Saturday, November 10, 2007

The WGA Strike and Me

The news is erratic about reporting this sort of thing (especially if you're outside of Los Angeles), but if you didn't know, there's a significant Writer's Guild strike going on.

Directly, this doesn't impact me. I'm not yet a member of the WGA and the people I work with aren't part of the struck companies list.

Indirectly the primary impact will be that I'll likely get better deals in the future, should I make it into the WGA at some time. Also--and I think this is a big thing--even those of us not yet working in the big leagues get trickle down sort of benefits. The standards that the WGA establishes are often used as the negotiating basis for my contracts.

As such, while I support the WGA, I also don't want to be "rah-rah, strike forever" since I'm not the one suffering the consequences.

Ideally this gets resolved quickly in a way that'll not only satisfy the WGA membership, but also the Screen Actors Guild membership (who are even more reliant on the strike's key issue, residuals, and thus will also feel forced to go out on strike if a satisfactory result isn't achieved). A quick solution is particularly desirable because, I think unlike most strikes, when the WGA or SAG goes out, they take out a whole bunch of other people's jobs too. Much of that film and TV production has to close down. But, of course, the guilds also can't let the studios hold all these other people hostage as a negotiating point.

Anyway, the little film I wrote on assignment over the summer started production last week and will finish production over the course of next week. I think there will be an official announcement after shooting wraps so I'll wait until then to post more.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Doesn't Share Our Values

It looks like local elections are coming up tomorrow because tonight's TV is riddled with campaign ads.

Specifically, a barrage of campaign ads informing me how foul all the candidates are. Sometimes the ads even inform me how bad the opposing candidate is because of how the opposing candidate uses nasty negative advertising. It's like a Kurt Vonnegut novel.

One of the key ways of blasting an opponent is to say that he doesn't "share our Virginia values." This is contrasted with the shining example of the advertised candidate, who is either a church deacon or a Sunday School teacher.

As an indicator of our primary demographic, all ads spend a great deal of time talking about either doing more for senior citizens, or how the opponent ignores or sells out senior citizens.

Another frequent campaign tactic is to accuse one's opponent of being soft on immigration. These are all rural Virginia positions and so their policies only impact rural Virginia -- which must have some hidden cache of illegal immigrants. Maybe someone can point me toward these mystery Mexicans so I can get some decent enchiladas. Even the local Taco Bell (50% of Lexington's Mexican cuisine) tones down its Enchirito sauce from mild to special-honkey-ultra-mild.