Wednesday, April 23, 2008

From Print to Screen?

►I'm not a full time working print journalist, but Paul Conley raises an important point. Where will all the print reporters and editors, whose jobs are quickly disappearing, go to find work? Every single day, as part of my gig tracking industry news for a media-centric newsletter, I read about another major print news organization – newspapers mostly, but some magazines too – laying off dozens and sometimes hundreds. Sure, some find positions online, even before staff cuts come their way. But what about the rest? As always, Conley, an astute industry observer, has given it some thought.

►Could it be studio heads learned something from the writer's strike? Something along the lines of, "What do you know? It all starts with the writing?" Hmm. When I read something like this, I get the idea they may be getting the message. I've got two thoughts about this trend of Hollywood trawling for scripts from the fiction shelves and magazine racks: One, Hooray for my friends whose novels and longer magazine articles may get a second life on the screen (small or big). On the other hand, is this a way for the studios to jump right over the heads of experienced, established and higher-paid screenwriters and instead pluck development properties from a group – that would be the much lower paid novelists and freelance writers – who don't command the bigger paychecks?

Or....maybe all of the soon-to-be out-of-work print journalists ought to take screenwriting classes?

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