Last week I was invited to speak on Blog Talk Radio about my thoughts on the current writer’s strike, the potential SAG-AFTRA strike (that could begin as soon as Thursday morning), and the direction our industry is headed specifically with the introduction of artificial intelligence. Here’s the full interview (starting at around 33:00).
To very briefly summarize my thoughts, I think one of two things will happen this week:
A) SAG-AFTRA will settle at the final hour on the evening of the 11th, hail a landmark deal, and many will be immensely disappointed with the lack of significant gains exchanged for the prospect of “going back to normal” and getting back to work sooner. (Sound familiar IATSE members???)
B) SAG-AFTRA will strike, we’ll essentially be at Covid 2.0 as of Thursday morning, i.e. there will be an industry-wide work stoppage across the country (and many parts of the world where productions are overseas) far beyond scripted tv. No more commercial work, no more indies, very little corporate work. Total shutdown. Then SAG-AFTRA will dig in their heels alongside the WGA, and we’ll all be party to watching a game of chicken between the actors, writers, and studios that will most likely take us through the fall…or even the end of the year.
My prediction is scenario A. I have absolutely zero insider information and all I can do is speculate using the public information we all have equal access to. But I can’t foresee a logical scenario whereby SAG-AFTRA would be willing to extend their negotiations for two additional weeks if they didn’t honestly believe they were close enough to an agreement that they simply needed more time to hash out the complexities.
Yes I know SAG-AFTRA is organizing picket lines and making signs. But so was IATSE two years ago.
If my prediction holds true, I think the WGA is going to feel A LOT of pressure to come to terms very similar to the patterns established by both the DGA agreement and whatever the SAG-AFTRA agreement ends up becoming.
And with that added pressure of agreeing to similar terms, I think we’ll see an agreement shortly after day 100 of the strike (mid-August), and work will begin to slowly ramp up after Labor Day.
Want to listen to the full interview?
Let’s Talk About What Comes Next
No matter which direction these negotiations take, it’s abundantly clear that we’ve reached an immensely important inflection point in the entertainment industry.
We’re at the point where “The Gig Economy” is now just “The Economy.”
The days of climbing a singular career ladder are over.
It’s now on us to design our own unique paths.
And those who succeed will do so because they diversified their career portfolios with a multitude of income streams, a more generalized set of skills and talents, and a broad network of relationships.
The days of the specialist are over.
We are witnesses the rise of the generalist.
If you are interested in learning more about the proactive steps we can take to as artists, creatives, and storytellers to design the more balanced, more sustainable, and more fulfilling creative careers that we deserve, I’ll be giving a live presentation about all of the above (including how we can survive the pending AI Revolution) this Saturday morning at Emerson College in Hollywood, CA.
No matter what happens next, I’ll continue to remind you that the only effective use of our time, our energy, and our attention is focusing on what we CAN control. It’s been a tough year, and it might get even tougher. Know that I and the Optimizer community are here to support you.
Creator, Optimize Yourself
P.S. After listening to my interview with Blog Talk Radio (at around 33:00), what do YOU think will happen? Is SAG-AFTRA going to strike this week or not?