Saturday, May 31, 2008

Actor talks resume

The primetime contract negotiations between the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the producers group (AMPTP) restarted again this week.

The clock is ticking toward the June 30 expiration of the actors' contract. The pressure is on SAG as their sister actor union AFTRA have reached a tentative deal, a deal which opened the way for SAG to resume negotiations which had ended three weeks ago with some signs of progress. However the union leadership doesn't seem as if it will budge timidly from some of its sticking points, primarily in DVD and new media/Internet compensation, no matter what compromises AFTRA recently made. Read more at Variety.

A strike authorization is a big step, and not a certainty, given the recent writers strike.

Anything is still possible, and given the phenomenal ending of Lost Season 4, it would be a shame if the filming of Season 5 was delayed by yet another Hollywood strike.

(If you're just learning about this news, you can catch up with our summary here.)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Smells like TLE spirit

During the broadcast of There Is No Place Like Home Parts 2 & 3, "The DHARMA Initiative" (paid for by ABC, Inc.) broadcast an advert for Octagon Global Recruiting, and the website

The advert asked for volunteers, and advertises the dates 24 - 27 July 2008 in San Diego, California as the date for the first drive.

This co-incides with Comic-Con 2008. It seems that this might be the new ARG, following up from The Lost Experience and Find 815. Only two months till we find out, but its very likely that this will be an ARG designed to fill in some more backstory of the DHARMA Initiative.

Here is the advert again for anyone who missed it:

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Lost Ate My Life

Jon Lachonis and Amy Johnston (aka DocArzt formerly of TheTailSection, and Hijinx from the Fuselage) have published their book on Lost fandom: 'Lost Ate My Life' The book is not a rehash of content from their respective websites, but is a varied new collection of unique content, including past and new interviews with Carlton Cuse, Damon Lindelof, Bryan Burk, Gregg Nations, Javier Grillo-Marxuach (who also wrote the forward), as well as a personal report from the set. Lachonis mentions there are more surprises in store as well. The promotional material explains the title: "'Lost Ate my Life!' is not the authors' self-referential statement. Instead, it is the collective cry of the hardened fan base for ABC's pop-culture phenomenon. The book has two central ideas: first, that the creators of Lost created a shift in the thinking of online communities, effectively removing the barrier between the artists and the patrons... (and) Lost bloggers became important celebrities amongst the fan bases, some fans found themselves drawn into the inner circle..."

Read more here

Friday, May 23, 2008

Kris White Interview

Kris White, the producer and sometimes host of the Official Lost Podcast was recently interviewed by AudiblyLost, the fanblog dedicated to all things audio about Lost, including podcasts and music. Part one of the interview has been posted, you can read it here. I'll also eagerly await parts 2 and 3 because White reportedly describes his usage of Lostpedia's wiki.

UPDATE: Part 2 and Part 3 have been published.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

User account creation disabled (spoiler lockdown)

Due to vandalism that has occurred repeatedly since the release of the previously discussed spoilers for There's No Place Like Home Parts 2 & 3 on DarkUFO, we have had to temporarily disable user account creation on Lostpedia. Unfortunately some members of the community seem to be focused on destroying the surprise and enjoyment of the show for the majority of the fans, so we've had to take this action to protect everyone who visits from the malicious actions of a few.

Sorry everyone, but when we are faced with a choice between releasing sensitive information like this unwittingly (due to the very nature of a wiki being editable by anyone), and stopping a few members from creating memberships, we decided not to spoil it and limit member creation.

User account creation will be re-enabled once Season 4 has finished on May 29th.

Friday, May 16, 2008

SAG, Producers, reschedule negotiations

The producers and SAG (Screen Actors Guild), which covers Lost and nearly all of primetime TV)), announced Wednesday (link) that they would resume their negotiations for a primetime contract in less than two weeks, on or before May 28. These negotiations had been halted May 6 (with SAG protesting that a deal was close, link) when the producers switched tracks to begin negotiations with the sister actors union AFTRA (American Federation of Television & Radio Artists), which today continue their 9th day of negotiations.

By May 28, the less-demanding AFTRA is expected to have hammered out a contract, and SAG can begin. Whether or not a strike come June 30 is likely is still up in the air, but the planned resumption of talks can only be good news, as Lost Season 5 is slated to begin production late this summer. If you're just learning about this news, you can catch up with our summary here.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

What do you think of spoilers?

New Spoilers Restart Controversy

Note: No spoilers in this article. No spoilers in comments please (Comments thread will be moderated).

In the wake of a major scene-by-scene spoiler of the Season 4 finale by the Lost fansite DarkUFO, I must say I'm disappointed (again) but not surprised. Apparently he has received very specific spoilers for the season finale, and has posted the synopsis of the first hour of three, apparently a very detailed scene-by-scene reveal. A new controversy is brewing, and we want to hear your opinions.

Andy, the proprietor of DarkUFO, says he received the information from a source claiming to be "Lostfan108". If you don't remember, Lostfan108 was the person who gave Dark the spoiler for the finale of Season 3, perhaps one of the biggest mindfucks in television history. I'm glad I wasn't spoiled for that one. Dark of course released the information and started a huge controversy, causing Darlton to sulk into radio silence. If this is indeed the same Lostfan108, the content is real.

This time, DarkUFO has taken some care, including posting warnings, guidelines on behaviors such as disseminating spoilers responsibly, and posting the spoiler as a flash slideshow that can't be easily copy-pasted in its current form. Of course we all know a text summary will be posted soon, somewhere, by somebody. If there is a huge twist at the end of this season, it too will be accidentally spoiled for many fans as the site promises to release spoilers for the final two parts of the finale. Is it worth it, Andy?

For the rest of you, be careful on "teh Internetz" for the next few weeks. It's a dangerous world out there.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Lostpedia Debate League Premieres May 11

Lostpedia's new debate league premieres in the Lostpedia IRC Chat tomorrow Sunday 11 May at 2pm EST and 7pm GMT at #lostpedia. If you are unfamiliar with IRC, simply click here to use our server's Java chat application in your browser.

The debate topic for tomorrow's event is Ben: good or evil?. Debate teams have already registered in Lostpedia forums here. Team registration for future debates will also be in forums. Please join the chat to watch and make this moderated debate a success!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Actor talks stall without deal

The negotiations between the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the producers group (AMPTP) ended today without a deal for a new primetime contract (link). The current contract expires in just under eight weeks on June 30, after which a strike (and a delay to the start of filming of Lost Season 5 in August) becomes a possible outcome.

The talks had been repeatedly extended, with the most recent extension last Friday due to a promising thaw in some no-compromise issues. However the talks are now indefinitely postponed as the AMPTP now turns to negotiating with AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists), the sister actors union which recently divorced SAG for the purpose of joint bargaining. A new round of talks with SAG are not scheduled, although the talks with AFTRA may well end with a deal in only two weeks.

If you haven't been keeping up with the issue, the vast majority of prime-time television, including Lost, are under SAG contracts. The primary area of dispute are payments for DVDs, and new media including downloads and ad-supported streaming.

There are some reasons to believe a strike is not necessarily imminent come June 30. The producers axed the prospect of further negotiations with SAG today, despite SAG's statements that a deal was close; therefore it may be only a pressure tactic when in reality the two sides are closer than ever. Hollywood is still reeling from the recent writer's strike, and it is not a certain prospect that SAG would be able to generate a landslide vote among its own members to actually authorize a strike. Furthermore, SAG may be loathe to strike since it would mean the now-unfriendly sister union AFTRA may gain a larger footprint in prime-time, and a large head start in digital media, the promising new wild-west frontier of acting jurisdiction. However AFTRA is expected to have lesser demands, and it is possible the producers might be unlikely to give SAG more than it gives AFTRA, a scenario which might cause deadlock and a strike.

Anything is still possible. Let's hope for a speedy resolution well in advance of June 30, but for now, stay tuned to the negotiations with AFTRA, as these will affect SAG's future efforts. But for tonight, it's definitely not good news as the end of talks without a deal will do little to settle the nerves of Hollywood.

Monday, May 05, 2008


With Season 4, a whole slew of new questions, answers, and hints have come. We saw Desmond finally connect to Penny in real time. We've learned that only six of the survivors make it off the island (publicly, at least), along with Ben who seems to have teleported himself to the middle of the Sahara. There is an apparent time discrepancy on and off the island, as demonstrated with Faraday's rocket experiment. The whole thing might be some sort of elaborate game between Widmore and Ben.

However the most interesting aspect of this season thus far has been the introduction of a new relationship, between Charlotte and Faraday: "Charladay". Once a fantasy fan 'ship that provoked derision from other fans, it was suddenly confirmed last episode. Although it was a surprise to some fans, to believers like myself, it was the obvious next step...

In The Economist, when Sayid returns from the Barracks with Charlotte, she and Faraday are excited to see each other, with Faraday even putting her arm around her. This in particular caught my attention -- generally, people on Lost are strangers to each other. I believe Charlotte and Faraday have a past relationship, unknown to us. They are very obviously friendly with each other, more so than they are with the other Freighter People. This is evident with the animosity Miles treated Faraday with in Confirmed Dead and in the lackluster relationship between Frank and Faraday. Much like the Numbers in Season 2, the interactions between Charlotte and Faraday have been a consistent string of nice little things for observant fans to look for.

The clues about "Charladay" have been subtle. When Charlotte decides to stay on the island, Faraday does too, awkwardly. Not to continue with his experiments, but because she had decided to stay. Charlotte soon encourages him, confidently stating that remembering two out of three cards is progress. He gives her a cup of water in The Constant (mundane things are always of importance!), and cuts her off when she starts to get too sarcastic for her own good. In The Other Woman, Charlotte encourages him again and protects Faraday from physical harm. She is audibly worried for him when Juliet out-wrestles her. When Faraday scolds Charlotte about her attitude in Something Nice Back Home it is reminiscent of an old married couple bickering. Charlotte smiles when she overhears Sun and Jin gossip about her and Dan, and later, when Jin threatens him, she reveals that she can speak Korean and immediately agrees to his terms. The two characters are practically always seen together, seem very content with each other, and have looked out for one another on numerous occasions.

I've never been a big fan of the relationship aspect of Lost. I like Desmond and Penny, but that was established as a firm relationship before the actress for Penny was even cast. Rose and Bernard are nice as well, but they too were setup long before Bernard was introduced. Charlie and Claire was a roller coaster ride and Charlie has since died. Sayid and Shannon never really clicked in my book. The Harper-Goodwin-Juliet-Jack-Kate-Sawyer-Ana Lucia love polygon is a bit of a mess. I preferred to concentrate on the mysteries – the Smoke Monster, DHARMA, and where exactly all of Jack's chest hair went. Charladay is the first "ship" I've truly enjoyed watching develop. It has just enough unknown back story to make for an interesting and compelling relationship, similar to Jim & Pam on NBC's The Office.

Love is a central theme of Lost. It's nice to finally watch the blossoming of a relationship that makes sense and isn't complicated by a love triangle. I hope that you enjoy watching Charladay develop as much as I have. Please, visit the Lostpedia chat (Java) and discuss it. We've also been busy trying add as much as possible to the Charladay article here on Lostpedia – any help there would be much appreciated!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

A breath of hope: SAG talks extended with progress

Friday ended with some good news: progress on the primetime contract talks between the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the producers. These already extended talks had been scheduled to end yesterday, and there were ominous signs of deadlock. However the end of talks on Friday brought the good news that progress had indeed been made, and under this circumstance, both sides agreed to extend the bargaining again, through this weekend until Tuesday.

The first sign of give-and-take bargaining was that SAG finally dropped its ironclad demand for a doubling of DVD payment, shifting reimbursement to other methods. Although a deal is still not certain, the good-faith move by SAG has opened a door of promise and hope that a deal may be cut by next Tuesday. The sister actors union, AFTRA, has agreed to delay the start of its own talks until after Tuesday. In case you haven't been reading up, the actors' contract expires on June 30, and Lost (like the vast majority of primetime shows) works under a SAG contract.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Actor Strike Possible? May Update

As reported in our previous entry, the primetime TV contract talks between the producers (AMPTP) and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) is about to end tomorrow, after three workweeks of negotiations.

The prospects don't look good, according to industry press (see Variety). Yesterday, the AMPTP broke media neutrality with a public criticism of SAG, which apparently has not backed off of its hot-button demands, in particular for a doubling of DVD reimbursement as well as its demands for New Media which are significantly better than the terms recently negotiated by the writers (WGA) and directors (DGA). The producers have long said the actors should not expect a better deal than these other unions.

In all likelihood then, talks with SAG will end tomorrow and go on hiatus and the AMPTP begins talks with SAG's rival union, the American Federation of Television and Radio Actors (AFTRA). As a reminder, most primetime shows are under SAG contracts, including Lost. AFTRA only has 3 shows in primetime (they are powerful in daytime TV), but if they can ink a quick deal at less demanding terms, they may be able to get a larger foothold in SAG's traditional territory, and maybe even in upcoming digital new media projects.

Talks may with SAG might resume after AFTRA is finished with its negotiations, but it's already May and the contract expires in two months on June 30. There's plenty of time for more negotiations, and a strike is not for certain, but a quick resolution and ease of mind by tomorrow evening now seems very unlikely. Lost Season 5's timely resumption may hang in the balance. We'll check back tomorrow.


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