10 November, 2007

Writers Strike Chronicles Show #3: Seth MacFarlane Speech

On Day 5 of the Writers’ Strike “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane walked the picket lines. He also gave a speech at the protest rally held at steps of the FOX Plaza. Recorded Friday, 9 November 2007.

Producer/Host: Tanja Barnes
Music: "Ay Mambo" by Falik
available on Magnatune.com

R.I.P. Norman Mailer 1923 - 2007

We interrupt our strike coverage to acknowledge the death of Norman Mailer who died of acute renal failure this morning in New York.

The most important thing to remember in this blog title is the "dash". The numbers mean little. It's the life that's lived -- the dash -- that tells the story.

Read the story from the New York Times here.

Interview with Joe Medeiros

Shane, a 15 year-old homeschooler and citizen journalist from Burbank, recorded this interview with Joe Medeiros, head writer for The Tonight Show and a strike captain for the WGA. This interview was done on Wednesday 7 November 2007 in front of NBC studios.

Creative Commons License

Ask A Ninja Special Delivery 17 "Writer's Strike"

Ask a Ninja supports the WGA.

In this video, Ninja gives the writers some tips on how to beat the AMPTP. He's also a fine example of why the writers should continue to fight to be cut into the New Media dealio!

Navigating the Fox Rally

From 1WritLarge comes this video from the picket lines at Fox Studios yesterday.

WSC #2 - SAG Supports WGA

It’s Day 5 of the Writers’ Strike and today I joined 4,000 picketers to a rally in front of the business offices of Fox Corp. In this recording we hear SAG President Alan Rosenberg give a speech. We also hear actor Cara Delizia share her experiences on the picket lines. Recorded 9 November 2007.

Producer/Host: Tanja Barnes
Music: "Ay Mambo" by Falik
available on Magnatune.com

09 November, 2007

Do You Know Who I Am?

Hey there, folks, this is Tanja Barnes. I started this whole little blog thingy with accompanying podcast about the great Writers' Strike of 2007. But I thought a quick little snapshot of who the hell I think I am might be appropriate 'cause like on the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog. Excuse me but do I look like a dog to you?

I'll begin with qualifying that I am a paid-up, card carrying member of SAG and AFTRA. Back in the day, I was just a kid from North Hollywood with a dream...to be a rich and famous movie star. I did all that I could to learn my craft. To make ends meet, I began my own massage practice -- therapeutic-and-non-sexual-thank-you-very-much -- after reading an article in the Hollywood Reporter about massage therapists to the stars. After I read that, I thought to myself: I could do that. And I did.

As things turned out, for a time I was more successful at massage therapy than acting. I began working backstage at the Universal Amphitheatre (through the help of a buddy) and got my first steady gig (with the help of yet another good friend) on the Simpsons when they were still little bumpers on the Tracy Ullman Show back at Klasky-Csupo. You know how it goes: one thing led to another and pretty soon I was doing massage for a team of hundreds on visual effects movies like "Babe", "Apollo 13", and "Titanic" just to name a few. I also fell into working on Japanese commercials back when they were spending a fuckton of money to have celebrities star in their ads. Yeah, it was pretty crazy. Crazy fun, too.

The years went on and I continued to work in entertainment in one capacity or another. One thing led to another, and another, and another, and pretty soon I was back in the acting game (with the help of a friend...today they call it "networking") only this time I'm not in it to be a super star although I'll admit that would be kinda cool. I am a working actor because I do...(sotto voce)...background.


OK, whatever. Being the bastard child of a production ain't always easy. No you can't eat that, that's for cast and crew only, and no you can't sit with us because that's for cast and crew only. Bla-bla-bla. You know what guys? Shut the fuck up! I pay my dues! And where would any show be without some people milling out in the background? A ghost town! And no, I'm not one of those idiots that steals food and sleeps on the set. I come from a entertainment family and I am a professional. That's right! And what matters to me...what matters to me are things like health insurance, retirement pensions, yeah, stuff like that seems pretty damn important to me nowadays.

So how did I get to do podcasting?

Well last year, on October 29th, my daddy died of lung cancer. He never smoked a day in his life. It was years since we had seen each other because the Evil Stepmother archetype is real...and...that's all I'm gonna say about that for now....

Anyway, I started recording the conversations we had while he was in the hospital and making little podcasts on my new MacBook Pro as he would tell me how he got his break in Hollywood as a junior draughtsman and eventually ended up being an art director. During the span of his career, my dad was a member of both the Art Directors Guild (IATSE Local 800) and the Set Designers & Model Makers Guild (IATSE Local 847). It's been over a year since my dad passed and I think about him every day. One of the things I always carry with me in sharing those last few weeks with him was the fact that he had the best fucking health care money could buy thanks to MPIPHP. It's never easy losing a loved one, but I had comfort in knowing he didn't have to worry about his care or how much a procedure would cost or how we would pay for it.

Hey, would you like to hear a story my dad told me about how he got his break in Hollywood? He was only a small-town boy from a podunk town in Pennsylvania called Elizabeth Township. But he came to California on Route 66, met my mom in art school (she was an art model...that's another story) and got his break from a friend who urged him to give it a try. Click the player below to listen. It was recorded 13 October 2006 at St. Joseph's ICU in Burbank. He was getting a blood transfusion at the time but as we lead out, he was about to get this really invasive procedure done called a bronchoscopy.

Important WGA Strike Update: Rally, FOX Studios, Friday, November 9, 10AM - 12PM

For Los Angeles-Based AFTRA Members Interested in Supporting Striking WGA Writers:

The WGA is holding a rally at FOX Studios tomorrow, Friday, November 9, from 10:00AM to 12:00PM:

10301 West Pico Boulevard
Los Angeles , California 90064

The Meeting Point is the Main Gate on Motor Avenue and Pico Boulevard.

Parking Options: Motor Avenue near Cheviot Recreation Center or Century City Mall. Cheviot Hills Recreational Center Parking Lot, off Motor Avenue (LA Parks and Recreation). It's walking distance to Fox Lot.

Any AFTRA member who attends is asked to confirm directly with AFTRA, by sending an e-mail to WGA2007@aftra.com. Please be sure to let us know when you were there, and how we can contact you for additional updates.

Grey's Cast supports Strike of the WGA (ET ONLINE video)

Sandra Oh, Katherine Heigl, Ellen Pompeo, Patrick Dempsey and Eric Dane joining the picket line of the Writers Guild of America on strike.

WSC #1 - Interview with Ed Horowitz

It's Day 4 of the writers' srike. In this interview, I talk to Ed Horowitz on the picket lines of "Hotel For Dogs" starring Don Cheadle. I then talk to a crew member about how the strike is effecting him and his feelings about it. Recorded 8 November 2007.

Producer/Host: Tanja Barnes
Photos: Courtesy of Steve Morris
Music: "Ay Mambo" by Falik
available on Magnatune.com

08 November, 2007

Monkey at the Writers Strike Picket Line

Cue Gwen Stefani: "This shit is bananas! B-A-N-A-N-A-S!"

There's a monkey running around and showing his solidarity for the WGA as they disrupt filming on "Big Shots" in downtown L.A.

Thees minkey ees calt Flying Fur. Dunt vurry! Eets ohkay to touch heem. He vill not bite!

Question is: Is this picketing? Or is this culture jamming?  

WGA Strike Log

Below is a series of videos produced by wgaamerica. They will provide you with information about how the strike began and where it is a week later.

WGA Strike Log - Day 0

WGA Strike Log - Day 1

WGA Strike Log - Day 2

WGA Strike Log Day 3 - The Showrunners

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