Tuesday at Paramount was notable primarily for the presence of Angry Guy, a picketer who is always looking for a fight. The Van Ness gate is pretty busy,1 and lacking any traffic signals. So it’s not hard to make life difficult for motorists pulling onto the lot, and Angry Guy did his best to make it uncomfortable for everyone.
It’s a big Guild, full of adults, so it’s not my place to tell anyone how they should picket. But after he left, we found ourselves apologizing to one of the Paramount guys he nearly came to blows with. It was exactly the scene that happens outside a college bar on a Friday night, when the sober people try to talk down the drunk-and-surly. Only it was 6:32 in the morning. And no one was drinking.
On the plus side, I got to talk with Jennifer Jason Leigh. 2
I had lunch with the Disney Feature Writing Fellows. I blogged about their situation after the Fox rally, then got involved in some of the behind-the-scenes discussions with Disney and the WGA about how to keep the fellows from getting crushed under the wheels of strike. Most of them are not WGA, but they of course hope to be, so they won’t cross a picket line to continue their fellowships. Jane Espenson, Howard Rodman and I have been working behind the scenes with WGA and Disney folks to find a solution. While that’s still forthcoming, I’m happy to say that despite all the bluster and rhetoric you see in the press, there’s a lot of level-headedness on both sides. Until the situation (or the strike) is resolved, Jane will be working the TV fellows, while I’ll handle the feature side.
Today was the gathering of screenbloggers at Warner Bros. That makes it sound like some sort of well-planned happening, when it was really just a few emails between Craig, Josh, Jane and I about which studio we should visit. Still, we had a good group of people turning out, some from as far as Texas.
Warners Gate 2/3 is a pretty nice place to picket. There’s shade, a restroom, and a choice of two crosswalks for when you want a change of scenery.
Tomorrow, I’ll be back at my usual stomping ground: Paramount’s Van Ness gate, from 5:30 until 7:30 a.m. On Friday, I’ll be loading trucks at the mothership, WGA Headquarters.