Finally, somebody said it.....

H. Wolfgang Porter's picture
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
Plus Member Moderator

This vid goes out to all my fellow pro's and to you Intermediates, Ammy's and straight out of the box newbies. Here's an excerpt from the documentary on Screenwriter Harlan Ellison and his rather pointed perspective on writer's being paid for their services. This razor sharp wisdom applies to still, video, film shooters, sound designers, graphics people and so on. His language gets salty at points so be advised.

Harlan Ellison "Pay the Writer"

grinner's picture
Last seen: 2 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 12/29/2007 - 2:56am

He's fussy and needs a nap. He won't pee off the clock but he's got time to throw a little fit? Man, I don't get mad when people try to lowball me. I just hang up.


H. Wolfgang Porter's picture
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
Plus Member Moderator


Sometimes "fussy" is fun. Yeah, he 'should have been all Zen' about it. But I can see his malfunction with someone representing WB trying to get something for free they know damn well they should be paying for. Ya' gotta' admit though, he called it dead on about how none of them would do it for free.

I do however agree and wonder if he has a 'time clock' in the john....

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc.

CraftersOfLight's picture
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 02/17/2009 - 5:42am
Plus Member

... just please do not post his pay scale. That would be too much information.

Life is not a guided tour nor a destination. It is a journey. Take the time to enjoy your family, friends and surroundings. Build memories. Share experiences. Travel at sight speed not light speed. (C)

ffelix's picture
Last seen: 6 years 11 months ago
Joined: 07/28/2010 - 6:25pm

Man, this guy is a bitter P.I.T.A.! Did he get paid for making this video? :)

Welcome to America, dude. Very few people get paid properly, & it's often because of the "amateurs", I mean, competition. At least you guys have organized representation that blocks entry to the field & makes sure you get paid fairly well when you do get a check. Maybe you should talk to your rep about the DVD extras, if it's that big a friggin' deal to you.

I don't believe it's just the writer not getting paid for the DVD extras. But everyone in the extras did get paid for their work on the film--it's not like they just dragged random people in off the street.

I do agree that the writer IS probably the most seriously undervalued member of the entire filmmaking team. Maybe that's at least in part because they are often done with their job & gone even before shooting starts. Seems to me that Ellison would want to be in it just to maintain a presence.

And I have to say that, yes, a good DVD extra is worth the price of the disc to me. I learn a lot, gain a deeper appreciation of the work & often do follow up on other projects the folks in them have done if they have thoughtful, interesting things to say.

birdcat's picture
Last seen: 4 years 9 months ago
Joined: 10/21/2005 - 10:09am

Harlan Ellison has been a profitable SciFi author and futurist for many years. I have read several of his books and have enjoyed them.

He has long been a proponent of paying people their due - whether author, songwriters, producers, anyone! He is HIGHLY opinionated and very well paid for that opinion.

Whether you disagree with him or not, I have never heard him make a point that was not worthy of consideration - "It is the sign of an intelligent mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it" - Aristotle.

Bruce Paul 7Squared Productions

Richard Smith's picture
Last seen: 6 years 10 months ago
Joined: 07/30/2010 - 5:41pm

If I saw this two years ago, I still would have made the same mistakes. I thought if I worked for free I would develop a reputation. I did develop one, a bad one hard to over come. Once you work for free, you become the ez-girl in school no one will marry. I don't care if you charge a hundred dollars, when you work for free your clients have no respect for the time, talent and effort you put into each production and they take thier money to professional house's that charge market prices. Take my advice for what it is worth, but I don't need anymore company here on losers lane. Working for free lowers your self esteem, your reputation and the quality of your work. Leave the free stuff for family and charge your friends.

I do it, to do it, not to view it.

H. Wolfgang Porter's picture
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
Plus Member Moderator

I dug this vid because he emphasized rather pointedly something we here on the forums have been discussing for some time. Professionals get paid for their work, Amateurs do not. With the advent of Video Sharing, there is this unreasonable expectation for everything photographic or video to be 'free'. I totally understand the man's point about if they wanted his participation in the project, they had to pay him for it. And he was right in that unless you've got some really good blackmail material on a big studio exec on down the line, you won't get jack sprat for free!

Now for a 'budding' writer, there may be some small advantage to lending your work pro bono, but it's like CT said, 'once they know they can get you for free....' To go to an established and notable writer or other type of professional and ask them to donate their time or whatever to a non-charitable project is insulting. If nothing else, he gets my nod for 'Best Old Guy use of MF' I've ever heard....

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc.