Today is a big day in LA.
Reps from the Producers and Writers are set to meet. No one expects the doors to fly open and the reps to leave arm in arm espousing their love for one another. But it is a necessary step in what is turning out to be a potentially long strike.
Anyone who has been following the news knows that the obstacles to a solution seem almost insurmountable. But in a town where deals occur nearly every hour of everyday, literally everywhere, I have no doubt that a solution can be found. It's just the when that has everyone worried...and I guess, specifically for the writers, and producers, the what as well.
Since most of my work is in features, I really didn't expect that much of an impact on my work schedule. After all, the projects I'm working on have locked scripts and so the effects should be minimal right? Well not so fast.
One project in particular has been a little dicey since we're going after an actor who is lead on a series. In the past we could schedule around their schedule, or plan around their off time. But now, well, no one knows when that will be.
Technically many series actors are on hiatus (they get a portion of their salary and are considered more or less on hold), and if I read my Codified Agreement correctly, I think talent should be available to work while on hiatus. The problem is that when the strike ends, they'll have to go back to their primary work immediately, potentially leaving the work they take while on break in a bind.
One studio, it is reported, has not put their talent on hiatus, but instead, basically suspended them without pay. Again, if I read my Codified Agreement correctly, I think that's a breach of contract. Which means, those actors are free to do whatever they want, whenever they want, and are then not obligated to go back to their original series.
No one wants that, and I may have just made this all up because, trust me, reading the fine print on some of this stuff is anything but easy.
The bottom line is I have my fingers crossed for todays meeting. I hope some progress is made so that things will get back to normal sooner rather than later.
And I'm certain that wish is echoed by just about everyone in LA.
For a no nonsense take on the strike, and all things behind the scenes in Hollywood, check out Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood Daily. Nikki has sources everywhere, calls it as she sees it, and is a prime example of why printed news is suffering in the age of the Internet.
Go, read, enjoy, and keep your fingers crossed that good things will come out of todays meeting.