I be a good righter.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Rarin' and Swearin'

Whew. Has it been ten (er, I'm an idiot, it's been twelve(!!!)) days already? Between the assistants' picket, poker (I'm still down from my original fund, but considerably less so, thanks to slow playing quad queens in a cash game -- sorry Kimchee, I know you hated that play), Thanksgiving and the Bahamas -- I'm fucking exhausted.

Let's start from the beginning: Assistants' picket was a HUGE success. A brilliant idea by assistant Andrew. Another brilliant idea, by an uber smart writer friend of mine: writers buying the assistants lunch. A HUGE success, people apparently couldn't give my friend enough money!

Again, I'm humbled by the incredible folks out there. My job on that day consisted of assisting said brilliant writer to pick up said lunches and deliver them to the FOX lot. For some reason I could not remember which sandwich was which, sadly, and I couldn't find the list that, you know, detailed what was in the sandwiches. So when asked about the sandwiches, I made shit up. Some were made of reindeer. Some were made from the thigh meat of Nick Counter's minions. Basically, it was a great turnout, a great day, and hopes were high with the knowledge that Thanksgiving wasn't going to be the only time people would be at a table. That the following Monday would mark the beginning of the now four-day negotiations.

Poker: Quad queens. No writers to be found. Or, if there were, they didn't wear hats announcing it. Two hands after the QQ, I got pocket aces. Then pocket 8s.

Thanksgiving: Debunking that horrible AMPTP ad to retarded step-cousin. Bitch has a fucking PhD. From fucking St. Andrews. IN ENGLISH. She's a fucking writer. Yet, for her, it was all about the "poor studios." So, the ad worked on someone... other than that, T-Day was filling.

Day after T-Day, we headed to Bahamas. Was beautiful. Fun-filled. Gorgeous. After having faced my life-long fear last year, I decided to push myself. I went snorkeling.



I didn't technically go snorkeling. I went on a boat that carried a bunch of folks who went snorkeling. I just paddled around in the deep end of the ocean -- preferring not to know what lay beneath me. Baby steps.

On our trip home, listened to an agent (?) talking up his client's pitch. WHO THE FUCK IS PITCHING RIGHT NOW? Ahem. Sorry. Sleep deprived. But seriously.

Today it's dealing with being back home. Then back to the grind...

Here's hoping you all had a great holiday. And that day four's when a deal's struck.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Pocketful of Irony.

No post on Thursday. Too tired. Basically, Thursday consisted of me jumping up and down at FOX. Whoring for honks. BJs were extra -- of course. Is it completely sad that I'm still sore from hours of jumping? Thankfully, a woman from the make-up department at HOUSE brought donuts, to offset any weight that might have been lost from my actually exerting myself. No maple-y goodness, though! I guess she's as scared as that guy in the pick-up as much as I am.

Josh said, in the comments, that he brought croissants somewhere, as people might be getting a little sick of donuts. I doubt anyone is getting sick of donuts -- who could? -- but, his contribution and alternative baked goods were hopefully gratefully appreciated! If not, I totally appreciate it! Yay Josh!

On Friday, the cats seemed to be getting used to the early ayems. I was not, nor was Hubby. And, we set the alarm even earlier, as I went to Warner that morning. What a complete difference in tone. Where FOX is sedate, Warner is completely and utterly creative. Constantly coming up with new cheers (remember Day One? We were mentioned on Defamer!), it's gotten even better, now. Or, at least, at 6 ayem everything seems funnier. We've taken to ripping off songs. Avril, Chiffons, Amy (Winehouse). Then, we moved onto showtunes. GREASE, ANNIE, CHICAGO... let me tell you, doing this for four hours, whilst walking in circles -- the time not only passes more quickly, it's a hell of a lot of fun.

Yes, it's dark dark times. But why not make the best out of a bad situation? What's complaining, sour pusses, and glares going to get you -- except bringing other people down?

Oh, the other great thing at Warner? People dressed as Tweety Bird, Sylvester the cat, and Bugs Bunny showed up. It was highlarious. And we marched behind them chanting:


Sigh. Good times in bad times (though, did y'all see that talks will resume on Nov. 26th? Here's hopin'!).

So, after a tiring week, I decided that I really needed to go play poker after picketing. Needed to get away from all the strike shit. The one place where I can completely forget everything. Except, you know, in the tourney I played? I ended up sitting next to a writer. Once I'd figured it out (his hat), I just... it depressed me. I think it did him, too. I busted out (39 of 166, I think) pretty quickly after ending up at his table. I tried to keep an eye on him, hoping he'd make final table. But, he followed suit (heh) shortly thereafter.

I tried to recoup my buy-in at the Omaha Hi-Lo table -- where I always come out ahead. Ended up next to a donkey who put me totally on tilt. If we're being fair, I was probably on tilt for a while before that. Coinciding, perhaps, with the revelation that that one guy was a writer. Don't get me wrong, he was really nice. And funny. And is probably a stellar writer. I just think the both of us were there to forget the strike and in irony of ironies, ended up next to each other.

So, if you're that guy... contact me. I'll pay for your next buy-in. To offset tilt-y badness.


In my opinion, Warner the place to be, if you're picketing.


ASSISTANTS' PICKET - LUNCH DONATIONS: Some very generous writers are banding together to buy lunch for the assistants and other picketers who are participating in the Assistants' Picket on Monday, 11/19 @ 12pm at FOX.  If you would be willing to contribute to this fund...

... please email me, and I'll put you in touch the amazing woman organizing this!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

"Go Fuck Yourselves!"

... yells the man in the black pick-up truck. At 6:30 ayem.

A woman in a BMW nearly drove into the entire line of picketers. She mouthed the words, "I'm late for work," as she inched closer and closer to us. Pushing her way through.

To the FOX employees: I ain't impressed. At all.

I've been at FOX all week -- took yesterday off from the Blog, in solidarity with all the other bloggers -- did it help? Who knows. I don't think Sumner Redstone was affected when my Blog went black. Or... maybe he's a fan?

But, right now? After today at FOX? This is the angriest I've been. So angry that I blew off the mounds of work I really should be doing (sorry, boss -- I'll get it to you ASAP!), and headed to The Bike to play some poker. I lost some, I won some. I came out $0.50 ahead. Wish it'd been possible to come out $0.04 ahead -- because, you know, funny.

I'm sick of Strike predictions (especially the Predictions of Doom). I'm sick of Strike-related talk (especially the Talk of Doom). I'm sick of writers saying things like, "did ______ get let go because of us?" IT IS NOT BECAUSE OF "US." It's because of "THEM." When you believe it, everyone else will, too.

I'm sick of strikers not acknowledging people's honks. Would it kill you to show your appreciation? I'm not talking a "whooo!" or a "hells YEAH!" I don't want you to go outside your comfort zone. Maybe, I don't know, wave to them? Shoot a "peace" sign? Pump your fist? I'm not here to tell you how you should go about it, but seriously, people. These folks are honking because they believe in the cause. They believe in what the writers are striking for. They're making noise to show their solidarity.

I mean, you're fucking holding signs up that say "HONK." So, be appreciative.

Sorry. I'm just getting irritated. These kind folks are honking their asses off, so LOVE THEM FOR IT!

In other completely depressing news, it's hard for me to watch TV these days. Knowing that original programming will come to an end. I'm rationing shows on my TiVo, where I can... because, I will always be, first and foremost, a TV fan. Losing original content... it's like losing a loved one.

There are a few petitions making the rounds out there. However, I believe, the action of not clicking on any of THEIR websites until this is resolved, it will cost them a shitload of money. This is something that THEY can actually understand.

So, I'm pleading with you. If you're a fan, as I am, please sign this petition. It's kind of like saying,

"Hey Nick (& Co.), GO FUCK YOURSELVES!"

Much-needed water and snacks were brought by TJ Thyne from BONES. Much needed morning pastries were brought by "anonymous" with a cryptic (either religious or anti-religious), hand-written message on its top. And donuts were brought by some fucking evil person who must hate me. Why else would they bring me my absolute favorite donut in the entire world? Where it taunts me from inside its box. Whispering,

"One bite won't kill you, that's right. I'm sweet. I'm maple-y. I'll make the morning go faster, and I barely have any calories. In fact, I'll help you lose weight!"

So, you know, of course I have to eat it. And for ten minutes I'm in love with the person who brought it. Then I curse their name -- well, I would if I knew it! Or, I would secretly love them, and hope that they bring the maple-y goodness again tomorrow. But don't tell anyone, or I'll sic the guy in the pick-up truck on you!

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Ramones beat me into submission!

So, yeah. I had to double-check that last post. I'd been awake for half an hour when I posted, but, you know, it was still five fucking ayem. The skies were dark. The cats cast baleful glares at self and Hubby. Then begged for food.

There used to be a day, a long time ago, when I was a college student. During that time, I served two years in the Starbucks penitentiary. My cell opened at 6 ayem. Which meant that we needed to be there at 5:15 ayem. Which meant that I needed to be on a bus by 4:50 ayem, which meant that I awoke at 4:00 ayem (coffee, shower, CHARLIE'S ANGELS -- though, to this day I have no idea how any of 'em ended). It sucked ass. Usually because I'd been, you know, partying until 3:00 ayem. Yet, I had insane energy those early mornings. It's kinda obnoxious, now that I think about it.

I'm older and stupider now. And waking when it's still dark out, with out the gals from CHARLIE'S ANGELS? It's not what it used to be.

I was told, last week, that FOX was more sedate than the boisterous WB. Given the early hour, I was unsurprised to find that people were, as my friend put it, in a "fugue state." I figured, once coffee had been ingested, that generally people would perk up (see what I did there? Coffee and then Perk. Yeah, I'm a fucking idiot right now).

It got to 7 ayem, and people were perking up somewhat. Stragglers straggled, complaining of the bitter cold (uh, actually, that was me -- I'm also a wuss, now), complaining of the early hour (hi! we were there, you know, on time -- yes, 7 sucks, but so does, you know, 6!).

Though people were perking up, it was still sedate. And frankly, as self-appointed head cheerleader, I failed. Instead, all of those who wanted to be sedate(d), infected me with their slothenly disease. And, I sat on my ass manning the check-in, chit-chatting with me buddy. Horns would honk, and we'd pump our fists. That's all we had for the honkers, sadly.

The morning went quietly by.

Around shift change, loads of people showed up with their kids (very very very adorable)!

I wish I had some brilliant words to type. Of how we rallied and marched. Marched and rallied. And saved the world.

I'm positive that happened, but I believe that was the second shift.

EDIT: Jeez, I've become an ungrateful whorebag. The most incrediblest people today:

The wife of an SFX guy on BONES (a pastry chef, I believe) brought us these great cookies. Homemade!

The make-up people at HOUSE brought us more cookies!

(Are you singing C is for Cookie, yet? I've been humming it all day.)

A writer on K-VILLE ordered a coffee truck from 6-8. Free lattes, free cappucinos, free iced blendededs, OH MY!

At 8 ayem, the truck drove away. We still needed coffee. Two very kind people on the line offered to go pick it up. Today's later morning coffee (after 8 ayem is later morning???) sponsored by my Visa. Cool cardboard containers kept it piping hot. Yay!

From the extraordinary fans.


I received this. It was a comment. But, I believe it deserves its own post. Hopefully the author won't mind, but I changed "ordinary fans" to "extraordinary fans" because that's what you are! No ordinary about it!

To The Writers:

We EXTRAordinary TV fans are getting behind all y'all who are writing.

We fans want you writers to know that we’ve got your backs. Obviously it’s a little easier for us to support TV writers with regular offices but if you let us know how to reach you, then you too can take advantage of our support.

Here are some sites you should check out:

WGASupporters LiveJournal Community (it’s a multi-authored blog representing many fandoms that has grown to 1900 members)

Edit: The amazing gifts-bearing Spadada posted a correction:


Fans For The WGA (which covers more than 30 different TV show fandoms at this writing)

You’re welcome to stop in at any or all of them, comment or ask us for help.

And, as always, please please please sign this petition:

No More Clicks: http://www.petitiononline.com/noclicks/petition.html

Saturday, November 10, 2007

No More Clicks.

Many people have emailed me asking what they can do to show their support if they're not in the WGA.

There has been an incredible showing between feature writers (Not A Word) and TV writers (Pencils Down). It's time for the fans to step up:

There are, in my opinion, only two petitions you should sign (please tell everyone you've ever met about them):

In support of the writers of the WGA -- 1.

In support of the writers of the WGA -- 2.

And finally, more information on how to support of the writers of the WGA.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Day 5: Awesome Rally Edition.

The troops were rallied. There will be footage and pics and details all over this place called... shit. What's it called, again? It's like it's on the tip of my tongue... one of those newfangled inventions the kids use all the time. Oh yeah.


So, I'm just going to stick to the basics, giving props, etc.

Again, I'm amazed at everyone's solidarity.

Seen: CAA handing out churros! UTA handing out power bars, in all sorts of flavors! (Is that in the right order? I hope so! Let me know if I'm wrong and I'll amend.)

Heard: Power. The writers' power. What'd you say? POWER!

Heard: Harlan Ellison giving me what-for when I called his pin (a #2 pencil with wings), "Awesome." Except, you know, he is and it was. He also lectured me on, "like." When I pleaded growing up in the 80s, he didn't care. Instead he pinched my cheeks and called me a "cute little ______." I forget the word, whatever it was, it was AWESOME! We bonded over Disney, of course. I will never say the word "awesome" and not hear Harlan chastising me. I have no idea how old he is, I'm guessing 70s. He was out at Warner with us on Day One. He's a fucking trooper.

Seen: All sorts of showrunners, actors, writers, Lt. Dangle... just so fucking amazing.

Seen: Folks who work in FOX Plaza taking photos. Glad they had a good time. Heh.

A major thing I forgot yesterday? A Pepsi truck passed us and HONKED -- A LOT! You know what? I'm not a huge pop (soda to all you non-midwesterners) fan. I'll have one occasionally. Usually a Coke. But, now, I'm TOTALLY switching to Pepsi!

A serious note.

Guys. My role has been defined on the line. I'm one of the cheer captains when people are flagging. There are many cheer captains, which is totally awesome! We're loud, we're proud, we got good timing -- I really, no I really, I really can't stop rhyming!

Here's the thing. The cheerleader in me has bled into this blog. HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY! THE WRITERS ARE SO FUCKING STRONG! And, the writers are -- strong that is. There is incredible support out there. Incredible people. But, please, don't think for one minute that it's all fun and games. There's a very serious undercurrent as higher-levels discuss their fates. Discuss the fates of the lower-levels. And, sadly, yesterday I overheard people discussing the fates of the assistants. That show is working their asses off to ensure that the assistants keep their jobs. Or, at least, are financially compensated. Which is fantastic, but the reality is, a fuck of a lot of people are losing their jobs. And will continue to.

Now, there are many issues at hand (and I must stress here I DO NOT SPEAK ON BEHALF OF THE WGA -- in any way, shape, or form). But, a thought occurred to me this morning, as I failed to go back to sleep (woke at 4, sick about what's happening):

Fans, myself included, need stop downloading shows from the internet, until this is resolved. Even if it's the fans getting together and planning a non-downloading movement for a week. A day. Whatevers. If this is already happening, please direct me to it, and I'll link it here.

The producers claim they're barely making ends meet with this "whole new media thing." Show them what it REALLY feels like to lose money on their "promos." Again, I would absolutely not suggest downloading on bit torrent if you missed your favorite episode. Because that's illegal and it would be wrong of me to suggest it. But, think about it (as pointed out to me from the incredible Kay at Seriocity) when you download from bit torrent, that's called piracy, because the studios aren't being paid (nor are the writers, I should point out). But, when you watch shows off of ABC.com and the like, it's called "promotional" -- meaning the writers don't get paid.

So, in my opinion (I AM NOT SPEAKING ON BEHALF OF THE WGA), simply not paying to download episodes while the writers are on strike seems to be the loudest thing the fans could do at this moment.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Incredible DAY FOUR!

A lot of people are asking what they can do. I know folks is broke, so feeding thousands of hungry writers isn't really an option for you. If you've got time to spare, simply swinging by and picking up a sign is not only enough, but one hundred percent welcomed and encouraged.

If you're out of the area, you know what? I'm just gonna be a bitch and say it: Don't watch TV tonight, instead, whatever shows you were going to watch or download? Maybe don't download them from iTunes or NBC.com? Maybe find a way to get them elsewhere? I don't know where you'd get them -- because I'd never ask you to do anything illegal -- like download episodes for free until the writers are actually paid for those "promos."

Other things you can do, as I suggested before, inundate the network websites telling them exactly how you're going to feel about watching a shitload of reruns. How you feel about the upcoming "Abortion Nation," or whatever they're pulling out of their asses.

Got a favorite show? How's about sending pie crusts to the studio that makes PUSHING DAISIES? Or, uh... Gym towels on behalf of OLD CHRISTINE? What about something for DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES? I don't know. I'm completely brain dead. And, I've never been as clever as those folks who sent nuts to JERICHO. But, yeah, you want to do something? Think about ways to literally SHOW the studios and the networks that without you guys, the advertisers ain't got no one to target.

Other suggestions are SOOOOO welcome!

Back to Day Four:

So, I got a little verklempt. Seriously misty. Mainly because I'm a big baby.

Here's the thing:

Fans of SUPERNATURAL brought snacks. With notes attached. Those notes? "See no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil" All of those words were scratched out. In their stead was written: "WRITE NO EVIL!" One of the SUPERNATURAL fans stayed and hung out and chanted and rallied and generally was fucking awesome. So, if you're wondering what you can do, if you live in LA, and you've got an hour or more or less (even five minutes), come on by, pick up a sign and scream yer lungs out!

Here's the other thing:

I forgot to mention yesterday, this awesome lady. She was an extra on ER. She snuck out, and picketed with us for a god half hour. GO EXTRA CHICK!

Here's another thing (and this is where I get verklempt):

I bring power bars with me, WGA provides some snacks, but one does get a little hungry out there, if you read my hubby's post, I'm sure you understand. The most awesomest fucking people brought us food today. First off, UTA brought us breakfast. GO UTA (weren't they also the first agency to suggest pay cuts for the upper level agents so that the lower levels would be safe? I could be totally making that up, but I'm pretty sure I read that somewhere)!

Then! Then! If that weren't enough? People brought us donuts! (Not sure who, though, if you know, let me know and I'll bust out the props!).

Fo lunch, the most brilliantest, most deliciously appreciated lunch was brought to us by French 75 Bistro. Looks like, from their website, they've got a few locations. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE eat there. They are of the extreme awesome! Right after that, Taco Bell brought over shitloads of burritos! How fucking awesome is that?

Yes, people, after shouting and ranting and wooing all morning, my eyes got a little watery when these most excellent folks donated their time and products to us. Please please please eat there!

There was another fan who came out, with her gorgeous baby, to give her support. She was sooooo awesome.

Seen: TV's CHUCK. As in Chuck from CHUCK. You know, that show I've grown to love? He was out there, in full costume (unless he wears that normally), making sure he was seen by the drivers-by, showing us the love. How fucking cool is that for him to do? Yesterday, the entire cast of SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES came out in solidarity! (Haven't seen the pilot? It hasn't aired. I definitely wouldn't urge you to download it on bit torrent, because that would be wrong of me to do. However, the pilot's absolutely awesome).

Also seen: A writer on whom I have a HUGE writer's crush. Like, I wish I could write that well. Had to avoid him, though one of his writers wanted to introduce me. A. I'm not there to network. B. I doubt I would have said anything that made any sort of sense.

Okay, if I remember anything else, I'll post it. Until then, I'll see you tomorrow. Day 5 should be interesting. Please please please, if you've got time, show up. Honk. Whatevers. It's ALL appreciated. Even the idea that you want to help is helping!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Day 3: The SAG Pizza edition.

SAG sent us pizza! SAG FUCKING ROCKS!

My lord we were hungry. But none of us wanted to leave the line. What a great showing today, as predicted, better than yesterday -- no way it'll top tomorrow, though! We got props! And I don't mean the honking (which is fucking fucking awesome!)!

Seen: Many a writer is also apparently a drummer. We gotz the mad drumming skillz. Especially one co-creator.

Seen: Me saying Spoon! To the guy who created Spoon! Yeah, I was a little starstruck at that one. He be awesome. And then we chanted together, and I walked away, because seriously, I would have said something stupid, like:

Overheard: Me bein' an asshat and saying to writer I'd just met: "Wow, I've loved you since you wrote for X!" Writer: "Uh, I never wrote for X." Me: "Oh shit." Writer: "Let's pretend I did, though, way awesome credit!"

Guy/Gal who was at gate 4, we should have some sort of secret code so that we can meet. You doing morning or afternoon shift tomorrow? Email me (inside profile).

It's bigger, it's loud, it's awesome. Variety sez it'll go on till 2008. I say, as much as we don't want it to go on forevers: we're just getting comfortable.

Interesting note between the two shifts? AM is WAY more ghetto. So awesome. PM is WAY hardcore. Also awesome.

Seen: SAG actor handing out his card. He does stunts AND he acts. Way cool. Except, you know, not.

Seen: Other SAG-ites marching day in, day out. Guy above ain't representin'.

Got loads of cards today -- from random people on the street. One was for something about streaming video. Ironic. Another was for free something -- I was excited at the time, but, uh, it's in my jeans pocket, and those came off as soon as I entered the house -- I think maybe it was for coffee?

idiotic aside, I forgot my keys, so when the awesome Kira dropped me off (go carpooling!) I was a little stuck. Thankfully, hubby came home 15 mins later. So, no big. Mainly, I be an idiot.

Seen (and heard): A chick, ready to cross the line, us chanting, her disgruntled. She rolls down her window: "I just have a general [meeting] give me a break." Not sure if she's SAG or what, but we were supposed to give her a break. Sure, lady. Hope you flubbed your general!

Seen: A Porsche Cayenne purposefully steer toward the sidewalk. Speeding. Right at me. Thankfully he whizzed on by. But, I'd have taken that hit.

Heard: a million fucking awesme honks. HONK!

Felt: unity, inspired, grateful.

Feel: Exhausted. Wish I could write more betterer right now.

If you're in LA

(posted by BooM's husband)
And you'd like to support the writers, feel free to bring coffee or sandwiches to any of the picket locations. We're at gate 4A at Warner Brothers :) Your support and honking is appreciated.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Day Two.

We were stronger today than yesterday but not as strong as tomorrow.

My lord we had a fuck of a lot of fun. It's just going to continue. The fun, I mean. Cuz we're bringing it. And we'll keep doing so. Until Counter & Co cave.

Seen: friends, new friends, showrunners, emmy ® winning writers, Oscar® Nommed writers, and genius Harlan Ellison -- the only man fired from Disney quicker than I. Damn his eyes. Harlan (can I call him Harlan?)'s sign: "Nick Counter Sleeps With The Fishe$$$$." Harlan's chant? "Hey ho, Hey ho, I'm old, so I go slow." Sigh.

Seen: solidarity. hilarity. unity.

Heard: Potty mouths -- wait. That was me.

Heard: scabtastic rumors. From my heart, scabs: "FUCK YOU."

Need: Some new chants, though ours are sooooo fucking awesome that we got mentioned on defamer, we were running a little giddy today. So, whatcha whatcha whatcha got, guys?

Feel: Awestruck and humbled. These folks are infuckingsanely awesome.

See y'all tomorrow.

Monday, November 05, 2007

See you tomorrow.

Been on the line.





Seen: A twelve year old SAG kid, with a homemade sign. He woke up with the answer to the writers' woes: He wants to pay eight more cents per DVD, so that he can get this mess resolved. He stood out there, with all of us. His mom in the background, proud as can be. Hell, I was fucking proud of him.

Seen: Showrunners, members of NegCom, low-level writers, SAG actors, just a huge fucking showing of solidarity. Everyone in high spirits. UNITED FRONT.

Seen: general pig-fuckery, absolutely highlarious sticking it to the man.

Wish: That people who were on the fence about getting out there would chose a side. That people who feel they need to honor another guild would put up or shut up.

Biggest wish: That this comes to an end quickly.

Felt: Community.

Hope: That no one's out there the network. If your script's in your trunk. Leave it there. Trust me, some people have no shame:

Seen: A chick trying to hand out her head shot.

Finally home now, this is not the most articulate post, ever. But. Thankfully, there's email, for inside I found this incredible [forwarded] message -- one word: Invigorated.

Fellow Showrunners and Television writers: As you all know by now, we are on Strike. It's sad that we have arrived here and I don't know each and every one of your opinions, but I wanted to share my personal plans for what I intend to do until we have a fair contract.

I am currently quoted in today's Hollywood Reporter as saying that I will do some producing work, but won't do any editing as I consider that to be writing. While I said something similar to that earlier last week (I've learned you can't trust a word of what these trades report), that was before I went to the Showrunners Meeting yesterday and became very crystalized in what I need to do. Like many of you I have spent the last week contemplating what to do in case of a strike. What are my responsibilities to my writers, my cast, my crew, my network and my contract? How do I balance these various concerns?

At the Showrunners Meeting it became very clear to me that the only thing I can do as a showrunner is to do nothing. I obviously will not write on my shows. But I also will not edit, I will not cast, I will not look at location photos, I will not get on the phone with the network and studio, I will not prep directors, I will not review mixes. These are all acts that are about
the writing of the show or protecting the writing of the show, and as such,I will not participate in them. I will also not ask any of my writer/producers to do any of these things for me, so that they get done, but I can save face.

I will not go into the office and I will not do any work at home. I will be on the picket line or I will be working with the Negotiating Committee. I will not have an avid sent to my house, or to a new office so that I can do work on my show and act as if it is all right because I'm not crossing any picket lines.

I truly believe that the best and fastest way to a good contract is to hit these companies early, to hit them hard and to deprive them of ALL the work we do on their behalf.

How do we ask our staff writers to go out on strike as we continue collecting producer checks? How do we ask the Teamsters to respect our picket lines if we won't ourselves or if we're sneaking around to do the work off-site?

Just so you all know what I am prepared to giveup....

Tomorrow, we begin to film the Series Finale of "The Shield". I think it's the best script our writing staff has ever written. This is the show that made me. This is the show that is my baby. If the strike goes on longer than two weeks, I won't be able to step on set for the final episode of the show. I won't have a writer on set, as I have had on every episode since the fourth episode. I won't be able to edit this final culminating episode. I won't go to the wrap party that Fox TV and FX are paying for. You can't tell me that any episode of television is more important than this one is to me, and I am ready to forego all those things in order to strengthen my union.

Tomorrow, we begin filming a new pilot, The Oaks, that I am Executive Producing. It's an amazing script that David Schulner wrote and I signed up to help him make this show. Until we have a fair deal I cannot do that now and it kills me.

We are currently filming Season 3 of The Unit, a show that does fairly well, but against House and Dancing With The Stars, usually finishes in 3rd place. We have no guarantee that we will back for a 4th season. I just gave a director friend of mine his first TV directing gig. I'd like to see him succeed. He'll have to finish the show on his own now without a writer on set, or my help in the editing room.

Some people have made the argument that if they don't do this producing work or this editing, that someone else will do it, and this act won't hurt the companies. I respectfully disagree. If we ALL stop ALL work tomorrow, the impact of this strike will be felt much more quickly, much more acutely and it most likely will end sooner, putting our writers, our cast and our crews back to work sooner!

I spent nearly 12 hours today in the Negotiation Room with the companies. I watched our side desperately try to make a deal. We gave up our request to increase revenue on DVD's, something that was very painful to give up, but something we felt we had to in order to get a deal made in new media, which is our future.

I watched as the company's representatives treated us horrendously, disrespectfully, and then walked out on us at 9:30 and then lied to the trades, claiming we had broken off negotiations.

I can't in good conscience fight these bastards with one hand, while operating an avid with the other. I am on strike and I am not working for them. PERIOD.

You will use your own instincts and consciences to decide your own actions. But if you would like to follow in my footsteps (and those of many, many others who made this pledge at the showrunner's meating on Saturday), I encourage you to sign the trade ad that the WGA will be putting out on Tuesday by the dozens and dozens of showrunners who will simply not work at all beginning in the morning.

I'm only writing to those writers whom I have e-mail for. Feel free to pass this on to your fellow writers and to your showrunners if you feel inclined.

I respect you all and look forward to discussing these issue more on the line. Feel free to write or e-mail and good luck!

-- Shawn Ryan

Sunday, November 04, 2007

They're Striking For You.

One day, your script will win that contest. Or, it will resonate with an agent who will turn around and sell it for mid-six figures. It will launch your career. You'll move from Mississippi, or Ventura. You'll have dozens of meetings. You'll write a couple more things. It'll be great. Maybe this isn't how you'll get here. Maybe it's another route. The journey itself doesn't matter. What matters is that you're here. You're getting paid to write.

But then, the well dries up a bit. It's lean times. Thank god for those checks that keep a-comin'. You know, the ones from all the internet downloads, from the sales of the DVDs, the very reasons the writers are striking.

It's not about some guy buying his fourth house on the coast. It's not about some chick being able to get twenty more pairs of Jimmy Choos and three Chloe purses. It's about ensuring that YOU will be safe-guarded.

Don't be dissuaded by the pissing contests running amok in blogosphere. This is very much a fight worth fighting. And your support is needed.

If you're here, and you're not in the WGA, you're very welcome on the lines: Click here to learn more.

If you're not in LA, stay informed. Show your support. Post your support on your blogs. Think outside the box. Think ROSWELL. Think about what you can do as a fan to support the writers. Post on fan websites, like thefuselage.com. Post on abc.com, post on cbs.com, nbc.com. Use the internets to your advantage. To OUR advantage.

Did you come up with something clever, something that the studios just can't ignore? Let me know, I'll post suggestions here. Until then, I'll see you tomorrow.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

All in.

The main difference, imo, between the strike of yesteryear and the strike of today? The internets. People are going to be way more informed this time around. That includes the other side. So, when people are being vocal (which they should be) about the strike, imo (again), I truly believe they should bust out Ye Olde Poker Face.

Don't act worried on your websites -- save your concerns for face-to-face, alcohol-laden get-togethers with your fellow writers. In public, talk up a good game. Pretend as though you've got pocket aces against their 7-2 off. If they smell weakness, you're fucked.

You. You vocal folks out there. The ones who are being quoted in magazines, newspapers, by the other side... they'll use your words against you. If, however, you're not concerned in your public venue. If, however, you act as though you've got the rockets, doubt and fear are sure to follow. If they're fearful and doubtful, when you push all in, they'll be forced to fold. That means you get all the chips.

I get it. Writers are neurotic. We all are. But for this moment, writers need to not be scared. Yes, mortgage payments are due, children's tuition is due, your weekly alcohol bill needs paying... The way to end this quickly? Remember (whether you believe it in your heart of hearts or not) writers ARE holding the best hand. So, act like it, goddammit.

Friday, November 02, 2007

... and you're out!

Every single blog, news article, person I run into is talking about the strike. I don't really believe that I have much to add to a population of persons who are way more eloquent than I.

So, I'd like to take this opportunity to be a bitch. Because, really, I use every opportunity given me.

Here's the thing. Way back when, I decided I wanted to be a TV writer, except I was living in the UK. Sure, I could have tried my hand over there. I probably would be a WAY better writer now if I had. But, I wanted to use any excuse to get back to LA -- after two very very very wet years in London, I was starved for sunshine. The hubby, being the awesome guy that he is, agreed to move.

Prior to our move, I thought that it would be cool to make my own TV show, and, shocker, host it on a website. Where people could download it, and pay a small fee for that privilege. A few years later, it's a reality. Except, I haven't done it yet. But, I still think it's an awesome idea. I'm still going to do it one day. I just won't be the pioneer that I would have been had I done it back then.

So, we move to LA, I meet some folks. Other folks have issues on a private message board, and decide to start their own website. It's a pretty cool site, very informative for new writers. This is around the time when online content was becoming more the norm. Downloading shows on iTunes, youtube, etc. So, I email one of the guys who are running this site. They're very informative folks, as I may have mentioned, and seem knowledgeable about the MBA. My question to these guys was:

"But what I'm now wondering is what is being done about iTunes downloads? What sort of compensations are the writers receiving? I'm just wondering what the guild is doing about these huge technology leaps?"

The answer I was given, three years ago, was a post on their website (paraphrased):

"You're an idiot. Read the MBA to understand."

Helpfully, they posted the link to the MBA. I read it -- every single word. There was no answer to my question. So, I rephrased and asked again. These guys just didn't know. But refused to say they didn't know. Instead, I was deemed an idiot for not understanding. Oh, I'm an idiot, just not in this instance.

So, we come to now, when, you know, everyone's asking what I asked. And these guys are fighting for writers to be getting the compensation I understood writers not to be receiving. And, I believe that these guys should get that compensation. With everything that I am. After all, they're paving the way for me and all of my peers. It just would have been nice to not be called an idiot (paraphrased), and to believe in the idea that these outspoken folks were slightly more prescient than they seem to be.

I doubt I'll be posting a lot about the strike, as I said before, there are way more eloquent blog entries on the topic. And, really, you should just read theirs.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

I should be over the moon.


I'm not.

Variety Sez: "Joss Whedon is heading back to TV-- along with his "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel" ingenue, Eliza Dushku. Dushku will star in the Whedon-penned series "Dollhouse," which has been given a seven-episode order by Fox. News came as an extra-big Halloween treat for Whedon fans, considered some of the most passionate in all of TV.

Produced by 20th Century Fox TV -- the studio also behind "Buffy," "Angel" and Whedon's late, lamented "Firefly" -- "Dollhouse" follows a top-secret world of people programmed with different personalities, abilities and memories depending on their mission.

After each assignment -- which can be physical, romantic or even illegal -- the characters have their memories wiped clean, and are sent back to a lab (dubbed the "Dollhouse"). Show centers on Dushku's character, Echo, as she slowly begins to develop some self-awareness, which impacts her missions."
More here.

Don't get me wrong, I'm jumping for fucking joy because Joss be back! But, uh, I'm not loving this idea. It's Joss AND Tim, so, you know, anything could happen. I have faith in these guys, I really really do. But, uh, yeah -- I'm a little dubious about a show where people are "living out their fantasies with a top secret world of people." I'm also dubious about the boys hanging out with FOX. That's usually the recipe used when making disaster. Or cookies.