Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Nikki Finke, Attractions and Distractions

It's been a typical week and then again, it hasn't been typical at all.

Get some hours on the computer, writing. Unending work up at the shop, too many projects to list. Try to keep up with cutting the grass, which is growing like crazy, due to the heat and all the rain.

I've been sending writing work out to different agents, production companies and whoever else I think might be interested. Doing the hardest job of being a writer, self-promotion. Which can seem to take forever. Then there's this blog.

The SAG/AFTRA/AMPTP dust-up has grabbed my attention. If you have read my book and I honestly don't expect anyone to claim that they have, you would know that I've got more than a little background in the union/labor contract/negotiating arena.

Nikki Finke writes a blog on all the Biz news in Hollywood;

She does a great job. It doesn't mean that I always agree with her. The fun part is reading comments by other people who follow her work. Sometimes, I have to shake my head. Ignorance and arrogance is not confined to the sticks.

My comments probably don't win me any friends, but my experience is that if you expect people to meet your needs and don't do anything to oversee their actions, you can bet on them NOT doing everything as you expect it.

Allow me to qualify that statement. In a group situation, you usually have a common goal. There will be discord, but majority rule usually determines the direction of the group. Which still doesn't mean that the head man or the group assigned to do the bargaining are going to deliver your contract like a hot pizza. In thirty minutes and just the way you ordered it. It will be a committee pizza.

As an individual, if you hire someone to represent you in a negotiation, whether it's a lawyer or an agent, then you have more direct input. You're paying the bill and if you don't get what you're paying for, you should either fire the representative or demand to know why they have not done the job. Maybe both, if they get paid and still don't deliver. Be polite and try not to rant when you terminate the contract.

After all these years, I can't believe that people still think that if they let things go, without making any effort to advance their agenda, it doesn't matter who represents you, those people are somehow going to do what's in YOUR best interest. They are only going to listen to the people who bend their ear.

You better be ready, willing and able to stand up for yourself. Or be ready to get shipped down the river.

Start building that life raft now.

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