|And by the by...just to keep some measure of perspective on all
this...for as much as I may grump about the profit situation, and the
DVDs, the ones who *really* get screwed the most on this are the
actors. Their reoyalty formula is even worse than the WGAs, and when
it comes to making the DVDs...
Back when they were doing the first season or so, WB called me in for a
meeting. Very important, they said. So I go in and sit with them.
"We have a problem," they said. "Andreas and Peter won't do
commentaries or interviews, and Walter doesn't want to let us use his
footage from the documentary."
"Why not?" said I.
"They want to get paid."
"Then pay them," said I.
"That's not our policy," said they.
"Then change it."
You would think I turned to the Pope and said, "Who farted?"
"We can't change our policy, it's our policy."
"Of course you can," I said. "It's not as if Your Policy exists
outside the natural realm, like some kind of Greek perfect ideal. You
made the policy, and you can change it."
"If we pay THEM, then EVERYONE is going to want to get paid."
"And that's bad how?" I asked. "You're putting actors on camera or
behind a mike. Asking them to perform. They should be paid for that."
"Well, we want you to talk to them, tell them it's important to you
that they do this."
"Because they're right and you're wrong."
"Doug has said he'll talk to them."
"That's not my problem. I won't do it."
"We're asking you as a personal favor. Talk to them."
So I talked to them. I called the actors in question, who said, in
general, "They won't pay me."
"I know. So don't do it."
"You're okay with that?"
"So...why are you calling?"
"I promised I'd call, so this is my call, to say good for you."
And that, as they say, was that.
Which is also, incidentally, why Harlan wouldn't do the DVDs.