2007年11月13日星期二

編劇缺後路 罷工作武器

  荷里活編劇上周開始罷公事端因由除了改善編劇的薪酬外,編劇在行內被認可的地位亦是爭議之一。
  類似後者的爭駁是合約經濟學裏常見的理論課題。當一項製作涉及隊制式的分工合作時,清楚界定每項工序對整體生產作出的貢獻。便成為了非常頭痛的問題。若果在隊中,每位角色的貢獻變得模糊起來,他們的收入高低便難以獲得各方認可。因此,編劇近年來對一部電影的貢獻作了甚麼改變,必然是美國作家協會與製片人聯盟談判的要點。

劇編紮鐵工 行頭窄難跳槽

  但另一方面,這些編劇為何選擇罷工?認為待遇不稱意轉工不是一了百了嗎?罷工的行為,其實是向各界承認自己缺乏後着。專寫劇本的創作人,除電視和電影行業外,還有甚麼後着「網絡寫作固然是一個考慮但現時網絡這個平台能否吸納一萬二千名編劇和保持他們現時的收入?情況跟早前香港紮鐵工人罷工相似。當時只有紮鐵工人跑出來將工業行動升級其他的地盤工人如油漆和坭水並沒有參與。原因何在?紮鐵這項技能在地盤外難以應用。但油漆和坭水還可以用於家居裝修。換言之,他們有後着這些所謂仍範指在勞力市場中,工人的其他就業機會。當這些機會出現在你眼前時,你現時的僱主便要被迫跟你其他「潛在」的僱主進行競爭,把你留下來。你的後着便是保障你的待遇最有效的武器。
  快餐店出現十幾蚊超低時薪的現象,便是香港經濟轉型帶來的後果。當中國內地開放市場後,香港可以賺錢的行業不斷收窄。

婦女就業地位增 夫感威脅

  基本上,只有服務業和金融業尚可生存。這些結構性的轉變搶去大部分低技術工人的後着,減少了快餐店老闆在努力市場中需要面對的競爭。工人之間的競爭多於老闆之間的競爭,工人的薪金難以維持。但後着出現亦會帶給社會一些畸型問題。  婦女受到男人(我認為這些懦夫不配被稱為丈夫)虐待的家庭暴力事件,其中一個原因是女性的後着增加了。單看在路上有幾多女小巴司機女巴士司機女的士司機,我們便可立即察覺到女性受到勞力市場重用這個趨勢的發展女性多了後着便等如多了選擇。她們對丈夫的要求亦相繼增加。在家庭中獲得的對待不理想,她們大可「退出」跑到勢力市場裏自力更生。一些愚蠢的男人發覺自己的地位受到威協時,便以武力還擊,試圖奪走妻子的後着。

4 則留言:

VC 說...

婦女受虐自古已有。但以經濟解釋,應隨著女性的後着增加而減少才對!

你憤怒人之常情,但理性、學術應超越情緒反應。

Kempton 說...

Hi Joe,

I have read a few of your articles and quite enjoy your insight until you talked about the Hollywood writers' strike.

I've tried to follow the strike a little (although not as much as I would like). But I have to wonder if your knowledge (or lack of knowledge) in the area might have lead you to write a piece weaker than your usual articles.

My limited understanding is that one of the issues the writers are striking on is related to the payment of their work in the digital medium (including how they are to be paid when their work are downloaded on places like iTune, sold as web episodes, etc.)

As a content producer, I have heard that it is easy for the funders (of TV shows, films, etc.) to demand they get ALL rights. And that, to the writers in this case, seems unfair.

Your statements seem very solid on the surface,
"認為待遇不稱意轉工不是一了百了嗎?罷工的行為,其實是向各界承認自己缺乏後着。專寫劇本的創作人,除電視和電影行業外,還有甚麼後着 ..."

But once we look past the surface and think further we may see some issues.

If those writers are great at what they do, why should they change job? I had the pleasure to listen to and meet Paul Haggis, the Oscar winning director and writer of Crash (2004) at Banff World TV Festival. Now, are you telling me that he should switch job because he doesn't like his contract? Pardon my directness, but give me a break! These people are talented and great at what they do. They should keep doing what they do.

I enjoy reading your articles and analysis like I enjoy watching 60 minutes. In both cases, I enjoy learning new things until, unfortunately, the show or you touch on an area where I know something. And then I discover that people sometimes stretch themselves too thin and make mistakes too.

I hope you take my critique as complement. And please keep up the good work.

Regards,
Kempton

Kempton 說...

To add some facts and support, here is a piece of news from Reuters (Dec 29, 2007), "Letterman to return in deal with striking writers"

http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSN2849022320071229

"The WGA said its "comprehensive agreement" with WorldWide Pants included provisions to pay writers for work distributed over the Internet -- presumably covering the large assortment of advertising-supported video clips of Letterman's show that CBS posts on its Web site.

Compensation for Internet content has been the main sticking point in stalled talks between the WGA and studios aimed at ending the writers' strike, now in its eighth week."

Regards,
Kempton

Kempton 說...

When David Letterman's company had an early settlement with the union, it received a competitive advantage in landing A-list stars like Robin Williams.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/01/business/media/01strike.html

Will see how things turn out on Wednesday and the days that follow.