First ATA agency breaks ranks

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  • #46
    Re: First ATA agency breaks ranks

    Originally posted by DangoForth View Post
    I'm of the opinion that the Big 4 will "kick" all of their literary agents out to form "independent" (ha!) sgencies. And they'll continue packaging everywhere they can until directors and actors rebel, too.
    if you're UTA and ICM and see that the "Big 4" is really just WME and CAA plus you other two who we constantly **** on and laugh about behind your backs, this would seem to be an opportunity to actually level the playing field with them. but they are probably content fighting for the scraps that Ari and LourdHuvaneLovett toss off

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    • #47
      Re: First ATA agency breaks ranks

      Originally posted by UpandComing View Post
      You are weird. I have very much been following this whole matter in prominent news sources and on social media. If you think that the voices I quoted have been so "loud" and "vociferous" against the WGA's action, then you shouldn't have to dig that hard to find evidence as such (or resort to material from a private message board).

      Seriously -- you'd think someone who calls himself/herself a writer wouldn't have such hard time performing a basic online search to back up his/her so-called "evidence."
      Not that I expect this to in any way distract you from your program of name-calling, but the Guild just released staffing statistics from 2019 re: diversity:

      https://www.wga.org/uploadedfiles/th...ion_Report.pdf

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      • #48
        Re: First ATA agency breaks ranks

        Can you remind me AnyOtherName what your side is again? I can't follow. I know you two are fighting. But I honestly can't remember who is on which side. I need a recap.

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        • #49
          Re: First ATA agency breaks ranks

          Originally posted by JoeBanks View Post
          well, at least to hear Mazin's take on it from Scriptnotes, at least some of them feel (or claim to feel) that they were sold one bill of goods by leadership in the run-up to the vote: "Authorize us to fire the agents as a specific means of negotiation leverage, which will lead to . . . something." From everyone I know who was in attendance at the meetings, that's not my understanding of how the case for the vote was presented to rank-and-file but for whatever reason "get back to the bargaining table for . . . something" has apparently become the rallying cry for this faction of dissenters
          yeah, i don't get this, because Mazin is exceptionally bright-- that's the only reason you take a hard line like a "firing," one, to get their attention, and two, to actualize its "leverage."

          my armchair quarterback read from the sidelines, looking at the names who signed this letter, is that the heaviest hitting showrunners and upper-level writers (and feature writers who may feel like they are caught up in what is mainly a TV fight) just want to go back to the status quo with some token concessions from the Big 4 agencies on packaging fees so they can claim a "win" and start selling shows again.
          do you think it might be possible that the fear is that smaller, less "known" writers may receive attention and "new" voices might emerge? some of these writers are so far ahead-- $300 million? i mean, Netflix locked up the biggest talent and now will be a void in network, no?

          maybe i'm getting this all wrong.
          "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

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          • #50
            Re: First ATA agency breaks ranks

            I don't understand any of this. I think I'm smart and I admit I'm not in the business fully or in LA so most of my news comes from here and yes scriptnotes.

            What I find frustrating is do Craig and John NOT TALK OFF AIR? Like why can't John tell a WGA member what is happening behind the scenes? Do they pretend not to know to talk about it? This is what I don't get.

            Either way I thought Craig's point was what was the point of firing the agents for leverage to get a better deal if they aren't going to accept any reasonable deal. I think Craig was saying he expected to get more than they had, but not everything they wanted. And it sounds like writers were offered something that sounded good to me from the outside and the WGA said no outright because it would be too hard to figure out math wise. So that does sound stupid from the outside. But sure there's more to it. Maybe not...

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            • #51
              Re: First ATA agency breaks ranks

              i think because August is on the negotiating committee, he's not allowed to discuss the contents of what is discussed in negotiations outside of the room, whether it's on the podcast or off.

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              • #52
                Re: First ATA agency breaks ranks

                Originally posted by AnyOtherName View Post
                Not that I expect this to in any way distract you from your program of name-calling, but the Guild just released staffing statistics from 2019 re: diversity:

                https://www.wga.org/uploadedfiles/th...ion_Report.pdf
                Thanks! You did exactly what I said from the very beginning was necessary -- provide objective data regarding the minority staffing situation. I guess they published it right in time for our conversation. This data is heartening, and I hope this trend continues.

                Please understand, I make no apologies for not blindly accepting the word of someone on here just because they may be in certain circles or on a private writer board. My position all along has been that neither of us can make definitive statements based on things we've heard or seen, because that would not necessarily be an accurate representation of the situation.

                As for "name-calling"; yes, I called you "weird." It came in the heat of an increasingly tense exchange in which you accused me of pretending that "that true things aren't true" (a phrase that didn't make much sense to me). That said, my apologies for not using more diplomatic language.

                (However, I should note that since you took several stabs at the mental faculties of some of the people I quoted on here, you should probably also take a look in the mirror. Unless someone's been diagnosed as such, it's not a good look).

                Enjoy your weekend.
                "I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork.-- Peter De Vries

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                • #53
                  Re: First ATA agency breaks ranks

                  Originally posted by Bono View Post
                  I don't understand any of this. I think I'm smart and I admit I'm not in the business fully or in LA so most of my news comes from here and yes scriptnotes.
                  A good way to keep up with what's going on on the business side is to subscribe to the free newsletter(s) of Variety or The Holloywood Reporter. I'm leaving out Deadline because their journalistic judgement and talent is shoddy on a good day. They're a far cry from when Nikki Finke was running it. You're almost certainly not going to read every article, but the headlines are in the subject line of the emails, and that can give you a pretty good idea of what is going on in town.

                  Originally posted by Bono View Post
                  What I find frustrating is do Craig and John NOT TALK OFF AIR? Like why can't John tell a WGA member what is happening behind the scenes? Do they pretend not to know to talk about it? This is what I don't get.
                  As JoeBanks pointed out August can't discuss much of what's going on in negotiations and the strategy of the negotiating committee with anyone not on the committee or the BOD. I took it as a sign of where the negotiations are when August signed with Verve, especially after showing all that love for his former agent. I think this thing will go on for some time.

                  There's always been tension between TV writers and feature writers when it comes to negotiations because their issues are different. And the feature writers feel like they get the short stick too often because there are more TV writers than feature writers. Also I think feature writers rely on their agents to know the town and find those OWAs, where most of the TV writers I know get their jobs based on their personal network.

                  HTH,
                  Just my 2 cents, your mileage may vary.

                  -Steve Trautmann
                  3rd & Fairfax: The WGAW Podcast

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                  • #54
                    Re: First ATA agency breaks ranks

                    I don't love twitter because what is the worst thing is trying to figure out what the hell is going on... but it appears writers are now fighting with each other openly on twitter... Craig I think getting yelled at most.

                    So if someone is following more closely maybe clue me in. But I'm reading tweets from people I love -- fighting each other and i think this is 100% why the Republicans (and big agencies and money people) win. They work likes ants, never fight, working together for a common goal. Money and Power.

                    And writers (and Democrats) are god damn squirrels fighting over the 3 nuts in the yard and instead of sharing the 3 nuts, they fight for the 3 nuts, all while shouting why they all deserve the nuts more than the other and then the Crow comes down and takes all the nuts away and wins.

                    I'm just so mad at my side of things always getting it wrong. It's stupid.

                    You think people that write stories for a living would be able to see what happens at the end of all this fighting and not live out the first act of a movie, but move right to Act 3 where we all come together to beat the bad guys.

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Re: First ATA agency breaks ranks

                      Originally posted by Bono View Post
                      I don't love twitter because what is the worst thing is trying to figure out what the hell is going on... but it appears writers are now fighting with each other openly on twitter... Craig I think getting yelled at most.
                      i try to remember on days like this that "twitter is not real life." most of the questions i saw posed to Craig and others on the Nagy side were basically "okay, so what's your plan for success that would be different from Goodman & Young's plan if we were to actually vote for your slate?" and the responses (at least thus far) were sufficiently vague that it raised a legitimate question (in my my mind anyway) about what their vision for a path to success really looks like.

                      the arguments i saw were pretty civil and conducted in good faith. and even when David Simon went off a bit on Ayelet Waldman, i thought he managed to lay out the case against what the Nagys (who number about the same 300+ who voted against the ATA action back when it was put to the guild) are trying to do with his characteristic moral clarity:

                      https://twitter.com/AoDespair/status...35139594350593

                      (I think anyone who signed that letter also has a duty to disclose the extent and substance of any backchannel communications with their "former" agents/agencies during the interim since they were purportedly fired)
                      Last edited by JoeBanks; 07-27-2019, 09:13 PM.

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                      • #56
                        Re: First ATA agency breaks ranks

                        I saw david simon who jesus is such a great writer that twitter thread is Wire Season 6.

                        But I missed the letter entirely and couldn't find it. was that was started this whole thing?

                        And I guess for some reason you can't just say what you would do directly -- becuase then the other side would know? Or are there weird WGA rules?

                        That's what i can't figure out. In politics you can make sweeping statements and offer specifics if you're Elizabeth Warren type, but for some reason are the candidates not allowed to say I'll do this, this and this.

                        Also just looking in from the outside again, how often do they change up membership? Is anyone staying from current team? And new blood seems good, but I have no idea if it will go better or worse. And not sure they do either right?

                        This is all depressing as hell.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Re: First ATA agency breaks ranks

                          Originally posted by Bono View Post
                          I don't love twitter because what is the worst thing is trying to figure out what the hell is going on... but it appears writers are now fighting with each other openly on twitter... Craig I think getting yelled at most.

                          So if someone is following more closely maybe clue me in. But I'm reading tweets from people I love -- fighting each other and i think this is 100% why the Republicans (and big agencies and money people) win. They work likes ants, never fight, working together for a common goal. Money and Power.

                          And writers (and Democrats) are god damn squirrels fighting over the 3 nuts in the yard and instead of sharing the 3 nuts, they fight for the 3 nuts, all while shouting why they all deserve the nuts more than the other and then the Crow comes down and takes all the nuts away and wins.

                          I'm just so mad at my side of things always getting it wrong. It's stupid.

                          You think people that write stories for a living would be able to see what happens at the end of all this fighting and not live out the first act of a movie, but move right to Act 3 where we all come together to beat the bad guys.
                          Dude... word for word straight from my brain. I absolutely don't fukking GET wtf is going on. It's bizarre.

                          You nailed it IMO.
                          Bruh, fukkin *smooches*! Feel me? Ha!

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Re: First ATA agency breaks ranks

                            Originally posted by JoeBanks View Post
                            i try to remember on days like this that "twitter is not real life." most of the questions i saw posed to Craig and others on the Nagy side were basically "okay, so what's your plan for success that would be different from Goodman & Young's plan if we were to actually vote for your slate?" and the responses (at least thus far) were sufficiently vague that it raised a legitimate question (in my my mind anyway) about what their vision for a path to success really looks like.

                            the arguments i saw were pretty civil and conducted in good faith. and even when David Simon went off a bit on Ayelet Waldman, i thought he managed to lay out the case against what the Nagys (who number about the same 300+ who voted against the ATA action back when it was put to the guild) are trying to do with his characteristic moral clarity:

                            https://twitter.com/AoDespair/status...35139594350593

                            (I think anyone who signed that letter also has a duty to disclose the extent and substance of any backchannel communications with their "former" agents/agencies during the interim since they were purportedly fired)
                            i like him. a lot.

                            when you have integrity and moral clarity no one has to "explain" what's right. you know it intuitively. people who take advantage of others and situations (in small ways and large) to increase their own profit/gain will never understand that you simply cannot dissuaded those of moral integrity from their views. it often confuses the morally ambiguous.

                            i agree with your last statement as well. i would imagine they won't do that though, for fear of being "unfairly" judged.

                            it's interesting that we don't hear about anyone asking their agents to fold instead of their guild-- alliances and hidden agendas are a curious thing.
                            "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Re: First ATA agency breaks ranks

                              Shawn Ryan and Craig Mazin have been exchanging q&a statements on what the Nagy slate's actual tactics and strategy would be:

                              https://deadline.com/2019/07/wga-ele...ds-1202656298/

                              I don't disagree with Craig that there is often a "side room" where the "real" deal is hammered out. i'm still skeptical that the ATA is terribly interested in reaching the kind of deal outlined (vaguely) in Craig's letter, whether in a big room or a side room.

                              and the danger of putting the Aaron Sorkins and John Wells of the world in charge of negotiations is a replay of 2008, where there wasn't even a side room, but Paul Attanasio's dining room where the showrunners colluded to cut the legs out from under guild leadership and force a settlement on rank and file:

                              https://deadline.com/2019/07/wga-ele...ds-1202656298/

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                              • #60
                                Re: First ATA agency breaks ranks

                                Q1: “Are packaging fees and affiliate production the issues that you describe as “agency abuse” and must a deal with the agencies eliminate or greatly curtail them or are you willing to strike a deal on behalf of the WGA that leaves both these practices largely intact?”

                                Nagy: Yes, the conflicts and abuses of both have to be tackled head on and greatly curtailed or eliminated. That requires focused negotiation followed by presentation of terms to the entire membership for approval. It’s worth repeating — none of this will happen without rolling up sleeves and getting back to the negotiating table.

                                Mazin: Either we bend packaging fees to serve “you make more when we make more” on behalf of our rank-and-file, or we stay away until the courts render a verdict. In terms of affiliate production, I want to destroy it.
                                this seems a fundamental difference in what the current board and their challengers believe is the right direction for the guild.

                                the current board has stated that packaging fees and affiliate production are in direct conflict with writer’s best interest, and that to negotiate ANY “deal,” regardless of what it’s based on is inherently wrong.

                                if the guild were to consider negotiating on a shared fee, whether it’s the 2% that’s currently on the table or renegotiated to 50%, they would be condoning the action itself.

                                the current board feels, packaging fees are wrong, and wrong is wrong. you don’t negotiate yourself away from a moral high ground, so you can get a bigger piece of the pie for yourself.



                                Q2: “If your promised “measured, calm, respected, reasonable — and yes — negotiated — path” doesn’t lead to quick, meaningful gains with the ATA are you willing to change your tactics or will you just strike the only deal available to you at that time in order to have writers return to their agents.”

                                Nagy: Leadership that’s inflexible on tactics loses. Every single time. You win this by being nimble enough to change course when necessary.Period. It’s not about “returning writers to their agents.” It’s about putting us in the strongest possible position for AMPTP negotiations next year. I do not believe the current strategy puts us there. Not by a long shot.

                                Mazin: My position is that our current strategy is the default strategy. If we can’t get a good solution via compromise, then we stay the course.
                                Nagy’s response is especially concerning, because the ATA is doing exactly what she’s accusing the board of doing—using “inflexible tactics,” and it seems to be working for the ATA.

                                at this moment in time the guild has dissent in its membership that is challenging the current "inflexible" guild leadership. all they have to do it wait it out, and it’s clear that’s exactly what the ATA is doing, and will continue to do until after the elections.

                                if feels like the challengers want to return to their agents, imo.

                                the ATA offered to “share” a measly 2% of their packaging fees. i think it’s na├»ve for all parties to think that any “substantial” sharing will be offered or received by the ATA, ever. they are digging in with hopes that the “fear” in guild membership will grow. you cannot effectively negotiate from a position of fear.

                                Q3: “A large part of your rationale for running was that current leadership wasn’t negotiating and that the most vulnerable members of the Guild were suffering as a result of the ATA action. Considering that the Guild in the past week just made deals with two ATA signatories, Kaplan-Stahler and Buchwald, as well as a new agency comprised of departing Abrams agents, along with a new Guild report that shows that absent agents, television shows were fully staffed and hiring of women and diverse writers increased (albeit marginally) from last year to this year… does this change your calculus for running or does current leadership deserve any praise for these developments?”

                                Nagy: A few agreements with non-packaging and non-affiliate production-owning agencies in nearly four months are not significant progress. Do the math. Extend it to AMPTP negotiations. And it’s worth repeating that none of this addresses packaging or affiliate production.

                                Mazin: I believe severing permanently from the Big Four will come with collective costs to writers. They will continue packaging on behalf of their directors, actors and NWPs. This will pose a threat to our hegemony in television. I’ve already heard horror stories of showrunners being placed under the thumbs of NWPs and directors.
                                let’s face it, that ATA is not going to negotiate. they will remain as inflexible as they always have. they believe they will crush the guild. the only thing that may happen with a change in tactics (and leadership) at this point, is that the guild will give away its leverage, its power and respect as a hard-line negotiator.

                                the ATA is literally banking on the belief that the WGA will fold. that fear will rise to a point that the WGA will take what it can get. this is their goal. the only way the ATA will concede (if ever) is if the WGA refuses to back down.

                                of course, i could be way out in left field, here.
                                "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

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