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HomeBlog the LinePain is real, so are stakes: Battlestar Galactica producer on being asked...

Pain is real, so are stakes: Battlestar Galactica producer on being asked to work for free on the web…


It’s clear the stakes are sky-high, and the pain caused by the strike is quite real. For another side of what’s involved, here’s Battlestar Galactica showrunner Ron Moore, talking to writer Eric Goldman, for a piece on the IGN entertainment website.

Moore makes note of his studio, Universal, asking the Galactica cast (and therefore crew) to work “for free” for some “webisodes” for the show. Which means, then, that Universal’s owner, General Electric, was asking them to work for free. Read the piece, decide for yourself.

Battlestar Galactica Producer Talks Strike
Ron Moore on why he’s striking and how Battlestar’s final season is affected.
by Eric Goldman

US, November 7, 2007 – In the midst of the Writers Guild strike, Battlestar Galactica showrunner Ron Moore walked the picket line outside the Walt Disney Studios today, alongside a large assemblage of showrunners from other series. I spoke to him for several minutes for a candid conversation about the issues surrounding the strike and how the situation is affecting Galactica, which is currently filming its fourth and final season.

For Moore, “Fundamentally this is about the internet, and this is about whether writers get paid for material that is made for the internet or if they’re paid for material that is broadcast on the internet that was developed for TV or movies.” Moore shared a story to illustrate the scenario, saying “I had a situation last year on Battlestar Galactica where we were asked by Universal to do webisodes [Note: Moore is referring to The Resistance webisodes which ran before Season 3 premiered], which at that point were very new and ‘Oooh, webisodes! What does that mean?’ It was all very new stuff. And it was very eye opening, because the studio’s position was ‘Oh, we’re not going to pay anybody to do this. You have to do this, because you work on the show. And we’re not going to pay you to write it. We’re not going to pay the director, and we’re not going to pay the actors.’ At which point we said ‘No thanks, we won’t do it.'”

“We got in this long, protracted thing and eventually they agreed to pay everybody involved. But then, as we got deeper into it, they said ‘But we’re not going to put any credits on it. You’re not going to be credited for this work. And we can use it later, in any fashion that we want.’ At which point I said ‘Well, then we’re done and I’m not going to deliver the webisodes to you.’ And they came and they took them out of the editing room anyway — which they have every right to do. They own the material — But it was that experience that really showed me that that’s what this is all about. If there’s not an agreement with the studios about the internet, that specifically says ‘This is covered material, you have to pay us a formula – whatever that formula turns out to be – for use of the material and how it’s all done,’ the studios will simply rape and pillage.”

— more to read right here….

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