Harlan Ellison: Pay the Writer

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  • Harlan Ellison: Pay the Writer

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    Last edited by Bobby Dazzler; 05-27-2015, 05:53 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Harlan Ellison: Pay the Writer

    Originally posted by Bobby Dazzler View Post
    A real liberal, but a free-enterprise liberal! Go Harlan!

    Love it!

    I have rants like this after I get home from the bank on Saturday (billion dollar bank wouldn't let a woman and her little 6 year old girl use the can), after a chat with my cable provider (started to phone every day to complain when I was late by 6 days) or, like, a few months ago when my City Hall called to complain that I had 3 cats and, and, and, like, thanks for sending them my 3 licence fees for the year, but, like, you're only allowed two cats per adult... so, like, what are you going to do about it! Okay, you wanna come down and watch me while I ring one of my cat's necks or something so I meet your maximum cats per household (#*$(@* qualifications?!

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    • #3
      Re: Harlan Ellison: Pay the Writer

      Love Harlan. It's good to see that old age is not softening him at all. He looks like Roger Ebert playing Joe Pesci.

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      • #4
        Re: Harlan Ellison: Pay the Writer

        That whole documentary (Dreams with Sharp Teeth) is pretty good. It's available on Netflix instant.

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        • #5
          Re: Harlan Ellison: Pay the Writer

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          Last edited by AJ_FIN; 06-08-2020, 12:01 PM.

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          • #6
            Re: Harlan Ellison: Pay the Writer

            I like Harlan, I met him on the picket line in 2007 and he's a cool guy, but.....

            I think he's totally wrong here.
            One of the problem with being a writer in Hollywood is that they don't get enough credit, they don't get acknowledged enough. Someone wants to feature him on the DVD, an interview he's already shot, and he refuses unless they pay him?
            If I get a writing gig I'm going to have my contract insist that I be featured on the DVD!

            How many people stand outside a multiplex on a Friday night trying to decide what movie to see? "That one stars Tom Hanks, I like him, lets see that one.", "This one was directed by James Cameron, lets see this one" and so on. How many say "That was written by Joe Writer, he's great, lets see that"?
            Unless you are a writer/director like Woody Allen or Quentin Tarantino forget it.

            Writers need to promote themselves more, get themselves featured on DVDs more, and build up bigger and better public recognition so that moviegoers will want to follow their work and see their movies. If the public don't recognize us and see us as interchangeable then why should the studios be any different?

            We should be demanding we be interviewed on the DVD! Demand to be featured in the press pack. Demand to be at the premier. Get our names and faces out there.

            How many people might have watched Harlan on that DVD and thought "Hey, I wonder what else he's done?" and buy some of his other work?

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            • #7
              Re: Harlan Ellison: Pay the Writer

              Originally posted by zz9 View Post
              I like Harlan, I met him on the picket line in 2007 and he's a cool guy, but.....

              I think he's totally wrong here.
              One of the problem with being a writer in Hollywood is that they don't get enough credit, they don't get acknowledged enough. Someone wants to feature him on the DVD, an interview he's already shot, and he refuses unless they pay him?
              If I get a writing gig I'm going to have my contract insist that I be featured on the DVD!

              How many people stand outside a multiplex on a Friday night trying to decide what movie to see? "That one stars Tom Hanks, I like him, lets see that one.", "This one was directed by James Cameron, lets see this one" and so on. How many say "That was written by Joe Writer, he's great, lets see that"?
              Unless you are a writer/director like Woody Allen or Quentin Tarantino forget it.

              Writers need to promote themselves more, get themselves featured on DVDs more, and build up bigger and better public recognition so that moviegoers will want to follow their work and see their movies. If the public don't recognize us and see us as interchangeable then why should the studios be any different?

              We should be demanding we be interviewed on the DVD! Demand to be featured in the press pack. Demand to be at the premier. Get our names and faces out there.

              How many people might have watched Harlan on that DVD and thought "Hey, I wonder what else he's done?" and buy some of his other work?
              If you watch some of the other interview snippets on YouTube off of the one that's quoted, he also says "ask me first, and I'll be happy to let you..." etc. It seems that on a good day, he just wants to be asked nicely, first, and he'll give you what you're looking for. This particular was in the Cameron/Terminator case. Just say "special thanks to Harlan Ellison" and it would have been fine. No money required. As usual, it just comes down to somebody wanting to give their permission to use likeness, words, etc. rather than being asked after-the-fact, or not being asked at all.

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              • #8
                Re: Harlan Ellison: Pay the Writer

                Originally posted by catcon View Post
                If you watch some of the other interview snippets on YouTube off of the one that's quoted, he also says "ask me first, and I'll be happy to let you..." etc. It seems that on a good day, he just wants to be asked nicely, first, and he'll give you what you're looking for. This particular was in the Cameron/Terminator case. Just say "special thanks to Harlan Ellison" and it would have been fine. No money required. As usual, it just comes down to somebody wanting to give their permission to use likeness, words, etc. rather than being asked after-the-fact, or not being asked at all.
                But in this case they did ask, and he said "Pay me or go screw yourself!"

                There is a case where someone did something without asking him. A friend of his called him one day and said "I'm in Walmart. They have a box set of the Will Smith I Robot movie with your original script in the box!"
                Harlan didn't know anything about this and blew his top, asking his friend to buy a copy. He bought three, two widescreen and one 4:3, and took them to Harlan.
                Once he saw them, and that they had credited him properly, he liked it.
                And one of those two widescreen box sets is sitting six feet away from me as I type. Harlan even autographed it for me.

                I have no idea what the financials were. I thought that SAG stipulate that screenplay publishing was one of the separated rights the writer kept? I assume he got paid for all those copies Walmart sold.

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                • #9
                  Re: Harlan Ellison: Pay the Writer

                  I'm seeing the link to this everywhere these days. LOL.

                  Ellison is a bit too sue happy for my taste, but he does make some good points. Historically, writers have been screwed over by the Man. I think he's advocating for that to stop. And for that to stop, it has to start with the writer.

                  "Trust your stuff." -- Dave Righetti, Pitching Coach

                  ( Formerly "stvnlra" )

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                  • #10
                    Re: Harlan Ellison: Pay the Writer

                    Originally posted by stvnlra View Post
                    I'm seeing the link to this everywhere these days. LOL.

                    Ellison is a bit too sue happy for my taste, but he does make some good points. Historically, writers have been screwed over by the Man. I think he's advocating for that to stop. And for that to stop, it has to start with the writer.
                    And the writer should do what he can to promote himself, like being glad, even demanding, that he have a nice interview on the DVD. The more a "brand" a writer becomes the harder it is for the studio to treat them like crap.

                    If JK Rowling called a studio and said she had an idea for a new movie do you think they'd treat her like crap?

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                    • #11
                      Re: Harlan Ellison: Pay the Writer

                      Ellison's got bigger issues to worry about than whether WB wants to use an interview of his for a DVD...like how to be a better businessman so he doesn't have to sell his "brain movies" through Cafe Press for outrageous prices. I guess selling his typewriter only got him through a few days of Red Lobster.

                      Oh, well. Maybe he can sue someone, and make some coin.

                      HH

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                      • #12
                        Re: Harlan Ellison: Pay the Writer

                        If actors get paid for interviews on these featurettes, writers should too. Conversely, if one group doesn't, than the other shouldn't either.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Harlan Ellison: Pay the Writer

                          It is his right to allow or not the use of his interview. It isn't some college kid or a fan who's asking to use it for free, it's a big studio with tons of cash. Harlan is 100% right about "pay or [email protected] you" and about how writers agreeing to work for free (unpaid rewrites and stuff) damage the collective interest of writers. I find it appalling when professional screenwriters advise to do the eventual job for free because it pays back in the long run and other similar advice gems.

                          Spot on, Harlan.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Harlan Ellison: Pay the Writer

                            I really don't understand those (aspiring writers) who criticize a writer who wants to be paid. Is it some offshoot of Stockholm syndrome?

                            ETA:

                            Here's an interesting defense of Harlan's 'Pay the Writer' rant. I like this quote:
                            Harlan’s “Pay The Writer” speech from Dreams With Sharp Teeth recently passed 400,000 views on YouTube – an ironic twist considering the content of the speech and its method of distribution – and still, no one gets the point. Writers are such insecure, neurotic bundles of broken dreams and phantasmagoric hope that the world is bursting at the seams with wannabes all scrambling to freely donate their souls to every slick-backed producer or priggish publisher who winks at them and offers them ‘exposure’.
                            http://www.coqdiddles.com/2010/07/08...net-with-hate/
                            Last edited by sc111; 12-16-2011, 06:17 PM.
                            Advice from writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick. "Try this: if you can replace your female character with a sexy lamp and the story still basically works, maybe you need another draft.-

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                            • #15
                              Re: Harlan Ellison: Pay the Writer

                              A real liberal, but a free-enterprise liberal! Go Harlan!
                              Actually, his opinions would make him a capitalist. Guess it's time for Occupy Harlan Ellison.

                              And that is one bitter dude but we share screen credits so it's all good.

                              SNAP... who just did some name dropping?

                              OK... I was only a damn PA at the time.

                              Yes, I used to craft services petty cash to stock my own fridge. Sue me.
                              Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue

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