Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Writer Bash at Gordon Biersch

So I trucked on down to GB in Burbank last night, and mingled with a hundred-plus animation writers, gathered there to eat, drink and talk shop.

I had a good time (and I hope there was enough cash in the basket to cover the tab*).

One of the major topics of conversation -- unsurprisingly -- was a possible (probable?) Writers Guild strike. Will the writers go out? When will they go out? Is a WGA strike going to impact animation?

I said I thought writers would hit the bricks because the two sides in the contract negotiations (the AMPTP and WGA) are far apart and not getting any closer. Not q question of "if" but "when." The conglomerates don't appear predisposed to give the scribes what they want, and the writers aren't in the mood to take N-O for an answer.

Some animation writers worry that a fresh flood of WGA writers will invade the animation side.

I said I thought any invasion would be minimal. TAG will get a number of inquiries, but not a lot of jobs will shift to sit-com writers.

One of the old-timers and I got to jawing about how the biz had changed over the years, how the days of easy negotiations over job responsibilities ("How much more you want to be story editor?") and pay rates are over. Now the congloms are ferociously bureaucratic and ruthlessly bottom-line. How script rates have flat-lined for years.

(On the other hand, a writer told me how the best experience he's had as a writer was working for Nick: conditions good, money good.)

There was talk about foreign levies and the lack or residuals, talk about working for middle managers who don't know much about story ... or anything else regarding animation. (There's a new one. Not.) And there was talk about the joys of listening to lectures on CDs from The Teaching Company during long commutes into work.

I ducked out while the festivities were still roaring. Hopefully everyone else had a good time too.

Thanks to Steve Marmel for setting the whole thing up. (*And I'm glad the overage for the money basket was only $19. Steve, I tossed in a few bucks hoping it would help.)


maplehouse said...

Fellow Teaching Company addicts can join my Yahoo groups and phpbb forums:

Some of my new Yahoo groups:

Teaching Company forum:

Robert Hazen's "Origins of Life" forum

Doug van Orsow

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