. But people like that may be misguided.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

RAZOR extended & unrated

Between the trailer that Logan posted last week, and this new promo spot we saw last night, you can get a real feel for how many new scenes will be included on the RAZOR DVD.



Meanwhile, the official RAZOR DVD site has some new (mildly spoilery) clips and cast interviews. If anyone can understand what the hybrid is saying in the clip called "Season 4 Sneak Peak," please leave a comment here.

Wake up and smell the RAZOR.

There are some great new links up this weekend:

The RAZOR podcast. Note it comes in four parts, per Ron Moore’s earlier description: “Instead of the customary podcast commentary for next week’s showing of “Razor,” there will be a recording I made of the original break session where the writers first pitched me the story. The podcast was recorded at my house with the entire writing staff, minus Mrs. Ron, who opted not to know anything about the story until it was completed. A separate commentary track will be available on the DVD version that Michael Taylor and I recorded in the studio. (Don’t worry, I brought along the obligatory bottle of scotch.)”


A new version of the Season 4 promo spot ran last night on SciFi. Same cut with some small differences - the biggest being the announcement of the season 4 premiere in March...if this is the real start date, one wonders if the rumored release date of the season 3 DVDs is really in April? Also, what is up with Starbuck and that gun? Hmmm.




Ron Moore was answering fan questions last night at Fans4Writers…some of the interesting answers included this stuff below (spoilery of course):

On the Cain character:

"I don't recall really turning to any particular historical figures as we've worked through the three Cain stories. I always looked at her as something of an anomaly, a woman caught in a unique moment that she then defined in terms of her own experience and her notions of how a commander should behave in a time of war. I always kept in mind the fact that Adama had seen war -- however briefly -- and Cain had not. The fact that she was relatively young for her rank also factored in for me and contributed to her tendency to take a hardline and stick with it, even past the breaking point, as when she shot her XO. With everyone aboard Pegasus thrown into the bewildering situation of potentially being the last members of the human race, it seemed like her willingness (or need) to take matters to frightening extremes could have then been plausibly embraced by the vast majority of the crew.

…Cain determined at some point that the human race was doomed and the needs of the civilians were outweighed by the military imperative to strike back and inflict as much damage on the enemy as possible with every weapon in her arsenal and for as long as her ship survived. I don't think she ever really held out much hope of finding a way to survive as a race and therefore she had less interest in saving lives at that point than she did in fulfilling what she saw as her mission.

It's interesting that people think of Cain as a negative character. She's really one of my favorites in the entire series."

On the writers residuals from the RAZOR DVD sales: would it be better to wait and buy after the WGA strike is over?
“I'm sure the residuals from the DVD will be the same before or after the strike is settled -- I can't imagine the studios retro-paying any new formula they MIGHT agree to. So don't hold off on that account.”

On “the guy in the ooze on the old ship”:
“The guy in the ooze was the first Cylon attempt at building a Hybrid. It was a special project that worked on ways to control the baseships more efficiently, as well as take another step toward understanding God. Inside the baseship are the results of the first experiments involving "evolving" the Cylons toward human form.

His message to Kendra is part of the overall myth and fits into the puzzle of the fourth season.” {Ed note: keep an eye out for another comment on this later in the thread...}

Love In Space


This is truly the cutest vidblog that Mr. Eick has ever signed off on. *awwwwwww* (2nd cutest here; 3rd cutest here, btw)

Hopefully it isn't the last one we're going to see till next Spring. *sigh*

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Battlestar Galactica: RAZOR

Razor airs tonight on Sci-Fi. Here is ProgGrrl’s review of Razor, and my review posted previously. See BSG co-exec producer Mark Verheiden’s comments on Razor, on his blog.

Tell us what you thought of Razor in the comments to this post.

By your command!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Ron Moore and Joss Whedon collaborate at last...

A letter, co-written by Ron Moore and Joss Whedon, was recently distributed to other showrunners (who have quite a bit of power dontcha know):

There's a site out there called Fans4Writers.com that was put together by -- you guessed it -- fans. It's a really great place for fans to go to find information about the strike and how they can help to support the WGA in our cause. They're already started doing things like creating their own postcards for fans to download and send to the studios, and of course, they are participating in the Pencils campaign instituted by the Guild. Everything's all set-up, they just need more fans to actually go there and participate. Once they're there, they can participate in bigger actions like potentially demonstrating at individual TV stations across the country (something under discussion on the site right now).

Something we can do as showrunners is to go to our own boards and tell our fans to go to this site for information on what they can do to support us. We can also go to the forum they've set up and post messages in the threads they've created for our individual shows.

Having us there, even only sporadically, will help drive traffic to their site and bring more of our fans to a place where they can help support the strike as we enter the next round of negotiations.

Please take a minute to check out www.Fans4Writers.com and consider posting a message to your fans, we think it's worth the effort.

Thank you,

Joss Whedon & Ronald D. Moore


Thanks for sharing, MrsRon...

Ask a Ninja on the Writers' Strike

I'm with the Ninja -- "The Dragon Claw Fire Horde" sounds like a much more intimidating foe...

Fan Trailer

Here's a fan made Razor trailer by YouTuber Setcko

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Digital Bit

Bill Hunt of The Digital Bits reviews the DVD extended version of Razor. I can't wait to see the extended version, it sounds really really good.



Update: Here's the trailer for the DVD from Universal Home Video, with MASSIVE spoilers:

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Turkey Give Away

Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at WKRP Galactica Sitrep.

DVD

The New York Times has an article about Razor, and other shows besides Battlestar Galactica that have used DVD sales to their advantage.

The episode, “Razor,” marks yet another step in the complex, fast-changing relationship between DVD sales and cable broadcast. The episode would not exist except for the promise of selling it on DVD just days after it is shown on television.

The move is part of a trend. Already there have been instances of DVD sales reviving canceled television series, like Fox’s “Family Guy,” which sold so well that it was put back on the air. And “24,” also on Fox, began selling DVDs of its four-episode season premiere earlier this year, the day after it concluded. But such tactics are still rare.

“‘Battlestar’ is incredibly successful both domestically and internationally in terms of DVD episodes,” said David Howe, executive vice president and general manager of the Sci Fi Channel. DVD sales are especially important for shows like “Battlestar” that are intensely serialized, meaning that a casual viewer might have a hard time understanding a random episode. That makes the series less inviting in syndication than, say, “Law & Order.”

“You can’t strip them from all scheduling in a way that allows people to dip in and out,” Mr. Howe said.

Sci Fi also took the unusual step, for a television show, of screening “Razor” in movie theaters in eight cities around the country this month. Mr. Howe said the screenings, sponsored by Microsoft, led to lines “around the block” at participating theaters, two of them in Manhattan.


And there's this bit of info:
As with many television shows, production of the “Battlestar” series is hobbled by the writers’ strike. The first half of the forthcoming season is unaffected, Mr. Howe said, but the second half could be delayed.

Starbuck Returns


Wow - Jason Palmer began selling this awesome new Starbuck art print at the Burbank con last week. Amazing. His Deviantart site is here. [Click on image to see larger view.]

Our New Widget...

Sending pencils in support of your favorite striking shows & writers just got even simpler...just use the handy widget we've put up here at Sitrep on the righthand column.

Meanwhile, if you prefer writing or calling your moguls - see BringTVBack's nifty list with phone numbers.

Anyone who wants to support the many "below-the-line" crew who will be hit very hard in their pocketbooks by a prolonged strike, ie the rest of the show's staffs besides writers/directors/actors, can donate to The Actors' Fund.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Pencils are mightier than the sword.

It looks like the Pencils and phone calls to the corporations, networks, and studios are having an effect.

So the offices of Big Media moguls have been inundated with calls from TV fans who've been posting and emailing and otherwise sharing the CEOs' phone numbers. The fans argue the writers' side of the strike and want the walkout settled quickly so it doesn't interrupt future episodes of CSI or Grey's Anatomy or, god forbid, Lost. And it's kinda working. I hear it's driving the bigwigs and their staffs crazy.

So keep sending pencils.

Pictures from today's march on Hollywood Blvd.

The Future is Unknown

The New York Times wonders if the ABC deal on the new LOST webisodes might become a model for this sort of deal in Hollywood. As we BSG fans know, other such deals have not gone so well.

Over on the Fans4Writers multi-fandom forums, in the Ron Moore Fans section, Ron himself has been stopping in on this thread. Today he had this to say when asked what he pictures might happen if – gods forbid – Season 4 was never completed:

"I actually have been thinking about what I would do in the (I believe unlikely) event that the show never came back. There is a full storyline for the rest of the season and ultimately, the finale and I'm not sure what I would do with all that information. There's a part of me that would want to sit on the story, lock it all up and then wait for the studio to come to its senses and try to finish the story in some shortened form -- a miniseries or TV movie or something. I could also see writing the end in a book or graphic novel. I also have the recorded sessions of the writers' room at the start of the season where we discussed the overview of the last arc and a more intensive session from the retreat this summer where we broke down the stories in more specific terms and I've thought about just posting those recordings in the event of cancellation so that people could at least hear what our plans were originally."


But let’s not get all down and out and ahead of ourselves here, folks. As Kristin at E! Online said earlier this week:

Reader Blake in Memphis, Tennessee: I have been wondering ever since the strike began what is going to happen with the shows we know for certain are in their last season, such as Scrubs, The Shield and Battlestar Galactica. I don't think I could take it if the strike ends up leaving some things from these shows unresolved for good.

Kristin: The series finale of The Shield began production this week, so it will finish its complete run on FX. Battlestar Galactica is Sci Fi's crown jewel, so it's likely that no matter what happens, BSG will be permitted to finish its run. Scrubs, however, was already on thin ice with NBC, and Bill Lawrence has refused to pen a backup ending for the series.


Meanwhile, The Los Angeles Times columnist Patrick Goldstein reiterates what internet guru Marc Andreessen put on the table earlier this week: THERE. ARE. OTHER. OPTIONS.

On Monday the 26th, the WGA and the AMPTP go back into talks. Let’s hope they can all just get along…




Now I must mention something completely Off-Topic: does anyone understand what is going on with this CLOVERFIELD/HEROES Slusho mashup thing? I am just MYSTIFIED…

Vancouver Tourism, BSG Style

Wired Magazine has a profile of Vancouver BSG fan club The 13th Colony and their tours of shooting locations around the city.

Maureen Ryan's Razor Review

Maureen Ryan reviews Razor and has an interview with Michelle Forbes (Admiral Cain) in the Chicago Tribune:


Sometimes we have to do things that we never thought we were capable of, if only to show the enemy our will."

--Admiral Helena Cain, "Battlestar Galactica: Razor"


Now there’s a statement worthy of debate. When does the will turn malignant? When do the actions that a person takes to survive make that individual no longer worthy of the title “human”? When do the ends no longer justify the means?

Those are the questions that the reimagined “Battlestar Galactica” has asked for the past few years. And the genius of the series is that it asks these questions obliquely, without preaching or grandstanding. The solutions to these dilemmas aren’t easy, and the show doesn’t insult its audience by pretending that they are.

Characters sometimes openly debate complicated, life-and-death issues, but more typically, the Big Questions are woven into the fabric of an absorbing, well-crafted character-driven drama. It’s nearly possible to ignore the moral dimension of the series – which is its most timely, bracing element – and focus on the rock ’em, sock ’em space battles, the energetic direction, the spectacular special effects and the deft relationship drama.


Read Ryan's full review here.

The March on Lankershim

A little mid-morning snack...

Monsters and Critics has an exclusive RAZOR clip up.

RAZOR preview on Yahoo

Yahoo TV has a preview with cast interviews, discussing RAZOR and Season 4.

March Down Hollywood

Labor Solidarity with Writers

March and Rally on Tuesday, Nov. 20

Help write a new chapter in Hollywood history. Join thousands of members of the Writers Guild of America as the WGA begins week three of its strike against the media conglomerates of the AMPTP. March down Hollywood Boulevard with film and TV writers, actors, musicians, Teamsters, Service Employees and other unions in this fight for justice.

More than 10,000 writers are on the front lines of the fight to preserve decent working standards against corporate power.

1:00 pm: Assemble at Hollywood Blvd. and Ivar Ave.
1:30 pm: March down Hollywood Blvd.


A few interesting posts from United Hollywood on how the force majeure letters have backfired on the corporations and driven the writers and actors into stronger solidarity.

It's important to remember that all the trade guilds benefit from residuals, not just writers, actors, and directors.

And a ton of information on big media consolidation.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Ron Moore's update

From Ron's blog:

Just so there’s no confusion, I’d like to make the distinctions clear between the two minute “featurettes” (or whatever we’re calling them these days) from “Razor” and last year’s “Resistance” webisodes that preceded the Season Three launch. I’ve given several interviews regarding the history of the webisodes and how the studio initially wanted to call them promotional material and not pay anyone, then finally relented on payment, only to refuse to provide credits in the end and forcing me to post them on my blog at SciFi.com.

The distinction between the two is that webisodes were new material created specifically for the internet, while the featurettes are really little more than deleted scenes from “Razor.” In the first instance, we were being asked to write and produce new material without compensation or credit, while in the second we simply repurposed existing material that would otherwise end up on the cutting room floor. That’s not to say that the featurettes weren’t subject to a great deal of haggling and negotiation with the studio over issues of reuse and credits -- they were. But in the end, I agreed to go with the featurettes while still refusing to produce more webisodes because I felt that using existing scenes in this format was different than creating new stories. Hopefully, the new contract that gets hammered out between the studios and the writers’ guild will clear up all of this and provide enough clarity so that showrunners like myself won’t have to be in the position of making these calls on a case by case basis.

Con Reports

Convention Reports from the BSG Convention in Burbank over the weekend are starting to show up. Roadrunner on Live Journal has a brief rundown with some spoilers from Katee Sackhoff at the very end of the write up.

Also, Jamie Bamber talked to IGN and Boston Now about Razor and season 4.

Trafficking the Hard Stuff

As RAZOR gets closer by the day, more reviews continue to pop up. The Los Angeles Times ran a quick one. But my favorite so far is definitely from Toronto's Globe and Mail, which begins like so:

It's a sci-fi drug trafficked by diehard space-show junkies and mainstream viewers alike, and chances are someone you know is already hooked. It takes two words to separate the addicts from the innocent: Battlestar Galactica. The tipoff is a hungry look in their eye, the one that appears with a chance to debate the Cylon wars, and what they symbolize in the post-9/11 world.

That's right, Battlestar Galactica. True, this is a “re-imagined” version of the original 1978 cheese fest, but can a remake of anything that starred Lorne Greene really be called one of the most important television shows of our time?

What the frak is going on?


You better believe it, baby...but don't look at me. I'm just a street-level dealer.

Razor's Edge

Razor review by Jeanne Jakle of the
San Antonio Express-News

“Battlestar Galactica” fans, rejoice! “Razor,” the special two-hour episode designed to tide you over until the fourth and final season of the dark and delicious science fiction series premieres early next year, may be the best one yet.


Read the full review here.

Field of Dreams

Screenwriter (Field of Dreams, Sneakers) and Writers Guild of America, West board member Phil Alden Robinson recounts the turning points in Guild history and explains why the strike of 2007 is this generation of writers' watershed moment.

John Edwards with the WGA at NBC in Burbank

The AMPTP pickets the WGA HQ

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Crooks at NBC/Universal

This in from Deadline Hollywood:

From what I can glean, the casts of The Office, 30 Rock, Bionic Woman and Battlestar Galactica to name just a few shows on NBC and the SciFi Channels were informed Thursday and Friday that their contracts have been suspended. It's because Universal Media Studios has opted to exercise what's known as the force majeure clause in their Screen Actors Guild agreements.

...But regarding the striking writers, most of the showrunners and hyphenates who've walked off the job [such as Ron Moore] have been threatened with or actually suspended without pay for not fulfilling their producing duties. But the threats still hangs out there that the studios and networks could escalate matters by firing them. The conventional wisdom is that the studios and networks are purposely waiting for sufficient weeks to pass so that they can, in a first step to a major reorganization of their TV business, kill showrunner/hyphenate deals by invoking force majeure (a common contract clause that essentially frees both parties from liability or obligation when an extraordinary event, such as a strike, occurs). From that point on, all bets are off.

Studios suspending actors without pay and not outright terminating their contracts, which prevents them from finding work elsewhere, has SAG pissed. Per SAG's agreement, studios can opt to suspend members for five weeks with half pay; suspend them with full pay; or release them from their contracts. Even if the actors are fired, they're supposed to be immediately rehired under their original contract terms once production recommences.

I understand that NBC Universal mailed out a stack of these 'force majeure" letters which began arriving Friday at the agencies of various actors. One of the Battlestar Galactica thespians tells me: "When our agents and managers phoned business affairs for clarification, they were told that we are on suspension without pay. We are not terminated. We are on hold to BSG with no pay in perpetuity until the strike is over. When the strike does end Universal/Scifi will then decide whether they want to bring the show back or let us go. Until that time we are in first position with BSG and will have to clear any other project with Scifi/Uni.

"They are not following article 61 of the SAG agreement and are about to get a lot of calls from SAG lawyers. They say that since we have shot the minimum 13 episodes of this season, as per our contracts, that they are under no obligation to pay us or let us go. We are essentially on hiatus. To say yesterday was a tough day on set as this information was slowly presented to us would be a profound understatement."

But it appears the actors and their reps are planning to fight this idea of putting actors on indeterminate hold without pay under a "too bad we own you" power play. Regarding BSG, NBC Uni's SciFi channel is being told that, since the terms of Article 61 appear to be breached, the actors can terminate their deals and attempt to find work elsewhere.

I smell a brawl brewing.
And this from Ron Moore's new blog:
Production wrapped on episode 413 late last night, and there’s no certain date to resume shooting. No more scripts exist. My office staff has been laid off. My cast has been suspended, without pay.

I refuse to believe that we won’t finish, that we won’t be back to film our final stories, but I know and accept there is that possibility. The strike will be a seminal event for many of us in this business as it’s put literally everything we care about in the balance (if only for a short time so far) for something we all believe is important.

Writers talk a lot about the strike, about the reasons we’re out on the picket lines and our feelings and experiences in the business. It’s been an interesting three weeks. I’ve connected with more scribes in the last few weeks than in many months before and I come away from it to date with a sense of optimism about the solidarity of the membership and admiration for my peers.

Galactica’s coming back, I frakking promise you that. But I am ready to put the rest of the story on the table and take the risk that I’ll never be able to tell it, in support of this strike.

Like Adama says, you make your choices and then you live with them.


If anyone needs to know the address where to lob the Molotov Cocktails, It is:
Universal Studios
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Razorette #7...the final one.



Mighty interesting how Doral put in all that effort to insure Lee was present for the Galactica's decomissioning ceremony, eh?

Next stop is RAZOR on Saturday night the 24th - strap yourselves in folks!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Breaking News

The AMPTP and the WGA have agreed to return to the negotiating table Monday November 26th, after the Thanksgiving holiday.

This message was just sent to WGA strike captains:

The effort and energy and resolve of the strike captains and teams, on the line, in headquarters, on location, and out in the community including the blogosphere has had a tremendous impact, and been instrumental in bringing the companies back to the bargaining table. Congratulations! Of course, going back to the table is an important step; but we must not allow our effort and creativity to wane. The strike must continue and we must continue to increase our impact and message to get the best possible deal for writers and for others who will benefit from our struggle, including actors, directors, drivers, crew, etc.

Jane Espenson posted this update about today's fan day at Universal.

And if you want to send pencils to the moguls United Hollywood has organized it in a very simple and effective way, much like the "nuts" campaign that worked for Jericho. Just click here, and send some pencils.

Speculations: The show runners like Ron Moore and Carlton Cuse said they would return to their producing duties on their shows if the AMPTP returned to negotiate in good faith. With negotiations set for the 26th, are the show runners returning to work? Lets hope so, so that these two sides work out a fair and proper contract.

Michael Taylor Talks Turkey

Maureen Ryan has an interview with writer/producer Michael Taylor, in which he also answers fan questions (including all of mine *joy*).

Please note per Maureen: the interview "contains spoilers (though in my opinion, Taylor did a good job of giving us vague yet tantalizing clues and not too many facts or plot points about 'Razor' and Season 4)."

Happy Fan Day in El-Lay

Here's the latest on showing your support for striking writers on the pickets today, from Jane Espenson:

I've been asked to pass along the information that the fans of the new show LIFE will also be congregating at Universal tomorrow -- at gate 5, also one of the gates along Lankershim Blvd.

This is in addition to these already-established fan assemblies at Universal:

Main Gate -- Battlestar Galactica
Gate 1 -- Desperate Housewives
Gate 2 -- CSI, King of the Hill, Friday Night Lights
Gate 3 -- Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, The Office (optional event for them)
Gate 5 -- Ghost Whisperer, Bionic Woman, Carpoolers

Really, if you're a fan of anything, I think it's safe to say that you'll have a good time and we'll certainly be glad you're there!

Also, another update on what we Battlestar writers will be doing -- I'm told now that we will be picketing starting at TEN, not nine, and that the rally itself will start at eleven. Just come on by... that's all it really boils down to.

Meanwhile, OT, please check out this video from the striking writers of The Colbert Report. A small but tasty morsel for us TDS/TCR fans currently starving to death:

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Strike of aught 7


Irv Brecher is a writer who wrote for Groucho... which allows me to confirm that my pro labor position comes from being a Marxist... in the brotherly sense.

Fan Friday

Okay, the WGA website posts this information for Friday pickets:

Friday, Nov 16
All Studios-EXCEPT NBC BURBANK & UNIVERSAL
Picketing from 6am-10am ONLY

10am-2pm shifts from other studios can join the picket at NBC Burbank, where John Edwards will be joining the line @ 1:45pm

NBC Burbank, 7am-5pm;

Universal, 6am-2pm—‘Fan Day’ from 11am-2pm


There had been some reports that John Edwards would be showing up at Universal on Lankershim, but it now seems clear he will be at NBC in Burbank.

Visit Fans4Writers for more info.

UPDATE, Fans4Writers reports that the BSG writers and fans will be gathering at Universal's Main Gate. (Which is even closer to the MTA station I linked a map to in a post below.) And Mark Verheiden posts this update.

Maureen Ryan has a full roundup of strike news, and humorous videos by writers on strike.

For some background on some of the other issues in new media, internet downloads with iTunes, vs. streaming ad supported sites like NBC's Hulu, visit here and here.


ETA by ProgGrrl - Wow, listen to what Warner Music CEO Edgar Bronfman is quoted as saying in that last link Logan has here:

“We used to fool ourselves,’ he said. “We used to think our content was perfect just exactly as it was. We expected our business would remain blissfully unaffected even as the world of interactivity, constant connection and file sharing was exploding. And of course we were wrong. How were we wrong? By standing still or moving at a glacial pace, we inadvertently went to war with consumers by denying them what they wanted and could otherwise find and as a result of course, consumers won.”

[snip]

“For years now, Warner Music has been offering a choice to consumers at Apple’s iTunes store the option to purchase something more than just single tracks, which constitute the mainstay of that store’s sales,” he explained. “By packaging a full album into a bundle of music with ringtones, videos and other combinations and variation we found products that consumers demonstrably valued and were willing to purchase at premium prices. And guess what? We’ve sold tons of them. And with Apple’s co-operation to make discovering, accessing and purchasing these products even more seamless and intuitive, we’ll be offering many, many more of these products going forward.”

As mentioned before...the music biz is ahead of the film/TV biz in this area.

Who is telling the truth?

Public Support for the Writers

Maureen Ryan reports on the vast public support the WGA has in this strike with the corporations. The WGA has released a statement thanking the public for supporting them.

If you're planning to join the BSG writers at Universal on Friday, I would suggest people consider taking the MTA Red Line. Universal City station deposits you right in front of Universal, and it's just a short walk over to Gate 2 where the BSG writers will be. Map. Map. Google Map.

Jane Espenson and Mark Verheiden have further updates on the Fan Day.

Mark adds that he recently viewed the DVD version of Razor:

In some fun non-strike news, we had a special private screening of the DVD version of RAZOR, the upcoming BSG film, this evening. It was a stunning high def presentation, a total knock-out. The TV version is great, but the uncut DVD version is really something. Coming VERY soon to DVD stores near you!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

MrsRon on Fan Day

As of now, there is no OFFICIAL fan day for anyone.

But we know that the BSG fans have been organizing around the convention. Hence the delightful reference in this mornings WASHINGTON POST (for god's sakes) about the 3000 costumed cultists.

Anyway, here's what we have so far.

If you want to picket with Ron and the writing staff go to Universal NBC Gate 2 (Mexi will post directions from the convention later) between 9am - 12pm. RUMOR has it that there will be a rally with an important surprise guest at 12 - 2pm. We'll let you know who the guest is when it has been confirmed. it might be Generalisimo Franco. ( let's see how long it takes for that to make the Washingtom Post)

Questions anyone?

[Source: Fans4Writers Forums]

Another writer starts blogging...

Yes it's true folks: Ron Moore has begun a new, non-NBC/Universal-owned blog to discuss the strike and whatnot.

Terry Moore has opened a few threads on Fans4Writers.com to for all BATTLESTAR Ron Moore fans to discuss their support of writers, the Fan Day this Friday on the WGAW picket line, and general strike info. Get yer butts over there!

*STAY STRONG WRITERS*

The Daily Show Writers

The Daily Show writers and John Oliver


Jane Espenson posts this update on "Fan Day" Friday:

++++++UPDATE -- I'm hearing that Fan Day is now set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the main gates of Universal -- this is the series of gates into Universal that run along Lankershim Blvd. Food drive! Special guests! I'll be there. Will you?+++++++

Also, have you heard about this idea to send (mercifully unsharpened) pencils to the moguls? Of all the fan movements, this one seems to be the one that's catching fire. I like it! If I hear more about it, I'll let you know.

Music Insights


Blog Critics and Blogger News have reviews of Bear McCreary's season 3 soundtrack.

Also, on his blog, Bear provides his own insight on background to each track on the album. (See our recent interview with Bear here.)

Wired Razor

Mark Anderson in Wired reviews Razor:

The breakout performance in Razor is turned in by Stephanie Chaves-Jacobsen, as officer Kendra Shaw, who gives this feature-length story its grounding despite her character's innate rootlessness.

Shaw is the sharp instrument of the movie's title, and her haunted actions and harrowed eyes speak to a hellish life in a military machine that leads a civilization forever on the run from a deadly menace of its own creation.


Read the full review.

Supporting the Writers this Friday

We have an update from Mark Verheiden for those of you who want to visit the picket line in Los Angeles:

I should have definitive times and places for the big "fan day" gathering this Friday very soon, it's still being figured and plotted and planned, but if you pencil in 11:30AM to 1:00 or 2:00 PM, you'll probably be in good shape.

The AMPTP threatens blacklisting


Nick Counter (pictured above) recently rose from his coffin and lied to the media again. The WGA and strike captain Laeta Kalogridis, the writer of the Bionic Woman pilot, responded on United Hollywood:

But we hear rumors as well: that the conglomerates are the ones doing the threatening, both privately and openly. There are rumors that network executives have told showrunners that if any of their writers are seen speaking up during the strike, they expect them to be fired when the strike is over. We all know showrunners are being threatened with lawsuits for respecting the picket lines. And there's another rumor that one showrunner in particular has been told that the AMPTP is going to use him as "an example," that they're planning to sue him and then see that he doesn't work again.

Gosh, that sounds kinda like... blacklisting.

Razor Screenings

Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune posted her thoughts on the recent screenings of Razor on The Watcher blog:

It was the third time I’ve watched “Razor,” and it was the most satisfying. The film-quality direction, production values and special effects of “Battlestar Galactica” really become apparent when you see the show on the big screen. The action sequences and battles of "Razor" were even better and more impressive in a movie theater. (One complaint: The sound was a little too low during the screening I attended.) ...Next week, I’ll post my interview/feature on “Razor,” which will include an interview with Michelle Forbes, who stars in the film as Admiral Helena Cain. I’ll also post the Q&A with [Razor writer Michael] Taylor next week.

Also Josh Tyler reviewed the telefilm for Cinema Blend giving it 3 stars.

Fans have been posting their experiences and reactions to the screening at the Battlestar Blog on Live Journal.

If you went to a screening tell us about it in comments to this post.

Stars Jamie Bamber and Stephanie Chaves-Jacobsen spoke to the audience after the show at the Seattle premiere:

Storm

Vancouver fansite The 13th Colony reports that an outdoor set of ruins for Battlestar Galactica was heavily damaged recently when a fierce windstorm rolled through British Columbia. Repairs will be made to continue using the set for shooting. You can see photos (spoilery) at the flickr site of quite_contrary.

Monday, November 12, 2007

In Solidarity



The Galactica Sitrep is joining with the blog effort organized by Glowy Box and other television blogs to show our support for the Writers Guild by not posting tomorrow. We're on strike for a day, in solidarity. Here's the statement from the participating blogs:

On November 13th, this blog and the blogs listed below will be on strike for the day in solidarity with the Writers Guild of America. As fellow writers and as TV fans, we are coming together to express our strong support for the writers and their goals. We believe that when a writer's work makes money for a company, that writer deserves to be paid.

Many writers depend on residuals for a stable income, and that income shouldn't be based on an outdated formula which ignores the existence of new media and all but a tiny percentage of DVD sales. The talented writers responsible for so much of what we love about television should and must be paid fairly and equitably, and we will stand with them until they reach that goal. For everyone's sake, and for the sake of television, we hope both sides can come to an agreement quickly.

To further that goal, we are calling on our readers to sign this petition and to contact the following television networks, voicing support for the writers and for a return to the negotiating table:

ABC
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521
(818) 460-7777

FOX
10201 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035
(310) 369-1000

CBS
7800 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 575-2345

NBC / Universal
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608
(818) 777-1000

After the blackout, we intend to continue our campaign to support the WGA until the dispute has been resolved fairly. Since we will not be posting any new content on the 13th, we encourage our readers to visit United Hollywood instead for frequent updates about the strike.

In solidarity-

The CineManiac
Daemon’s TV
Ducky Does TV
Gabby Babble
Give Me My Remote
Glowy Box
I am a TV Junkie
The Media Pundit
Mikey Likes TV
Pass the Remote
The Pie Maker
Ramblings of a TV Whore
Seriously? OMG! WTF?
Silly Pipe Dreams
Tapeworthy
Televisionary
TiFaux
Tube Talk
The TV Addict
TV Series Finale
Watch with Intelligence
Also, here's a novel idea about sending pencils to the AMPTP just like the "nuts" campaign that saved Jericho. And the author of Nickeled and Dimed writes in The Nation about the writer's strike.

And The WGA has put out a list of the stars that will be joining the picket lines on Tuesday at Universal's main gates on Lankershim. However Jane Espenson reports that the Battlestar writers are being moved back to the Barham gate.

We'll be back on Wednesday, with all the latest BSG news.


So Say We All!

RAZOR: more commentary


I also have some things to say about the wonderful BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: RAZOR. Come over to my livejournal and let's talk. (Warning: super spoilery, obvs.)

This reviewer and I obviously don't see eye to eye...although I'll go with his description of BSG as "the Sylvia Plath of science fiction."

Rumor Control...and Marc Andreessen

OK, yes: it's a rumor, that all 3000 attendees of the Creation BSG Con will converge on the WGA picket line at Universal. That is not the case.

HOWEVER it most certainly IS TRUE, that BSG fans - and heck, all TV fans period - in the area are cordially invited to join the striking writers at Universal Studios on Friday, November 16th. Come on down! I believe Mr. Verheiden will keep you posted on the time/location...or just refer to the WGA's picket locations page.

Marc Andreessen has posted again regarding the strike; he feels it may kick-start a process of recreating Hollywood in Silicon Valley's image:

In Silicon Valley, there are many companies, large and small, that create, market, and distribute products -- and more such companies all the time. In fact, there is a whole industry -- the venture capital industry -- devoted to creating as many new such companies as possible, as rapidly as possible.

  • In Silicon Valley, creation, marketing, and distribution of a compelling new product is not very expensive. And with the Internet, marketing and distribution costs drop nearly to zero. Most successful Internet companies, large and small, use free viral marketing techniques and never run ads. And the whole concept of distribution costs goes away when everything is digital -- the next set of bits costs nothing to manufacture.
  • Therefore, there are no bottlenecks. Many companies, large and small, can afford to be in business -- can afford to develop new products and bring them to market, market them and distribute them. And nobody can really block you.
  • In Silicon Valley, the creators of the product -- the talent -- are owners: owners of their product, and owners of their company. In fact, the entities that finance the companies -- venture capitalists, private equity funds, the public stock market -- want the creators to be owners: in a world where there can be many companies, the best creative talent will be drawn to the situations in which they will be owners, and will be compensated as owners.
  • Because of that, in technology, creators get paid like owners.
  • Therefore, there are no unions. There is no reason for the creators to unionize -- they would be negotiating with themselves. The concept of residuals does not exist -- they'd be paying themselves. And alignment of interests between creators and financiers is near-perfect.
There is also the music business to consider...plenty of musicians have figured out ways to make the internet work for them. Wouldn't it be nifty if film & TV artists could do the same?