Top 5 Ways To Take Advantage of the Writers Guild Strike

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Photo by iZENstein, used under Creative Commons.

Digg This StoryYes, it is possible to make lemonade without being of disservice to the writers. In no particular order:

5) Start sending out that feature script of yours ASAP. I don’t advocate scabbing, but producers assistants and development staff will likely have less scripts coming in than regularly, and may actually be more open to reading unsolicited submissions. Agents will also be looking to rep fresh talent and stockpile great material to send out when the strike is over. (update: just don’t send it to these WGA signatory companies, as it would violate strike rules for even non-members.)

4) Have a business? Extend free or discounted services to anyone presenting a WGA membership card and relish in the good karma along with the good faith promotion. (The Roxy is already on it.)

3) Go celebrity spotting on the picket lines. Yeah – it may seem cheap, but I don’t think anyone will be offended (besides the producers) if you swing by to show your support of the strikers.

2) Get those headshots ready! Just about everyone can have their 15 minutes of fame as networks are supposedly rushing reality shows into production.

1) Make that short film or independent feature now that equipment rates will be heavily discounted. With series productions shutting down, and features slowing a bit, rental houses will be more keen on extending lower rates so everything from dolly track to camera packages aren’t just collecting dust.

9 Replies to “Top 5 Ways To Take Advantage of the Writers Guild Strike”

  1. Good call, Jim.

    “You must inform the Guild of the name of any writer-member and non-member-you believe is engaged in strike breaking activity such as scab writing for or negotiating with a struck company.”

  2. Might I suggest you check with your community cable channel to see if there’s anything you can do there? They need the help and it could add to your resume without scabbing.

    Check with your favorite non-profits. Could they benefit from your talent? Press releases, ad copy, brochure text? All sorts of things they need help with that adds to the CV, since not paid you aren’t scabbing or interfering with your unions goals. This is a huge win as you give back to the community and help non-profits who lack the resources to really put out the quality press they need.

  3. Fraz: I’m pretty sure the members have to follow the same rules for writing for public access as with other forms of TV. However, I doubt the WGA covers non-scripted forms of writing, such as technical writing, press releases, books, etc.

    That said, its a largely different skill set – script writers don’t always make for the best letter writers, let alone novelists, and vice versa.

  4. Thanks DM, I ideate and usually not good with rules when I’m not a member. At least you can keep them on track. I am amazed on what they do control, public access especially the lame local freebie to get a franchise amazes me still as that is all volunteer, but I didn’t make the rules and it is their sand box after all.

  5. Markland! There are better, actually workable ideas to be had than this. C’mon man. I expect more from you. ;-)

    Also, I haven’t seen equipment rates go down in the slightest nor anyone preparing for such. Perhaps you underestimate commerical and music vid work, reality… every DP I know is shooting like crazy right now. Is there a source/vender predicting equipment rental prices dropping? It seems like that would be a common sense conclusion but I wouldn’t count on it.

  6. Better ways? Share ’em! Honestly, I agree #3 is pretty weak – but I wanted a round number 5.
    Trust me on the equipment, though.
    If crews are being laid off, lighting packages, dollies, and the rest are soon to follow. Indeed, sound and video may still be in demand for the reality shows, but the rest should be up for negotiation. Right now may be too soon to get a great rate, but come the first week of December, if the strike isn’t resolved it’ll be weekend rental rates every day of the week (or at least much reduced rates – if not I’ll eat my hat… hold me to it).

  7. Better ways? Share ’em! Honestly, I agree #3 is pretty weak – but I wanted a round number 5.
    Trust me on the equipment, though.
    If crews are being laid off, lighting packages, dollies, and the rest are soon to follow. Indeed, sound and video may still be in demand for the reality shows, but the rest should be up for negotiation. Right now may be too soon to get a great rate, but come the first week of December, if the strike isn’t resolved it’ll be weekend rental rates every day of the week (or at least much reduced rates – if not I’ll eat my hat… hold me to it).

  8. Guild writers can write for public access, but why would they want to? They can reach far greater numbers on the internet.

    Readers are going to get laid off, if they haven’t all ready, so sending your spec out isn’t a good idea.

    No one is rushing any more reality shows into production. The production slates are set. The big vendors like Panavision aren’t going to suffer, as feature production isn’t being cut off.

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