Today I received an email from Bill Cunningham who runs the excellent DISContent blog that I have linked to many times. He was alerting me (an others on his list) about a recent post of his supporting the men and women writers who are currently on strike, and why we should support them. I completely agree, and it made me think about how a big union strike affects even the very low budget filmmaker.
When we grow up, we may be in the same boat.
I think it's safe to say that we would all love to make a living in some sort of entertainment capacity, such as film directing. While that may be a long shot, perhaps we'll have a chance to be a writer of some sort. If we make it to the big leagues, we will become part of the Writers Guild and our current events then could mirror current events now. Don't tell yourself "that will never be me, so why support them", when it very well could be. Someday.
There is actually something very similar injustice (although on a much smaller scale) happening at the TV station that I work at. We have a popular news website that that management is encouraging everyone to blog and upload clips to. No compensation is offered, just the promise of a potentially higher bonus. Sorry, you're not going to make money selling ads to a site that I contribute to, with nothing coming to me. It's just greed, and an attempt to cash in on loyal employees.
It's an opportunity to promote your own online content, in direct competition to those greedy networks.
If you have a project you can put online as a complete film or serial, now is the time to do it. If the strike goes on into next year (like I think it will, giving strikers more power) and all shows go into reruns, people will be looking around for some alternatives. How about your movie or show? Timing such as this could really propel your content into the stratosphere. Make good stuff, and promote, promote, promote! I just wish I was ready for such an endeavor.
It's an opportunity to do the right thing.
This is a no-brainer. Fellow artists are only asking to be paid for a new revenue stream that networks have been making lots of money exploiting. Without writers, all networks would be filled with reality and talk shows, and no one would watch. Think of your favorite shows, past and present. Would they exist without writers? Nope.
Bill has abstained from watching any online content backed by network or cable outlets. I vow to do the same, and encourage all who read this to support their creative brothers and sisters with a similar non-action. Truth be told, I was only watching Bionic Woman online anyway, so I don't have much to miss out on. The writers, however, have been missing out for quite a while now. Let's help make sure that it doesn't continue.