Polls are saying the public is far more supportive of the striking Writers Guild members than the studios and producers they’re striking against. Sensing a headwind, numerous name-level director-writers have recently shot a series of short spots intended for viewing either just before or soon after Thanksgiving that will presumably boost the WGA’s profile even higher and…whatever, energize the membership. As many as 50 spots will push the standard but irrefutable notion that screenwriters are absolutely invaluable and certainly deserve a small piece of the internet revenues to come.
Three of the spots have been directed by Paul Haggis (In The Valley of Elah), Rod Lurie (Nothing But The Truth) and George Hickenlooper (Factory Girl). William H. Macy, Sean Penn and Ed Asner have also, I’m told, participated in some fashion.
The spots are probably going to be viewable online starting on Wednesday, 11.21, although this date isn’t totally set in stone. One or two established entertainment websites may present the spots with (perhaps) a WGA-funded site doing so also. One concept calls for five new spots to appear online each day.
Some of the spots are dialogue-free and being rendered in black and white, the theme being that movies without writers would be, in a manner of speaking, silent.
If it turns out that a significant portion of the directors of the internet spots are members of the Directors Guild as well as the WGA, the appearance of the spots will probably be interpreted as a significant show of DGA solidarity with the writers.
Lurie’s spot will feature Nothing But The Truth costars Kate Beckinsale, David Schwimmer and Angela Bassett.
Haggis has shot a collection of spots joined by one concept with “nine or ten actor friends participating,” I was told this evening.