Video from Rancho Mirage Q&A

Synthian Sharp taped my Q&A in Rancho Mirage, and has it available on Vimeo.

On being here or there

I flew to Paris for a meeting this weekend. That’s absurd, of course, spending 22 hours in the air just so I could sit around a small table with two other jet-lagged people. But it was an important meeting, a kind of reality-check on a project everyone wants to see done right. As a screenwriter, […]

WGA Board election preview

A plug for staying involved in WGA politics.

Writers need actors

The survival of dayplayers benefits us all.


On Friday afternoon, WGAw President Patric Verrone and WGAE President Michael Winship sent out an email to members that embarrassed themselves and both organizations. In it, they slammed the “puny few” who bailed on the WGA to take fi-core status, thus allowing them to write for pay during the strike. They provided a link to […]

Post-strike update

Last night I went out for beers with my picketing team from the Van Ness gate. I hadn’t spoken with any of them since the end of the strike, so it was nice to catch up, and see them in clothes not specifically chosen for walking in the cold. Remarkably, it was the first conversation […]

Back to work

The vote passed, with 92.5% of members calling to end the strike. Tomorrow, it’s back to the word factory. Voting today was my last chance to see some of the WGA staffers I’ve gotten to know during the strike. Some were hired on just to manage specific areas (like picketing), and will be laid off […]

The vote

The vote to lift the restraining order, thus ending the strike, occurs tomorrow from 2-6 p.m. at the WGA Theatre in Beverly Hills, and in New York at the Crown Plaza Hotel, 4-7 p.m. Obviously, you have to be a voting WGA member in order to cast a ballot. I’m looking forward to it as […]

The meeting

Last night’s meeting at the Shrine was packed. It started late, because of parking challenges. Most of my picket line crew was out sick. And as I took a seat next to a fellow USC’er, I had a brief moment of panic: I spotted a woman with an LED pin which kept scrolling, “IT’S NOT […]

The deal

Early this morning, the WGA published the terms of the tentative deal reached with the AMPTP, in anticipation of the membership meetings happening later today in New York and Los Angeles. By breakfast, there was already considerable discussion online, with writers and interested parties dissecting the merits and deficiencies in the deal and how it […]

Strike, days 94 and 95; Production, day 3

Our final day of shooting consisted mostly of chasing actors with cameras, my brief homage to Point Break. We also had our first and only company move — just two blocks, to a tiny medical clinic in Eagle Rock. One by one, we wrapped our actors, until we were left with just one regular and […]

Condition: Marginal

Update: My cold is getting worse, so I’m going to sit out picketing this afternoon in hopes of rallying for another WGA commitment tonight.

Thursday picketing

I’ll be picketing at NBC this afternoon, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. I’m fighting a cold, so if I don’t shake your hand, please take no offense.

Strike, day 93; Production, day 2

With all eyes on yesterday’s primaries, the announcement of the big, bi-coastal WGA membership meeting this Saturday was easy to overlook. But it’s certainly a welcome development. It’s widely expected that the WGA boards will discuss the status of the agreement with the AMPTP, and outline the steps needed to get back to work. I […]

Strike, day 92; Production, day 1

Instead of picketing, I spent today in production on the short-film-slash-web-pilot, details of which I’m keeping infuriatingly mum so that there’s some tiny bit of surprise when I can start showing it to people. Today went really, really well. We’re shooting two cameras — the HVX-200’s I was all a-twitter over before they came out […]

Seeing other people

As I write this on Sunday afternoon, I have no confirmation whether a deal has been reached to end the strike. Rumor and reality have been scrambled and beaten throughout this ordeal, so now seems a particularly bad time to be counting unhatched chickens. (To strain an egg metaphor.) For any writer — WGA or […]

Strike, day 88

We had a big turnout for the Van Ness gate this morning — all of the regulars plus a few visitors. We debated whether that was an auspice or a coincidence. Either way, there were a lot of doughnuts. The old Russian guy who stands across the street watching us for hours decided he wanted […]

Thursday picketing

I’ll be back at my usual gate and time (5:45 a.m. at Paramount’s Van Ness gate) on Thursday, but writers interested in multi-camera comedies might want to check out Warners Gate 2, for the next Teaching Thursday. From the organizers: Writers of various genres join us each Thursday, making themselves available to discuss story, structure […]

This week’s picketing

Circumstances have left me a single dad this week, so it’s unlikely I’ll make it out to the picket line for more than a brief visit. (Toddlers enjoy signs and lines, but not for three hours at a stretch.) This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go. Go, and report back what you see. Monday’s picketing is […]

Strike, day 81

Despite the cold and rain, we had a sizable turnout at the Van Ness gate this morning, with four newcomers joining the stalwart crew. The Seattle folks brought coffee (purchased locally; they didn’t bring it with them), while feature scribes Amy and Liz enthusiastically pitched the plotline of Miracle Mile, an LA disaster movie they […]

Strike, day 80

Aspiring screenwriter and reader-of-the-blog Terry came out to walk the picket line this morning. A recent Notre Dame grad, he’s doing SAT1 tutoring as a day job. My friend Amy does the same thing in New York, and it strikes me as a nearly ideal way for a writer to put ramen in the cupboard. […]

Strike, day 79

This morning was a day of firsts on the picket line. For starters, it was my first day of rain picketing. A clear plastic garbage bag protects the sign, so beyond needing to occasionally wipe off my glasses, it wasn’t a big difference. It was warmer than most mornings, so I’ll gladly take some rain. […]


Tomorrow is a U.S. holiday (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day), so there’s no picketing. Tuesday is a big event at Paramount. Details forthcoming.

Day 74, revised

I had to cancel my Arizona trip, so I’ll be doing van loading tonight, from 5-8 p.m. (Note that you have to be WGA to sign up, since it’s at the headquarters.)

Strike, days 73 and 74

I was out sick this morning (on the mend, thank you), and will be headed to a conference in Arizona tomorrow. So I’ll have no news from the picket line for the rest of the week. I predict it will be dark and cold, with some good conversation that I’ll sadly miss. The general consensus […]