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WGA Strike: One Year Later

by David Brownstein

Just found this great summation and look back at the writer's strike from Cynthia Littleton at Variety.

I agree with what she says here.

Especially noting what she says at the end that after the strike the WGA and Studios said they'd continue a dialogue for the future, which will likely not occur until the next negotiations start for the 2011 contract.

My Question For WGA President Patric Verrone (And His Answer)

by David Brownstein

I had the pleasure of doing a web-radio interview last week on one of my favorite topics: Hollywood Leadership and the Writer’s Guild Strike. Hosted by Coach Tom Floyd, guests were Patric Verrone, President of the WGA, Jonathan Handel, attorney at TroyGould, Coach (and friend) Sherry Ziff Lester and me.

The Leadership Learning?

Of course I’m always listening for the leadership opportunities and ways we can do things differently in Hollywood. In the beginning of our conversation Patric was explaining the events and months preceding the vote and decision to strike. Obviously lots of frustrating time passed that led to the lengthy strike.

But Here Was My Question To Him

Patric, obviously, it was a successful strike and you got great things. With what you learned by the end of the strike —if you could go back in time now—what might have worked differently in July that you discovered in January?

Well, I think the key thing was the involvement of the CEOs. When we were bargaining from July through October, we were bargaining with what Tom referred to as the AMPTP (The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers).

Keep Reading…

Creative Career Workshop - 1/26/08

by David Brownstein

The Strike Isn’t Changing Hollywood…

The deep changes we’re seeing and contemplating have been progressing for years in quiet, lava-like slow motion. These changes ARE being highlighted and accelerated by the strike.

The internet has existed for years. The studios have been owned by big corporations for years. People have come to Hollywood with talent, a dream and varying degrees of a business plan for years.

The WGA’s choice to strike, and the AMPTP’s choice not to negotiate have combined to create an atmosphere of fear, uncertainty and stasis few of us have experienced in our professional lives. (Who knew the AMPTP would negotiate like suicide bombers?)

And yet the uncertainty was here all along. The shutdown of production, development and awards shows has simply unmasked the great uncertainties that have always been upon us.

The Big Questions

  • What am I doing in Hollywood?
  • What do I want out of my life?
  • What sacrifices (or choices) have I made in my life to have a career in Show Business?
  • Is my career going where I want it to go?

Keep Reading…

David Milch - The Idea of the Writer

by David Brownstein

This just in. David Milch, writer and creator of NYPD BLUE and my fave from last year, JOHN FROM CINCINATTI, did three days of talking about writers and writing back in December. I caught the 3rd day and left inspired. I think Milch has many great leadership qualities and I plan to write about what observed in him soon. (Actually I’ve already written it, but will post it soon.)

Anyhow. Here’s the link to watch these online. Warning. It’s not a very linear talk, but he accesses and shares his genius with generosity and love.

The Writer's Strike and Small Business…

by David Brownstein

I was interviewed yesterday for Fortune Small Business News, as seen on CNN.com.

Read It Now

The article says that “Writers’ strike cripples small businesses.”

Here’s the "good part." (where they finally talk to me.)


The strike has required businesses to come up with new survival strategies and creative solutions to the cash crunch, said Hollywood career coach David Brownstein. With their production projects on hold, many of his clients are taking the time off to brainstorm about new financing options and think about their career trajectories.

"They are now forced to look at where there are new business opportunities," Brownstein said.