So, the WGA has gone on strike. For a brief overview explanation as to why, check out this video, which explains it in simple, direct terms.
You can also find much more experienced screenwriters than myself discussing the strike, such as John August (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), John Rogers (Transformers [story]), and Craig Mazin. I can only assume the latter’s blog title, the “Artful Writer”, is somewhat satirical, given that he’s the man behind the scripts for Scary Movie 3, 4, and the upcoming 5, and that’s just about it. Don’t let that fool you, though, he’s got a lot of intelligent things to say about the business, and is THE foremost blogging authority on the WGA strike. So if you really want to know what’s up, go read the Artful Writer.
How does this affect you? Well, if you watch a lot of TV, you’re fucked. The last writer’s strike, in 1988, lasted 5-1/2 months. That puts us through mid-March, based on precedent. Most TV stations are going to be wrapping up the season early and going into reruns, because they don’t have new episodes coming. Your favorite late-night shows are already on re-runs, more than likely, both out of solidarity and out of the fact that they’ve lost their writing teams.
The film industry won’t be hit as hard in general. The films that will coming out in the next 6 months are already in production. The writers can’t do any kind of rewriting or polishing, but anyone who ISN’T WGA can do so (you’ll see a lot of actors and directors doing polishes over the next few months; or rather, you probably won’t see it, but it’ll be happening). It’s ironically AFTER the time the strike ends that things are going to get frantic. You’re going to see a lot of crap getting pushed out even faster and with less QC-ing than usual, to make up for the lost time in the production rhythms.
How does this affect me? I’m not in the WGA, after all. Well, no, that’s true, but the issue is that I EXPECT to be in the WGA at some point. And that means that I can’t scab, I can’t do any writing in a union-type situation.
And that means Descendants.
I’m really upset about this. I just turned in a new revision of the treatment, I was all geared up to get the script together and set it up at a studio…and now this. It’s going to kill our momentum, but there’s nothing we can do.
Damn it. I was SO excited to be moving forward with this. On the upside, the writer’s strike doesn’t affect me as a director, so assuming that the producers sign off on the treatment I got in before the strike, there’s a lot we can do in terms of moving forward on the project based on what we know about the story, locations, casting, etc. But still…argh.
I understand why the WGA is striking, and I know it’s for my future benefit, which is why I won’t be breaking the strike. But man…why couldn’t they wait until spring when we were up and rolling? Heh.