Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Strike Notes: Week 5


Monday - Tried out a new place to park, courtesy of a tip from fellow picketers. It's kind of a hike, but you don't have to move your car every two hours. Turnout was good today, spirits remain high. I caught up with Bill Kelly, the writer of ENCHANTED, who I met the first week of the strike and congratulated him on the movie. I really liked it, and feel that its success is earned. It's smart but not arch, and sweet but not saccharine. At a screening tonight of JUNO (very good too, btw, sort of GHOST WORLD meets John Hughes) I saw and said hi to a number of people from the WB line. Represent!

StrikeSnacks: Some miscellaneous candy among the WGA-supplied snackies.

Pedometer: About 2.4mi

Tuesday - Whoof, was it hot today, even on the early shift. More construction disruption, this time a crew repainting the crosswalk across Olive. It was perfectly visible before, mind you. Some writers from THE OFFICE were visiting today, including the guy who also plays Toby, the put-upon and sweet HR guy. Adorable! I put in an extra hour today since I won't be able to make Friday's rally.

StrikeSnacks: Kinda light. Homemade chocolate chip cookies, and a homemade cake. Bowl of Trader Joe's madeleines at Gate 4.

Pedometer: 4.08mi! I chalk that up to the longer shift and a trek to Gate 7, which is basically Mordor. You do pass by the Barham gate of Universal and its friendly picketers, which is like Rivendell before the final stretch in the full sun to that remote place.

Maybe the Barham gate's more like Lothlorien, since that was the last real refuge before Mordor? Or maybe Meduseld, since we picketers are embattled like the Rohirim, hardly like the Galadriel and elves--

Whoa nelly. Went down a big Tolkien geek rabbit hole there.

Happy, The Boyfriend?

Wednesday - Warm again today, and I dressed all wrong since the weather guys said it was going to be cooler! The weather guys must be eating what the AMPTP is feeding, just like Variety. Yet more sidewalk painting. "Your strike is going on too long," says the construction guy when someone asks. YOU THINK? C'mon AMPTP, get with the program. Today is blogger today on my regular 8-11am shift at WB, so we're joined by John August, Jane Espenson, Josh Friedman, etc. I also have a gamer grrl geek-out moment when I meet and briefly chat with Jordan "Prince of Persia" Mechner. A bunch of fans come to chat with the bloggers, including a woman who flew all the way from Houston to attend this as well as Friday's Mutant Enemy picket.

Pedometer: Reset partway through the day when I bumped it. Argh! I'm guessing about 2.5mi

StrikeSnacks: Little boxes of raisins courtesy of Preferred Artists Agency

Thursday - YET MORE STREET WORK. This time they're tearing up the other side of the street as last week, complete with jackhammers and foul asphalt fumes. It's truly horrible, but we don't leave. And I can't believe all this construction is a coincidence. I don't mean to get all tinfoil hat, but c'mon. I spot Annabeth Gish, picketing with the creator of her show BROTHERHOOD, Blake Masters. It's Bring Your Dog To Picket Day, so we have a few visits from worthy hounds. At the check-in table they're giving away red dog bandannas that read, "Don't Make Us Beg." Stayed another extra hour day today in advance of missing the rally.

StrikeSnacks: Dog food. You know, for actual dogs.

Pedometer: 3.01mi

Friday - Was out of town today, but it sounds like the rally, targeting reality writing, was a success. I can't believe the studios haven't gotten nailed on labor practices alone for reality show writers.

I check my email after my flight to learn that the AMPTP broke off negotiations, just as many had predicted. See you in Week 6, folks!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Are You Ready to Ruuuuuuumble?

2007 Strikers Guide to Los Angeles Studios

Hee! Zagat, eat your heart out.

The WB description is pretty on point, I have to say, likewise Fox for the one day I sampled it. Anyone care to weigh in on how the other studios are depicted?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Vote for MOONLIGHT in the People's Choice Awards!

Hey, my show's a finalist for the People's Choice Awards!

You're a person, right? You make choices, right? So why not choose MOONLIGHT for Favorite New TV Drama? On all the computers you have access to?

People's Choice Awards
Go to


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The AMPTP House Organ?

Here are the trades' headlines for Tuesday's WGA-AMPTP negotiation session:

Variety: WGA strike talks resume: Sides still far apart after four-day break

The Hollywood Reporter: It's a holiday miracle: Sides 'actually talk'

The stories that follow uphold the tone of those headlines. Again, these stories are covering the exact same session.

When you recall that demoralizing the opposition in the press is a key management tactic in labor disputes, it should come as no surprise that Variety also recently published an article forecasting March as when the strike might end.

Well, it's not like the writers and actors and other unions are the ones buying the ads.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Blogger Day at Warner Bros. Tomorrow

A bunch of name screenwriting bloggers will be on the 8am-11am shift at WB tomorrow: Jane Espenson, Craig Mazin, Josh Friedman, and John August.

While I'm hardly a name, that's my usual shift, so I'll be there too. :) See you at Gates 2/3!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Strike Notes: Week 4


Monday - First week for the new hours and shorter shift, the 8-11am for me today. Quieter than last week, but still a good turnout. One picketer had a giant "HONK TO SUPPORT THE WRITERS" sign made, a big vinyl one that takes two people to hold upright, which quickly becomes the star of Gate 4. Very effective. Back at Gates 2/3, the insano jackhammering continues, and the WB Director of Safety very kindly comes out with a box of earplugs for us to use and pass around.

StrikeSnacks: Homemade cupcakes from visiting Fox reality show writers! The writers passed out the cupcakes themselves, but plenty of food has appeared with no apparent owner. This prompted a discussion on how in this weird time people will eat unpackaged food that just appears. Would you do that on the street, normally?

Tuesday - The big event today was the exorcism! A gathering of horror writers assembled, some dressed as nuns and priests, and exorcised the demons of greed that have been plaguing the studios. Spent some time at Gate 4B (or is it A?), the one further along past the executive gate. Pretty quiet. And idiot me got a parking ticket for not noticing the CLEARLY POSTED no parking 8-10am Tuesday for street sweeping sign. Doh.

StrikeSnacks: A student and 'Bucks barista generously brought coffee and Krispy Kremes and picketed with us for a while. And I missed what may've been the coolest moment of the strike at WB so far, the delivery by hand of croissants from the Wachowski siblings! They dropped off the treats at Gate 4 and voiced their support before heading into work.

Wednesday - Nothing to report, really. We're still amazed that people driving past continue to honk in support -- they must see us every day on their flight paths. We appreciate the honks, peeps!

StrikeSnacks: Anonymous doughnuts

Thursday - Was @ Fox today for a change of scenery. Love the stress-free 4-hour parking right by the picket base camp, but the bathroom situation, public bathroom in a park, leaves something to be desired compared to Gates 2/3 at WB. Fox has you sign in with the time you arrive and sign out, unlike WB. This feels a little Big Brotherish, but I see how it makes sense, since it lets people make their own custom shifts like my 8:07-11:15am.

Good turnout when I arrive, and MASSES when I leave. Apparently Fox is a bit of a scene, being the chief Westside option for picketers. Spotted Matt Groening. Fox also has a true picket line, walking in a circle instead of crossing the street back and forth like we do at WB, probably because there's space for a real picket. After a bit of that, I go on "honk duty" with a few other people, trading in my generic sign for one exhorting honks, which I then wave and generally look like an idiot trying to get drivers to honk. Worked out okay. Got two consecutive busfuls of kids hollering in support, which was excellent.

Oh! And I got a pedometer. Was curious how far I was walking... curious no longer!

StrikeSnacks: An odd assortment of stuff. Bags of nuts, homemade springerle-type cookies, doughnuts from a few places, and a case of Red Bull. Zing!

Pedometer: 2.74mi

Friday - Heard about the rally at Sony only after it was over. Nothing about it on the Guild site, United Hollywood, or by email. Ah well. It was cold and rainy anyway -- props to all who made it down there!

No Cute For You!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

WGA Strike LOLCat Theater #2

See you back on the line, friends. Here's hoping for a more productive week at the table.

oh no! she be sheddin on mah tee!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

What's In a Name?

The AMPTP's latest proposal is glowingly entitled the New Economic Partnership. The thinking behind the moniker appears to be the same as that of the Patriot Act and No Child Left Behind.

Such wonderful, inarguable titles. Who doesn't want to be a patriot? Who in their right mind would want to leave a child behind? But while these documents sound terrific by name, of course, they hide all sorts of less-than-terrificness inside. The canker in the rose and all that.

In the case of the New Economic Partnership, what's being suggested sounds like the kind of partnership where one partner wears a zipper-mouth hood and a ball gag.