The WGA Strike is finally over, but now what?
With Major Studios and the WGA reaching a deal after three months, it all seems rosy on the surface, however, there are still a few caveats to consider.
For starters, although there are few writers who turn in great screenplays, there are plenty who lack creativity, nuance or consistency. If you have watched the Marvel Phase four films up to Thor Love and Thunder, you’ll know exactly where I'm coming from.
By the way, that doesn't let the recent Warner Brothers DC films off the hook either. I can't say whether its writers trying to reach a deadline, studio interferences or just plain laziness and it's not only restricted to certain movies but some television shows such as the season finale of The Walking Dead, or 2nd season of Yellowjackets, feels as if it's running on autopilot or just ran out of ideas.
However, Twisted Metal, Painkiller, Let the Right One In, Ashoka, Dead City, HBO's House of the Dragon, and especially The Last of Us are shining examples of scripting that pays much respect to their respective source materials.
It would be unfair to say that writers who are "unqualified" should not become beneficiaries from the new deal, as far as I know, they fully believe that they are banging out great stories. Call it disillusionment or unchecked narcissism but if the overwhelming majority of movie and television viewers have problems with their work, then there must be some accountability.
Another concern is a possible deal coming to fruition regarding the Screen Actors Guild. You may have the scripts from the writers, but you also need the Actors to perform from the script material. Both run in tandem, kind of like symbiosis. If streaming platforms aren't benefiting by showing ad free content as in lack of ad revenue, the costs may be passed to the consumer as it is already happening and more price increases are sure to come our way….oh, wait!
Following Netflix's crackdown on password sharing it seems like the house of mouse as predicted after CEO Bob Iger had briefly spoke about it in August, which although he mentioned that it would happen next year, it's much sooner than we think!
Disney + will be implementing the same practices starting November 1st. Canada will be the first while other states will immediately follow as notices sent from the streaming giant has been sent to Canadian subscribers and I quote:
“Unless otherwise permitted by your service tier, you may not share your subscription outside of your household. If we determine that you have violated this agreement, we may limit or terminate access to the service and/or take any other steps as permitted by this agreement.”
Previously, Netflix used Canada as the proving ground for password-sharing crackdown along with other countries prior to bringing it to the United States to which the practice according to Netflix, has helped drive revenue and more new subscriptions than cancellations. On the opposite spectrum Disney+ lost over 11.7 million subscribers worldwide last quarter and was troubled with delayed content due to the writer's strike, to recoup from their losses.
Disney plans to slash content spending by $3 billion over the next few years. While these crackdowns may be uncomfortable to many, from a business perspective, it makes sense when you factor in production budgets, and pay writers more after the strike agreement has been reached. What may have worked for Netflix may or may not be the same in Disney plus case, only time will tell. I'm sure Warner Brothers’ MAX will eventually follow this practice.