Friday, November 23, 2007

big idea # 1123

So, as usual, the creative forces in charge of inspiring and entertaining us are being usurped by stone-faced corporate executives. We've seen it before and it's usually more under the table. More product-placement-and-let's-all-join-the-army messages in our day to day media. Nuffin new. But the people in charge this time around don't seem to be concerned that they are losing the zeitgeist participants who actually make the product they sell. The appearance is that some will return, most won't and after the "streamlining process" it the excess won't matter.

Up until now, the operation was fairly simple: you get signed, and everything you think of even if you're on vacation, it's four am and you were dreaming about something that happened to you as a child, no matter what it is, they own what's in your head. If you stumble onto a Burton-like situation as in the case of Disney's Jack Skelington character, you'll fight for what's yours, but you will likely be paid in the end.

Now there's a new player and the suitcoats are treating with aplomb and hegemony: cyberspace. The electronic information exchange where they can manifest their latest destiny. As such, they can at once claim it is profitless and make billions of dollars. And the writers? Why should they be paid for what they create? It's not like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates or Ralph Lauren get all bent out of shape when other people make a profit off of their products. I mean for god's sake, there are warm-hearted, humane, compassionate drug companies out there failing entirely to threaten the future of humanity by putting aside patent disputes on AIDS and Cancer drugs.

So the writers are in good company. Here's what I think they should do: webdesigners are non-unionized (so far, and hey, get on that guys!). They should hook up with as many independant webdesigners as possible and produce their own work for exclusive release on the web. They might need actors, but I hear a few members of the screen actors guild are off work at the moment for some coincidental reason. Yep, you're coming to it:

Fair Trade Television

Writers, Actors, Producers & Directors should all partake in the profit in what they create, along with amply stablizing the income of assistant gaffers, production assistants and camera crew who all need to make their mortgage payments. There's a free platform out there to offer work to the public. Adult Swim showed us that smaller time-slots don't affect a show's popularity and the people who buy adspace don't care who they're using. Target has no solidarity with Disney, Best Buy doesn't give a damn which network website carries their ads as long as people are watching.

This is the moment. Make it what it's supposed to be and leave the companies who want you out where they so richly belong: high and dry on the 51st floor. With silent phones and a prudent accounting department.

I'd watch.

2 comments:

DP said...

Urban,
Like that idea of Fair Trade Television. Check out my blog and maybe we can expand the idea together?

http://danielleprobst.blogspot.com/

Freshwater Mermaid said...

I'd luv ta DP. Got an email address I can send you stuff at?

Mine's on the top left of this blog.