Star Trek Producers Join Picket Lines

The WGA strike kicked off on Monday with picket lines at all the major studios. The guild has ordered all of its members to do 20 hours of mandatory picket time per week. According to this morning’s Variety, Star Trek producer Damon Linedolof and producer-director J.J. Abrams (who are both guild members) hit the picket lines yesterday to show solidarity for their writing comrades. From the Variety article…

J.J. Abrams ranks among the multihyphenates [writers who also direct and/or produce] caught in the crossfire of a writers strike hitting just as he’s set to start helming a feature, Par’s “Star Trek” franchise revival that’s set to begin lensing Wednesday. Abrams said he would honor his contractual obligation to work as a director on the pic but would render no writing services. And in his downtime, he plans to spend time on Melrose Avenue joining such chants as “Who’s got more money than they can count? Paramount.”

“If I didn’t stand with my fellow writers, I’d feel it in my gut,” Abrams said.

While Abrams was in front of Paramount in Hollywood, Damon Lindelof was hitting the streets in front of Disney in Burbank. Again from Variety:

The strike line outside the Disney lot included the stewards of one of the company’s most valuable properties, ABC drama “Lost.”

“Everybody’s a little saddened and surprised and shocked to be out here,” said “Lost” exec producer Damon Lindelof.

Lindelof and fellow “Lost” exec producer Carlton Cuse, a member of the WGA’s contract negotiating committee, said they spent much of the weekend putting the finishing touches on episode eight of “Lost,” submitting the script to the network on Friday and tweaking it over the weekend.

Star Trek scribes Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman are also expected to put in their time on the lines.

Related: Star Trek ready for writers strike

(Source: Variety)

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OK, I’m now officially impressed with Abrams and Lindelof.

money….sometimes I think Hollywood has way too much of it.

Leno passed out doughnuts. JJ should pass out plomeek soup.

Thank goodness the script is done and the filming can proceed. I just wonder how far along the sets are. How long before we are leaked a pic of the sets and costumes? I can’t wait!

KevinA Melbourne Australia

Let hope this resolves quickly ‘coz if the movie is bad in anyway they be blaming this strike for all it’s worth.

I’m all for the writers in this… but damn, it sucks that so many of my favorite shows and movies are being jeapordized in the process. :(

First? My second post ever. Sucks that things have shut down. I hate to see this go on. Here’s to a quick resolution!!

Clearly not first! There were no comments when I logged in. You guys are speedy!!!

I’m starting to get worried this may yet impact the schedule for the movie. Or worse, the suits might try to push it forward without the talents that have been working on it in the event this strike goes on for a long time.

I wonder if Hollywood big wigs get desperate enough, they’ll hire scab labor. I would love to write for a TV show, of course even if it is a sitcom, I’d work Star Trek into it somehow. hope this works out soon

“Writers? We don’t need no steenking writers!” – overheard at a recent Paramount executes meeting

Gotta love the extremely wealthy protesting for more more from the extraordinarily wealthy!

You don’t want to do that, Paul. Once the strike ends (and it shall), you would never be issued a writer’s guild card, effectively ending your career.

12

I gotta imagine very FEW writers are what you would call “extremely wealthy.” Only the showrunners and famous screenwriters, etc.

14

Bingo.

No on the set writing enhancements for any movie in production cannot be a good thing.

#13 Perhaps Paul’s point of view is that he’d like to write without making it a career. Many examples of one-off scripts even in (and especially) throughout sci-fi. Plus, there’s Canada, UK, plenty of other English-speaking lands where WGAE and WGAW aren’t everything. Perhaps the recreational writer might prosper in such an environment.

Frankly, as much as I understand the WGAE and WGAW strike they’re extremely tone-deaf as to what is going on in *the rest* of America right now…

It would have been much more interesting for them to work under protest in some manner, or go patriotic with their strikes… as opposed to using tired old Big Labor rhyming chants.

Frankly, watching on the newsmedia, the limpy lines, the lack of uniformity in wearing the Red Shirts (hmmm, poor choice of color, ya think? why not fluorescent yellow-green instead?).

We realized last night, that as far as we’re concerned at home, this strike can go on forever. We’ve accumulated so many videos, and other discs of shows we never got to watch, that we can self-program for years.

#12 I understand you.

Angry but I'll get over it

stupid stupid stupid, they’ve made it this far just fine, now that stuff is being shown on the Internet, more money…and no concern for some of the top shows out there that will be affected…thank goodness for Star Trek being done

I’m with the writers on this – they’re getting almost nothing from digital sales of their work (downloads, ITunes, etc.).

Besides, where would supposed ‘funnyman’ David Letterman be without writers? Back in Indianspolis forecasting weather again or cleaning toilets at Ball State.

#17
Point taken. But, fundamentally, stabbing someone in the back by crossing a picket line to further oneself would leave one on somewhat morally shaky ground. And I don’t know where Paul is from, but the prospect of moving to another country or adapting one’s writing to suit an audience in a different culture and market demographic at the same time as sabotaging the future of your writing career would be ill-advised. Personally, I am not so desperate as to better my position at the expense of others.

Not that I’m trying pick a fight or anything with you, David. Just offering a different perspective.

And sorry for talking about you like you weren’t in the room, Paul.

I say give the writers as much money as they want under certain conditions:

1) ’30 Rock’ must henceforth include humor
2) Any future Trek scripts are forbidden from using time travel
3) ‘Bionic Woman’ may only continue if the hot chick uses her real Brit accent all the time
4) Oprah be banned from using cute estrogen-laced language such as but not limited to Vah-jay-jay

I am solid in my support of the writers and I’m going to support them anyway I can. We all know the studios are in it for $$$ so this may take awhile.

Star Trek starts filming tomorrow!!!

Even if you only want to write one script for the fun of it, I would think you’re doing this because you admire the work of writers like Abrams and so many others who worked so hard on Star Trek. If so, why would you want to hurt them by working against their efforts to be fairly compensated for their work?

The studios are making money from new media. It’s only fair that the writers should get a fair share.

19. I am sure “funnyman” Letterman supports the guild. As a matter of fact one of his first gigs was as a writer on “Good Times” and he is still credited as being a writer on “The Late Show”.

Hi,

sorry for being a bit off-topic. But there is one thing about the release date that bothers me. I have learned that the sequel of “The DaVinciCode” which grossed about 750 Mio. Dollars, called “Angels and Demons” by Ron Howard/Dan Brown starring Tom Hanks will be released just one week before Star Trek (2008). Isn’t that a problem? I mean, I would like to remind you that “The Lord Of The Rings III” has been released nearly at the same date “Nemesis” came out. One of the reason of Nemesis’ failure at the Box Office was the start of another blockbuster movie. So what do you think? Is there any danger this could happen again?

Greetings,

Section31

Section 31… yes, but Nemesis sucked the vaccuum out of space.

21

’30 Rock’ not funny?? In what universe is that?

Last week’s scene of Baldwin playing both of Tracy Jordan’s parents– and Tracy himself– in a therapy session was the funniest thing I’ve seen in years!

the king in shreds and tatters

the season opener was pretty weak, though.

Right On #17!
Go to Canada!
Self Program!

SPOOOOOOOOOCK! Nimoy is the Best and the should revise the Script! He is the MAN!

Bob, the Evil Klingon Frontline Leader

#32 – When 30 Rock won the Emmy this year the crew thanked their hundreds of viewers. Great show.

26, Section 31

Sadly Nemesis was up against a titan of a movie, the third part of the highest grossing series to date. So in that case, even if Nemesis was good, it still would have tanked.

Not so with Angels & Demons. It’s technically not a sequel (it’s a prequel) which will likely underperform DaVinci Code. Although it’s story will translate better to the screen (it has mad scientists, an antimatter bomb, mach 6 aircraft, and the illuminati) I think Star Trek will have a bigger media push by then. Star Trek will be the one to beat.

Just my two cents

Where’s Brunt FCA when you need him!?

#20 Good perspective you have. Thanks for keeping it intellectual. Don’t misunderstand, I’m glad to see JJ and Damon on the picket lines: they’re in WGAW, it’s their moral obligation to back up their colleagues. I don’t fault the rank and file, but the leadership of the union. And what I’ve seen on the media so far is pathetic. The recent GM strike is a good counter-example. Current employees of GM are in danger of losing their jobs permanently. Hollywood, I rather doubt, will lose any jobs, it’s about a piece of the DVD circumference divided by the DVD diameter. Many claim without evidence that New Media is making a boatload of money for the studios. I don’t buy it. Literally… it’s being leveraged by advertising on the Internet which is the next dot-com crash about to happen. Particularly when the US is about to experience rapid hyperinflation. I believe WGA’s offer to the studios was for a small % of New Media profits. Seems reasonable… but as jms has noted, he’s got a % of Babylon 5 residuals, yet they’ve yet to pay a dime. Studios are very creative with their Enron-esque accounting. 1138, also, I didn’t suggest Paul or anyone move to a third country. Canadians have no problems contributing to American television, but few Americans submit to Canadian productions. There’s nothing keeping someone from pitching “DeGrassi Space Academy” right now up north. Or perhaps “This Light Year Has 101,325 Astronomical Units”…. Or, why not try to get… Read more »

I’m hoping that the writers and producers are in constant negotiations during the strike. They’d be unbelievably stupid not to be.

Screw unions.
I say fire them all and hire some actual talent. Then, maybe Hollywood as a whole might start making money again instead of losing it.

I’m so glad I don’t belong to a union which can shut down my entire industry and mandate that I waste my time on nonproductive silly public agitprop with signs and rhyming slogans. I’ve seen their effects on public education and the manufacturing sector, and now they’re stifling the arts and entertainment. Once America’s entertainment industry becomes as leaden as the Big 3 or our secondary education, can we expect a complete collapse of the industry? (To be blamed on the internet, no doubt.) Or is the industry already that staid…remember, for every Journeyman or Star Trek affected by the strike, there’s at least a dozen series like “Two and a Half Men” or TV movies like “Chupacabra.”

Maybe we can do like Reagan did to the air traffic controllers and get some fresh blood. Couldn’t hurt.

David, all good points. Although I think the success rate of mailed-in scripts is about as good as everyone agreeing on this message board. In a sense the writers are facing a David and Goliath type battle. The pie has grown decidedly larger and for their contribution, I don’t believe the writers are out of line asking to be compensated fairly. Again, to meaure their success in this endeavor, please see the first part of this comment. The two sides can take as long as they want as far as I am concerned. I have more than enough DVD’s in my collection, rarely, if ever watch TV, and normally read about three books at a time. I once had to walk a picket line when I was in the musician’s union to protest one of those traveling ice-skating shows that had stopped hiring musicians for their shows and had been using canned music. That is until I realized that if I had actually accepted a gig performing with them, I would have been making less money than I was performing with my own groups and recording. Plus, I’d also have to sit through the ice skating show. I fulfilled my obligation to the members of the union that felt strongly about the issue, but subsequently dropped out of the union and made more money and didn’t have to pay union dues. For me, independant contracting proves to be more lucrative. It is up to me to be creative in how… Read more »

I heard today that the guy that has penned the next Bond outing has trousered $4m+ apparently.
All out brothers!
Gives him some time to spend his doh, doesn’t it!

it should be an interesting year for hollywood .
it looks like the unions have the upper hand .

Anthony,

Have you heard about the Star trek open casting call

check Comingsoon.net for info.

This is all about money. Hollywood is full of people who sue each other one minute and work together the next. Some of it’s cold-blooded. Most of it is just the way things are. No biggie.

OH NO!! I can’t POSSIBLY live off of $2,000,000 per year!!! I’m being jipped out!!!

*shakes fist at hollyweird*

#40:Maybe we can do like Reagan did to the air traffic controllers and get some fresh blood.” No, you can’t. All the “screw the union” folks can chew on that until they choke, if it will help. :) #2:”money….sometimes I think Hollywood has way too much of it.” Only because you willingly give it to them. We line up at movie theatres, DVD sales counters, “big box” retailers of TVs and other electronics DirectTV dealers, porn shops (uh, scratch that last) and empty our wallets in exchange for something we tell ourselves is an optional expense. What we’re ultimately paying for is for someone to tell us a story. As Robert McKee has observed, human beings spend an enormous amount of our lives listening to and telling stories of one kind or another – it may be our single most time-consuming activity other than sleep, and we underestimate it because we’re unaware of much of it. We do it at work, in raising our children, when making love… Something which is being driven home to the studios today is that their productions are being hobbled more rapidly than they expected because of the number of producers and others who are, in fact, writers and identify themselves most strongly as writers. Divide-and-conquer isn’t working. The whole “writers are at the bottom of the food chain” mentality is taking a hit, and with good reason: it’s not in any way a coincidence that the executives running all the [i]best[/i] scripted television are… Read more »

#37: Shhh! You’ll let everyone else in on my plan to break into the writing world via over-the-transom Doctor Who scripts!

You know, I think unions by and large have a tendency to get greedy these days, and I’m usually disinclined to sympathize. But this strike seems pretty reasonable to me. So good luck to everyone, despite the fact my nightly dose of fake news died last night and a whole lot of other shows I watch will be crashing in the near future.

When I saw TNG’s “Shades of Gray” I thought the memory of its awfulness would forever deter future writer’s strikes. I wish Enterprise were still on so they could do a writer’s strike sequel with Riker telling Troi he’s having flashbacks to the time he had a disease that made him have flashbacks.

21 Hear Hear!!

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