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Trek Stars Coming Out To Support WGA + Fans Invited Too December 9, 2007

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Conventions/Events/Attractions , trackback

Monday’s Star Trek themed day for the WGA writers strike is picking up a number of Trek stars to come out and show their support. The list of actors includes series stars Anthony Montgomery, Brent Spiner, Wil Wheaton, Walter Koenig, and Armin Shimerman. Many Trek recurring guest stars will be there as well such as Chase Masterson, Gary Graham and Vaughan Armstrong (with his band). More stars are also expected to show, but can’t be sure until tomorrow.

Of course there are also quite of few ‘star’ writers coming as well, including Ron Moore, Ira Steven Behr, and Harlan Ellison. The newest stars of the Trek writing club, Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman are also expected to take time out from their work as executive producers on the new Star Trek to show their support. Trek veteran writers Bradley Weddle, David Thompson, David Goodman, Chris Black, Bradley Thompson, David Gerrold, Ken Lazebnik, Jane Espenson, and Mike Sussman will be on hand as well.

You can come too!
Fans are also invited to come show their support for Star Trek and the writers.

If you are interested in attending, the check in spot is the Windsor Gate. The event runs from 11-3 on Monday at Paramount Pictures at 5555 Melrose in Hollywood.

Any writers, actors or producers who want to contact the strike captain can contact me via the tipline (right sidebar).

Comments

1. Wayne Zachary - December 9, 2007

I think the writers deserve better pay and I will support them fully.

First.

2. Giuseppe - December 9, 2007

I’m sure the quality of Rick Berman’s and Brannon Braga’s writing in Enterprise was due to poor wages…

3. last o' the timelords - December 9, 2007

It all starts with the writers and they are traditionally treated by studios as bottom-feeders. They deserve better.

4. RedStatesRule - December 9, 2007

I’m actually siding with the studios on this one.

I’m not offended or put out or anything by this news post — but I don’t think it makes this website look particularly good to take sides.

Just throwing it out there.

5. Plum - December 9, 2007

I feel if the studios insist ad $$$ fro websites are there, they have to pay up for content. The writers have asked for this for some time, the CEOs have got to pay or tell their ad clients Reality Shows are all they have to sell.

6. CmdrR - December 9, 2007

OK, I support you, but you gotta work on the chants. Come on, you’re writers! “Who has more money than they can count? Who has the dough, Paramount?”

Blecch!

Time for a rewrite.

7. Plum - December 9, 2007

^^^
Haaa! Nice 1. :p

8. James Heaney - December 9, 2007

#4: Ooooo… I hadn’t considered that. I don’t agree with you about the strike, but, I can say from experience that it sucks when you don’t agree with the political slant of a non-political site. There really shouldn’t be such an obvious taking-of-sides, IMO, at least not without some sort of disclaimer.

We Republicans face that a lot on the Internet. :D

9. RedStatesRule - December 9, 2007

#8.

Oh boy aint that the truth. :)

Red States Rule!

10. CanuckLou - December 9, 2007

If Ellison bumps into Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman that could turn out to be very interesting.

11. Plum - December 9, 2007

#8. – just because someone supports a union doesn’t imply an attack on the GOP. You people always seem to point out how put down you are, but no one is impressed considering it’s the writers who are out of pocket on this.

Sooo sensitive. What makes ya’ll feel this way? I guess it’s those evil writers asking for money, MONEY! The bastards?

12. RedStatesRule - December 9, 2007

#11.

First of alll. Please don’t get snippy. I’m not being snippy, so please read the following in a calm soothing voice, because that’s how it’s being written.

I’m an aspiring writer. I’m only in college now and it would just be the dream to write for many of the shows on television. If that were the case, I’d just be happy to write for a living I’d do it out of passion more than the need for a paycheck. And I think it’s somewhat sad that many of them seem to have forgotten the passion (from my point of view,) and are more focused on the money. I’m surprised theyr’e not just content in doing what they love. When it comes to a problem with the strike, I really have a problem with the guild. Not everyone wants to be striking, yet they have to strike otherwise they’re blacklisted and its hard to write in Hollywood without belonging to the guild, admittedly the percentage is something to the likes of 90% for striking and 10% against. But considering the amount of people in the guild, there are plenty of individuals that would rather be working, maybe even NEED to be working. There are others within Hollywood, or others that WERE in Hollywood that also NEED to be working and they’re unemployed, especially painful around Christmas time. I understand why they’re striking, I’m not saying they’re wrong, I just loathe unions and wish when they handed in a script and were payed for it that the credit and initial pay check were enough.

Remember. This was written in a calm, collected, even, soothing voice.

13. IceNine - December 9, 2007

Oh boy, this topic again.

BOHICA!!!

14. last o' the timelords - December 9, 2007

RSS, I agree with many of the things you say. I also generally recoil against strikes and have little sympathy for unions. An example is the recent strike on Broadway. Stagehands have little or no interest in the shows they work on.

By getting paid to do something you love you get to pay rent and feed your loved ones. This allows you to continue doing what you love. Actually, these are incredibly lucky people. Those in jobs they hate are jealous of them and often wish them ill.

Writers (and artists) shouldn’t be paid less because they do something they love. They should be paid because they do a good job of it.

I don’t mind if this website discusses the strike occasionally as long as the tone remains civil. And I think it has.

15. Anthony Pascale - December 9, 2007

trekmovie is reporting on a trek event. Next person diverting into partisan fight = ban

16. cw - December 9, 2007

#12- beautiful. Illustrates one of the many reasons I dislike unions.

The writers want more money, and I won’t begrudge anyone that. I just think that them saying that they are entitled to it because… because… because they did their jobs and wrote the content. You know, we all do our jobs… but how many of us out here in the real world get residuals? It’s the exception, not the rule. Our bosses own whatever we create, and it’s up to THEM if we get further bonuses from it long after our creation of it. Not us. Otherwise, a plumber should get paid every time a toilet is flushed. Or the water company- who was already paid for the water that came from your faucet- should get more payments from every cup of coffe you drink.

17. Commodore Z - December 9, 2007

#12: You may be willing to work for passion rather than money. That’s your right. But please consider the possibility that you may someday be responsible for a family or have a mortgage. If you ever find yourself in that position, you may better understand the feelings of those walking the picket line. Being aware of the importance of money doesn’t mean that you’ve lost sight of the passion that drives your work.

Writers play a key role in the creation of entertainment that we enjoy. Internet streaming is a new source of revenue. (Even when you watch an episode for “free,” the network is making money from advertising). Why should the studios get all the money from this new market? It may be just a little money today, but that’s what home video once was, and now DVD/VHS is a huge chunk of the studios’ revenue.

Whatever your political feelings toward unions, I think that everyone on this board is here because we love the writers’ work, and we all want the writers to be treated fairly. Movies can be tremendously profitable. As a Star Trek fan, I want my favorite writers (and actors, and artists) to share in the riches they help to create.

18. James Heaney - December 9, 2007

#11 Plum: And I support the strike. I don’t think this is a partisan issue, and I think RedState is wrong. But I don’t think -journalists- having an opinion on topics that go outside the purview of their field and making that opinion clearly known in their articles is good journalistic practice. That’s something I’ve learned in the partisan trenches–and I’ve seen it done on both sides.

Now, that said, I’ve always somewhat enjoyed this site for its clearly slanted views (specifically, its strong support of the movie and its occasional mockery of the Shatner’s antics). It is refreshing to lose that all-too-common facade of perfect objectivity, even when I don’t agree with a particular position or another–and Tony does always get all the facts out, one way or another. I mean, it’s Tony’s site, so he can report in whatever the h*ll style he wants. So if Tony wants to keep making it clear he supports the WGA (which, to reiterate, I do too), I’ll keep reading the site several times a day. BUT… it can be very dismissive to a lot of people’s reasonable and well-thought out opinions. And the impact on the audience is something every journalist should consider.

As for Trek Day… wish I could be there.

19. James Heaney - December 9, 2007

Oy, and Anthony has spoken in the meantime… sorry, sir. I’ll shut up now.

20. Trekkie1701D - December 9, 2007

I really havent been following the strike, but I would attend this (if I were closer) just to be with all the Trek-Vets!

21. Freddie Wise - December 9, 2007

I wish I lived in California!!!!

22. Plum - December 9, 2007

#18. – Well said James. But let’s face it, those guys are picking a fight. No one, on this site, made any reference to the Republicans and yet here are ‘Redstate” types complaining? About what? So I point it out, now I’m the one who is snippy? Oi. :D

It’s always a school-yard name-calling contest. Objectivity in Journalism is academic these days.

23. Xai - December 9, 2007

The only slant I see on this site is one toward Trek. That’s the only politics allowed here according to the owner and it’s fine with me.

The writers should be paid for all the mediums there creative product ends up in. This isn’t digging coal or teaching school.

24. Robogeek - December 9, 2007

16. cw – Your plumber/toilet analogy reflects profound ignorance of the issue at hand, and economics in general.

Every time I flush my toilet, I do not generate any revenue for myself. Hence, there’s no reason to pay anyone residuals for it.

But every time a studio sells a copy of a film or tv show, or sells ads during the broadcast of one, they generate revenue – and hence should (and do) pay residuals to the creators.

The problem is that they don’t want to have to do that on the internet — even though it’s now their fastest-growing source of revenue.

And that’s just wrong.

This is not a political red state vs. blue state issue. This is an issue of corporate greed vs. fairness and precedent.

I wholeheartedly support the strike, which means I support every writer who’s ever worked on Star Trek.

We all should.

25. Mike T. - December 9, 2007

I pray this strike is over soon before we have nothing but reality TV shows and alot of good shows get cancelled. Musicians get paid when their music is used so it should be the same for writers.
Look how the creators of Superman got the shaft for all of those years while DC and then Warner Brothers racked in the dough from TV shows, toys, etc.

Same with Paul McCartney, I can imagine (no pun internded) how pissed he is that he doesn’t have the rights to the songs he wrote or co-wrote for the Beatles and every time a Beatles song gets played Michael Jackson, who owns a part of the music rights, gets paid.

Just give these people what they are due and lets get back to our favorite sci-fi and other shows.

26. Dave Creek - December 9, 2007

For all of you pointing out that plumbers, pizza makers, etc. don’t get residuals — your work, unfortunately, doesn’t generate continuing income from a single job.

But writers’ work does — 1st run network or syndication, rerun syndication, DVDs, cable sales, Internet sales, it all makes money. Why should the studios and networks be the only ones who make that money? The people who create it should share in the wealth.

And remember, writers, directors, actors, etc. make PERCENTAGES of any income generated. That means they share in the risk. If a project flops, they don’t make any additional money. If it doesn’t flop, get should get a fair share. They don’t make money unless the studios/networks are also making money.

Dave Creek

27. trektacular - December 9, 2007

It’d be fun to have Harlan cut me down to size, wish I could be there.

28. Xai - December 9, 2007

27. Robogeek – December 9, 2007

Well said and I await the responses of all the toilet flushers who “know” their right only because they can’t be wrong and how dare anyone get paid for creativity (perceived good or bad)

29. Chaz - December 9, 2007

#18 James (and all): you can’t fault a journalist for having an opinion as long as the bias is out in the open. There are actually some problems with ostensibly “objective” journalism:

- He said/she said: the journalist as stenographer — writes down what everyone said (“the Earth is flat”, “the Earth is round”) but refuses to do the research and figure out which one is reality-based and which is not (“until the flat-earthers and the rounders come to some kind of compromise, we won’t know the true shape of the Earth,” but frequently not explicitly stated).

- Hidden bias: the story pretends to cover all sides, but actually distorts, hides, or slants via language the facts to favor one or the other.

I would rather have a well-known bias than a hidden one. I can then adjust my own subjective evaluation of the article according to my evaluation of the author’s bias.

Note my careful non-partisanship. :-)

30. The Vulcanista - December 9, 2007

#15 Oy, not this again!

SPOCK: Captain Pascale, sensors are detecting a thread shift. I recommend raising shields and going to red alert.

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

31. Commodore Z - December 9, 2007

All journalists (at least all of the good ones) have an opinion. That’s not necessarily bad, as long as they can be objective.

Of course, that begs the question of what defines “objective.” In the long run, it is up to each reader and viewer to make that choice for ourselves. No one can guarantee objectivity or truth in news. But freedom of speech allows all viewpoints to be spoken, so an informed populace can make their own judgements.

By the way, “freedom of speech” in the internet era does not necessarily mean that any one news outlet is obligated to represent your (or my) opinions. It does mean that you are free to also express your own view, even if you have to create your own outlet to do so.

32. RedStatesRule - December 9, 2007

#18.

I don’t think this is a political issue.

I really don’t feel that way at all.

Don’t ban me for that, please.

The poster above me posted that jokingly, I assume making light of my username, as he did have a happy face after it. I tagged along with the joke also. I saw it as something being made generically not specifying to the strike.

Yes I did say “snippy,” because I wasn’t up in arms in either of my previous posts, nor this one for that matter, I wasn’t offended by the news post on this website…I think picking sides reflects poorly on the sight that’s true. But I don’t think the strike is a political move made by the writers, it was a joke.

Although I still don’t like unions, for the reason it puts people out of work that don’t neccessarily want to be. It’s almost impossible to write in Hollywood WITHOUT being in a union, which almost seems like an anti-trust situation and the fact that, as an earlier poster said, residuals are the exception rather than the norm and that when an employeer pays for our work, they then own it and it’s there’s to do with as they please. I understand the sense behind writers saying, we want it written into our contracts that in this potentially growing market, we can make or be cheated out of a lot of money, so give us a cut. But when they’re working jobs someone like me only DREAMS of … it seems selfish especially when they’re putting grips, and A1s and directors and floor managers out of work … those are people that don’t see any residuals. Those are people that are not rich, and those are people that cannot work, because the writers, being as valuable as they are, are not providing content.

The patisan JOKE, was a play between two Republicans that often feel outnumbered on web forums. It was a joke and maybe this wasn’t the place for it. But it made for some good discussion wouldn’t you say?

33. Quatlo - December 9, 2007

If the writers don’t think they are getting paid enough for income generated down the pipe for their efforts, maybe they should consider becoming plumbers.

34. Sean4000 - December 9, 2007

I’m not that political or unionish but, I’d pick up a sign just to catch a glimpse of the Trek actors. lol.

35. cw - December 9, 2007

“For all of you pointing out that plumbers, pizza makers, etc. don’t get residuals — your work, unfortunately, doesn’t generate continuing income from a single job.”

Oh? You wanna make a bet? You actually think that plumbers and pizza makers are the only other jobs aside from storytelling?

Lemme tell you something: I get paid for my design work once; and it goes on to make money for those I design it for in the next several years.
I swear, some oif these strike supporters demonstrate a profound ignorance of business and life where everyone else has to live and work in.

36. cw - December 9, 2007

“But writers’ work does — 1st run network or syndication, rerun syndication, DVDs, cable sales, Internet sales, it all makes money. Why should the studios and networks be the only ones who make that money?”

Probably because they floated the bill to get said programming made- that, and they actually own the property.

37. trektacular - December 9, 2007

You tell ‘em Steve-Dave.

38. Sebi - December 10, 2007

why don’t we get rid of money and work just to improve ourselves…

39. Not Even In The WGA - December 10, 2007

“Lemme tell you something: I get paid for my design work once; and it goes on to make money for those I design it for in the next several years.”

Wow, you need a better union. :-)

A lot of the anti-strike comments here seem to be suggesting that screenwriters getting residuals is a rare and magical gift that they should be supremely grateful for. In truth, it’s a long-established custom in our society that creative artists receive a percentage whenever their work is resold. Novelists, musicians, songwriters, and playwrights, just to name a few examples.

You may not agree with that system, or you may think that plumbers and pizza makers deserve the same deal – and that’s fine if you feel that way. But don’t be thinking them greedy screenwriters invented it. :)

What screenwriters DON’T get (and all of the above do) is the right to retain the copyright on the works they create. The studios get the copyright to all the creative work involved in making a movie or tv episode, they need that in order to be able to sell it. That’s just how the system works, and nobody’s arguing with that.

But it means that while J.K Rowling owns the copyright to the Harry Potter books she writes, and makes a little money off of each copy sold – Steve Kloves doesn’t own the copyright to his scripts for the Harry Potter movies, Warner Brothers does So without an ironclad contract, Kloves would have no way to claim his rightful percentage of the massive profits the movies bring in.

And that’s if he’s lucky enough for the studio to admit they made a profit. Joss Whedon’s been having a lot of fun in interviews by having people guess how much he’s made in residuals for co-writing Toy Story. The answer is $0.00, because according to Disney, Toy Story didn’t make money.

The bottom line is that residuals are not “bonuses”. Screenwriters actually accept a lower fee than they should get up front, in exchange for residuals. That’s how they share the risk with the studios – if the movie they wrote tanks, they don’t get the rest of their fee.

And if that writer’s up-front fee seems amazingly high to you, remember that it’s not a weekly paycheck – a movie or TV writer who sells one or two scripts in a year is a rarity, and selling one brings no guarantee whatsoever that they’ll ever sell another. (Just one example – William Goldman won an Oscar for writing Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and then didn’t make another sale for five years.)

Bear in mind also that a screenwriter typically spends months writing a screenplay, and if no one buys it (and usually, nobody does) they worked all those months for free.

It’s a hard enough life to be a working writer in Hollywood, without studios trying to REDUCE your residuals. Which is what is happening nowaways, and that’s what motivated the writers to strike.

40. DJT - December 10, 2007

I have a final exam during that time slot. Otherwise, I’d be rollin’ out to Melrose Ave.

Represent!

41. James Heaney - December 10, 2007

#32: Did you mean to address that to me? I -was- the #4 you referenced, and what’s more I was for the most part agreeing with your points on journalism–even if I don’t agree with you about the strike.

42. Jeremy Cox - December 10, 2007

The story is a little deceptive. Chase masterson, for example, posted a few weeks ago on her Myspace page that she felt the WGA was being too greedy and “shame on both sides.” This story implies that she is walking the picket lines with the writers. I’m all for a good trek-related story but the reporters should note that some of the actors are out there protesting because they want the strike to end, not necessarily because they support the WGA.

43. RedStatesRule - December 10, 2007

#32.

No. I know. I was referencing you when I was addressing the other guy.

I understand where you were coming from. Thank you. Sorry for the confusion.

44. Commodore Z - December 10, 2007

I’m not in the WGA either. I don’t write screenplays, although I am a writer. When I write a book, I am paid a certain amount of money, usually not very large. But that’s okay. When the book is published, I am paid a small royalty on each copy sold. This is incentive for me to do a good job, because my compensation is directly linked to how well my work sells. In this way, I am sharing in the risk that my publisher takes whenever they publish one of my works. I’ve had books do well, and I’ve made good money. I’ve also had books do poorly, which meant that I didn’t eat out as often.

I count on royalties to feed my family. On those rare occasions that I have agreed to write books without royalties, I have asked for a larger upfront fee to compensate me for all the time and effort that goes into my work.

If my publisher were to start distributing my work online without royalty payments, that would be tantamount to theft, as far as I’m concerned. I work damned hard to earn my royalties. They are part of fair compensation for the value that I help to create.

Television and film writers deserve no less. And that’s why I support them.

45. RedStatesRule - December 10, 2007

#44. Commodore Z….

That’s a good point. And obviously, I’m not in a position to disagree. But considering that the book is your piece of art and yours alone from characters you created (I assume,) and out of your head only (I assume,) isn’t it somehwhat different. Especially, when the TV writers are creating content for TV shows that they didn’t originate, and just as well characters they didn’t create, which was only one part of the production process. And with that said, why doesn’t the entire crew see residuels?

I’m not trying to prove a point. I’m just asking, as a writer from your point of view isn’t it very very different? And does that factor into your opinion at all.

46. Commodore Z - December 10, 2007

#45: Those are valid questions. The answer, as I understand it, is that the creator of a television shows gets money for each episode in their series, while the writer of an individual episode is only paid for that particular episode.

I don’t know the situation regarding residuals for others in the production team. I believe that others, including directors, also get residuals. But I would suspect that there are others who should get residuals, who don’t.

47. TJ Trek - December 10, 2007

I don’t think this website is taking sides. it’s just putting out the information. Maybe the fact that it makes this post at all could be a little suspect but…

48. Writing Blog » Blog Archive » It’s Star Trek Day on the Picket Lines - January 1, 2008

[...] Today is Star Trek day at the writers’ strike. That means that quite a few Star Trek writers, actors and fans are joining in the picket lines at Paramount today to show their displeasure at the AMPTP’s psy-ops negotiating style. Trekmovie.com sends out the call to all Trek fans in the L.A. area: Monday?s Star Trek themed day for the WGA writers strike is picking up a number of Trek stars to come out and show their support. The list of actors includes series stars Anthony Montgomery, Brent Spiner, Wil Wheaton, Walter Koenig, and Armin Shimerman. Many Trek recurring guest stars will be there as well such as Chase Masterson, Gary Graham and Vaughan Armstrong (with his band). More stars are also expected to show, but can’t be sure until tomorrow. Of course there are also quite of few ’star’ writers coming as well, including Ron Moore, Ira Steven Behr, and Harlan Ellison. The newest stars of the Trek writing club, Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman are also expected to take time out from their work as executive producers on the new Star Trek to show their support. Trek veteran writers Bradley Weddle, David Thompson, David Goodman, Chris Black, Bradley Thompson, David Gerrold, Ken Lazebnik, Jane Espenson, and Mike Sussman will be on hand as well. You can come too! Fans are also invited to come show their support for Star Trek and the writers. If you are interested in attending, the check in spot is the Windsor Gate. The event runs from 11-3 on Monday at Paramount Pictures at 5555 Melrose in Hollywood. Strike long and prosper! Permalink | Recent Headlines | Our News Feeds [...]

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