Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Hollywood Babble On & On #186: The Stages of Negotiations

Nikki Finke reports about trouble in the negotiations between Matthew Weiner, the creator/show-runner of Mad Men, and its production company Lionsgate. Weiner wants more money, Lionsgate is saying the demands are crazy, and are shopping around for a replacement, and some folks are worried.

I'm not, they're just doing the dance that's been dictating negotiations since the day Og offered a mammoth tusk for Ag's cave painting, and Ag called Og a "philistine."

Negotiations follow stages, very simple and predictable stages, they are...

1. OUTRAGE: Both sides demand too much of the other.

2. ENRAGE: Both sides start acting huffy, calling each other names, exchanging threats, and making a show of trying to make deals with others.

Now this is the tricky part, because it can go two ways, they can either--

3. ENGAGE: This is when both sides are done with their posturing, name calling, and threatening, and then realize that they need each other to make money, and then hash out a deal like responsible adults that's reasonable for both sides.

Or they can--

3. DISENGAGE: This means that they took something said, or done, during the enrage stage gets taken personally, or one or both sides go just a little too far with the Enrage. Usually this occurs when a company, producer, or agent, gets too greedy and/or too aggressive turning business into war. Nobody really wins these wars, because the producer leaves, the replacement usually isn't up to the task, and the show suffers, and if eventually cancelled after losing millions.

So, let's all hope that both sides choose to engage rather than both come up loser.

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