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Maverick: WGA’s Patric Verrone

Patric Verrone riles some writers
June 1, 2008

Patric Verrone riles some writers
When it comes to sheer volume of words devoted to a single topic, it’s hard to beat what has turned out to be the story of the year so far. And it’s hardly surprising it got so much ink, given it involved more than 12,000 writers.

The Great Writers’ Strike of 2007/08, as scribes will one day speak of it in reverent tones, shut down film and TV in the US and parts unknown for exactly 100 days. (The previous writers’ strike in 1988 lasted 53 more days.) At the head of the Writers Guild of America, West, and very much spearheading the action, was Patric Verrone, previously best known for his work on Futurama.

Eventually, the Writers dropped many of their demands and the Studios stirred in their corpulence just long enough to inch toward reconciliation; but ink monkeys remain the bitches of the film industry and the Studios cling to distribution models that will guarantee their eventual extinction. There were, at least, photo ops to be had on all sides, so perhaps it was a wash.

In the end, it was the city of LA that took it hardest in the back lot. According to NPR, the strike may have cost about $1.5 billion in lost revenues, though Jack Kyser, chief economist for the LA County Economic Development Corp., puts the figure closer to $2.5 billion – enough to fund James Cameron’s next feature.

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