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David Poland

By David Poland

Need To Know

This is an example of a letter being sent out to WGA members in an information gathering process that has raised some hackles. Names and projects have been redacted.
Dear XXX,
As you know, we

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16 Responses to “Need To Know”

  1. IOIOIOI says:

    Heat; there may be some journalistic merit to posting this letter. Yet… it’s sort of gossipy. I could have sworn that you — David “HEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaattt” Poland — stated you were finished with gossip.
    Sure; this post is just an attempt to type out HEAT in a rather silly way. However… where does the line begin and end for you in terms of gossip? Since I see a letter meant for a certain pair of eyes and when they are not seeing them. It turns into something completely different.
    That aside; 180 films in productions? A 180? No wonder they want to strikes because that level is simply asking for trouble from your union. It’s also creating a glut of shit in the theatres for 24 months to come.

  2. IOIOIOI says:

    If you take the “S” off of “STRIKE” and put it on the end of “UNION.” Everything will make sense. Still… a 180 projects at the current time? Blimey.

  3. T. Holly says:

    This is not gossip, it’s a wake up call.

  4. EDouglas says:

    You just know that one or two of these filled-out forms will leak and that some web site or rumor monger (like Nikke Finke herself) will post them or use the information to try to generate hits.

  5. doug r says:

    1. You are listed as a writer on the film, XXX.
    XXX had writers?

  6. T. Holly says:

    Here’s a prediction for sometime before lunch today:
    Although I think, that in a free and open society, where markets rely on transparency, that the WGA should be able to ask it’s memebership what’s going on, but the producers will jump in, like they did on the Script Authorization Program, and site the confidentiality clause and say it prevents writers from discussing their work, which they will say are secrets owned by the company.
    But on a lighter note, Dave, are you feeling any of the myth about how “ready,” “smart,” and “anticipated” (your terms) those disaster averting buyer/studios are, or can be? Are you feeling 2008 in the pipeline, or Don huffing and puffing ahead of the faux (his term) strike?

  7. Alan Cerny says:

    “XXX had writers?”
    Yes. Indeed, they should not be called writers, but instead, right-ers. Because XXX (or, as it should be called, xXx) is a brilliant, brilliant film.
    I’m only being partially sarcastic, btw.

  8. hendhogan says:

    I don’t know. A couple of those sound like “are you now or have you ever been a writer on project xxx?”

  9. RoyBatty says:

    Have to love that the secretary-treasurer of Hollywood Teamsters Local 399 said while it’s not Teamster policy at the moment to tell its members not to cross the picket lines nevertheless he won’t do it and encourages others to follow suit.
    Meanwhile, Patrick Goldstein gave the studios one HELLUVA BLOWJOB in his column today reducing every writer into a cliche filled stereotype. Can you imagine any semi-intelligent journalist saying that all directors are screaming ego maniacs or all actors are spoiled, unprofessional brats but apparently its an accepted truism that all writers are uncompromising elitists who hold up productions by telling actors what to do, refuse to change one line of dialogue – but thats only if they aren’t three sheets to the wind.

  10. hendhogan says:

    we need you in byob post. noah’s trashing “blade runner”

  11. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    DP I know you love using the word, but ‘redacted’ is not what you’re doing by simply blanking out names and projects.

  12. T. Holly says:

    I posted this in BYOB – Halloween, too:
    No one seems moved by Dave’s “Need to Know” post of a seemingly leaked, official, information gathering, WGA communicae to a member. So, was he possibly played, or is he possibly playing the strike through The Hot Blog?

  13. RoyBatty says:

    Hend – I might post on that, but don’t assume you will like what I have to say. If approached from a WRITER’S point of view, what Scott has done with the director and final cuts of BLADE RUNNER is terrible.
    It is clear in Dick’s novel that only Deckard questions his “human-ness” and Dick was going for the more profound idea that the Replicants were more human than the emotionally dead Deckard. That his budding feelings for Rachael become more darkly ironic when it is revealed that she is also a replicant.
    That said, it’s not like I’m going to throw out my laserdiscs (I have both versions) or three different soundtracks.

  14. T. Holly says:

    Are you standing by the authenticity of this letter?

  15. David Poland says:

    It is 100% legitimate, T Holly… sent by the union to working writers for specific projects.
    I’m not quite sure why this is such drama for you.

  16. T. Holly says:

    An authentic letter sent to one? Perhaps you think my opinion is less than humble, (which it is, is not), you owe it to yourself to run a follow-up as to why you think the AMPTP isn’t having a cow over it, considering they’re tripping all over themselves on the Script Validation Program, claiming company secrets and waving the confidentiality clause-flag in the WGA’s face.

The Hot Blog

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon