My home and city has been in hibernation mode for the last few weeks. Outside there’s a strike on somewhere, a mile or two in any direction people in shirts are yelling at other people in different colored shirts. As a new media writer I should care about the future of my industry…..I’ve registered a script with WGA but I’ve never owned it as my union any more than the AMPTP collusion table makes sense to me. The writing rules have never fully applied to my work, mostly shorts and live campaigns. After four years in this town it shouldn’t seem so foreign, the idea that people like to get around tables and yell at each other for power over the creative artists who work with them, but here we are again. Collusion meet fraction, break the creative individual to bits and pieces!
It seems we need a new system, one where all of the major players are not allowed to sit at one table and fix prices across the industry. Many of the most talented creators move into other careers because they are not handsomely paid and often not highly respected for long hours of dedicated work in media production. Some are not even credited at the end of the film! My husband and many of our good friends are the people who toil behind the scenes on your favorite films and shows and some sit at home for a tense 8 week+ holiday season without paychecks. Others are out temping anywhere with work. Who’s getting rich here?
We still work, we still create, quite a few writers have now developed a new script thanks to a few weeks off without a boring series to call home. It’s a brutal process, losing faith in one’s career….but as a writer and producer I cannot see another way to shift our minds and hearts. We do not do this work because we get rich and famous. We create because we MUST create; the drive to build new worlds is so intense for this city that we start to spin when our blinded focus is taken away. We realize that in our worldbuilding dreams we forgot to create a better solution for ourselves in this reality.
Imagine what would happen if half of New York City suddenly found work stopped indefinitely. What would the city look like?
Our cities are still going strong but there’s a worry in the air this holiday season that is not going to encourage the rest of your fine folks to shop and consume yourselves dry. Hollywood is going broke fast baby and you’re gonna feel it soon too. The series are drying up or finished, the movies are wrapping and everyone’s looking around for the next big idea. I haven’t told most of them that it’s sitting on my desk, but to be honest it is worth far more in this world to KNOW AND TRUST the people you work with. We’ve been offered contracts with studios and angels and have turned them down; we only want the right partners for the coming years ahead. The next few years may not be easy for most of us but we have a great world to build with our audience that brings the hope we need to balance our fear.
As a writer, producer, artist and most of all as a friend, I encourage you to be conscious with all that you are, all that you purchase. Every dollar is a decision, an investment in an object or idea. What do your decisions say about your highest self?
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