It’s a captive audience, all right. WGA strike support group Fans4Writers have gathered enough coin to mount a skywriting effort Tuesday morning over what should be the lovely sunny skies of Pasadena as the 119th Rose Parade oozes down Colorado Boulevard. Parade draws hundreds of thousands of spectators (and their Winnebagos), and it’s an event that still draws 40 and 50 shares on TV locally, so the fans outta get bang for their buck, weather permitting.
(Seems strange that the Tournament of Roses org, a group not exactly known for their permissiveness, wouldn’t have locked up air space rights to the parade but I suppose not …)
Here’s the release on the effort issued today:
FANS TO WRITE THEIR SUPPORT ACROSS THE SKY
Fan Group to Skywrite Message of Support for the Writers’
Strike During the Tournament of Roses Parade
PASADENA, Calif. — Since the writers’ strike began back in November, fans have supported the Writers Guild of America (WGA) with food drops, fundraisers, and an outpouring of understanding for the struggle for fair compensation. On New Year’s Day, the fans will be writing their message across the sky.
Fans4Writers, a grass-roots organization of fans that started up the same day the WGA went on strike against the members of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), has purchased pro-WGA skywriting to be shown during the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California, Jan. 1 st, 2008, starting when the parade begins at 9 a.m. Pacific Time. The messages will consist of five separate “sky signs” 10,000 feet above the Rose Parade. Each message will be five miles long and every letter the size of the Empire State Building, easily seen for 15 miles in any direction or nearly 400 square miles. The messages are created by a squadron of airplanes, the “Skytypers,” which fly abreast 250 ft apart and “type” in a dot matrix pattern.
Why skywriting? “First of all, it is to express support for the writers, and the strike,” according to a message posted at the Fans4Writers website. “It’s also that there will be a million people on the ground, and this is a way to reach them directly.
“The more people we drum up, and bring over here, the more we can do to show support, and hopefully help send the message to the AMPTP that the writers are supported in the strike by the fans, and the public. Something like that helps give the AMPTP incentive to really start negotiating for a fair deal.”
Fans4Writers is raising the money for the ad by auctioning off collectible paraphernalia such as autographed TV scripts and actor photos and even a bicycle given to the crew of “Two and A Half Men” to commemorate their 100th episode, donated by star and WGA member Jon Cryer.
“It seemed appropriate to call attention to the writers’ plight by writing something,” said C. A. Bridges, one of the Fans4Writers co-founders. “And it’s hard to write much bigger than this.”
Should weather conditions prevent skywriting over the Tournament of Roses Parade, the message will appear over the Rose Bowl game instead. If weather prevents that as well, any money raised will be donated to the WGA Solidarity Fund which goes to assist members of the industry who are in financial distress as a direct result of the strike.
More information about Fans4Writers and the Rose Bowl Ad auction is available at www.Fans4Writers.com <http://www.fans4writers.com/> . Fans4Writers is not affiliated with the Writers Guild of America, except in spirit.