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."