Treat Him Write

| March 7, 2001

Treat Him Write, Robert Wilonsky, San Francisco Weekly
Sam Hamm is a pretty successful screenwriter. He doesn't need to subsidize his income tending bar or waiting tables, and he has penned a number of films, including 1989's Batman and the just-released Monkeybone, a stop-motion film starring Brendan Fraser. But, he still feels like a second-class citizen in the movie world, writes Robert Wilonsky in the San Francisco Weekly. 'Writers on movies are, in legal terms, creating what's known as work made for hire,' Hamm says. 'It's basically the same as if you make a cabinet or a bookshelf and you sell it to somebody, it's then theirs to do with as they please. They can paint it, they can strip it, or they can hit it with a sledgehammer if they want to, and you have no control over that.' It's little wonder, then, that Hamm and the Writers Guild of America will strike on May 2nd over issues of money and respect, which Hamm believes are intimately connected. 'With money comes respect,' he insists.
--Anjula Razdan
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