Friday, April 28, 2017

The good and the bad and Bush League

As mentioned, the WGA members have decided to strike, most likely after the end of the month as that's when our contract expires. Everybody is worried as I mentioned that the last strike which lasted 3 months, cost California anywhere from around $500 million up to a billion dollars. 

And again, because of a bunch of writers.

Because it all begins with someone who sits down at home or at an office and begins to write a story for someone. And get paid for it. That payment can be anything from a hundred dollars up to millions of dollars.

But not everyone gets a reasonable amount of money. That's where WGA comes in. They make sure their writers get paid. You remember that from last week wherein a company made my movie without paying me. 

And if I wasn't in my Canadian guild, WGC, I would have gotten it but it would have taken even more than the 14 days that it took to get "them" to pay me.

I also know of writers who aren't in WGA (or WGC - the Canadian guild) and they get very little. A friend of mine in his early 40's writes screenplays for about $2500. My minimum is around $48,000, meaning that this fee is the lowest that producers can pay. 

And if you have a good agent or a hit movie, you can make millions.

Unfortunately I didn't make millions. But I didn't write scripts for $2500. That's all you need to know about payments.

And why I'm in both guilds. Because I want more that $2500.

I sold my first script back in the mid 1980's when I came to LA and found a lovely lady who would be my agent for a year or so. I was broke and upset due to a divorce and because I write, I decided to write my anger into a script.

It was about a women's baseball club that played against small town baseball clubs. The girls would be pretty good and mostly would win. Except this one town of rednecks. Someone got killed and the girls hit the road escaping the rednecks.

But here's the difference. The girls were athletes and they fought back just as hard in their own way.

It was a pretty raw and tough script, sort of a version of Deliverance. And if you haven't seen that 1972 movie with Burt Reynolds, see it.

And I had the best title. 

Bush League.

Got it? You sure?

So I sold the script for $7000 and went back to Canada.

But when it got made there was a lot of changes, more sexual material, certainly not from me. And there was another thing; the writers.

Yes, there was a handfull of writer names that I never saw and my name was "Story by Jim Makichuk". But when I got a copy of it, the script was about 60% mine. The worst stuff was the other guys.

And they changed the title from Bush League to Blood Games. And I tried to hide any VHS copy at that time. 

You can find it somewhere online if you can. But just remember, the bad stuff wasn't mine. It's actually pretty funny. 

And the girls win.

And I had nothing to do with the cover.

See you Monday.  Maybe.

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