Friday, 11 January 2008

Hollywood Babble On & On... #22: Hanks a Lot.

A big perpetual hat tip to Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood Daily* for this little tidbit about Tom Hanks being the first A-Lister to stand up and say that the cause of the strike was the lack of 'honest bargaining' on the side of the AMPTP.

And never being one to let anyone else hog the glory actor George Clooney has offered to participate in a 'mediation panel' to solve the strike.

Now since George is a member of the WGA, there's no way the AMPTP will agree to it, but that's okay for Clooney. I don't think he has any real intention of mediating anything for anyone. In fact, I'm pretty sure that he's as content with the status quo as most of the A-Listers and doesn't want to rock the boat, but doesn't want to alienate the WGA.

Now you're probably wondering why the A-Listers outside of Tom Hanks are unwilling to help fix an obviously broken system.

You see Hollywood has a dirty little secret, and it does not involve bondage, drugs, or an underage pre-op transsexual 'houseboy' named Lola.

The secret is that the A-List contracts, with bloated up-front salaries and percentages of the gross ticket sales are the main reason most films fail to make a profit.

And to top it all off, most actors on the A-List couldn't sell tickets to a movie showing in a bunker during a nuclear holocaust.
"Oh my god!" said John and Jane as they banged on the heavy steel door of the fallout shelter. "The missiles are coming! Let us in the bunker!"
"Okay," replied the Bunker Commander, "but to get in where it's safe you have to buy tickets to a movie starring Nicole Kidman and George Clooney."
"We'll stay outside."
Okay, I exaggerate a little, but my argument is not that far off.

Most A-Listers may say they support the writers, but in reality don't because any equitable revenue sharing would require a second look at how much 'stars' are costing and if they really are worth the money.

Now with TV stars it's different. Even the top TV stars know that without writers, who not only write the scripts, but also produce the shows, they're nothing. So they are way more active on the side of the WGA than the 'big screen' A-Listers.

Now Hanks is different. His statement was shockingly blunt by Hollywood standards, but I assume he's stashed away enough 'screw-you' money to accept a more rational order of things.

But will the other A-Listers, and more importantly the moguls accept it?

That is the question.

* Home of the best coverage of the business end of Showbiz on the Internet.

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