Pilot season is on the Internet this year


You’re a working writer. Only you’re not at the moment, because you’re on strike. (See pavements passim.)

You’ve got a lot of friends in the industry working as camera operators, riggers, teamsters, and so on who can’t work at the moment because you’re on strike.

How can you support them?

Well… given that this dispute is all about the Internet, it’s occurred to a couple of people that maybe they could put their talent to use in the meantime.

It’s called Strike TV. An Internet Channel created by professional writers and crew to raise money for the strike fund. So that people in difficulty due to the strike – everyone, not just writers – will be able to support themselves.

And they’re going to do this by advertising within their videos. On the Internet. Apparently you can get money for that these days.

Their MySpace page has the details, but the deal is basically this:

If you’re an active WGA member who wishes to contribute, send a proposal. You’ll then need to make a pilot, which will get shown on the Internet on the Strike TV channel. Any money from ads made goes to the Writers Guild Foundation Industry Support Fund.

And if it’s a hit?

You own it. It’s yours. Set it up as a web series, sell it to a TV network (it’s been done already), spin off novels, comics, DVDs… Make money from it.

It’ll need to be a Union production, obviously. But that’s what this all comes down to, in the end, and they’re already working on ways to make it affordable.

The channel starts in February. Sweeps. That’s when the advertisers in the States decide where to spend their money.

There’s one condition: someone in the production has to be an active member of the WGA.

Being an inquisitive chap, I got in contact and asked if active members of other Writers’ Guilds were allowed.

The answer was yes. And they’re really looking forward to seeing what we can come up with.

So if you’re an active member in good standing of any of the following Writers’ Guilds, you should get going. There’s not much time before sweeps.

  • Australian Writers’ Guild
  • Irish Playwrights and Writers Guild
  • New Zealand Writers Guild
  • SARTeC – Société des auteurs de radio, télévision et cinéma (French-language Canada)
  • Sección de Autorres y Adaptadores de Cine (Mexico)
  • Union-Guilde des Scénaristes (France)
  • Writers Guild of America, East
  • Writers Guild of America, west
  • Writers Guild of Canada
  • Writers Guild of Great Britain

If you’re in Los Angeles on the 9th January there’s a free event at the WGA Theater where you can find out more, and hook up with production crew.

Here’s that MySpace page again.

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