When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

12 November 2007

A manifesto for striking Hollywood screenwriters

OUR BELIEFS: We are artists. We may not dress all cool like artists, or get chicks like artists, and none of us are starving, quite obviously, but Hollywood screenwriters are certainly artists, perhaps even artistes, and we suffer just the same. Not in a showy, oh-I-live-in-a-tenement and-turn-tricks-to-buy-paint and have-this-special-tuberculosis-only-artists-get kind of way. We suffer as we slave over our screenplays alone, staring into blank laptops, often blinded by pool glare. And we smoke real cigarettes.


We are not cogs in some machine. While many of today’s blockbusters are written by that machine, we are not cogs in it, despite having originally written all the dialogue and characters and plot that this machine endlessly recombines and maximizes. When a bitter cop with a shattered family and a monkey on his back flees a narco-terrorist’s fireball while cracking that he’s getting too old for this, some writer wrote some parts of that, some time back.

Shouts and Murmurs: "Why We Strike" (Larry Doyle, The New Yorker)

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