Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Over the Hill

After picketing again at Culver Studios today I drove over the hill to get a glimpse of the picket lines in front of some of the big studios like Universal, Warner Brothers and Disney.

The crowd at Disney was pretty mellow -- they had a group of about fifteen people on parallel gates down Riverside in front of the ABC building. I felt a bit bad for them because it doesn't seem like they see much car traffic, and without the supportive bits of honking and cars passing by things start to seem a little futile.

At Universal the crowds were better. I was in my car, so unless I hit a stoplight, it was hard for me to get a good picture. Here's a shot with a smattering of the crowd by the main entrance to Universal Studios Theme Park and Citywalk (If you're not familiar with LA, Citywalk is a sort of Downtown Disney, but even more crowded and tacky, where they constantly blare pop music through loud speakers. If you're picturing the seventh ring of Hell at this moment, you've pretty much got it right)

At the next Universal gate, I got lucky with a red light and rolled down my window to talk to some fellow guild members. They were pretty upbeat, and asked me how many other people were at studios that I had driven by. One writer asked me if I'd been to Fox yet and I said I hadn't yet, though I was curious. His response to that was, "I'd like to picket them. Personally." And then he got this far away look on his face, and I could have sworn I saw cartoon machine guns in the glint of his eyes. Off the record, I do think it would be funny if writers just started picketing as a method to resolving other issues they had with individual studios. You don't like the notes you got your second draft? Picket away! Not sure how effective it would actually be -- but it'd still be amusing if it became a common practice.

Of all the studios that I went to, Warner Brothers had the strangest sort of picket strategy. There were main gates that were completely EMPTY. Seriously, check this out, I was shocked.

I'm not sure why there was no picketing here. My one guess is that they gathered all the writers together and positioned them at another gate around the corner, which was pretty packed. The picketers here took advantage of a large crosswalk in between the studio lot and its parking structure, and crossed en mass whenever they got the walk sign, chanting as they went. There were a good number of people -- maybe 30 on each side -- and they filled the entire street as they passed each other.

It was actually a pretty neat sight to see. Below are some pictures showing their procession.