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David Poland

By David Poland


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8 Responses to “Strike!”

  1. mutinyco says:

    The aspect ratio is messed up.

  2. Sunday Silence says:

    Whistling past the graveyard.

  3. martin says:

    Dave, do you have a financial interest in this strike ending?

  4. David Poland says:

    Martin… does ANYONE have a tacit financial interest in this strike continuing past next week?

  5. martin says:

    Well, I guess a question is “how is film journalism/entertainment journalism” affected by the strike, financially?

  6. David Poland says:

    It’s being felt by the networks first, in some reduced ratings which lead to reduced ad costs, though shows like American Idol and The Apprentice, coming back for new seasons shortly will be able to raise rates as a result. (CBS should be rushing Big Brother into production… it is, unlike Survivor or The Great Race, a mostly live show, so it can be set up and started quick. All they need is a gimmick and some casting. Even if they haven’t had much rating success out of summer, it is cheap, quick programming that fills a lot of hours.)
    Major print outlets have probably been doing well with the strike, as the lack of talk shows mean a greater need to reach audiences by whatever means… including more web advertising.
    As for entertainment journalism in general, except for the cancellation of the upfronts, things have been pretty much as usual. There is still a full slate of movies to cover, though studios are cutting back on some costs, using the strike as cover. We will begin to feel a pinch in the spring… but by summer, strike on or off, the push for those films will still be huge.
    As for MCN, things are pretty much normal. We are sold out on ad space, which happened before the strike and locks buyers in on a favored nations basis through the entirity of Phase I. We will see if there is an effect on Phase II, which starts after the nominations.
    If The Globes are substantively damaged and there is a threat of the same from the WGA, studios will start formulating a reaction and a course for the future, which I suspect most will follow through Phase II. That might be more advertising, pretending the Oscars are coming no matter what or it might be extreme caution. Right now, it’s impossible to see what the wave will be.

  7. martin says:

    As someone outside the industry, to me that’s one of your most revealing and interesting commentaries on the strike. The rest of the strike discussions feel redundant to me… it’s all been said by now, it’s time to sit down and settle. I don’t know that Phase II is inevitable, I think we’ll know the answer to that by the 2nd week of January.

  8. T. Holly says:

    It’s amazing you haven’t addressed the nature, impact and consequences of packaging, a subject bought up by Scott Wilson in the original Part II you posted.

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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