I'm working at Universal for the next few days, so I had the treat of really seeing the Writers Strike in action. There weren't any celebrities picketing the line (Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon must still be New Orleans cleaning up Katrina water). But as I tried to pull into the lot this morning, the picketers were walking back and forth in front of each gate entrance, carrying their WGA signs.
I kindly waited for them to finish crossing before turning right into the lot. Then immediately, another group started coming the other way so that none of us could turn in to the parking lot. Annoying. I finally just butted the nose of my car into the entrance, cutting off another picketer from entering the crosswalk. She looked back at me. Well move out of the way!
Now I'm not really against their cause (um, since I don't fully understand it all). But here's a watered-down version of it: the strike has to do with New Media and residuals that are normally paid to a writer each time their work (a TV show they wrote, film, etc) airs or is shown. With all the downloading of shows onto ipods and TV episodes available online, writers haven't been receiving risidual payment....thus, the strike (I think).
So sure, fight for your rights. But please don't block me from entering the parking lot to work. I'm not even a writer scab!
The funny thing is, the strike isn't affecting the Film studios too much. Since film development is a multi-year long process, a month long strike isn't going to hurt the development and production departments, when we already have 10 projects currently in production. But where it does hurt is episodic television. Normally, the writers on an hour-long show are a few episodes ahead of production. Casey's dad works on the show Pushing Daisies, doing Special Effects. But come next week...he and the rest of the crew are out of work, since they've shot as much as they can for upcoming episodes (thank goodness for Reality Television, however, he has another show to fall back on!) It's just crazy to think how much one department/Union can affect the jobs of so many others in the television industry. If you haven't seen Pushing Daisies, though, it's an interesting show to check out.
The set design and art direction are probably the best part. But I do enjoy it when Parry (Casey's dad) tells us the strange things he worked on for an episode. I guess in a couple weeks there's a huge vat of pink taffy that someone falls into. We'll have to tune in!
And on a seperate film note, since we're talking Biz talk....
Casey and I saw Dan in Real Life this weekend and really enjoyed it! Steve Carell was great and very non Michael Scott-ish. The comedy, the situations, and the acting were very real. It was a genuinely funny movie without being obvious, in a Meet the Parents sort of way (though I love that film too.) Dan in Real Life is a must see! We recommend!