11 November 2007 @ 08:08 pm
The writer's strike signs should be blank...  
It is really important that all 1,053 people from this Rack of Lamb group learn more about the writer's strike and why it is happening:

I was doing some looping for my pilot on Friday morning in Santa Monica and was less than a ten minute drive from FOX studios where the writer's rally was set to take place. I wanted to show my solidarity with the people who (in my experience and belief) are truly responsible for the creation/design/fiber/lifeblood of every show & movie that exists. The onus is on the director and the actor to take what is given to them and execute their job with intense respect for the material. However, that material DOES NOT EXIST without the writer, we have NOTHING without the writers and creators, and this, is an immutable truth.

I want you all to realize that at the very core of this strike is the necessity for the writers to be shown more respect by the studios and corporate machines. The very least I could do was park 8 blocks away, walk to the rally, cheer on the speeches (which were quite entertaining, but what do you expect from a group of 5,000 writers?) and burn the images into my head so I can tell my grandchildren about it one day.

During the rally, a very good point was made by one of the speakers, he said that the strike was for the majority of the writers who make up the WGA and are NOT millionaires. They are the ones that depend on those residuals, that money really means something to them. This strike is necessary to help the little guy, the underdog. I always find myself rooting for underdogs...hell, I'm a Cubbies fan born and bred. Anyway, I just thought you all should hear a little bit about what I think about this whole situation...getting it from an actor's perspective. I'll go to bat for those guys any day.

After the rally, as I was walking among arguably the largest throng of creative minds in our modern western literary culture I enjoyed the quiet peace of the unity shown on this day. I eventually skirted out of the crowd and crossed over a street leaving FOX behind me to head back to my car so I could get home to a very pregnant wife at which point I heard a man's voice saying, "Michael, Michael." I turned around, and it was Joss Whedon jogging over to me with his hand extended. I was intensely flattered that he came over and introduced himself to me. I have heard from many sources that this man is a class act, and it seems that rumor is true. He has a very approachable quality, and from an actor's perspective, that is a great quality to have as either a show runner or a director. I have less than a handful of writers that I can step outside of myself and just be a fan of their work, and he is one of them.

I left the rally feeling a tremendous sense of unity, and floated a little bit towards my car after my brief encounter with someone who had me at "hello."
 
 
 
( 47 Bleats — Bleat )
Drowned Girl Fuschia: Kate breasts and words; icon by fluffy_afuschia on November 12th, 2007 04:16 am (UTC)
Thank you for sharing your perspective on this; I've certainly enjoyed so much great writing on TV over the years and hope the writers receive what they are owed in respect as well as remuneration.

What a great story about Joss Whedon, too -- I'm probably not alone in wishing to see you acting as a regular on a Whedon-show!
that damned elusive megaloomegaloo13 on November 12th, 2007 05:27 am (UTC)
Glad I wasn't the only one thinking, "how great would it be to see Michael on Dollhouse?" :)
Top: FF: The Parasoltopazera on November 12th, 2007 05:30 am (UTC)
YES PLEASE. <3
España Sheriffcmdrsuzdal on November 12th, 2007 06:08 am (UTC)
Ooooh!
kilverstonekilverstone on November 12th, 2007 03:14 pm (UTC)
I'd vote for that!!
nicers: Josef HOTnicers on November 12th, 2007 08:07 pm (UTC)
That is exactly what was going through my mind as I read it too!! great minds and all that!! :)

also... I've seen bits on the UK news about the writers strike - mostly the Grey's cast doing little interviews - but I didn't fully understand what was going on, just that my shows are being affected! makes total sense now... why can't other people have put it so simply?!! totally appreciate where they are coming from.
"Smokin' hot.": SPN WGA from punnky_kittywithout_me on November 12th, 2007 04:22 am (UTC)
Thank you for sharing your perspective, Michael. I hope you know that many, many fans are doing what they can to support the writers.
España Sheriffcmdrsuzdal on November 12th, 2007 04:28 am (UTC)
::stops for a minute to imagine Michael in a Joss show::

Also any of you who haven't already might want to wander over to wga_supporters for icons/info, etc.
Kay: You had a bad daylovingthecubs on November 12th, 2007 04:46 am (UTC)
I always find myself rooting for underdogs...hell, I'm a Cubbies fan born and bred.

Power to you! ;]

But I hear where you're coming from. It's a shame it's come to this strike, but it must have been a powerful thing, you being there. I'm glad it left such a grand impression on you, and here's hoping the writers get the respect/money they deserve.
buffiness: Pooh Daisiesbuffiness on November 12th, 2007 04:51 am (UTC)
Nice to know I'm not the only one who goes all fan-girly around Joss! ;)

Thanks for your thoughts, Michael! Indeed I'd hate to think of what kind of world we'd be in without those amazing writers.
Frolicks About In Summer Skin: Parked Wrongwicked_g on November 12th, 2007 04:51 am (UTC)
As much as I agree that the writers need/should have a pay rise and that even the littlest guy should get the same rights as the big wigs, I can't help but remain a tv junkie at heart: I want my shows back!

Well, fine, they're not gone yet, but still. I also think it's slightly ridiculous that some of the writers are going against the actors who are still crossing the picket lines to finish filming what scripts are left. Not only is it in their contracts (which yes, they can break a la Steve Carell who is also a writer), but a lot of writers tried their best to get as much writing done before the strike started in order for said scripts to be filmed.

Gah, it's a horrid circle. I just hope the writers finally get what they deserve (ah! not in a bad way, honest!), and not because of everyone who deplores the idea of reruns, but because it's what they should have had in the first place.

Edited at 2007-11-12 04:53 am (UTC)
España Sheriffcmdrsuzdal on November 12th, 2007 06:07 am (UTC)
Hmm.. the only actor (depending on your definition) I've seen getting any flack so far is Ellen-who is also a WGA member.

Who's been getting grief?
Frolicks About In Summer Skinwicked_g on November 12th, 2007 05:34 pm (UTC)
Well, Eva Longoria for one. She brought pizza for the strikers on her way to the DH set, and they taunted her, and threw it back at her!

There are two things wrong with this:

First, she is obviously supporting the strike by bringing the writers food.

Second, no pizza should be thrown out.
España Sheriffcmdrsuzdal on November 12th, 2007 06:49 pm (UTC)
Yanno, I saw that headline and was skeptical.

I'm still skeptical (writers turning down free food?) from the video I was able to find it looks like it was not all warm fuzzies... you can see Julia Louis-Dreyfuss glaring at Longoria in one still and the whole thing is more of a photo-op than anything else. But there's no thrown pizza or tears either.

http://www.etonline.com/news/2007/11/55469/index.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-l-pozner/eva-longoria-wga-picket-_b_71940.html
daedreamsdaedream_fanbot on November 12th, 2007 06:08 am (UTC)
Thank you, Michael for showing support for the writers. It's folk like you, actors and other people in the biz, that help show the big guys that we're in it until the bitter end.

Remember, Michael and fellow hobbits, go to fans4writers.com to show your support.

P.S. In my busy head, that little encounter w/ Joss and Michael is the beginning of beautiful collaboration.
TV Whisperer: dollhouse - eliza and josselectrcspacegrl on November 12th, 2007 06:29 am (UTC)
Maybe Michael can be invited play in the Dollhouse too! :D
daedreamsdaedream_fanbot on November 12th, 2007 06:31 am (UTC)
Wouldn't that rock! I commented that very thing in Michael's last post.
Kristie: MM WGAkristie_yvonne on November 12th, 2007 06:12 am (UTC)
I plan to read plenty of good books waiting out the strike LOL
while the strike hurts my heart as an avid TV viewer (who will miss her shows badly during hiatus), I feel for the underdog, and wish them the respect they deserve.
TV Whisperer: fan strike supportelectrcspacegrl on November 12th, 2007 06:13 am (UTC)
I support the strike. I hope it doesn't last long, but I and other fans like me are willing to show our support for the writers over the long haul, if that's what it takes. Solidarity!



Edited at 2007-11-12 06:28 am (UTC)
Rebecca: CELEBS - Michael Muhney.babybonkerz87 on November 12th, 2007 06:42 am (UTC)
It was awesome to see you again on Friday. How random to run into you. But where the hell was Joss Whedon? Haha.

But to be serious, you know I support the strike too, or I wouldn't have been out there. I think it's amazing how much support the writers have been given, by not only the fans, but by the actors as well. Not everyone in Hollywood is only looking out for themselves, and this proves it.
Marion: just kidding!entwashian on November 12th, 2007 07:09 am (UTC)
Thanks for weighing in, Michael.

And, to echo some of the above sentiments, YEA, Joss!
Fanney: Friends don't...dangerous_47 on November 12th, 2007 07:18 am (UTC)
Well, i just want to say well, 'aww!' I have no idea though why.

But it's great that you were there and being all supportive, and met Joss Whedon. :D
TV Whisperer: vm - joss!electrcspacegrl on November 12th, 2007 07:55 am (UTC)
You were Whedonesqued.
WeHo M.: TV - WGA Strikeafrocurl on November 12th, 2007 08:00 am (UTC)
After I saw that picture of you from Friday I was waiting to see more of what you had to say.

Thanks for the perspective on it.
iwillrememberu: Red Roseiwillrememberu on November 12th, 2007 09:24 am (UTC)
I have heard from many sources that this man is a class act, and it seems that rumor is true.

As opposed to others? ;)

Thanks for enlighting us a bit more about the strike! It's great you got to show them some support.
Robyncakes: me/dani/mikebitterbird on November 12th, 2007 09:53 am (UTC)
yay you meet Joss thats awesome!
I totally support the writers strike!
I hope the get what they are entitled to ...referrably sooner rather than later because i refuse to watch reality tv..lol
Chiara Aka Chandramaschandramas on November 12th, 2007 10:04 am (UTC)
Please let the writers know that we all are with them!!!!

And let us know if there is something we can do! (beside boycott DVD & similar until they won their battle!)

Be our Voice, Hears & Eyes!
Hug & Kisses

PS. You're sooo part of Whedon-world in my mind!!! Hopefully it will happen soon!
Bekkibekscilla on November 12th, 2007 10:45 am (UTC)
Very good of you to stop with the WGA to show your support :) They need all they can get.

And I can just imagine how pleased you were that Joss stopped you to say hi!
Laura: WGAthesamegirl17 on November 12th, 2007 10:52 am (UTC)
Thank you for sharing your perspective. I totaly support the strike!


I really hope to see you in a Whedon's show soon *_* it would be amazing!
Green Queen: Joss is Godgreen_queen on November 12th, 2007 11:25 am (UTC)
Wow, that's so exciting! Here's to maybe seeing you on Dollhouse *crosses fingers & toes*
soundingsea: vm - lilly - deadsoundingsea on November 12th, 2007 12:23 pm (UTC)
Great to hear that you made it out to support the all-important wordsmiths. I echo everyone who says they'd love to see you in the new Joss show (once the writers have a good deal, of course).
Bite My Shiny Metal Ass: ETdizzyangel on November 12th, 2007 01:06 pm (UTC)
great post, the writing is the heart of the show yet many people dont acknowledge that.
i am extremely envious of anyone who meets joss whedon.
madelineannemadelineanne on November 12th, 2007 01:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for the report and it's great that you got to meet Joss Whedon!
I haven't visited the striking writers here in NYC yet, but on Sunday I visited the striking IATSE members to make sure they had coffee and such.
I think people do need to recognize that there are so many people in the entertainment industry who don't make huge money but who make the work that actors and directors do possible.
(Anonymous) on November 12th, 2007 02:20 pm (UTC)
Loved your recounting of the activity on Friday and meeting Joss Whedon, but I just had to say, the title of your post really got me. You're absolutely right!
jaydeyn_sitari: Writingjaydeyn_sitari on November 12th, 2007 02:22 pm (UTC)

I'm right there with you... well, with the writers. *g* I'll just echo the ooh! be on Dollhouse! And cheer in support from Oz.

:)
Jaydeyn
Kimmyladytiramisu on November 12th, 2007 02:39 pm (UTC)
The fact that the writers are the reason shows and movies are there in the first place is so clear to me, and it just baffles me that the studios either don't see that or do and don't care.

But yay for your meeting with Joss! That's history in the making!
kilverstonekilverstone on November 12th, 2007 03:16 pm (UTC)
I sure hope that it goes well for the writers and that an agreement can be reached soon.
worrie on November 12th, 2007 03:20 pm (UTC)
Blank signs signify the soon to be blank minds resulting from generations destroyed by the rampaging propaganda that is "reality television".

Thanks for supporting the writers, and I'll toast the other sentiments on this posting, here's to thewizrd on a Whedon show.
Shane: Moonlight supports WGAhavemy_heart on November 12th, 2007 04:59 pm (UTC)
Very cool that Joss came over and introduced himself!

I fully agree with you about the writers deserving the same respect as everyone else. Without them, everyone would be doing improv, which just wouldn't cut it.

Edited at 2007-11-12 05:00 pm (UTC)
Monamonack on November 12th, 2007 05:16 pm (UTC)
I'm definitely behind the writers in this strike - but the TV Junkie in me is worried about the long term effects. And I feel awful not only for the writers (who definitely deserve to have their fair cut of the profits), but for those who really never asked for the strike - the folks that work behind the scenes, and the actors who are extras that are just making their living going from job to job.

I just hope for an equitable resolution - and soon.
Caroline: Hiro and Andocaroline85 on November 12th, 2007 06:31 pm (UTC)
That is so great that Joss came and introduced himself to you, I agree with everyone else who has said it would be great to see you in Dollhouse. :)
Sarah: Michael Muhneymizzprincess on November 12th, 2007 10:16 pm (UTC)
When we hear writers strike all we think about is "Oh no there goes my shows." We don't think about why it is happening. I am very bummed out but I do understand why they are doing it.

btw: I am a little bit of a Cubbies fan myself after the Tigers got rid of Monroe and he went there, and now one of my favorite Tigers is going to be there next year as well. Go Cubs!!
(Anonymous) on November 12th, 2007 11:15 pm (UTC)
I support the writer's strike. I think being a writer is kinda like being an actor (maybe?) - it's hard. The life for most of them is not stable nor secure. They don't always get the job, and they have to keep going, believing in themselves. This rally is for those writers, I believe. You can't be a writer by just being creative and smart - there are bunch of creative and smart people who can't deal with the pressure, failure, insecurities. Those who pursue should be rewarded.

Anyhow, thank you for sharing your perspectives, and it's great you got to meet Joss!
kazumihime on November 12th, 2007 11:21 pm (UTC)
I support the writer's strike. I think being a writer is kinda like being an actor (maybe?) - it's hard. The life for most of them is not stable nor secure. They don't always get the job, and they have to keep going, believing in themselves. This rally is for those writers, I believe. You can't be a writer by just being creative and smart - there are bunch of creative and smart people who can't deal with the pressure, failure, insecurities. Those who pursue should be rewarded.

Anyhow, thank you for sharing your perspectives, and it's great you got to meet Joss! :)

MOD, sorry I did it again - if there's a double post, please delete.
Lauragirk on November 13th, 2007 03:08 am (UTC)
I'm still sad you won't be joining the cast of Dollhouse :(

Just FYI, there's a Dollhouse group on facebook that has a thread about celebrities they'd most love to see on Dollhouse, and I've seen your name mentioned several times! :)
Christmservo on November 13th, 2007 06:39 am (UTC)
What really needs to be remembered is that the media is in the middle of a major change. In the past, things like distribution formats just didn't exist.

When I graduated college I drove a terrible car and spent all my money on Home Theater.. at the time, Laserdiscs. I remember wanting to buy a copy of Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy. The film was $84 on VHS for pete sake.

When the writers originally wrote up their agreement with the studios, sell through wasn't big, rental was. So, there was a lot of leniency to get some gap in there for studios & writers.. especially with fears over VHS vs. Beta, rent vs. sell-through, and other concerns.

Now, the medium has shifted. NBC Universal really put the screws down to their writers when writers of Battle Star Galactica and others were encouraged to write "webisodes" shortened web-exclusive content (like Heroes also had a few). While actors and others were compensated, writers in the end received.. ZERO. Because these webisodes, which were later used as DVD sell material, where labeled promotions, the same as an advertisement.

The next few years will see major shifts in format as the internet (Itunes, and other future systems) change the way content is distributed. Studios will have to pay less for storage and manufacturing (because there will be none) and profits (should) rise.

But as with all things, it's easy for a studio to hide profits..

I completely understand and tend to agree with the writers here. Their goal is to basically go from .04% to .06/.08% of futurized royalties.

In fact, in a last minute chance to get a deal done, writers offered studio something unheard of: no increase in pay at all on DVD sales, which would stay fixed since mid-eighties, as long as the same rate applied to video downloads. Producers passed.

The most difficult thing about this for fans is that TV ratings are what help flush out what happens next. CW has already begun prep work on game shows ("Farmer Gets a Wife" appeal to anyone?) more reality TV, and the like.

If the ratings on those kind of programs are good, prepare for a very long strike. Which would effectively end the entire production for programming like "Battle Star" "Heroes" and others.

500 channels and nothing on. TV on DVD anyone?
Leishleishpod on November 14th, 2007 03:30 am (UTC)
Oh dude - Joss came to YOU?? you're SO in.

I could not be more excited by that fact. Hope it's a sign of good things to come :D

Also - Good on you for supporting the writers, those guys deserve so much more than they're getting.
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