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  • Writer's pictureErika Andresen

Striiiiiike! You're Out! (?)

Timely blog....writers in Hollywood are on the cusp of a strike. Last time there was a strike was 2008 for 100 days. It caused a shift in the way the industry was run -- lots more competition reality shows cropped up which didn't need writers. What is all of this indicative of? Business continuity preparation!

This is an entire industry that is being tested but not every aspect of it is being impacted the same way. Some are riding it out, believing the strike won't last long enough to feel any pain or disruption. Others are speeding up deadlines to make it in time to give them breathing room.

What are different sides of the industry doing? Studios have been moving up the production schedule to get films done (sometimes re-writes are needed as filming happens). Writers are speeding up contract signing that get them compensated in advance so they have some income to hold them over.

What is out? Late night talk shows or comedy sketch shows like SNL which require scripts every day/week based on current events.

What's not going to feel the impact? The film industry. Most films are made 1-2 yrs in advance of theatrical release. Streaming services are not bothered at all because it will reduce expenses for them to not have new content and it's all just profit from the large existing library.

Strikes like this should get any business owner thinking inside and outside their footprint. First, if there is a strike, will it impact their ability to do work? Outside striking can include shipping ports (if they strike, shipments can't come off the they are delayed and impact both the local economy and the shipper's expenses). Along the same lines thinking about transportation, you hear about strikes that happen a lot with airlines or pilots. There is usually a lot of advance warning. Figuring out a backup for travel in any case (well in advance of a strike) is a plan that will show true value!

If internally there are union and non-union workers, someone will have to pick up the slack. Will it be the non-union workers? Will they be compensated for it with overtime or just expected to do more with less or for the same they already get. There is a similar line of questioning for layoffs but that is another topic...

Figure out impacts and impasses early before you have to. Having someone come in and think about the things you are too close or too knowledgeable to see will help. Your business doesn't have to be OUT when a strike is called!

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