The WGA wanted more residuals and profits for its members, but movie and television studios wanted to earn back more expenses before paying out those residuals. Looks like it was a stalemate, and not only were certain major movies and television shows about to get the ax before going into production, but other films about to start filming may have had scripts not quite ready before cameras rolled.
So what happened?
Looks like the producers may be willing to negotiate, and the WGA may get what they want. Though I'm sure the WGA may have to accept a compromise. Of course that's the whole point of coming to the table to negotiate.
No news yet on the Directors Guild of America (DGA) or Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and their contracts, which are up June 30, 2008. A strike may happen July 1, but that's a long way off, and I'm sure a bargain can be struck, too.
Whenever the threat of a strike happens in Hollywood, the studios (TV and film) both go into overdrive, using production budgets from the next two to three years to pay for a whole ton of movies to go into production. Even if the strike is averted, which I believe will happen in the case of the DGA and SAG, it still hurts everyone. Studios' production budgets for the next two to three years are spent in a shorter period, and there are a lot of movies and TV shows in post-production, waiting for staggered release. Plenty of cast and crew end up with very little work, and it hurts everyone.
Plus, imagine if writers were to go on strike in November anyway: There would be a lot of reality TV on the air and movies with poor scripts coming out over the next couple of years. I hope everything will be okay, but it's too late to stop the train of production - it has left the station and is barreling down the tracks. Regardless of how this all turns out, there will be a slowdown late next year.
Source: Deadline Hollywood Daily