AFM panel tiptoes around strike

Writers, producers focus on production pointers

SANTA MONICA — Writers and indie producers in the audience at an AFM panel discussion on screenwriting tiptoed around the issue of the WGA strike that started Monday.

In his introductory remarks, moderator Howard A. Rodman (“Savage Grace”) likened the strike to an elephant in the room — something so large that one can only pretend to ignore it – but it was kept in the corner for most of the session.

“Pencils down means pencils down,” said Rodman during the subsequent question and answer period. “We can certainly write for ourselves and I’ll bet that the day after the strike ends, even if that is tomorrow, there will be rash of spec scripts in the marketplace,” said Rodman. “I spent an hour this morning working on my novel.”

“Don’t scab. Don’t take our jobs was one of the responses from Nick Kazan (“Reversal of Fortune,” “At Close Range) when asked for advice by one young screenwriter as to how to break into the biz. “That would be bad karma,” Rodman said.

Majority of the discussion mapped out numerous economic and pragmatic ways in which scripters can continue to be useful to a movie during production and pre-production stages and even in the editing room.

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