There are professional negotiators working for the writers and the actors, but basically you've got the writers and actors negotiating against businessmen. That's why you get rhetoric.
The most positive step is to try to expand the employment base by making it, if not economically friendly, at least not economically disastrous, for studios to take on deficits.
The story drove the book. That had a very seminal effect on the way I saw writing and storytelling. If you can set a character in a story that is compelling and has a backbone, you draw people in.
I don't think you can really make television based on what you think audiences want. You can only make stories that you like, because you have to watch it so many times.
The threat to free television. The reason television is free is because it is a life support system for commercials. That fundamental aspect is about to change.
There was an interesting article in Los Angeles Magazine about women directors. A woman director makes one bad independent film and her career is over. Guys tend to get an opportunity to learn from their mistakes.
Their argument is that most shows are losers, which is true, but it's also disingenuous to say, 'We are not going to take the risk unless it is totally covered by the few successful shows that are out there.'
If you're going to vote on a television contract, there is a certain rationality to saying that the same structures that are applied to Health Plan participation should be placed on the right to vote on a strike.
The agendas on the management side of the table now are not in sync like they used to be because you have vastly different entities supplying programming to networks.
When it went on the air, the sales department hated it. It was the highest advertising pullout show in the history of NBC. At the early focus groups, people were saying, 'Who are these people? Why should we watch them?
Advertising is the art of the tiny. You have to tell a complete a story and deliver a complete message in a very encapsulated form. It disciplines you to cut away extraneous information.
Drama or comedy programming is still the surest way for advertisers to reach a mass audience. Once that changes, all bets are off.
The ad revenues still go up because nothing dependably delivers the eyeballs that successful series do.
I do love television. But the business is accelerating and people are not getting the chance to fail.
The environment doesn't change that radically. You are still going to go home at night and NBC is going to be there, ABC and CBS will still be there.