Following on from my musings on the writers lack of power. Here's an interesting little tidbit that came to me the other day. Apparently a 'well known' PACT member recently paid a writer £4500 for an hour of Prime Time drama on a Network series.
Just over HALF the WG minimum. And what's worse- the writer actually accepted it.
Assuming this is true, and it came from a very good source, why did this PACT member do this? Because they can.
Why did the writer accept it? I'm assuming because he was desperate for a credit , any credit at whatever price.
Do some prodco's play on this? Definitely.
Is it likely to raise the bar on writing standards? I doubt it. The series was shite by the way.
Would you do it?
I'm guessing if you're an unrepped uncredited writer, you'd bite their hand off. But without a word of a lie, if this story proves to stand up 100% then no way on God's green earth will I EVER again touch that prodco with a bargepole. And no way will any other established writer.
It's not just that they have apparently totally disregarded the PACT/WGA Minimum Basic Agreement, they have totally devalued the talent, skill, time and craft required to write an hour of drama.
If you want writing to be a case of who can low-ball the most then you're going to end up with more crap on TV than is there already. It's hard enough earning a living and still doing a good job, imagine what kind of shite is going to get written when writers have to work three or four shows just to make ends meet?
This particular prodco doesn't have a good rep with writers as it is. That's why I'm not surprised to hear this. But they manage to get quite a lot on TV. I'm guessing because they low-ball the networks on budgets. But I bet their producers fee doesn't take a hit. Just us poor Schmoes.
The only power I have as a writer is to say 'piss off' to them. And that's just what I'm going to do.
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4 years ago