Strike Me Down

Here’s a short excerpt from an interview done by Entertainment Weekly with the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation’s chief economist Jack Kyser (wow, what a job title; his business card must be gigantic):

What’s the cumulative effect of the writers’ strike so far?
Right now the impact of the lost wages [of WGA members and below-the-line workers], when you apply that ripple factor, it’s about $1.4 billion.

No, this is not a typo. One point four billion fucking American Dollars of losses to the industry and L.A. economy since the writers went on strike on November 2nd of last year. Just for how long would the big-shot production companies have been able to pay their writers under new contractual terms with this kind of money, instead of letting it come to the most momentous strike in Hollywood history? And just how much extra money would they have earned instead of lost?

While you’re at it, read the entire EW interview linked to above. There is more information of this kind in there.

The striking writers have their own “cost counter” over at their strike blog. They’ve got an estimate of $750 million in losses for the L.A. economy. Though it is only half as high a number, it still makes me shake my head. Part of me wishes these shenanigans would go on for the entire year. But then the other part of me would die from series/serious withdrawal.

But I think it is starting to look like the AMPTP and the WGA won’t come to terms ever again. This whole situation is going into the direction of the United-Artists approach. Each studio is going to make individual deals with the writers. Period. Just like in the good old days of Hollywoodland when motion pictures from the big studios still deserved to be called “films.”

Long live the independent film!

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