Thursday, January 24, 2008

Open Letter to the WGA

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Dear WGA,

As a writer myself, I support the ideal of your cause;
As a family member of two relatives who work on a major show, I want to say ease the rhetoric and help the Below the Line [BTL] people get back to work;
As a consumer of TV and movies, I say, stay on strike, nothing original has been written for years. (ba-da-bump)

Throughout these three months, I have heard issues that you should fight for: Residuals and new platforms. Keep fighting for that. Writers should also be allowed to work on set; It is your words the actors and directors are using.

However, I notice the WGA never has strikers outside on Fridays or near Holidays or (until today) rainy weather. Most labor strikes occur under every condition if they want your job back under better conditions. You're not seriously fighting for it unless every working day you are out there.

As a Conservative Republican partisan, I won't go into the fact that most shows and movies are interchangeable. The hero is always a Liberal; the Antagonist is always a Conservative. Always. I won't mention how few Republicans get a chance to write for Hollywood due to a reverse Blacklist. Let us not forget that Senator McCarthy died in the 50's and we are in a new millennium now. Yet you folks still hold a grudge.

I won't discuss how hewing to one vision of the world limits the audience. As and Code Pink do not understand, making noise for the sake of making noise equates to not one extra vote for your cause. How many Anti-Iraq war movies came out? How many made budget in the United States? We, who are Conservatives and Republicans are willing to pay for product that appeals to us as well; But I think we are forgotten by the same writers on strike.

Enough with the politics, for now.

In the past three months, with help from the Screen Actors Guild [SAG], you have solidarity in the strike. The DGA made a deal, and the WGA expected a White Horse to save both Guilds. Has the top earning SAG and WGA members made a fund for all the BTL Guilds? Has Sean Penn contributed? Has William Goldman? Has Ed Asner? Has Paul Haggis? The answer is: No.

Hollywood is already dealing with the issue of Runaway Production. When you go back to the table with the Producers [AMPTP], why don't you offer a solution on how to keep jobs in Los Angeles? The networks are losing audience. I discussed why earlier in the political side in the rant. Maybe you can be the first Guild to open up to other Political views. You might get a swath of Red State supporters if you do.

Every Guild in Hollywood does not want to lose audience to Radio, Video games or Blogs. Why not offer solutions to these crisis? You're writers. The smartest Guild in the bunch. Actors follow your words; Directors have to learn to write a script first before the get behind the camera. Everyone in Hollywood knows this. Offer a solution at the table, and you might get double what you asked for.

Also, if you let SAG strike in the Spring, Hollywood might end up like the Parrot in Monty Python; Books will make a larger comeback. Hollywood must produce content, but it must be good content. I know you folks can do it.

Be better than the AMPTP. Negotiate fully. Offer long term solutions. Stop SAG from striking.

People from the BTL and your audiences are depending on you.



PS: I have a couple of pitches when Hollywood is back. Email my people.

1 comment:

  1. JSF, you seem a bit conflicted here. There's the part of you who enjoys entertainment and believes that people who work hard should get what's coming to them. And then there's the part of you that puts your political ideology ahead of everything else. I thought conservatives are supposed to believe in free market capitalism. If there was such a great demand for conservative themed entertainment, wouldn't some capitalist put their money where their mouth is supply that demand? Entertainment is a business, and business does not have any ideology beyond making as much money as they can. This leads me to believe that rather than some nefarious plot by the liberals, there just are not that many conservatives who get involved in the creative arts.

    So instead of complaining about how unfair it all is for your side there are two things you need to do. First is demonstrate a real demand for conservative themed entertainment. Second is to get some conservatives to go to film school. Or just go ahead and do it yourself! $100k is enough to put together a pretty good quality low budget indie film. Get some other like minded folks together to create a pitch and shop that around to as many think tanks and foundations as you can. If Richard Mellon-Schaife can pump tens of millions into sniffing Bill Clinton's underwear, what's a hundred grand for a movie with a built in audience?


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