Saturday, December 8, 2007

Fair Trade Media

With the talks between the WGA and the AMPTP evidently at a stand-still (and I wonder how much of this is just people not wanting to "deal" during the holidays??) United Hollywood has posted the WGA's response to the AMPTP in halting the negotiations.

My thoughts have turned to how I continue to pursue my career in a way that works for me not only as a producer but as a content creator as well. How do I blend these two sometimes competing segments of my business? How do I "play fair" and value the creative contributions of my colleagues while also generating a revenue stream for myself? What should we do? What should we charge for our services when our creative output is now able to live on in seemingly endless iterations, in perpetuity throughout all media known and unknown, in the universe? (And you may laugh at that statement but it's paraphrasing a clearance form that 20th Century Fox has used for years in it's film and television productions) What is fair to pay for the fruits of someone's creativity? How does the concept of collaborative media with many "authors" become monetized? How do we make enough money to live our lives off of an "open source" paradigm?

I'm inviting another blogger, the Urban Ichthyosapien to join me in this discussion and also open it up to anyone else who wants to put their 2 cents in. (In Euro or Canadian only please, they're worth more than US now, since even drug dealers have abandoned the greenback dollar.)

There's no immediately forseeable end to the strike. But let this be a unique opportunity to think about the future of the business of creativity. I'm eager to engage in that discussion.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


I've been thinking a lot in the past 72 hours.
Monday night my mother had a heart attack.
She survived it, but remains in intensive care.
I went tonight after work (yes I am working again, more on that in a future post) to see her and I climbed in the bed with her and lie there, just talking to her.
I told her about my day, about my plans, about my friends. I told her many things that had been hard for me to say to her before and she was very clear-headed and she listened to me. She looks better than she has in weeks.
But in case anyone is reading this, it's why I haven't posted in a few days.

It's exhausting to deal with all this and really depressing to see how the elderly are discounted in this country. After leaving Momma back in intensive care, I was waiting for the elevator and I struck up a conversation with a man in a white lab coat who had silver insignia bars on his lapels. I asked him about them and he told me he was an army nurse. I suggested that he was probably glad to be in the US and not in Iraq or Afghanistan. No he replied, he'd prefer to be back there, with his guys. I wasn't surprised, this is a common sentiment amoung the military to want to get back to their unit. The bonds are very strong. He then elaborated, telling me that he felt he was doing more good overseas, tending to the wounded there. He was helping his "guys". I nodded, I could relate to that. Then he said, "Because you know, here, it's mostly old people in hospital. And they've already lived their lives and had their chance." The elevator arrived and I got on. I thought to myself, he has no idea what he just said, but I had to admit his comment really hit me hard. This is how America views the elderly; as useless objects that take up space. Schrecklich.

At the intersection of art and new media, a place where the convergence emerges.