What Past Hollywood Writers’ Strikes Tell Us About the Future of Movies

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New technology has often driven strife between studios and creatives

Writers Guild 1920s
Writers Guild 1920s

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If you look at the coverage around the current Writers Guild of America strike, or the one that took place in 2007-2008, it tends to revolve around television. With TV taking less time to produce more content, a strike of any significant length of time will affect that medium well before the big-budget world of film, where the average length of pre-production can range anywhere from six months to a year.

As the writer John Gregory Dunne once wrote in his essay “Hollywood: Opening Moves,” “From the earliest days of the motion picture industry … the screenwriter has been regarded at best as an anomalous necessity, at worst a curse to be born.”