Observations on the Road to...

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Writer's Strike & the Strike-Fro

From the Cabal.
Many of the members in the WGA have grown out Strike-beards, and I will, in a show solidarity, do the same. Except, that I'm gonna grow out the hair on the top of my head. I can't grow a mustache and/or beard very well, or barely at all, but even still, I won't be shaving or cutting my hair until this writer's strike is done. I'm prepared for the unkempt-ness of having a fro again, and the horrible similarities to a bad high school teenager growing out facial hair for the first time.

Anyway, here's a work that I had written something like two or three weeks back, and I wasn't initially intending to publish it. Or at least not here. I'm sure that it's okay that I'm posting it here. Hopefully, I'll have some news on some writing projects I've got cookin. Which is a fact that tis very cool in of itself. But yeah, what's below sums up what I feel about the strike.

Writing and weaving a story is art. It is also a job. Writing is a job the same way an accountant maintains the books, or an auto mechanic fixes cars. The main objective for a writer – of any medium – is to tell as a good a story as possible. But where writing differs from all other professions is in the same way in which not two people share the same fingerprint. For a writer, or group of writers, to be able to tell a story and capture the imagination of an audience requires enough discipline to sit down and somehow conform their ideas into an understandable structure. It can be a very difficult process. But in the end, I’m sure that most all writers relish the challenge of tackling something so difficult. Successful writers wouldn’t be as good as they are if they don’t look forward to that challenge. But what the writers of the Writers Guild of America haven’t looked forward to is this strike. Yet, it is something very necessary.

Producing a television show or film is a very collaborative process, and the role of the writer is a very important one as he or she helps to jump–start that collaborative process. However, despite holding that extremely pivotal position in a production, writers feel they are not fairly compensated for the residuals for their work distributed via the Internet. This work stoppage affects writers, directors, producers, actors, grips, best boys, craft services, make-up, casting, and so many more. In fact, it feels as if everyone is affected. Fortunately, most crew members above and below the line are supporting the WGA and the strike. But what is unfortunate is that most crew members below the line, that live from paycheck to pay check, are out of work. The situation is what it is, and nobody in the industry is immune. It is also a situation in which there really isn’t anyone at fault. To square blame on a particular group of people will accomplish nothing in this strike.

Studios and networks are currently not paying nearly enough residuals to the creative types responsible for producing the works that they, the studios and networks, distribute via the Internet. Soon negotiations for the other guilds will come up, and undoubtedly, one of the major sticking points will also be about the Internet. At that time, those guilds will do what they feel they must do. But now, it is the WGA’s time to act upon what they feel is necessary for the betterment of their guild. That is their job right now. That is their objective right now, and like so many others that have voiced their support for the strike, the WGA also has mine.

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