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82 / Studios
online that consumers can view in lieu of our motion pictures? There may
be all kinds of reasons that the number of discs being sold in North Amer-
ica has declined over the last few years.
What I do know is that there’s a large number of consumers who love
collecting our movies, and we’ve made it really easy in the physical world
and really challenging, at best, in the digitalworld. My focus is: I don’t want
to lose a consumer from collecting our movies because we haven’t given the
consumer the kind of experience they want
now simultaneously exists as no place and anyplace. In virtual reality, the canvas is at
once Walter Benjamin’s “playspace” and Nam June Paik’s “without gravity” art of the
future.29 Similarly, photography’s “writing with light” is literalized within a virtual arena
absent any camera. These cameraless images are rooted in the physical gesture of the
artist’s hand in real time and real space. The handmade mark endures, imbuing the
digitalworld with a touch—as László Moholy-Nagy demonstrated nearly a century ago
with his photograms—that somehow is and isn
conversation about windows and what these studios
are doing. It doesn’t make any sense to most consumers, but the economics
make a lot of sense for the motion picture studios.
Along those lines, how do these changes affect the moratorium strategy
that worked so well in the past for Disney?
That’s a great question. At Disney we often discussed what the role of the
moratorium strategy should be in a digitalworld. If we weren’t making it
available, then the pirates would do it for us. I can’t say with any specifi c-
ity what is happening with the moratorium strategy
necessary to make it a really large business has come into
place. So it’s grown very rapidly. The marketplace is growing at a nice
double- digit percentage every year, but it’s still a relatively small part of
the business, and making this a bigger part of the business is one of our
If you look at tele vi sion, there is not a rental business, so we only have
a digital sell- through business.
Why is that? Why has the rental of tele vi sion been eliminated in some
In the digitalworld, there just hasn’t been a demand for it. There have been
the digitalworld. So you have these companies
that bought up everything. For the guilds it’s now a case of negotiating
with consolidated media empires that very cleverly cooperate.
Back in 1988, when the issues of cable and video residuals were fi rst boil-
ing over, why did the unions get such a bad deal?
Short of boring you with the whole history, I will bore you with just some
sort of anecdotal recollections of my own. The DVD formula, which was
the VHS formula, was really the creature of a series of bungles on the part
of the unions in 1984 by the
industry. In the early days, the WGA was instrumental in getting writing
sessions at conferences like DigitalWorld, the IMA Expo in New York, and
the Computer Game Developers Conference . . . which is now the most
esteemed game conference in the world.”38 Despite the attitude of some of
its members, the WGA was prescient in recognizing the potential that this
market brought if its writers could be professionalized within the guild
196 / Screenwriter 2.0
Another important step in the process of legitimating video games for