Here are a couple of YouTube clips — clip #1 and clip #2 — that seem to just cut through the crap and spell out the strike situation clean and plain. The cleanest and most Sesame Street-y, posted on 11.5, is a primer about what the writers want and what the studios are offering/not offering in response.
On the DVD front, it basically says that writers get 4 cents from the sale of a $19 or $20 retail DVD, and that what they’re looking for is 8 cents per DVD. Of course, the studio profit margin off that $19 or $20, after expenses and skimmings, is about $5 per DVD. But 8 cents out of five bucks isn’t much. It’s reasonable. You could even call it modest to a fault.
And yet on the AMPTP website, producers’ negotiator Nicholas Counter has written that “no further movement is possible to close the gap between [producers and writers] so long as their DVD proposal” — 8 cents rather than 4 cents per DVD — “remains on the table.” Counter then equates traditional DVDs with electronic sell-through — i.e., internet downloads. Shouldn’t the music download percentages afforded to songwriters be the model?
The other must-see YouTube clip is a pre-strike statement by WGA member Howard Gould. Very well said, well phrased — a statement of seriously manly conviction. (I searched for Gould on the IMDB and came with only a Howard Michael Gould — is this guy and the guy speaking on the clip one and the same?)