USA stsenaristide streigi tagamaadest ja võimalikest tagajärgedest

Kes veel kuulnud pole, siis USA stsenaristide ametiühing (Writers Guild of America ehk WGA) ja seeläbi enamus stsenariste streigivad. See tähendab, et uusi stsenaariumeid ei kirjutata seni kuni streik ühel või teisel viisil lahendatakse – kas siis kokkuleppe või ühe osapoole alistumise näol. Samas on nii stuudiod kui stsenaristid mõista andnud, et mingit taganemist toimuda ei saa, sest nad on niigi palju järelandmisi teinud.

Kõige olulisemaks küsimuseks on kujunenud stsenaristide tasustamine DVD’de ja internetis müüdud filmide ja seriaalide eest. WGA’l on selles osas õigus, et stuudiod kasseerivad ise tehingutelt raha, kuid stsenaristidele väidetakse täie tõsidusega, et tegu on kõigest reklaamiga, mis ei kuulu tasustamisele. Samas on WGA’l ka nõudmisi, mis on absurdsed ja teiste inimeste tegutsemisvabadust piiravad nagu kõigile televisioonis tegutsevatele stsenaristide tasustamine WGA kollektiivlepingu baasil.

Viimasel ajal on ilmunud mitmeid praeguse olukorra tagamaid valgustavaid artikleid, mis võimaldavad paremini mõista filmi- ja seriaalitööstuse tagamaid.

Financial Times’is vaatlevad Matthew Garrahan ja Andrew Johnson praegust olukorda eelkõige stsenaristide vaatepunktist:

The catalyst for the strike was a dispute about writers’ share of income from secondary rights on platforms such as the internet. It is symptomatic, however, of a bigger and more threatening problem for the industry: a widening rift between the people who create content and the conglomerates, which are ever more dependent on controlling that content in an age of fragmenting distribution.

Tähelepanuta ei jää ka levitajate ja tootjate konsolideerumine ning selle mõju saadete ja seriaalide kvaliteedile samal ajal kui WGA poolt paljuski ideaalina esile tõstetud Euroopa-sisesed kokkulepped on vastastikuse usaldamatuse tõttu vaikselt murenema hakanud.

Praeguse streigi ühe liikumapaneva jõu ja näidiskaasusena on juttu olnud ka ühest väga konkreetsest juhtumist, mis leidis aset Ronald Moore’i ja NBC Universal’i vahel:

“I had a situation last year on Battlestar Galactica where we were asked by Universal to do webisodes, which at that point were very new and ‘Oooh, webisodes! What does that mean?’ It was all very new stuff. And it was very eye opening, because the studio’s position was ‘Oh, we’re not going to pay anybody to do this. You have to do this, because you work on the show. And we’re not going to pay you to write it. We’re not going to pay the director, and we’re not going to pay the actors.’ At which point we said ‘No thanks, we won’t do it.'”

“We got in this long, protracted thing and eventually they agreed to pay everybody involved. But then, as we got deeper into it, they said ‘But we’re not going to put any credits on it. You’re not going to be credited for this work. And we can use it later, in any fashion that we want.’ At which point I said ‘Well, then we’re done and I’m not going to deliver the webisodes to you.’ And they came and they took them out of the editing room anyway — which they have every right to do. They own the material — But it was that experience that really showed me that that’s what this is all about. If there’s not an agreement with the studios about the internet, that specifically says ‘This is covered material, you have to pay us a formula – whatever that formula turns out to be – for use of the material and how it’s all done,’ the studios will simply rape and pillage.”

Samas on stuudiotel omad argumendid, mis pole sugugi vähem tõsised ja põhjendatud. International Herald Tribune’is ilmunud lugu üritab vastata küsimusele, kelle taskusse filmide eelarvest kõige suurem tükk jõuab ja miks:

The report, by the research company Global Media Intelligence in association with its partner Merrill Lynch, concludes that much of the income – past and future – that studios and writers have been fighting about has already gone to the biggest stars, directors and producers in the form of ballooning participation deals. A participation is a share in the gross revenue, not the profit, of a movie. Through the twists and turns of contemporary deal-making, major studios in theory give away as much as 25 percent of a film’s receipts under such arrangements.
. . .
Once it is understood that the biggest stars and directors can rake in dollars even from money-losing movies, it becomes easier to understand why companies dug in their heels when asked to make richer residual payments on media of the future than they offered on home video of the past.

These would trigger higher payments to other guilds, and would probably create pressure from lawyers and agents in search of still fatter participation deals for their star clients.

It is also not hard to see why the situation is especially galling for movie writers, who typically do not share in the most lucrative gross deals.

Kõike seda lugedes ja ei saanud mina üle küsimusest, et miks stsenaristide enda projektidele ise finantseerijaid ei otsi? Ettevõtlikule stsenaristile või ettevõtjale, kes suudab stsenariste organiseerida ja projektidesse kaasata, võiks streigi näol tegu olla harukordse võimalusega stuudiosüsteemi raputada – kasutada teisi levitamiskanaleid ja toota kvaliteetset sisu, mis oleks ahvatlev. Õnneks ei ole ma ainus, kes nii mõtleb:

Visiting a UCLA film class the other night, I was asked to name the most influential filmmakers of our era. The choices were pretty obvious: Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, John Lasseter, George Lucas. . . . As the names spilled out, I realized they all have something in common. They’re filmmaker-entrepreneurs, artists-turned-businessmen who helped start their own companies to further their work, became financially independent and created a world that operates under a radically different set of rules from the vacuous studio assembly lines. It’s telling that the current strike is about new media yet both sides seem to be following old-school models.

Artiklis on juttu ka filmitööstuse trendidest ja sellest, kuidas üha rohkem projekte leiab finantseerimist väljaspool traditsioonilist stuudiosüsteemi ja seda märksa ulatuslikuma loomingulise vabadusega:

“The world is about to change,” Frank says. “Anyone with an Apple computer can make a movie now — it’s never been a more democratic medium. The studios should be very afraid. Once the independent financiers start going directly to writers, things could change really fast. I ask myself every week — why aren’t we all working with them? Look at the movies they’ve made. They are the new Medicis.”

While the studios peddle dreary remakes and special-effects extravaganzas, the movies that really get people talking — such as “Crash,” “Brokeback Mountain,” “Michael Clayton” and the upcoming “Juno” — have been financed by outside investors. None of the films had a big budget, but fiscal discipline and artistic autonomy often fuels creativity. “Ten million dollars to $30 million is where ambiguity stays alive, where you can have complexity in storytelling,” Gilroy says. “When you get up to a certain budget number with studio films, the bad guys have to all wear black hats.”

Samas artiklis leiab mainimist ka Netscape’i kunagine asutaja Marc Andreessen, kes pani enda blogis kirja, miks ta arvab, et meelelahutustööstus on hetkel muutumas millekski Sillicon Valley tarkvaratööstuse sarnaseks:

Suppose the writers’ strike continues for months to come — and even beyond that, suppose the actors or the directors also go on strike. In such a scenario, it is hard to see how many companies based on this new model won’t be created extremely quickly — after all, if you really can’t work for the Man, why not start your own company, if you can?

And if you are a primary creator in Hollywood, the model for starting your own company is suddenly becoming very clear.

Which brings me full circle to why I’m even writing about this topic in the first place.

As consumers — even alienated consumers — it would be sad to see the TV shows and movies we love not get made during a protracted strike. And certainly many people throughout the extended ecosystem of the entertainment industry — most of them not rich and not famous — will suffer financially.

Taoline ümberorienteerumine võib aega võtta aastaid, kuid üleminekukiirus oleneb paljuski sellest, kui koostööaltid on stuudiod.

Ühelt poolt tahaks näha lemmikseriaalide uusi osasid, kuid teiselt poolt võib terve tööstuse ümberorienteerumine viia märksa loomingulisemate ja huvitavamate projektideni, mis korvavad ka võimalikud kaotused.

Categorised as: Määratlemata

One Comment

  1. Elver ütleb:

    Joe Straczynski, Babylon 5 autor, kirjutas hiljuti ühes uudisegrupis sellest miks praegune streik tõenäoliselt väga, väga pikaks venib.

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