Reprinted from Deadline Hollywood by David Robb on March 10, 2017.
Negotiations for a new WGA film and TV contract get underway Monday, and if the two sides fail to reach an agreement in a couple of weeks, expect a rush to get film scripts completed in anticipation of a strike come May 1, when the union’s current contract expires.
That’s what happened 10 years ago before the WGA launched a strike over new media that lasted 100 days. And despite the walkout, which shortened the 2007 writing season by nearly two months, “Earnings reported by WGA West writers surprisingly reached a new all-time record” that year, according to the guild’s 2008 annual report. “Much of the increased work appears to be related to accelerated employment prior to the strike.”
Such speed-ups are not uncommon when producers of greenlighted films fear a strike could leave them without polished scripts on the expiration date of a WGA contract. In the event of a strike, productions without finished scripts could be stalled for weeks or months until their writers return to work. …