Treat Him Write

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
‘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
–Anjula Razdan
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