Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Supporting striking writers

Seattle WGA (Writer's Guild of America) members and their friends from AFTRA, SAG, the Northwest Screenwriter's Guild and Teamster union joined in to hold an informational picket in front of downtown Seattle's popular Westlake Mall yesterday (Friday, December 14).

When the photos are ready to display, I'll show some.

Basically, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers at this point refuses to negotiate; the WGA wants to get back to the table and talk. Producers do not want the WGA to consider unionizing folks who write reality programs - a very poor paying job now.

So I joined the supporters of the WGA strike for two and a half hours - wearing a big sandwich board and handing out fliers with the facts of the negotiations (from the WGA's point of view).

Interestingly, many people were aware of the strike, wanted to know how they could support writers, and were none too sympathetic to the producers. I had no expectations about my experience, I just wanted to support WGA writers and inform people what was going on and encourage the public to get involved to get the producers back to the table.

There's talk of us getting a plane load of writers and our supporters to fly down as reinforcements for the picket line walkers in LA next year.

We're very aware that writers aren't getting a paycheck during the strike, and the holidays are not a good time to be without a job. If you think that the majority of WGA members are BMW-driving, sunglasses wearing folks who sit around their pools sipping mint juleps, you are very wrong.

Writing is hard work and it never gets easier - either doing the work or being assured of selling another script or landing another TV writing gig. Most writers are supported by their partners until they get a foothold in their trade - whether it's playwrighting, screenwriting, writing books, or any sort of work affixing pen to paper (or clacking computer keys to the empty screen). And most are solid family people.

Meanwhile, get ready for reruns - it feels like the strike could go on for awhile.

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