Take the message to the top! The networks and studios need to be reminded of exactly who provides their income. Fans are the consumers. And without consumers watching and buying their product, the studios would be out of business.
We have seen many suggestions to send various things to the studios, from nuts to pennies. One thing we have learned over years of fan campaigning is that these things get you noticed -- but often for the wrong reason. The network may have no idea of the significance of an item to fans, and may have security procedures for incoming packages.
We need the networks to take us seriously, because this is a serious issue. For that to happen, we cannot risk being seen as odd, quirky, random or easily dismissed.
There are some simple, yet effective ways of sending your message.
Firedoglake.com has set up an easy-to-use e-mail form that lets you send e-mails directly to the studio that makes your favorite show. Just pick the show from the dropdown -- sorry, only current shows are included -- and express your displeasure.
The Write4Writers Campaign is an inexpensive way of showing your support in a visible and tangible way.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) is the body that develops contracts with the Writers Guild of America (WGA), the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the Directors Guild of America (DGA).
By writing to the AMPTP, you can tell them in no uncertain terms that you support the position of the WGA.
Please be sure to include your full name, city, state and demographic age range. And don't forget to personalize it with a note about why you are supporting the strike -- you may even want to mention a favorite show or writer.
Send your message to:
Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers
15503 Ventura Boulevard
Encino, CA 91436
Do you buy DVDs based on the company that produced them, or the story or stories they tell?
We thought so. Since the AMPTP doesn't seem to understand words very well or else they would have given writers a fair deal in the first place, maybe they would understand pictures better. So we're going to send them a few.
Take a photo of yourself, your friends, your family, or even your pet with your favorite DVD(s). Include your location and name (optional) in the shot. Then send the photo to email@example.com.
We will create a picture book from the photos we receive and send copies to each of the Big Six AMPTP corporations, as well as AMPTP President Nick Counter to let them know that we are watching and we casre about how the writers are treated. If we get enough photos we may create other campaigns.
We need your photos! Spread the word far and wide among as many fandoms as you belong to. Maybe we cannot do a million fan march but we can do a photo barrage that will feel like it. Be as creative as you want but please keep the photos clean and polite. The point is to stand up and be counted as interested consumers.
Hold up your DVDs! Or take photos in front of a TV you've turned off, or with screen snow showing. Hold up a sign representing your TV viewage and your support of the writers. Take a picture of your whole family reading books. Anything to show that we're out here, and we care.
New Media Boycott
One of the sticking points in negotiations with the AMPTP is the distribution of income from online distribution. Fans4Writers is asking all fans to boycott online streaming media and paid downloads.
Online Streaming Media is the future of distribution, and it is vital to show the networks that we know this. And that we expect them to provide the writers with a fair deal in this new media.
You can help by boycotting websites and online distributors that provide
full episodes of shows and movies for free or purchase (such as via iTunes).
Most of these places have an area where you can review the show or movie. Post a friendly statement, and let them know that you would have liked to have downloaded or watched the TV show or movie but you support the people who made it in getting their fair share of your money and time. So while the writers are on strike you will not be buying or watching any episodes or movies that doesn't benefit them.
For more information about boycotting new media, check out our Forum.
We’ve had lots of people ask us about boycotting other areas. Here’s the official Fans4Writers view on boycotts.
Televison -- Boycotting televison is not effective, unless you are in a Nielson household. Instead, why not take a photo holding a sign that says where you are from, and how many people you represent under the Neilson demographics. For example, "I'm from Cincinnat, Ohio and according to the Nielson Research I represent 100,000 people." We’ll have more details once we get our campaign in place.
DVD Sales -- Fans4Writers do not advocate a boycott of DVD sales. Because writers are getting a few cents, this may be the only income some writers receive. An alternative is to continue to purchase DVDs and collect receipts. The studios are very protective of the DVD Sales figures. If we can show them that people are keeping track, we might be able to provide more leverage for the writers in the talks and it might put a little power back in our hands with the studio. Fans can become the consumer reports of the entertainment world (on a small scale).
DVD Rentals -- Boycotting will not be effective, as these are not a factor in determining income.
Movies -- We do not advocate a boycott of theatrical releases. However, if you go to a film, save your ticket stubs. We are currently investigating collecting those stubs, so that we can send a number to the writers and the stubs to the studios. We’ll be letting the studios know that we represent more than $$ - that behind those figures they love to spout, there are real people. We will also keep track of the tickets to let the writers know, and maybe use those numbers to combat the figures that the studio is putting out. We do not want to hurt theatre owners either but it wouldn't hurt it we could put flyers or postcards people could pick up and learn about our effort. We need people willing to ask theatre owners if we can do this, for their benefit as well as ours. If this strike is not settled soon, they will see the impact next year as movies that are released start bombing from the lack of creative and inspiring writers.
OTHER MAJOR CAMPAIGNS
Petition - In Support of the WGA Strike
United Hollywood has created an online petition for you to add your voice to the growing numbers who are supporting the writers. Sign the petition, and spread it around to everyone you know who thinks that writers deserve fair compensation for use of their work.
We know that there are many petitions out there, but we need to make the stand with one voice. And, in our opinion, this petition is the one to sign.
Pencils 2 Media Moguls
United Hollywood (and a bunch of showrunners) took a fan idea and ran with it. Click here to find out more about Pencils2MediaMoguls.
There are many other ideas out there, and many different fandoms are taking action. If you want to find out more, visit our Forum. Please note that a listing on our website or forum does not constitute endorsement by Fans4Writers.
Fans4Writers is unaffiliated with the WGA, except in spirit.
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