Summer ends early for the film and TV industry as the first writer’s strike since 1988 may take place this year. Because of this, filming schedules may be speeding up and shooting may take place long before the arrival of fall. In May, broadcast networks announced their fall schedules followed by pilot episodes which were sent to TV critics. Next week, the Television Critics Association summer press tour will begin. They will attend press conferences with stars and producers of new TV shows, discussing the new trends, changes, and stars of the new shows.

Meanwhile, a main concern will be to address that the three-year contract between studios and the Writers Guild of America expires October 31. Talks are scheduled to begin this month. The two sides have limited time to solve major issues including how much TV and film writers should be paid when their work is distributed onto newer technological devices such as cell phones, digital media players, and the Internet. The writers believe the pay they currently receive for these downloads are low. They must also create a new way to compensate writers for work that appears on DVD.

Technology has really hurt the TV industry especially. Advertisers are pulling out since anyone with a Ti-Vo can skip past the commercials from advertisers who basically pay for these shows to be produced and aired. Obviously, these shows have been forced to cut back expenses because of this. With the writers demanding more money and refusing to work because of it, it may tempt networks to restart the reality show boom which doesn’t rely on traditional writers in order to produce. For shows who require traditional writers, they are rushing production on both TV and movie sets. Some shows, such as NBC’s “Las Vegas,” started filming three months early to try to finish three-quarters of their shooting schedule before the first episode even airs. The rush to get these done does cause one to question the quality of the writing and even the story in general. Hopefully, they are hiring writers who work well under pressure to deal with the fast-paced production environment they are all forced to endure. s

For related articles visit http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07187/799603-237.stm and http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/artsentertainment/2003704662_webstrike14.html.

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