Friday, November 9, 2007

Today thousands of members of the WGA and their supporters came together at Fox Plaza to hold a rally and march. I took off from class and headed down in order to join in one history in the making. As I wandered around I somehow managed to find everyone I'd struck up conversations with and got to know on the picket lines the past couple of days in a matter of minutes. It was nice to see some familiar faces and be greeted with smiles and handshakes.

The crowd gathered in front of the Fox offices, maybe better known as Nakamura Plaza from the first Die Hard (Above). Rage Against the Machine's frontman Tom Morello played a few songs, then handed the mike over to Jesse Jackson (I have no idea why he shows up to all these things). Afterwards a few other people spoke, possibly WGAW President Patric M. Verrone and Screen Actors Guild President Alan Rosenberg, who were supposed to be there, but I couldn't really hear and honestly was kind of distracted by these guys:
I was standing right next to the writers from The Office, plus Rainn Wilson. They were quite funny and some great entertainment. I overheard Mindy Kaling (The sole female in the picture) say that tons of actors and showrunners had asked to take pictures with her and thank her for what they've done for the strike. (If your wondering Mindy, BJ Novak, and Paul Lieberstein were the first writer hyphenates to not cross the line. All three are both writers and actors and they stuck together and picketed their own show until it was shut down, you can see a video about it here.)

The whole Rally had the feel of a giant reunion. Everywhere you turned there were people introducing people to each other in ways such as this:
"This is Jake, I worked with him on Wish Kid, years ago."
Or people were just walking up saying hi and asking "What are you working on these days?" (The answer there is "The Picket Line" Ba-Da Ching! It's super late as I add this, so just go along with it) But all in all it was just a feeling of joy, excitement, and for the most part, fun. I'm glad I could be a part of it and go out and make some new friends/acquaintances with people I'd never have meet otherwise.

One person I was lucky enough to met today was the one and only Joss Whedon. I had made a point to look for Joss as I was marching, as I'd heard he'd been out several other days as well. Sure enough he passed by me while I was making the loop that was the picket line (or picket blocks as it were) I waited a minute then introduced myself and asked if I could get a picture. He said sure and after we took the picture(seen below) he talked with me for a few minutes. One thing we discussed was his return to television, something I've been hoping for for some time as his other 3 shows are among my favorite shows ever. (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly) He said he too was looking forward to his return to television and it was seemed to me he was itching to get to writing his new show, Fox's Dollhouse. And it was clear how much the strike meant to him as he was out striking even though he was clearly feeling very sick.

According to one writer I talked to at least one showrunner doesn't think the strike will end anytime before January. Which means a lot more picketing, and possibly more rallies at other studios. Some of which I hope to be at.

Now I have to admit, I did use some of my time down at the rally getting to met some people and taking some pictures, enjoy:

Lieutenant Dangle AKA Thomas Lennon (Reno 911)

William "Billy" Baldwin (Dirty Sexy Money)

Ed Helms (The Office)

Michael Muhney (Veronica Mars' Sheriff Lamb)
Muhney may be the nicest person I've ever met in the industry. He was genuinely happy to talk to me, sharing his hopes for the strike to end soon, as he has a pregnant wife. I mentioned I too had a pregnant wife and we spoke for a couple of minutes about that. He told me about his new show Family Practice which was supposed to go into production in January, but now who knows. He said he was looping for CSI:Miami today a few blocks away and just decided he had to come out and show his support. Although he played a complete jerk on Veronica Mars, he's nothing like that in real life.

Jason Bateman (Juno, Arrested Development)
When I asked if he's mind taking a picture he said sure and as I looked around for someone to take it he said we should just do it ourselves and grabbed the camera. After taking this great photo (I assume he's done this quite a few times) a guy came along and asked if we wanted him to take it, Jason's response: "No we're doing it lovers style" and told me to tell people "We'd just started seeing each other"

Last but not least: Jane Espenson (Writer/Producer Buffy, BSG)
Jane was another wonderfully nice person to met. I recognized her as I was walking back to my car and we walked and talked for a couple of blocks. She told me about how ABC/Disney told all their writing fellows they had to show up for work or be fired. Now this might not seem so strange, but as writing fellows this is basically their foot in the door, so they don't want to lose their first job, but at the same time, if they cross the picket line, they will never be allowed into the WGA. It's a Catch 22, get fired from your possible entry into the guild, or cross the picket line and never be allowed into the Guild. It's something I plan on looking into further. You can read her blog here.

Have a good weekend, I'm gonna hit up a child birthing class and do some much needed homework. I'm also going to go see "No Country For Old Men"



Cheri said...

Tid, I am so proud of you for walking the lines!! I would if I were there! Showing our support for them is so important! I am, however, dying of envy that you met Joss, Jane, Muhney, and Jason Bateman! Seriously jealous! lol
Hope things are going well with you and your family!

Anonymous said...

What an excellent blog. Love getting all the strike coverage I can find.

Anonymous said...

Follow up comment: Does Ed Helms smell like what I imagaine Pierce Brosnan smells like?

CKL said...

Wow, that story about the ABC/Disney writing fellowship stinks. I hope at least some of those writers have the stomach to walk. No one can stop you from writing, and if you're good enough, someone will want to pay you for it.

The CineManiac said...

Sorry I didn't take time to smell Ed Helms, but everything seemed to smell like CAA Churros.

Shea said...

I LOVE this informative clip that Joss Did. I've been posting it everywhere I can. Let's get this out to the fanboys and get some action going:

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