20 January, 2008

WSC Show #71 - Interview with Andrew Goldberg

In this episode, we speak with strike captain Andrew Goldberg at the picket line in front of Fox Studios. Recorded Wednesday, 16 January 2008.

Hosts: Tanja Barnes, Bill Funt
Music: "Ay Mambo" by Falik
available on

Fans4Writers.com Picketing Event - MLK Day

On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Monday, January 21), fans are invited to join the picketing writers at NBC Burbank. All fans in the Los Angeles area (and beyond) are urged to join in on the picket.

Picketing Shifts: 2:30pm-5:30pm
3000 W Alameda Ave, Burbank, CA

Meeting Point: Check-in table is located on Bob Hope Dr. (Johnny Carson park)

Parking Option: Street parking on Bob Hope and Riverside

More information on the picket location and schedule can be found on the
WGA website as well as at the Fans4Writers website.

Yours in solidarity,
Jen Cummings
Community Outreach

19 January, 2008

WSC Show #70 - Fans4Writers: Amy Norman and Kristin Pewitt

Today’s guests are Amy Norman and Kristin Pewitt from the "Food for Thought" meal delivery team of Fans4Writers.com. Recorded Monday, 14 January 2008.

Producer/Host: Tanja Barnes
Music: "Ay Mambo" by Falik
available on

For more information about
Fans4Writers click on image:

18 January, 2008

What does it cost to make a webisode?

NewTeeVee breaks down what it costs to make a webisode. According to Chris Albrecht, " A good starting point to create a web series, according to a number of producers we asked, is about $1,000 dollar per finished minute."

This doesn't add up to the terms of the deal between the AMPTP and the DGA (which was featured on the DGA's website): "All original content above $15,000/minute or $300,000/program or $500,000/series, whichever is lowest. Original content below the threshold will be covered when a DGA member is employed in the production." Just sayin'.

From Here to Awesome Film Festival


From their website:
The festival’s goal is to create a direct connection between filmmaker and audience. There are NO submission fees for filmmakers. FHTA attempts to create multiple revenue opportunities for the festival filmmakers by providing a platform that enables distribution across multiple outlets - mobile, online, living rooms and theaters.

Filmmakers retain all their rights and choose how to price their work.In an interesting twist we’ve decided to put the programming of the festival directly in the hands of the audience. By harnessing the power of social tools, audience members will be able to discover, share and assist in programming the festival.

Four Eyed Monsters: from Podcasts to Movie Theaters

Filmmakers Arin Crumley and Susan Buice present a production and distribution case study for their indie movie Four Eyed Monsters which was marketed primarily through video podcasting.

WSC Show #69 - Interview with John Bowman

In today's episode, we head out to the picket line in front of Fox Studios to speak with John Bowman, Chair of the Negotiating Committee for the WGA. Recorded Wednesday 16 January 2008.

Bummer Alert: Equipment malfunction not too long after we began rolling. Edited in such a way as to indicate when it happened and to continue where it made sense to cut back in. I apologize for this…it was a bummer for myself as well.

Host: Bill Funt & Tanja Barnes
Music: "Ay Mambo" by Falik
available on

17 January, 2008

DGA - AMPTP Reach Agreement

As posted on both the DGA's and the AMPTP's websites, both sides have reached an agreement.

On the AMPTP’s website, the formal statement read as follows:
The agreement between the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and the Directors Guild of America establishes an important precedent: Our industry’s creative talent will now participate financially in every emerging area of new media. The agreement demonstrates beyond any doubt that our industry’s producers are willing and able to work with the creators of entertainment content to establish fair and flexible rules for this fast-changing marketplace.

We hope that this agreement with DGA will signal the beginning of the end of this extremely difficult period for our industry. Today, we invite the Writers Guild of America to engage with us in a series of informal discussions similar to the productive process that led us to a deal with the DGA to determine whether there is a reasonable basis for returning to formal bargaining. We look forward to these discussions, and to the day when our entire industry gets back to work.

Peter Chernin, Chairman and CEO, the Fox Group
Brad Grey, Chairman & CEO, Paramount Pictures Corp.
Robert A. Iger, President & CEO, The Walt Disney Company
Michael Lynton, Chairman & CEO, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Barry M. Meyer, Chairman & CEO, Warner Bros.
Leslie Moonves, President & CEO, CBS Corp.
Harry Sloan, Chairman & CEO, MGM
Jeff Zucker, President & CEO, NBC Universal

And on the DGA’s website highlights of the new agreement were given and features:

Increases both wages and residual bases for each year of the contract.
• Establishes DGA jurisdiction over programs produced for distribution on the Internet.
• Establishes new residuals formula for paid Internet downloads (electronic sell-through) that essentially doubles the rate currently paid by employers.
• Establishes residual rates for ad-supported streaming and use of clips on the Internet.

Finally on the WGA website, in response to the DGA-AMPTP tentative agreement, the guild issued the following statement:
Now that the DGA has reached a tentative agreement with the AMPTP, the terms of the deal will be carefully analyzed and evaluated by the WGA, the WGA's Negotiating Committee, the WGAW Board of Directors, and the WGAE Council. We will work with the full membership of both Guilds to discuss our strategies for our own negotiations and contract goals and how they may be affected by such a deal.

For over a month, we have been urging the conglomerates to return to the table and bargain in good faith. They have chosen to negotiate with the DGA instead. Now that those negotiations are completed, the AMPTP must return to the process of bargaining with the WGA. We hope that the DGA's tentative agreement will be a step forward in our effort to negotiate an agreement that is in the best interests of all writers.
For more information from the each guild, click on their respective hyperlinks.

Sequoia Capital’s Mark Kvamme Speaks!

Kara Swisher of All Things Digital got this killer interview with Mark Kvamme from Sequoia Capital (the $$$ behind "Funny or Die").

WSC Show #68 - Walking the Line with Jennifer Glickman, Bennett Tramer and Maria Elena Rodriguez

In this episode I visit the picket line at Warner Bros. Studios and meet up Jennifer Glickman from The Big Bang Theory, Bennett Tramer from Saved By The Bell, and Maria Elena Rodriguez from Kingpin. It's worth noting I've interviewed all these beautiful striking writers in past episodes. Recorded Monday 14 January 2008.

Producer/Host: Tanja Barnes
Music: "Ay Mambo" by Falik
available on

16 January, 2008

Voices4Action: Maria Maggenti

From Voices4Action.org

Each week Voices4Action! looks to the future, to be an incubator for ideas about how new media will impact the art of story-telling and the business of entertainment.

Goggleburn - Online TV You Gotta See

From GoggleBurn's website:

You know they’re out there: Hot videos, hiding in obscure video sites that you’re too busy to ferret out yourself. Cool video clips stashed in remote corners of the web that you’d probably never find. Internet TV…Online Videos... call it what you will, it’s out there and you’re hungry for it.

And that’s why the net gods created Goggleburn. Host Nick Douglas (of Valleywag, WIRED and Gawker fame) presents the hits, the trends, the rising stars and the occasional falling asteroids of online video. At Goggleburn you’ll see the best stuff first. (Being first is cool, don’t you think?)

Nick and his army of video inciters (editors, mostly) will apply a critical eye to the latest clips, clueing you in to the ones you’ve simply gotta see. They’ll tell who’s making what, and why the world is watching. Maybe it’s because a video just grabbed everybody’s attention, like “Leave Britney Alone.” Maybe the clips are extraordinarily entertaining, like the ones at Waverly Films and Super Deluxe. And maybe there’s an interesting backstory about the auteur. (Daxflame, for instance.)

Goggleburn will show you all the best stuff, and also give you a glimpse at unmissable train-wrecks like Star Wars Kid and the Ottoman Humpers.

And we invite YOU to participate too. Viewers are encouraged to make video responses to Goggleburn-featured content. We’ll publish the best ones we get. And we’ll also provide pointers about getting your own videos made and watched—and maybe even reviewed on Goggleburn.

WSC Show #67 - Interview with Winnie Holzman

In today’s episode, I went to the picket line the day when Warner Brothers laid off 1,000 employees and spoke with Winnie Holzman the creator of the television series My So-Called Life. It’s worth noting that I interviewed Winnie’s daughter Savannah Dooley only a few weeks ago. Recorded Monday 14 January 2008.

Producer/Host: Tanja Barnes
Music: "Ay Mambo" by Falik
available on

15 January, 2008

The Stream Is Up!

Watch Apple CEO Steve Jobs deliver Apple's his keynote address to Macworld 2008.

From the Apple website: "
See the video-on-demand event right here, exclusively in QuickTime and MPEG-4."

Click here.

MacWorld: Steve Jobs Keynote

Steve Jobs announces "iTunes Movie Rentals" in his keynote speech at MacWorld. Below is from live blogger Ryan Block from Engadget

Click here to direct live blog link: http://www.engadget.com/2008/01/15/live-from-macworld-2008-steve-jobs-keynote/

9:48am - Star Trek! I love the old Star Trek movies..." Chuckles. Blades of Glory: "Fun movie -- I can read about the movie, see the actors, directors..." shows recommendations based on what others have viewed.

9:47am - "All these features and an entirely new UI." Demo time! "This is the new UI -- one menu, it couldn't be simpler. Let's go into movies..." Man, this is a sexy interface, no doubt.

9:46am - "And, of course, play iTunes content. So all of this stuff on the new Apple TV. Let me focus on the HD movies for a minute... the library titles are $2.99 and $3.99 -- for just a dollar more rent them in HD, $3.99 and $4.99 -- there are over 100 titles available today.

9:45am - Here's what you can do with Apple TV: rent movies directly on widescreen TV with Apple TV. Rent them in DVD quality, rent them in HD with 5.1" HUGE applause! Screaming.

"Dolby 5.1 surround. The quality is unbelievable. You can also view audio and video podcasts right on ATV, choose from 125k podcasts and see them right on your widescreen. Get photos from your computer... get them also right over the internet from Flickr and .mac." Flickr support, good gawd yall.

"And, of course, YouTube -- we've expanded the selection. There's now over 50m videos from YT, This has worked out so great, our customers love this. Buy TV shows and music right from your TV. And if you're using a computer it'll sync BACK to your computer."

9:44am - "I'd like to say all of us have tried. We have, MSFT, Amazon, TiVo, VuDu, Netflix, Blockbuster -- we've all tried to figure out how to get movies over the net onto the TV. We've ALL missed. No one's succeeded yet. We tried with Apple TV -- it was designed to be an accessory for iTunes and your computer. But that's not what people wanted."

"We learned what people wanted was about movies. Movies. Movies. We weren't delivering that -- we're back with Apple TV Take 2 -- It still syncs to your computer, but no computer is required

9:43am - "It launches today! Free software update for iTunes, iPods, iPhones to support rentals. Rolling it out in the US today, we're dying to get this out internationally. But what about this? What about the flat screen TV? I'd like to watch the movies there too."

9:42am - "Here's how it works -- I'm on iTunes, looking at a movie I want to rent, I hit rent movie, and it adds to my rented movies category in my iTunes library...." Sorry for the technical difficulties everyone! We're at 10x the traffic of our last keynote, but things are coming back online.

9:41am - "Watch instantly! In less than 30s..." it streams. "The rules -- you have 30 days to start watching it, and once you start you have 24 hours to watch and finish it. As many times as you want. You can transfer films to another device in the middle -- transfer to your iPod and watch the rest on the iPod on your flight."

"What's it going to cost? To rent a library title will cost $2.99 -- new release? $3.99" Big applause.

9:40am - "Now, so what's the deal? We're gonna launch with 1k films by the end of February -- 30 days after DVD release. Watch anywhere, PCs, Macs, iPods, iPhone..."

9:39am - "We're gonna have all the great first run films -- REALLY, really great films. I'm sure you saw a lot of these in the theater. We've also got great library titles, Red October, Matrix... lots of library titles, all the great new ones from this last year..."

9:38am - "We've never offered a rental model in music because we don't think people don't want to rent music. But your favorite movie -- most of us watch once, and renting is a great way to do it. It's a great way to do it. We've got participation of great studios. Touchstone, MGM, Miramax,... and these six too. Lions Gate, Fox, WB, Walt Disney, Paramount, Universal, Sony..." Everyone! Huge applause

9:37am - "And we've sold 7m movies, again, more than everyone else put together. But it didn't meet our expectations, I have to tell you. We think there's a better way to deliver movie content through iTunes. So today, we're introducing iTunes Movie Rentals."

Marketplace: Advertisers happy to have 'Idol' time

American Public Media's "Marketplace" did a story yesterday:

Advertisers happy to have 'Idol' time
With the Hollywood writers strike cutting the size of TV audiences advertisers had planned to reach, the arrival of another season of "American Idol" is being met with some rejoicing -- and a much higher price tag. Lisa Napoli reports.

WSC Show #66 - Interview with Jay Kogen

In today’s episode we talk to Jay Kogen at the picket line in front of NBC studios. Recorded Friday, 11 January 2008.

Producer/Host: Tanja Barnes
Music: "Ay Mambo" by Falik
available on

This is the final episode in which Bill Funt will be the guest interviewer on the podcast. But it's up to you whether Bill gets to stay or if Bill's gotta go. Cast your vote on the poll below. Voting ends Thursday, 17 January 2008 @ 10:00 a.m.

14 January, 2008

The following comic is brought to you by the writers strike...

From MyExtraLife. Click image to embiggen.

My Hulu Review

OK, last year I said I give my full review of Hulu, but frankly, I've been too busy to bother checking it out. Until now.

In a nutshell: I find it underwhelming. You need a fat pipe and I don't have one. Just yer bargain basement basic DSL plan. You can't buffer, so I experience a choppy, jaggy program that loads slowly. Will it fulfill its claims to be the YouTube killer? No. I mean, so not because UGC and commercial broadcast entertainment are different sides of the spectrum. (Yes, there'll be crossover, but it's your basic apples versus oranges comparison.) Picture quality is awesome, but then again, like I said: you can't buffer, so experiencing a choppy, jaggy program sucks.

About those ads: each episode viewed shown on Hulu offers three thirty-second advertisements by one sponsor. The ads don't really bother me and pro'ly won't bother your average GenXer or boomer. Millennials will find it so uncool. It seems they just don't like to be directly marketed to. But, meh, they'll get used to it.

Experian Research Services recently conducted a study that showed consumers are 47 percent more engaged by ads that run alongside television content online in comparison to those ads that run on broadcast. See video below for how Experian came up with these numbers.

Final analysis: even if/when Hulu improves, I'll avert my eyeballs until the writers get a fair deal and a cut of the revenue generated by these said ads.

My two cents. YMMV.

WSC Show #65 - Interview with Norma Safford Vela

In today’s episode we talk to Norma Safford Vela at the picket line in front of NBC studios. Recorded Friday, 11 January 2008.

Producer/Host: Tanja Barnes
Music: "Ay Mambo" by Falik
available on

In the next few episodes Bill Funt will be the guest interviewer for the podcast. But it's up to you whether Bill gets to stay or if Bill's gotta go. Cast your vote on the poll below. Voting ends Thursday, 17 January 2008 @ 10:00 a.m.

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