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Elliott Brown
Actor , Director , Producer
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Thoughts on the upcoming SAG Strike vote

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So lately I have been getting a lot of information in the mail about reasons to support the SAG strike, and reasons NOT to support the strike. I suppose I was somewhat torn... in that I am in the Screen Actors Guild. As such, I do support and understand how hard it is for working actors. Their long term career in many ways is subsidized through residuals. So one side of the argument is that SAG should be patient and wait to see how technology REALLY effects the business model. But having worked for Disney in their Global Operations for the studio, I know the push is to go digital. The path and direction is already there...

As an independent producer, I wondered to myself... Should I be against the strike? I mean should I side with the studios? 

Then I saw the video posted below by Rob Schneider for SAG.

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I really was hit by the numbers he is citing... I guess I never thought about how sites like Hulu would essentially put a stop to the majority of all residuals for actors.That being said, I have decided that the position the studios are taking is just purely motivated out of greed and a long term strategy to take money out of the pockets of actors. While people like George Clooney may argue that with the economy being what it is, it would be wrong to put working actors out of a job... I would argue that the long term ramifications to those same actors would be far worse. (Maybe I am wrong...) But I suppose George isn't as worried about getting his Facts of Life and ER residuals checks as he would be in not collecting a $10 million check for 1 film he may miss if there is a strike. So I guess a strike would hurt him more than the average actor. We could always sign up with AppleOne to make ends meet during the down time, not sure if George is proficient in PowerPoint and Excel, so it may not be a good move for him.   :)But I plan to support the vote to strike. The fact is too, that independent films can still work even during the strike by negotiating their own contracts with SAG.  So work will not completely stop. But it will force the studios to be fair.It's amazing what is being posted on HULU... For example see the video below! This is the future of distribution... no more TV stations... no more Video stores... Online distribution.

over 12 years ago 0 likes  4 comments  0 shares
Mariejost 26 dsc00460
The last strike drove hoards of television viewers away, and a sizable percentage of them never came back. I understand that digital is the wave of the future (and is, in many ways, already here). Actors need a different compensation agreement with the studios, that is also very clear. But, if audiences are further alienated from being traditional viewers (i.e., they stop going to watch movies in theaters and only watch them on their own on-demand, the internet or (less and less) DVD, what will that do to the film industry? If the preferred delivery system for films is on-demand download, how will that effect the way movies are made? The day that people no longer watch movies in theaters is coming, and a strike that alienates viewers may bring it even sooner. Such a system may increase viewership for films, but it could just as likely further fragment viewership for individual movies. If studios don't have the big blockbusters to count on, how will they pay for the majority of the films that they make that don't recoup their costs or do so only in the most modest manner? This is a tough call. Adding the dicey economy to the mix makes it just that much tougher.
over 12 years ago

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