Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Fan, meet Shit. Shit, meet Fan.

Well, it’s official. The writers are going to strike.

Since today’s work was on a stage with internet access, everyone who had a computer kept checking every 90 seconds to see what was going on, and we got the word via the LA Times website around 8 pm.

This show will finish it’s current episode (which runs through Friday), and after that who knows what will happen? It depends on if they have a script that they can shoot without re-writing it (which is absurd – stuff gets rewritten on the fly all the time).

By 8:05, a couple of people were starting to really freak out, but I’m just going to try to scrounge enough work to get me through the next couple of weeks and then hope for the best.

I suppose the next few weeks would be a great time for me to get the bunion surgery that I need (and the accompanying 10 – 12 weeks of disability), or I could go get a regular construction job, or go pull cable on one of the event crews.

I guess that’s where those of us that are below the line have an advantage (and it’s probably the only advantage we have) is that the skills we have translate into being able to go and get a job somewhere else if we absolutely have to.

Who am I kidding? Although I like to think I’d be able to march up to a construction site and get a decent paying job that uses a similar set of skills to mine, the reality is that I’ll probably end up back on the low budget non-union movies.

Who, when you think about it, are going to be the clear winner in this mess. They’re going to get the crews (and the writers) they normally can’t afford, and none of us can leave and go work a ‘real’ show because there won’t be any.

Gods, I hope this gets settled quickly, although the pessimist in me is pretty certain it won’t.

Filed under: Work, , , , ,

9 Responses

  1. nezza says:

    It’s making the main news over here now as well.

    I have my fingers and toes crossed that it won’t affect you too much.

  2. Charli says:

    I’m on that sentiment with Nezza.

    Now, about poison ivy, I once while working at a hotel went exploring and mind you, I’ve never seen poison ivy so I had no idea what to look for, well, I swam right in the middle of a huge patch, got the itch BAD. Stupid, stupid, stupid, so be careful on the oak.

  3. al smitty says:

    Actually, in LA, any construction related skill set you have is likely to be undercut by illegal immigrant labor.

    The only way to make a decent living as a skilled tradesman in this town is to work a for a big agency like MTA or DWP. Where unions are very much in force, natch.

  4. Dave2 says:

    I so wish that everything could have been settled without a strike, but I suppose it was inevitable. In the end I just hope that a fair resolution is reached on both sides, and the industry as a whole isn’t too badly damaged by a lengthy battle where people move on to other forms of entertainment.

  5. Dan says:

    I simply don’t get the producers in this. The biggest sticking point, DVD residuals, would go from the current 4 cents to 8 cents for the writers. Hey, I’ll pay another 4 cents for a DVD! Problem solved.

  6. Charli says:

    Dan – that’s one of the major issues, the other is the new wave of media such as the internet. Shows that are shown right now on the net, writers get zip, zilch, zero residuals and who knows what the future might usher? If the writers lock down to something now, it could hurt them in revenues to come.

    I read an article online that stated the moguls won’t meet this weekend. They will restructure their shows, so many of them are losing money, this is a good excuse to let these shows go. The strike will be used as a tool to clean house as it were, but this tool is used in the expense of so many others. It’s easy to strike when you have money in the bank, a lot harder when you don’t. My dad once went on a bricklayer’s union strike back in the day, last eight months, we were a poor family growing up, so basically, we lived on beans and rice. Strikes hurt, hurts the workers which then hurts the families.

  7. holygirl427 says:

    I’m keeping you in my thoughts. If all else fails come crash with me in Oklahoma Pretty. There’s no work here either, but there is a lot of alcohol.

  8. ee says:

    There’s no doubt going on strike sucks, and it sucks even more for the innocent bystanders who get hit in the crossfire, but when you come down to it, a strike is the only real leverage any group of workers have. Hopefully this WGA strike will be shorter than the last one, but from looking at the bargaining positions both sides are staking out, it looks kind of like the 03-04 grocery strike: both sides convinced that they have to hold the line, no matter what. Good luck.

  9. steven says:

    It was mentioned that the writeres will not get residuales from the internet. Well, they are the only ones who do get residuales besides the producers and actors. I am below the line, we do not get residuales. while the writers are strking, they are still getting paid with their residual checks. Me and everyone else will be out of work very very soon.
    The writers have also sent out a flyer, they want our support and they say this can help us too. They want our support when they are putting us in the unemployement line? If it was a reasonable request of what they wanted, yes we would help. but some of the things they are asking for is outragous.
    How are they going to help us? Are they going to get us residuals too? I doubt that.

    Peggy sez: Actually, below-the-line crew do get residuals. They’re paid into our health and retirement plans instead of directly to us, so establishing a residual system for all new forms of media will help us out in the long run.

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