We've already written about the rather ridiculous campaign
by actors to make sure they get a cut of every time their work is used. As we pointed out, the various entertainment companies have no one to blame but themselves for this state of affairs -- as they're the ones who have made the same claim in pushing to get paid for every use of their content. However, the more people all demanding their slice of the pie, the more difficult it gets for these companies to really embrace new business models. Now, we have the NY Times playing along with the actors claims, presenting an absolutely ridiculous and extreme "example." It takes on the cause of the voice talent performing as the lead character in Grand Theft Auto IV, Niko
. The actor in question made $100,000 for his voice work and motion capture work, which took parts of 15 months. That seems like a rather reasonable fee -- and, clearly, it was reasonable to Michael Hollick, or else he wouldn't have taken the job. And, of course, if he demanded more, it's likely that Rockstar would have moved on and found another perfectly capable and willing actor to do the work for $100,000.
Yet, thanks to news reports that note that the game has raked in $600 million, Hollick is being put forth as an example of those poor actors not getting "their cut" of work they do in video games. This is after-the-fact arguing. Hollick had a deal that was worthwhile. It's only after the fact, based on the lofty sales numbers being bandied about that it makes for a good "story" to suggest that he was somehow underpaid. It's surprising that the NY Times would even play up that side of the story when even Hollick himself admits that the $1,050 per day fee he received was 50% higher than the union's negotiated rate. In other words, he was paid a premium for the work, making over $1,000/day (hardly a pauper's salary), got a ton of publicity for his work in the role... and only after the fact complains about the salary based on the overall revenue the game brought in, and the NY Times puts out an article with a headline suggesting he was underpaid.