Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Strike Day 100 - Strike Ends

Well, I voted my conscience but more rational minds prevailed, so it's back to the office tomorrow for my partner and myself.

It will be a mad dash for those of us still alive in this current bastard pilot season and we shall see if we manage to make it to the the finish line at the CW and/or CBS.

I really wanted to animate Savonarola so that Variety burst into flame in his hand but tonight I had to settle for a still image. Oh, well -- tomorrow is another day!

There were about a hundred writers lined up outside the Guild building when I showed up just before 2:00pm today. The timing on my part was a fluke -- I drove a school trip, taking my son's 5th Grade class to the Los Angeles Science Center, next door to USC and the LA Coliseum. It was like deja vu, since I'd just been there at The Shrine for the big Guild meeting a few nights ago.

People are happy to be going back to work, which is great. The rest of the city is happy to see the industry gearing back up to spend money as usual -- or at least much closer to it -- which is also good.

The Guild leadership has declared victory and I think in fact they are correct. We did indeed achieve victory. It seems as if -- in the aftermath of the "Hundred Days" -- Nick Counter may be in line for a ticket to St. Helena after all. I still don't believe for a moment that he is the reason for the strike, that the real powers that be in charge of the big conglomerates didn't tell him exactly what they wanted him to do every step of the way. But that doesn't really matter. He's the fall guy. It will be interesting to see if the companies use him to speak for them when talks finally begin between them and SAG.

My last word on the strike is... I think we writers should be proud of ourselves.

For the most part we stuck together for much longer than anyone would have expected or predicted. For the most part we kept our dissatisfactions to ourselves in order to present a united front to the opposition.

I have to check a list of the writers making up the so-called "Dirty Thirty" -- who are now said to have pressured our leadership to take the DGA deal or face public rebuke and division within the Guild -- to see if I know any of them personally. The thing I find funny is that it was -- as people were saying out on the picket lines -- some of the most financially successful among us who were the most desperate to get back to their jobs with no regard for whether or not that would be the best thing for the Guild as a whole. I understand having to cover a large nut on a monthly basis but that's still no excuse for being a selfish scumbag -- in my humble opinion.

My big question now is whether or not I'll vote for Patric Verrone and his "Writers United" brethren when they all run again in our next election. Their very name offends me -- "Writers United." I mean, it would be great if it had something to do with writers going up against directors or actors or composers or producers or something like that -- but they were and will be running for office in competition with OTHER WRITERS! So how can they lay claim to a party name such as "Writers United" when one of the key purposes of their party is to overcome/defeat various other writers running for the same offices?

Maybe I'm just a stickler for words. But it does sound super cool, yes indeed.

Anyway, despite my dislike for their trappings and sound-bytes, they did a good job preparing for and organizing the strike and the negotiating committee they put together did a very good job trying to avert it and then trying to get the best deal possible out of it. I still believe that taking a very different approach to the negotiations two years ago might well have led to a similar deal without requiring the 3 month strike -- but that's all water under the bridge now. There is a strong argument to be made that reelecting our present leaders would be the best thing to do, simply because the companies will be forced to sit down across from them once again, with the memory of our recently concluded unpleasantness never far from their minds. If Verrone and company speak softly and carry the big strike stick, we may be in good shape for the next round of negotiations.

Enjoy being back at work and enjoy not having to walk the picket line and -- if you are one -- enjoy being a writer.

...and count your blessings!

I know I will.


Devon said...

Congrats again man! I'm working on a low-budget feature today! I'll let you know how it goes!!

Good luck at the office today, also.

Tony said...

what am I going to read now?

Brooklyn scribe said...

Ah, Tony... you say the sweetest things!

mrburkemath said...

I hope everything works out for you now.

Crazy season ahead, eh?

Brooklyn scribe said...

Hi Christopher! Thanks for the good wishes.

Yes, it is already getting crazy, but hey, that's better than being out of work.

We'll just have to see what comes of this season for Cy and myself. I'll let you know if we get to move forward on either of our pilots -- or, if lightning strikes, both of them.

Say hi from my entire family to Tom and your entire family!