Interestingly, it’s much harder for them to get an authorization than it is for the WGA. SAG and AFTRA require a 75% and 66.7% majority to authorize a strike, while the WGA only requires a simple majority.
I think I like their system better.
Anyway, what’s important is that SAG and AFTRA have fired the first shots in what is going to be an inevitable and essential war for Hollywood labor unions to fight.
In gaming terms, we’ve just spawned. We’ve got good health, one or two simple weapons. Let’s go kill some bad guys.
The actors are making the reasonable case that, among other things, they deserve residuals for the voice-over work they do for the video game producers. The video game industry is enormous, on par with the television and motion picture industry, and if the actors don’t get a foothold now, they may never.
The problem they’re running up against is rhetoric like this from an industry flack:
“People buy games for gameplay, not to hear voices,” counters Finlayson. “And technology creates gameplay, not actors. People who play these games understand that, and in fact, some gamers turn the volume down because (they) find those voices distracting. In film or television, the actor’s performance makes the experience. In video games, it does not.”
Here’s the problem for SAG and AFTRA: this guy has a legitimate point. He’s not 100% right, of course. Splinter Cell’s hero, Sam Fisher, is voiced by Michael Ironside, and his acting is a crucial part of the gaming experience. It’s one of the things that makes the franchise so incredibly satisfying to play.
On the other hand, technology and that interactive phenomenon known as “gameplay” really is the bedrock selling point of games.
I maintain that the actors need to fight this fight, but it’s going to be uphill for the above stated reason. The DGA ought to be organizing the directors of this stuff (because so much in it is directed, especially cut-scenes and cinematics), but it will be uphill for them as well.
Finally, it will be uphill because the video game producers aren’t as organized themselves. There’s no single management unit with which to fight, like Hollywood has with the AMPTP.
The fundamental question to ask about any strike is: how sudden and painful will the impact of the strike be?
I maintain that we, the writers, have the cleanest shot at the heart of these guys. As technology evolves and the graphics and motion approach realism, the continuing driving force behind hit games and the continuing discriminating factor between derivative eye-candy and compelling gameplay will be character, plot, narrative flow and dialogue.
To be precise…screen writing.
While Splinter Cell would be diminished by the loss of Michael Ironside, it would be impossible without a story teller. The entire point of the game is that you’re playing your way as a character through a narrative.
Right now, the WGA has set its sights on organizing reality television writers. This is a smart choice. Reality TV has the most immediate and severe impact on our bread-and-butter…primetime TV…and you have to protect your borders before you go seize other lands.
Once our campaign to organize reality writers is complete (and I believe it will be successful), I feel very strongly that our next battle MUST be to organize video game writers.
The people writing Halo, the people writing Splinter Cell, the people creating the mythos and lore of the MMORPG’s, the people writing dialogue for the announcers in the sports games, the people who painstakingly write entire talk shows for your car radio in GTA, the people who do every bit of character-making, plot-developing, dialogue-writing and scene-creating are absolutely positively essential screen writers who could cripple an industry that in many cases has worked them like dogs, denied them basic quality of life measures, doled out credit per their whim, and given them zero profit participation or residuals for their work.
I’ve seen what we’ve done so far with reality writers. So EA, Ubisoft, Activision, Vivendi Universal, Rockstar Games, LucasArts and all the rest…
…we’re gonna grab our BFG and come for ya.
Every vocation has its gear debates. I drummed for a while, and nothing’s more amusing than listening to musicians scream at each other about which company makes a better tube lug.
There’s really only one gear debate in screenwriting.
Before you comment about how you still use some other suck-ass program or, God forbid, Microsoft Word, let me dismiss you quickly and preemptively with a “feh”.
One last bit of preamble–I am not currently associated with Final Draft or Movie Magic Screenwriter in any way. No endorsements or such. The following comments are unsolicited.
(Ed. Note: Since publication, Movie Magic has taken a shine to me. Good karma, I guess. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve supplied them with an endorsement and in return, they may link back to The Artful Writer. All that notwithstanding, this essay was written and published prior to any contact with the Movie Magic people.)
So, here’s my story. I’ve been a computer nerd since 1982. Prior to 1982, I was just a nerd.
In 1993, I was working in advertising but thinking about trying to write screenplays. A coworker was friends with some guy named Marc Madnick who was selling a Mac program that would help format a screenplay. I drove over to B.C. Software’s Santa Monica offices, which had a frat sort of feeling to it, and bought this program called “Final Draft”.
Final Draft 2.0, to be precise. Came on two 3.25 inch floppies.
I fell in love. And for these last dozen years, ten of which I’ve spent as a professional screenwriter, I have used Final Draft. Updated religiously.
I’m here to say that I’m done with them. Through. It’s over. Filed for divorce.
When Final Draft 7 came out, I was disgusted with the half-baked nature of the release. Releasing bugware and then finishing the program by studying crashing early-adopters in the field is a time-honored software industry tradition, but 7.0 was a joke.
Still, I stuck with it. You must understand, it’s been twelve years of pressing “option-1″ to get an automatic slugline that begins with “INT. -”. Old habits.
Now, as I posted recently, I’ve had a weird issue with Tiger and Final Draft 7.1. By “weird”, I mean to say not-solvable by me, and I’m an extremely proficient trouble-shooter in OS X. By “issue”, I mean to say crippling bug.
I think I’ve called Final Draft’s technical support twice in twelve years. Once was four years ago when the app suddenly decided it wasn’t authorized anymore.
The second time was on Thursday. Apparently, in order to talk to someone about the fact that the software I’ve licensed isn’t working, I must pay $2.00 a minute.
On Friday, I started using Movie Magic Screenwriter.
After about thirty minutes of set-up, I had become completely comfortable with using it. Worked out a few kinks and was feeling great. Ahhh, but there was one odd thing that was really bothering me (had to do with my preference to manually type the “time-of-day” portion of the scene header rather than choose one from a menu).
I called Movie Magic Screenwriter support.
Lo and behold, someone answered quickly. That person was knowledgeable and polite. He answered my question and solved my problem.
Oh, and he charged me the fair and reasonable price of zero dollars per minute.
MMS has every bit of the functionality of FD (actually, it seems to have quite a bit more). Furthermore, I’m going to be the 1st A.D.’s hero on my next movie, because the A.D.’s all use Movie Magic Scheduler, and MMS scripts will import much easier into that.
The most compelling reason for staying with Final Draft (“Everyone uses it!”) has been made obsolete by the popularizing of the .pdf format.
We’ll be using MMS on Scary Movie 4. Final Draft is kaput.
Why? Because Final Draft is contemptuous of its own customers, and Write Bros. (the company that makes MMS) is not.
Simple as that.
I read two interesting things recently.
(Ed. Note: Three, actually. I forgot to mention an article I read over at The Thinking Writer. My mind is turning to mush. I blame my children.)
The first were some comments by a friend who was discussing “why we write”. He seems to have stopped writing (at least for the meanwhile) because he simply stopped enjoying it. In fact, it started to become painful.
The other was a little throwaway in a recycled article that John August put up about his days as a studio reader slogging through awful scripts.
I got a taste of my own medicine later, when I slipped one of my scripts under a pseudonym to an intern whose opinion I respected. His coverage lambasted the screenplay and the untalented hack who created it. I actually got nauseous reading his critique.
He actually got nauseous.
You might think that John is either exaggerating or perhaps too sensitive. It’s possible that he is exaggerating here, but I can absolutely say that my writing…and reactions to my writing…have made me physically sick. Nauseated. Headachey. Exhausted. Dizzy.
Why…why do we do something that can impact us so viscerally and so negatively? And before you say, “Because the highs are just as high!” let me assure you that they’re not.
Don’t get me wrong…they’re very very good. I love being successful (when it happens). But for that success to equal the physical and emotional pain that failure can bring, it would have to be the equivalent of an hour-long nitrous high, and it ain’t. In fact, success is usually experienced as relief that I haven’t failed.
Don’t believe me? Two months ago, I turned in a treatment to my studio exec. I was sitting at dinner with my wife when he called. He hated it. HATED it.
I had to leave. I couldn’t even stay in the restaurant. Food lost taste, my head was literally buzzing with some kind of failure vapor, and my mind could only focus on one thought, no matter how hard I tried to avoid it: I am no good. My thoughts, my values, my sense of what’s good and bad…everything that composes the thing known as Craig Mazin was simply no good.
By the time I went to bed, I was practically imagining myself as Ozymandias, buried in the sand of dead careers…a monument to my own hubris and fallibility.
I know I’m not alone in this, because if you scratch at a professional writer long enough, he or she will share a similar moment.
Yeah, it’s irrational. Yeah, it’s painful. So I ask the question again…why do I write?
The money’s great, but honestly, I think I could do just fine as a lawyer or physician.
And while the marketing people at Final Draft have built a campaign around self-affirming answers to this very question, I find myself returning to one simple explanation.
I love puzzles.
To me, screenwriting is more than simply story-telling. If I just wanted to tell stories, I’d tell them. I’d write novels or sing songs or get up in front of an audience like Garrison Keillor and spin a great yarn.
But that’s not me. Never will be.
I love the puzzle of screenwriting. “Tell a story, and use any words you’d like. BUT…only some of the words will ever be heard, so pick those carefully. It must be visual. It must be performable. It must have a certain structure. It must be 95-120 pages. It must fit a budget. It must fit a schedule. It must include certain characters. It must fit a certain rating.”
That’s just the beginning. Once you’re in production, scene writing becomes advanced puzzle-solving. “It must be able to be shot in a day. It must feature four characters, two of whom will be present for half the time, and different halves at that. It must cover the ground that was previously covered in another scene that has been cut.” And so on.
And while all this micropuzzling is going on, there’s the macropuzzling that must be solved in parallel. The puzzle of the plot. The puzzle of the narrative. The puzzle of the theme. The puzzle of the characters. The puzzle of the punchline. The puzzle of the revelation.
The micropuzzles change the macropuzzles, which change the micropuzzles, which changes the macropuzzles…
Screenwriting is Star Trek chess with words.
With the skills and talents I have, this is the puzzle that is most satisfying to me. It’s certainly the closest I’ll ever get to being a Magister Ludi.
Unfortunately, the essence of a puzzle is that it must be solved.
This is where the pain comes in. If you religiously do the Friday, Saturday and Sunday New York Times Crossword Puzzles the way I do, then you know how much credit you give yourself for a mostly-finished puzzle. Zippo. Nada. Either it’s solved…
…or it ain’t.
For a puzzler, puzzles aren’t things that can be solved. Puzzles are things that demand to be solved. And I think that sometimes when I get that sick feeling in my stomach and my jaw tightens and my head pounds, I make a terrible mistake in presuming that the negativity is anger at me.
It’s anger at the puzzle. The puzzle has refused my solution. The puzzle mocks me.
And I know that I won’t be able to stop until the puzzle is solved.
This is why, quite frankly, I hate doing production polishes. I was reminded of this just this past week. I had one week to improve the screenplay as best I could, keeping in mind that shooting would begin exactly two weeks after I turned in my pages, and so cast and locations and sets and so forth were already in place.
A good puzzle, no?
The problem is that the best solution required more than a week’s work. I was being asked to do the equivalent of filling in as many crossword blanks as I could, and maybe correcting some wrong answers while I was at it.
But not really solve it. No time for that.
Anyway, that friend I was telling you about in the first paragraph…he was saying that he did enjoy the puzzle aspects of the story-breaking, but not of the actual production. He was divorced from the ultimate solution, and so the process failed to satisfy.
I guess I differ in that I see the entire process…from blank page to premiere…as a puzzle. One massive Rubik’s Cube of creation, money, egos, failure, success, confusion, and hopefully a little bit of elation.
So when I finally consider the real question, which is simply “Is it all worth the nausea and the pain?” I guess the answer I’ve arrived at after ten years is this:
It doesn’t matter.
The puzzle is waiting. And for better or worse, I’m compelled to solve it.
Since a bunch of you have identified as Mac users, here’s a heads up.
Apple just released 10.4.1 today. It’s broken Final Draft 7.1 on my system. The app launches, but it misreads all files as gobbledegook.
Happily, I still have Final Draft 6 installed, and it’s opening my files fine. That should make the producers of a certain horror movie happy, as I’m currently doing a production polish and they’re set to shoot in two weeks.
Something tells me that “the computer ate my homework” wouldn’t quite cut it.
Anyway, consider yourself warned. If you have FD 7.1, I’d wait for a fix before upgrading to 10.4.1.
Lastly, if anyone has successfully upgraded to 10.4.1 and NOT had a problem with their FD 7.1, I’d love to hear about it.
A: It depends on who hired you.
When you’re figuring out whether or not your work is covered by the WGA, the crucial question is “Who is my contractual employer?”
Typically, the SciFi Channel does hire writers through a MBA signatory company. If they do, the writer should be protected no matter to whom the company might transfer rights (there’s a large part of the MBA that deals with these kind of “assumption agreements”, in which the signatories agree to contractually oblige their transferees to “assume” the responsibilities the MBA dictates).
Imagine, then, that getting hired by a signatory is like an “original blessing”. From there on out, things should be okay.
Should be. The fact is that through either malice or ignorance, companies occasionally screw up, and the writer suffers. There’s a working rule that practically no one follows, but it’s probably for the best that everyone did. We’re all supposed to file copies of our employment contracts with the Guild. If you’re a WGAw member and you ever have any questions about how protected you might be in your dealings with a particular employer, do not hesitate to call the WGAw.
And tell ‘em I sent you.
Freddy figured it outI assume that pretty much anyone serious about screenwriting has read Aristotle’s Poetics, easily the most important (albeit incomplete) text ever written about the “how” of storytelling.
Poetics is very, well, Aristotelian. It’s nuts and boltsy, a sort of dissection of the science of storytelling. This is, after all, the same man who spent his life establishing the foundations of logic, zoology, politics, metaphysics and few crucial geometric theories as well. What he wasn’t was a poet or a playwright.
You might even argue that Aristotle was the first and ultimate Development Executive. For instance, how many times have we heard an exec trot out the typical “it’s too episodic” note?
Well, Ari came up with that one over 2,000 years ago.
Of all plots and actions the episodic are the worst. I call a plot ‘episodic’ in which the episodes or acts succeed one another without probable or necessary sequence. –Poetics, 1.IX
Of course, he’s dead right, and his invention of the basic “best practices” of drama are essential.
Still, wouldn’t it be nice if there were the equivalent from another great thinker who happened to also write fiction? And wouldn’t it be nice if instead of an answering “how should one write drama?” this thinker instead answered “what’s the point of drama?”
Friends, I give you Friedrich Nietzsche’s very first book: The Birth Of Tragedy. The edition I’m linking to is translated by Walter Kaufmann, who is frequently the best option when reading Nietzsche in English. There are other translations available for free reading on the web, but I’m not going to link to them because, frankly, they suck.
I’ll shorthand Nietzsche’s thesis as best I can, with the caveat that there are certainly a hundred philosophy grad students who would argue with me.
He says there’s a basic dichotomy in art.
There’s the Dionysian, which is the chaotic, experiential, existential, ephemeral and dream-like quality of existence every artist seeks to capture.
And then there’s the Apollonian, which covers the structured, formal, tactile, permanent and representational quality of life and art.
To put a nice modern spin on it…getting high and whirling like a dervish at a Phish jam is pretty Dionysian, whereas sitting in a studio and using machines and technical expertise to make a recording of Phish is rather Apollonian.
Nietzsche felt that the essence of art was Dionysian. He believed that playwrights (and by extension, I’d argue, screenwriters) were called to their vocation by their desire and ability to tap into the common human chaos that runs through us all.
…let anyone feel the urge to transform himself and to speak out of other bodies and souls, and he will be a dramatist. –The Birth Of Tragedy, 8
The problem, however, is that the Dionysian is messy. Staring first-person into the abyss of irrationality, absurdity, emotion and delusion can make a person sick. Existential nausea, if you will.
Thus, Nietzsche posits, the transformative dramatist takes the Dionysian and formalizes it through the Apollonian structure of the play. Remember how I described the artist’s relationship to the Dionysian above? We capture it in our art.
In this case…the screenplay.
The idea here is that when we write movies, we are taking the formless and giving it form. Through that form, we hope that the viewer can experience a brush with the Dionysian without absolutely losing their minds.
In other words, we get to watch the fiction of Sophie’s Choice and experience something of the emotions involved in the Dionysian horror of that choice without having to actually experience the choice itself.
Once I phrase it that way you might think it obvious, but until Nietzsche said it, no one really quite understood that.
Once you start to believe that part of your job as a screenwriter is to capture the Dionysian within the Apollonian, you’ll suddenly begin to understand why it is that light shining through plastic can make people laugh like idiots and weep like mourners…and then get up and walk outside and go on with the rest of their day.
The point of tragedy and comedy is to let us safely look into the beautiful and ugly absurdity of our own existence.
And that, my friends, is the philosophical underpinning of Scary Movie 4.
What? It is!
Let me describe an executive I know. He’s an arrogant prick who treats writers like crap. It’s obvious that he doesn’t actually read the scripts he gets, because he gives notes telling writers to “add things” they’ve already written. His notes are almost always simplistic and designed to dumb the screenplay down. What’s worse, he doesn’t seem to grasp the fact that his “easy” note will, in fact, unravel the entire story. Beyond that, he fires writers for no good reason. He’s a jerk, he’s a Philistine, he’s a moron with no story sense, he’s shortsighted, he’s shallow, he’s the enemy.
Oh, and one other thing.
He doesn’t exist.
He’s a cliche. A composite I’ve created from my own experiences and the tales told to me by my fellow writers.
Like many cliches, there’s more than a grain of truth in there. We’ve all dealt with people who were at least somewhat like the nightmare I just described. The problem is that we tend to do a horrible job of understanding these people, and because of that, we make our own lives harder than they need to be.
First off, you might wonder why we need to understand jackasses. Isn’t it enough to know that they’re jackasses?
No. It’s not.
Here are the truths I bring with me when I enter the bad exec’s office. It is true that I am better at storytelling than he is. It is true that I am funnier. It is true that I understand the ramifications of what he says, and he typically does not. It is true that if I do exactly what he wants me to do, I will probably ruin the story. It is true that he will probably treat me in a way that I wouldn’t treat a friend.
It is also true that without him, I will not achieve my goal. Hey, I’m a professional screenwriter, not a professional scriptwriter. If it doesn’t get up on the screen, I’ve blown it.
As such, I’ve taken it upon myself to put my “bad exec” frustration aside, ignore my cognitive dissonance and shove my fear off somewhere back behind my amygdala. Instead, I crawl inside my enemy’s skin. Figure out what really makes him tick. And then use that to solve our mutual problem.
Let me now share with you some of what I’ve learned about our cliched enemy. He is frightened. His job is always in jeopardy. He is very aware that you’re better at this story thing than he is, and he is very aware that you know it. He is in perhaps the most horrendous management situation there is; he’s responsible for something over which he has very limited control. He can’t tell you what to write because he doesn’t know what that should be. He can only do two things particularly well: react like an audience member to what he doesn’t like, and impose his fear on you.
When you’re done, what you write will in no small part determine his fate. He knows that “no one knows anything”, and yet he’s being paid to know something, so goddammit, he’s going to talk like he’s sure of himself. You are his only hope, and he needs you to be brilliant instead of what you (and everyone else) often are, which is mediocre. The last thing in the world he wants is for you to “just do the notes”. He’s not sure about his notes either. He wants you to tell him what’s wrong with the script. He wants you to show him the third path. He wants you to make him feel that he’s in good hands, that it’s going to be okay, that someone in this stupid batshit town actually knows what he’s doing, and by God…this one should be a movie.
Mind you, there isn’t a chance in hell that the bad exec ever bothers to identify with us. Doesn’t matter. What good is your righteous indignation at being the only one in the partnership with empathy and wisdom? If you know the key to the relationship…and simply put, it’s that the balance of power between the two of you is really a balance!…then you will be far better equipped to hear his signal and ignore his noise.
Of course, this cliche really is a cliche. I’ve never met an executive who was this bad, and in fact, I’ve been quite pleased over the years with the majority of execs I’ve worked with. A lot of them do have good story sense and do treat me extremely well and aren’t driven by fear. Not surprisingly, those types are rather successful. I choose to believe that it’s their good qualities that cause the success, and not the security of success that makes them suddenly smart and enjoyable. I’ve tried to keep those people close to me even when I’m not working for them…because I’d like to work for them later.
They make me a better writer.
Still, it’s a fair chance that there’s a bad exec waiting around the corner of your career, no matter who you are or what you’ve done. When you meet them, remember…they’re not the enemy. They’re just your frightened, poorly-equipped partner. Don’t waste time fighting them or hating them. That will only make it worse.
How about showing them a little love instead?
And if they’re truly unlovable…
John August highlights a fascinating series of radio interviews about a pitch that becomes a screenplay that becomes a rewrite that hopefully becomes a movie.
I haven’t listed to it all yet, but I’ve heard enough to recommend it. So far it’s been an excellent recounting of the way the process works, and it’s great to see the screenwriter’s perspective included throughout.
The audio files are in evil RealAudio format, but don’t let that discourage you.
Even though I suspect most of you haven’t been in a credit arbitration, it’s never too early to start thinking about it.
You do plan on being successful in the business, right? Well, one of the true costs of success is credit arbitration. It’s emotional, it’s harrowing, and when it doesn’t work out in your favor, the result can be the indignity of sharing credit with someone you don’t think deserved it…or even worse, getting no credit at all for the work you did.
Actually, I think the worst thing is knowing that someone else is getting credit for the work you did, but that’s a tangent.
When you are involved in a credit arbitration, you are asked to write a statement. This statement is the only input you have in the process. Your statement and the scripts you wrote are it, baby. You can’t plead your case in person to the arbiters. You can’t call them. You can’t email. You will never know their names (and theoretically, they’re not supposed to cheat and figure out your name through IMDB).
It’s no surprise, then, that with our dignity, recognition, residuals and credit bonuses on the line, our one shot at making our case suddenly takes on mythic importance.
Having been on both sides of the arbitration process, and having spoken at length with a number of fellow writers who have been arbiters, some common “best practices” have emerged for a good arbitration statement. Take heed–I offer these not as an official WGA recommendation, but as my own personal opinion of what’s best.
Keep the statements short. No, really. I know how difficult it is to be economical when you feel like the other guys are probably submitting volumes of evidence against you. Besides, you have a thousand line-by-line arguments for why the credit ought to be a certain way. The problem is that the arbiters are writers with lives. They have to read three, four, ten…occasionally twenty drafts as part of this unpaid task! Burdening them with an additional novella isn’t going to help your case. How short is short? If the statement is more than two pages, you’re entering the red zone. More than five, and you’re in danger of seriously annoying the reader.
Do not badmouth the other participating writers. This is crucial. Going negative will never help you. The kind of guy who volunteers his time for his fellow writer, aka your arbiter, is precisely the kind of guy who doesn’t like seeing one writer crap on another. Furthermore, it’s a weak move. It’s all-too-easy to assume that you’re battering the other guy because the argument in favor of you ain’t that compelling.
Talk about what you contributed to the final screenplay, and nothing else. Who hired you, what you had to put up with, the bad notes you got, the fact that you didn’t deserve to get fired, the producer who pushed you around and made you do things…honestly, no one gives a good sweet damn. The readers have been given one simple assignment: determine the proper credit for the final screenplay.
Avoid the percentage trap. I must admit, I wrote a terrible statement earlier in my career, and serving as an arbiter and reading other writers’ statements made me realize it. My major error was a common one. Given that our arbiters are supposed to assign credit for contributions of a certain percentage to the final script, it’s awfully tempting to try and do your own mathematical analysis of the writing and help “guide” them to a number. “See, by following my logic and spreadsheet here, you can see that I’ve objectively contributed 58%!” No, no, no. The arbiters don’t want you to throw numbers at them. They want to make up their own minds by reading the scripts, and since they’re going to…why attempt to sway them with groundless arithmetic?
Thank them for their service. This one doesn’t help you win anyone over per se, but you ought to do it nonetheless. These people are giving their time, and they want to be spoken to nicely at the very least and gratefully at the very best. Don’t be a sycophant, but offer appreciation.
Cite the rules. The arbiters are going to have to cite the rules when they write their decisions. You’d best cite them as well. No, don’t quote the whole damn manual. Simply cite the one or two rules that you feel are most relevant. It will help frame the debate. If you have a slightly subtle point (God forbid), you must cite a rule to support it. Otherwise, it will simply flutter away into a cloud of ignored rhetoric.
Accept your fate. Some writers are tempted to look into the future when they write their statements. They say things like, “If I don’t get credit, then I’m just going to lose my mind.” Avoid this. In fact, it’s best to simply say, “I’m glad the decision is in the hands of my fellow writers. I trust you, and I will accept your answer whatever it is”. No, you don’t have to actually believe this. You might really want to say, “And seriously, if you blow this, I will track you down and kill you.” Showing the poor guy on the other end a little faith, though, certainly can’t hurt.
In the end, there’s no real way the style of a statement can sway an arbiter to decide in your favor. I do believe, though, that a bad statement can really hurt a writer’s chances. If you’re a writer who deals with one of these every year or two or three, then I highly recommend becoming an arbiter (call the Credits Department and let them know you’re ready and willing), because it will inevitably make you a better statement-writer.
If you’re a rookie or unproduced, bookmark this. Put it in your “when I make it big” folder. It’s going to happen to you sooner or later. The last thing I’d want is for any of you to repeat some of the mistakes I’ve already made.
Okay, one last bit of Tiger news, but it’s related to the industry. The eventual progression of all end-user media towards High Definition is inevitable. Once you get it, you really don’t ever want to watch regular res stuff again.
I got this thing, and now I spend my TV time watching Discovery HD because it looks so damn cool. I don’t even care about the content.
Up until two days ago, if you wanted to download and watch HD video on your computer, you couldn’t. At least, not from any of the major video apps (e.g. Windows Media, Real).
Now you can. Tiger includes QuickTime 7, which has a new codec that supports high-definition video.
If you have QuickTime 7, check out the downloadable HD trailer for Batman Begins. It’s absolutely gorgeous.
Okay, I promise, no more Tiger talk. Coming up, an article on the screenwriting equivalent of the final exam essay–the dreaded arbitration statement.