Monday, November 26, 2007

Report from the front

First off, thanks to everybody for your nice comments on yesterday’s post. And great idea assembling a “Best of My Blog” collection for my second unsold book. It would have been a bigger hit than the first one if it had been published.

Back on the picket lines at 20th Century Fox. Another good turnout.

Everyone is walking much slower this week. Thanksgiving hit this union hard.

The toughest part at 20th is not the physical aspect of trudging miles in an endless circle. It’s having to look at that huge billboard for MR. MAGORIAN’S WONDER EMPORIUM. The movie’s a bomb! Take it down!

There’s an upbeat attitude now that formal talks have resumed. And rumors abound that we’re close to a settlement. Of course, there are also rumors that we’ll be on strike until June, and Ellen DeGeneres is going to have Michael Vick as a guest on her show.

I once asked my agent if a certain rumor was true and he said, “All rumors are true…eventually.”

One writer on line said to me, “Didn’t you quit the business and move?” Uh…no. But now I’m worried abut that “all rumors are true” theory.

At least it wasn’t my agent who asked me that question.

We hold up signs beckoning motorists to honk and when they do we’re the ones suffering the brunt of the loud harsh horn blasts. Inside the studio no one can hear them. Explain to me why this is a good idea?

We walk past this fountain, which is really torture because the nearest bathroom is at the Rancho Park golf course a half mile away. I usually finish my shift hopping on one foot.

A friend asked if I was going to be picketing NBC. I said no, I can't even get a meeting outside NBC.

Lots of talk on the line about what the Yankees are going to do during the winter. I suspect in the New York marches no one is speculating on the Dodgers next move.

Where are the agencies with snacks and drinks now that the camera crews are gone?

Didn’t see any stars out there either.

A food drive is taking place at all picketing locations. Food will be going to SOVA, a division of Jewish Family Services. SOVA serves the entire community – all races, religions, whatever. So the agencies weren’t there with snacks the one day they really would do some good.

Sell it, Sally.

UNION!!!

29 comments:

PamelaJaye said...

PPS (from last post) -when there's no more TV, i think my brother and i will just sit and read your blog to each other. (should i do that before or after I watch the 7 seasons of Fame someone from Canada taped for me?)

Miles said...

Visit SOVA here and give: http://tinyurl.com/yt664n

Jake Hollywood said...
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Jake Hollywood said...
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Bitter Animator said...

Has anyone tried to fill tv gaps with a reality show about the strike yet? America's Next Top Striking Writers? Or World's Most Dangerous Writers? Or something.

Mary Stella said...

Sorry to miss your anniversary yesterday. Congratulations! I've read your blog almost from the very beginning and it remains a must-read for me every day.

Glad you're all hanging in on the strike. I hope it's settled soon with an agreement that is financially fair to writers.

I've received a number of "Who Does This Strike Really Hurt" forwarded emails, some of which paint the writers as selfish for striking and causing thousands of assistants to lose their jobs. I wonder if it's the studios circulating those emails.

Hmm, is it coincidence that the word verification for this comment is numjrx --pronounced numb jerks?

*honk honk honk*

Gail Renard said...

Just to let you all know that tomorrow is the International Day of Solidarity, and writers all around the world be will demo-ing in support of the WGA strike. For any Brits reading this, the WGGB has organised a demo outside the TUC headquarters in Great Russell Street at high noon. Picket signs and red t-shirts will be supplied. We'll be thinking of all you striking writers, and sending you our good vibes. Now you send us your sunshine and Krispy Cremes!

By the way, your agent story reminded me of a well-known writer friend of mine who ran into an agent who asked, "Who's representing you now?" My friend answered, "You." That's show biz!

Roger Green said...

Actually, I DO wonder what the Dodgers are going to do, now that former Yankees Joe Torre and Don Mattingly are in charge.

A. Buck Short, frontier urologist said...

Hopping on one foot helps? Who says you can't learn anything useful on the Net? Forget the book, you've got the makings of a "How to" show. Run don't walk to PBS.

(P.S. Hold up signs "DON'T honk if you're for the writers." You can claim support from people who don't even know it. Close to unanimous. Would not advise this on the NY lines however.)

Anonymous said...

We hold up signs beckoning motorists to honk to show how tough we are. December is the start of rainy season. I plan to show my determination with a sign. DRIVE PAST US FAST AND SPLASH US GOOD!

tb said...

What about that "open letter" to the public in the LA Times the other day, explaining their side of the story, no comment on that? It said that the writers "contrary to rumors, DO get paid from online stuff" etc, ...

Mary Stella said...

Just to let you all know that tomorrow is the International Day of Solidarity, and writers all around the world be will demo-ing in support of the WGA strike.

I'll wear a red T-shirt to work. If I walked anywhere in the Florida Keys with a sign on my shoulder, people would think it was election day and wonder why I wasn't standin on the highway median outside Publix supermarket and waving like the candidates for city council.

The last time anyone tried to organize a protest in the Keys was over 25 years ago when the island chain decided to secede from the rest of the United States. They don't call us the Conch Republic for nothing.

jbryant said...

Ken, don't let the lack of a nearby bathroom put a crimp in your picketing. You need something called "the motorman's friend." It got Burt Reynolds through that marathon "est" type seminar in "Semi-Tough."

Anonymous said...

What is a tougher peace negotiation - between the WGA and AMPTP or between Israel and the Palestinians?

Max Clarke said...

All Rumors Are True. There's a scene in The Player, when Griffin Mill is at a poolside Hollywood party. He confides in his lawyer, Dick Mellon, that his job is in doubt, are the rumors true? Dick Mellon -played quite well by Sydney Pollack- says, All rumors are true.

Chris L said...

I thought reality shows do have writers, of a sort. At least, the participants are put into contrived situations that somebody had to create.

benson said...

Sad news to report...

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Mel Tolkin, the head writer for Sid Caesar's "Your Show of Shows," which defined the art of sketch comedy during television's Golden Age, has died. He was 94.

jbryant said...

Sad news about Mel Tolkin indeed. And, coincidentally enough, his son Michael wrote "The Player," which is quoted above.

Anonymous said...

So now Carson Daly joins Ellen Degenerate in crossing the line? Who's next in the crosshairs?

(BYW, if Daly was really a writer he'd know he had misspelled his last name.)

jbryant said...

The "comedy" portions of Carson Daly's show are so abysmally written, that I can't imagine there'll be a drop-off in quality. Or maybe it's just his lame delivery.

Glenn said...

Glad to hear that you are not longer being feted with various pastries, pizzas and beverages. I thought it was just us at CBS Radford that had been forsaken.

The interesting thing about walking in circles for hours is the various topics that are discussed. Last week it was moisturizers, colonoscopies, turkey recipes and restaurants that feature salad dressings that induce pregnant women. As my wife likes to point out, we’re like old women.

The big concern now is that we only have a couple more weeks of things to talk about, at which we’ll be reduced to nothing more than grunts of acknowledgement as we pass each other by.

Anonymous said...

Carson's looking for material. Just call Marianne,

The Crutnacker said...

Re: Carson Daly....

Once you get to be a certain age, if you use the word "Peeps", you should be fed yellow chicks made out of sugar and pushed into a microwave until both you and the "peeps" explode. When your latest show is a step DOWN from MTV TRL, you know you're in trouble.

The Crutnacker said...

One more thing...

If your nose went on strike, would you picket?

Jack Ruttan said...

I'm not putting the link in the post, but visit my blog for pics and video of Montreal film and TV writers in the International day of Solidarity thing, supporting the Writers Guild of America. Excuse the hype! It was chilly, but a lively experience.

jbryant said...

crutnacker: "If your nose went on strike, would you picket?"

Leave that on Carson Daly's hotline immediately.

Scott said...

Ken,

Striking Writers?!

I saw this headline yesterday from the AP, "Edwards Supports Striking Writers"

At first you could assume that John Edwards approves of Hollywood's Writers going on Strike and agrees with them.

On the other hand, isn't it just possible that Edwards is with the Hollywood Studios and advocates beating and hitting the Writers!
If this is the case, and it's likely though I never read the body of the story, then becareful out there. If Edwards and others are willing to strike you then you are in danger, Ken.


Perhaps the AP needs to get new Editors.

angelmeg said...

I just want you to know the strike really matters. My daughter wrote about it for her argumentative essay in English 305. Those who didn't know the reasons for the strike do now thanks to her, and she got great feedback from the professor for all the research she had done.

She really cares and wears a self-made "I suport the WGA" t-shirt around town when she isn't in class or working.

If she were anywhere near a picket line she would be out there handing out sandwiches.

Jake Hollywood said...

jjk