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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"You have the emotional maturity of a blueberry scone."
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November 17 2007

Arise and Seize the Pencils... Our Evil(it's not evil) Master(we're not masters) Plan is ready to unleash(it's not a dog).(!)

Well, United Hollywood has fine-tuned the pencil concept into an organized and potentially awesomely visual penstravaganza! Witness the electronic mail messed forth to showrunner types:


This week, United Hollywood (the blog) met with a group of showrunners who have particularly vocal fan bases. We discussed the fans’ eagerness to put their energy to use in a unified campaign, and this is what we came up with:

Several fan sites have suggested sending pencils into the networks and studios, and some of them are already doing it. It’s a great idea, and we’d like to take it a step further – get everyone buying pencils at the same time, from the same vendor, to be delivered in masses (like the peanuts were for Jericho.) All the fandoms working together, in concert. It seems that the conglomerates take it for granted that the fans will always be there to purchase content, that their concerns about the strike don’t matter. This is a chance for the fans to show that they do matter.

The campaign itself is fairly simple. We’d like to start it right away, and it goes like this:

Point the fans to, where there will be a banner or button allowing them to click through to buy boxes of pencils. The pencils are plain wooden #2’s, and the company uses sustainable farming for the wood (seriously. They do.) The pricing will be “a buck a box.” (Sustainably harvested wood pencils + PayPal cost per transaction puts us a little higher than the cost of a box if you buy at Office Depot, sorry.) If there’s any money left over, it will be donated to the Union Solidarity Fund, which is a nonprofit for non-WGA members affected by the strike.

When fans click to buy the pencils, they can choose to identify the show they are supporting if they want. (This will generate a database of fans by show – among other things, allowing showrunners to thank fans by group if they want to.)

The pencils will be delivered in bulk, by trucks, like the peanuts were. The deliveries will be to the 6 CEOs of the 6 congloms (Disney, News Corp, Viacom, Time Warner, CBS, GE) one by one – we’ll probably start with GE. If we get enough to pencils to do all 6, then we will. If we don’t, we’ll concentrate on one or two.

If the logistics can be worked out, showrunners who choose to can take part in a “load the pencils” photo op – unpacking the boxes of pencils and shoveling them into bins or boxes for transport to the CEO’s. The visual has the potential to be worth a thousand words – for the fans as well as the general public.

We will suggest that the fans send a message similar to this: “We’re all on the same page. Make a fair deal.”

This has the potential to be a historic moment in fan history – the first time that all fandoms band together to show that they are a force to be reckoned with to the corporate world. Given the passion and commitment the fans are already showing, this seems a good way to both show our appreciation and respect, as well as giving them the direction they’ve been requesting.

We hope you’ll be willing to join us in this effort. It won’t be our last.

Carol Barbee Jericho
John Aboud
United Hollywood

Jane Espenson
Buffy, Battlestar Galactica
Jeffrey Berman
United Hollywood

Rob McElhenney
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Laeta Kalogridis
United Hollywood

Ron Moore
Battlestar Galactica

Marti Noxon
Buffy, Private Practice

Jaime Paglia

Bill Prady
Two and a Half Men

Shonda Rhimes
Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice

Stephanie Savage
Gossip Girl

Joss Whedon
Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse

Pretty offical sounding, huh? Like grown-ups would do. Well, I, as a showrunner... (but with no show... If I have no show, am I a showrunner? What would Jubal Early say?) Anyhoo I'm a tirribly impahtant Hollyville muckity so my opinion counts oodles. And I think this will be very cool. Let's make our (unsharpened) point. I seriously want to spend a day wading in actual pencils with a big ol' snowshovel. And I want the Execs to understand that forcing one show off the air can rouse the public to make themselves heard in a fairly dramatic fashion, but forcing ALL of them off the air... well, might just be a tetch more dramatical-er. Now you all kinda got your own Union. And it's time to strike.

"CBS and Fox, they think were nothin'!
Are we nothin'? NO!
CBS and Fox they think they got us,
Do they got us? NO!
Even though we all wear scarves and glasses,
We're a union, just by sayin' so...
And the world will know!"

So here goes.

Yours ever, -j.

Best. Demonstration of the power of the people. Ever. This is why you're my master now, Joss. :D
I still say we make pencils that taste like bacon.

But I s'pose this makes a bit more sense.

Good lookin' out sir.(!)

(did nobody but me watch Pinky and the Brain? C'mon!)

[ edited by bobw1o on 2007-11-17 19:47 ]
At only a buck a pop, I think I'm gonna have some fun with the show name field. Or will that just confuse their database?
Woohoo! Sounds like a plan! :D
Pssst. What show do we want to support?
Thanks, Joss!

I'm off to buy a bunch of pencils, and I've never been more excited to buy a bunch of pencils.
Joss, will you wear glasses and a fancy scarf on Mutant Enemy Day?

The Pencil Campaign rocks. I like that they are from the same vendor and environmentally friendly.
A call to arms! I have never underestimated the power of a pencil since I saw Willow take out a vamp with a floaty one.

Ooh a Joss post only eight comments old.... I was going for 'Dollhouse' Simon, but I could always do a few more :)
I woulda thought that individual mailings would have been more, uh, striking; and I thought putting dot 5 % after the 2 (making it read 2.5%) was big with the coolage. But I get the logic of this (especially sustainability).

Uh, Joss?

Should this happen, given that the pencils might arrive after the strike is settled?

Have you any words of whatever regarding the news that the Senior Partners are coming back to the table? Like hope-age, maybe? Dollhouse ... possible coming somewhat soonly?
Can't believe I got in early on a Joss post, and resisted the temptation to plug my blog, all at the same time. Anyhow, got some for "Firefly" ("lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for", quoth Robert Riskin) and some for "The Daily Show."

I hope Joss forgives me if I thought of switching one or two of his pencils over to "Mad Men" (which is a precise rip-off of "Firefly" if Saffron were an uber-secretary and "Angel" if Connor got all screwed up again, only this time in a more Matthew Broderick kind of a way).

Oh, and speaking of the "The Daily Show"....

[ edited by bobster on 2007-11-17 20:20 ]
Pssst. What show do we want to support?

Angel. Firefly. Drive.
Dance, Rummy, Dance! Former Media Moguls Special (2010)

No, it's a serious question. I say Dollhouse.
Dollhouse is the show we're supporting, right, Simon? Look to the future, yo! This just so ROCKS! ;-)
I was wondering the same thing, Simon. We could all united under the Joss banner, support the runner whose responsible for some of our favoritest shows (not to mention the one yet to come).
I'm sending a box for Buffy. Because I love Buffy. :)
Good question. Would it be worthwhile to say "Dollhouse"? Should we stick to shows that are currently on the air?

I'm planning to put a few dollars' worth of pencils toward each of my several favorites. Pushing Daisies, Heroes, How I Met Your Mother. And I'll happily add Dollhouse if it makes a difference.
One more vote for Dollhouse. That's the show that Joss would be working on if he could cross the picket line, which he can't because he has principles (a reference to a showrunner who rhymes with Shmarlton Shmuse).
There's a blank field to type the show in, not a drop-down selection, so it's easy enough to make one purchase with multiple shows.

Also, should fans4writers perhaps make a large purchase of pencils for all shows? Dunno how much is in that fund to spare for such a thing, but wouldn't be sweet if, say, a whole truck showed up with one purchase?

Maybe half a truck...

On second thought, maybe I'll take this question over to Fans4writers forums.

[ edited by bobw1o on 2007-11-17 20:07 ]
I think they should have a way for fans who support specific writers rather than just the shows. This IS about supporting writers, after all. I know the writers still don't get that it could be that way, but if fans could have the choice to sign up in support of specific writers and that could be passed on to the moguls, it seems like it would make the point that we are also fans of the specific people striking not just fans of the finished products that they and the gazillion people who put the shows together make.

To be honest I am not watching many shows regularly, but I want these talented people to get a fair shake. I could put Dollhouse in, mostly to make a point...since it is not even in production, I must really be a fan of either Joss or ED. But I have not seen Battlestar Galactica, (I will. I will.) so though I support JE it does not make sense for me to identify myself as a fan of that show.

Bottom line: The writers need to have more faith in the fan's growing recognition of the writers themselves. Give fans the ability to be fans of the writers rather than the TV shows.
I'm using Avenging Benji.

Kidding. Dollhouse.
I just boughts me 10 boxes of pencils! Like...for the first time ever! Supporting the Joss from the good old U of K!

Question is...what will they do with them all?
Great idea! Happy to help in any way I can!
Dollhouse is good (so is the exchange rate at the moment).
Time to address a timely question. Tehabwa asks if this is still worth doing, given that the AMPTP has unexpectedly agreed to return to the table for further negotiations after Thanksgiving. It's a very good question. The answers is: Absolutely.

It's exciting as hell that the AMPTP has made a move toward an agreement. But it's no guarantee that the strike will end, or that the AMPTP will feel real pressure to make an acceptable offer. This fight is not over until it's over. The Pencil Drive is a statement that the studios need to understand EVEN IF THERE HADN'T BEEN A STRIKE. This is about keeping the pressure on, the spirits high, the voices loud and damn well clear. We're not going to the table with animosity -- we want to work WITH the studios -- but we're not going back as anything other than a powerful union -- a union of unions: the WGA, all the unions affected by the strike, the unions like SAG and the DGA that will be affected by whatever precedent the WGA deal sets... and now the Fan Union. That's the union they'll be hearing from -- one they don't even know exists.
newjc, you can support a specific writer! (how about "any wearing fancy scarves and artsy glasses!" Will that fit?) They give you a blank field, plus you can type a specific message before you purchase, so you could list lots and lots of writers.

And yeah, Dollhouse is what any Whedon fan should be putting for a specific show, no question.

Though i may go back and put a few more for Avenging Benji...

[ edited by bobw1o on 2007-11-17 20:31 ]
I bought ten boxes, one for each show I watch now and one for Dollhouse.
Great idea and I love that the pencils are environmentally friendly, too.
What would Jubal Early say?

"Does the show think you're running it ?".

Up for this, I feel better not shafting the US Postal service too, especially with Christmas on the horizon (or the poor schlubs in the studio mail-rooms).

(i'm gonna spread the love around between "Dollhouse", "The Joss Whedon Experience" and a few others)
>Should we stick to shows that are currently on the air?

I wouldn't be here if not for Firefly. It may be gone, but it is not forgotten. It gets first billing from me.
What about by showrunner? I like the idea of playful competition..."In honor of Joss Whedon" or "In honor of Ron Moore" or Tim Minear or Bryan Fuller or JJ Abrams. The showrunner with the most fans has to upload a YouTube of him/herself dancing to the Time Warp.

Or something. Because I'm all about making showrunners dance.
I was thinking Dollhouse, too, although newcj has a point about supporting individual writers. I think though that there may be fans who are supporting the writers in this strike who would still not be all that familiar with the names of specific writers. Not on this board, obviously, and probably not on F4W, but other fans who might take part in this form of protest.

Joss, I hope you are past the worst of your cold - and definitely look into getting (and using) a neti pot, as was suggested on a previous thread! You won't regret it.

[ edited by samatwitch on 2007-11-17 20:37 ]
newcj, I put "Unnamed X Project" in where I wanted to support writer X (because i'm not sure what Ron Moore's doing after BSG to name one). And I actually did put "The Joss Whedon Experience", wasn't kidding about that ;).

And like Joss says, you have to play to the whistle everyone, it's no good slacking off before the end because that way Italy might score a late goal and crush your hopes of qualifying for Euro 2008. Err, just to pick an example at random.
Are we out Sage?
The wrath of fans brings a rain of writing implements. Awesome. Pencil me in.
My life is complete. HE (cue music: "A Summer Place") used my (fake) name. (Time to go rob a bank to prove my love; and get some much-needed cash!)


I'll never wash my computer monitor again....

Showrunners dancing to the "Time Warp"? Joss could shut his fans up permanently on one sore point by doing The Dance of Gratitude and popping it on YouTube.
Excellent, something I can contribute! :D

Please keep blogging here Joss, it always makes my day to read a post written by you!
Great plan. Easy to do. And, thanks to the Joss, I will now have a song from Newsies in my head all day.
I realize that you can put anything you want in the box, and for anarchists such as the people on this board, the option of using writer's names would be a no brainer. I guess my point is that if you label something "TV show" many or most people will not think they have an option, and will write in a TV show. If they were to label it as "writer or TV show" it would encourage people to let their love for the writers show.

I can't help it, this is just how my mind works.

Oh, and Saje, sounds like a good plan.

I have to go and buy pencils and pizza now.
I sent in my boxes for all my current favorite shows (one box for each channel I watch, including Battlestar Galactica and Jon Stewart's The Daily Show), but now that Joss has posted and asked so nicely, I'll have to send a ton more for Dollhouse! Because it is all about the future!

And just because they are going back to the bargaining table doesn't mean that we let up! The President of the WGA just wrote:

"For 12 days I have repeated that a powerful strike means a short strike. In that time we have proven that bad news won't slow us down. Now it is equally important that we now prove that good news won't slow us down, either. We must remember that returning to the bargaining table is only a start. Our work is not done until we achieve a good contract and that is by no means assured. Accordingly, what we achieve in negotiations will be a direct result of how successfully we can keep up our determination and resolve."

I ordered five boxes earlier today, supporting Dollhouse. My personal contribution.

I'll send 50 boxes out of the kitty, also in support of Dollhouse.

The idea of pencils paid for by some random Dutch woman landing on a mogul's desk is kind of cool.
Dollhouse-y pencils on their way from another member of the fan union. And Joss, your sexy-brain posts always make my day. Thanks for . . . well, everything!
Does anyone have a link to the WGA Solidarity Fund to help crew affected by the strike? has an overage from the Strike Survival Kits funds, and we'd like to donate it there...but I know not the way....
Can I just say how much I *adore* the 'Newsies' shout-outs? Fabulous. I'm honored to help carry the banner here-- or is that *not* carry the banner? Either way, I'm there. Thanks, Joss.
Done and done!
Saje:And I actually did put "The Joss Whedon Experience", wasn't kidding about that ;).

I like that one! Jumping on your bandwagon, using it on my pencils.
$5 - Dollhouse
$5 - Lost
$5 - House

Boy, that was so easy it was kinda scary.
I've sent ten boxes supporting "everything Joss Whedon writes". Because it's all about the writers.
Power to the Pencil People!

Write On!
My pencils are Dollhouse pencils.

I've paid my dues to the Fan Member Union! Does anyone know why they asked if I wanted "check cashing?" Wait a minute, I sent pencils to the Fan Member Credit Union. Damn.

We're all with you Joss!
Have sent in peanuts,pizza and pencils- any other p-things need sending?
"Have sent in peanuts,pizza and pencils- any other p-things need sending?
mifeng | November 17, 21:14 CET

lexigeek | November 17, 21:19 CET"

That could get messy.

On the other hand is it already covered by pizza...pie?

I'm trying to send mine, but I am having Paypal problems. (Yep, it is all about the p-things.)
I'm going to pretend one of someone else's pencils came from me, since I can't afford to send any pencils.
And, a pencil shopping I will go. *nods*
Are we out Sage?

That depends bubblecat, my "we" might be further North than your "we" ;).

Italy put Scotland out depriving us of even the distant outside chance a draw would have given us by nicking a goal in injury time (ah well, c'est la vie, by which I mean "Bastards" ;) but the Israel/Russia result means England stand a decent chance of going through - they just need a draw against Croatia at home, not guaranteed but very doable. If they're your "we" then you're still in it ;).
Ordered 15 boxes. :) 2 Dollhouse, 2 Firefly, 1 "Anything by Joss Whedon" (similarly for Ron Moore and Tim Minear), and then singles for a bunch of shows.
I just bought 10 for Dollhouse and 10 spread amongst my other favorite current shows. Two thoughts, though. 1) I hope United Hollywood will give us updates on the progress of the pencil fund. The fun part of the "nuts for Jericho" campaign was going on the website and see the amount (whether in dollars or pounds of nuts) amassed by the fans. I think that kind of feedback would encourage other fans to contribute.

2) I just did a random search for Grey's Anatomy fansites (as an example of a popular show with lots of online fans, even though I don't watch it) and I didn't see anything on there about this campaign and hardly any mention of the strike. I guess I should be patient (it was only announced last night) but I hope this effort is not limited to us "radical" fans who tend to get more involved in this sort of stuff anyway, and really does spread all across all fandoms of all shows. I'm all for a United Fan Union -- I'm just not seeing it yet. How can we help reach the more "mainstream" fans of mainstream shows?
10 boxes bought for Joss. Will send more once I get paid!
I ordered five boxes, and, well, it's on behalf of "Pushing Daisies".
Hey, if you've ever seen this show, you'll know why.
Anyway, I am hoping once both sides are stuffed with turkey, stuffing and I'm Sick of This Strike and I Want More Heroes, House and Dollhouse Like Now Pie (in honor of Keri Russell and Nathan Fillion), they will a deal done and give us fans the bestest Christmas ever...which, in turn will eventually be just as good for them, too. Honest, producers, if we can buy the writers pizza, and pencils for you, we'll pay the extra dime for DVD's or downloads to give the writers the royalty they deserve.
Now, off to see Southland Tales.
Since there was no guerilla-friendly graphic for this besides the pencil, I created one to use on the fans4writers site. Feel free to use it, and link to UnitedHollywood.

Pie is a very Goners appropriate thing to send! Good idea!
b!x, no worries, in light of your financial issues, I'll donate 5 boxes to you to disperse however you wish. Conveniently I sent mine in support of "Anything Whedon, Anything written" (that should cover you) and ordered too many anyway...

Anyone else need a box, I have a few to spare!

I agree about helping get the word out, for the time-being I've been assuming F4W has been doing that, but I do not know to what success, haven't been able to keep up. Anyone can let us know? Otherwise I'll be happy to look around as well.
Instead of wasting pencils, I wish we were all bragging about how much money we donated directly to the WGA Solidarity Fund.

Still, I ordered 5 boxes. I'm in.

Edit: By 'wasting' I mean, will the pencils just be thrown away? Given to schools? Are we just stuffing the supply closets of every studio office for the next five years?

[ edited by Succatash on 2007-11-17 22:04 ]
Boy, that was so easy it was kinda scary.

So easy and fun it could become ruinously addictive. I'm fighting the urge to go back and send pencils for Max Headroom, Cupid - basically anything that pops into my addled pate.
2) I just did a random search for Grey's Anatomy fansites (as an example of a popular show with lots of online fans, even though I don't watch it) and I didn't see anything on there about this campaign and hardly any mention of the strike. I guess I should be patient (it was only announced last night) but I hope this effort is not limited to us "radical" fans who tend to get more involved in this sort of stuff anyway, and really does spread all across all fandoms of all shows. I'm all for a United Fan Union -- I'm just not seeing it yet. How can we help reach the more "mainstream" fans of mainstream shows?

We have some templates available on to help you approach a fandom and invite them to get involved. (link) Unforutnately, there just aren't enough of us to reach out to every fandom, which is why we're trying to empower others to spread the word.
I did this early this morning when Harmalicious posted this link in the ME day thread. Sent mine for "Joss Whedon."

where did that parenthesis come from?

[ edited by jcs on 2007-11-17 22:00 ]
I'm fighting the urge to go back and send pencils for Max Headroom

Oh, good. This is an opening to storytime.

During the last writers strike in 1988, ABC decided to reach back to unaired episodes of series it had cancelled. One of them was Max Headroom. The two unaired episodes that finally saw the light of day? One on manipulative advertising, and one on the importance of education and free speech -- two of the most blunt episodes they had made.

Gee, I wonder why they didn't air them the first time around.
Joss, the way you inhabit both worlds is a wonder to behold... both "Hollyville muckity" taking power meetings, and a writer guy taking arms (or pencils) against the power elite with the passion to fight the good fight. You are a Browncoat to your core.

Well, I'm all stirred up to buy pencils in a way I'd never thought would happen. So off to purchase boxes of environmentally sensitive pencils, and show these high falutin' middle men that it's the writers and fans that make the executives' jobs possible.

Think I'll be buying several boxes too, and spread the love among all these amazing showrunners and series.
I've already added links to the Pencils campaign to my website and MySpace (along with changing videos to make it more Christmas-y). I wonder if this will lead to a pile of pencils bigger than the Jericho Nuts Shipment.
Oh you made me long for Max Headroom (why is that not out on DVD?)! So I'm good for some extra boxes in honor of b!x, what shall I say: for Dollhouse?
I've purchased for Dollhouse. I'm glad I got to show support in a non break-a-da-bank kinda way.
Just saw the UnitedHollywood blog, sent pencils, and posted the link on our website....and then dropped by to see what was happening here and found another awesome post from Joss. :D

Am supporting Dollhouse, of course! What a brilliant idea this is.
I tried to spread my pencil boxes around several networks/conglomerates, 3 bought for each program: Dollhouse/Fox, Battlestar Galactica+30 Rock+The Office/NBC Universal, Pushing Daisies/ABC Disney, How I Met Your Mother+Daily Show+Colbert Report/CBS Viacom. Actually, NBC is a division of Sheinhardt Wigs, but that's another story (and T-shirt) altogether. ;)

And, all these posts are just making me itch to say...15 minutes into the future...

Joss is absolutely right about the announcement that negotiations will re-start: the issues are complex and very important to both sides, so the new contract will not be resolved quickly at all. To have any hope that they will negotiate in good faith, the AMPTP has to be reminded constantly that they can't get away with it anymore; the entire creative community realizes that they have been ridiculously unfair for decades, but now the public is on to them as well.

Saje, I know that what you're saying has something to do with sports, probably World Cup, but beyond that...I think I'm hearing what my cat hears when I tell him to stop walking across the computer keyboard when I'm trying to work.

Lastly, vaguely related to this thread (related to the strike, actually), people in New York City can enjoy a live performance of Saturday Night Live tonight at the UCB Theatre, and (not sure when) 30 Rock at the same venue, by most of the actual network casts. Live and off-Broadway, no picket lines to cross (there's a strike of stagehands on Broadway at the moment, too, although I think they're closer to resolving that).
"If they're your "we" then you're still in it ;)".

Sorry Sage, I'm easily confused. I'm the other "we", the down-south soft type. Bliming football.

Erm.....back to the pencils everyone!
Thanks, Lexigeek, for the link to the promo template. I'm not involved in any fandom other than the Whedon-verse (used to be involved in some fandoms for British shows), but I guess it wouldn't hurt to just find the contact email on some of these fansites for the more popular shows (Grey's Anatomy, Two and a half Men, CSI, etc.) and send them the promo. Although, I think some mention of this new Pencils2MediaMoguls campaign should be made in addition to promoting the fans4writers website. BTW, last weekend I wrote a little blog/essay about the strike on my personal website (although NOBODY ever visits it!). I'm in the process of updating it (with lots of your artwork!) to include the pencils campaign.
I love when Joss starts singing songs from"Newsies!"

I'm broke, but I ordered $10 worth of pencils in the names of Joss and Dollhouse.
Just sent 100 boxes in support of "The Office and another 100 in support of "Pushing Daisies." It's my entire last paycheck from one of my jobs, but what the heck. :-)
My boxes went in support of Dollhouse.
The pencil is mightier than the sword (someone had to say it). I bought my boxes of pencils today-in support of Dollhouse of course!
Dollhouse it is. And a couple of boxes for Daisies.
I just sent 10 boxes for Bunny the Vampire Slayer, Angelus, Firebird, and Barbie's Dream House... or whatever those shows that John Whiden created.
I'm in for $20.00. I've been following United Hollywood daily, but hadn't seen that link yet.

My only fear is that they refuse delivery of the truckloads of pencils. Obviously they don't HAVE to let the trucks unload at their facilities, and these could wind up going to the suggested charities and/or landfill without the Moguls ever even knowing that they arrived...

TV Show You're Supporting: Firefly
TV Show You're Supporting: Anything by Joss Whedon
TV Show You're Supporting: Anything by Tim Minear
TV Show You're Supporting: Anything by Jane Espenson
TV Show You're Supporting: Life
TV Show You're Supporting: Pushing Daisies
TV Show You're Supporting: Chuck
TV Show You're Supporting: House

Another Browncoat Cruise guest pondering changing his return flight for Mutant Enemy Day.
My only fear is that they refuse delivery of the truckloads of pencils.

If they did that in front of all the media attention, they'll look pretty darn silly.
With a sudden urge to watch Newsies (never seen it), I just put it at the top of my Netflix queue.

I'm going to pretend one of someone else's pencils came from me, since I can't afford to send any pencils.

And I meant to add, yes, of course, and thanks for making that explicit, Joss (and others). Talking isn't resolving. I truly can't afford even a buck, so won't be sending any myself.

But for me, this isn't just about entertainment -- even entertainment that does more than just that. It's part of the bigger picture. More and more, the people who do all the actual work get less and less, so the people who already have most of the money rake in huge profits.

We're moving toward a Feudal-type society in which a very, very few own almost everything, and all the rest of us are their serfs. This is just one type of example, where the people who make TV something more than a bunch of lush sets on film (who'd want to look at sets wherein nothing happens?) don't get any profit made from their sweat or their brilliance.

The more that ALL of us are there for ALL of us, the more chance we have of reversing this trend of the last several decades. "... for the unions made us strong" (for a brief while).

Now, would someone please HIRE me so I can be one of the oppressed workers?

Just sent $5 for Pushing Daisies. Will send more for Dollhouse, Battlestar Galactica and It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia when I get paid.
Five boxes supporting Dollhouse!

That was rather easy. And rather fun. I may have to try it several more times :)

In addition, serendipity might allow me to do some promotion for this cause soon.
I'd heard about this campaign but wasn't sure if it was legit. If Joss says it is, I trust him. Count me in.
20 smackers for Dollhouse...I know I feel better.
We're moving toward a Feudal-type society in which a very, very few own almost everything

It's always been like that, ain't going to change. So might as well have some fun and throw a few spanners pencils in the works just so they notice us. It's like Angel and co versus the Senior Partners at the end of Not Fade Away. Except we might actually have a chance of winning.
Well concidering the strike is not just for TV writers can we buy boxes of pencils for Goners - The Movie, Serenity or Serenity 2 - The Movie, Cabin Fever - The Movie, stuff like that.
I will definitely help out with the pencils. Love the Newsies.
It's like Angel and co versus the Senior Partners at the end of Not Fade Away. Except we might actually have a chance of winning.

There's a dragon?
Yay! I was hoping Joss would post about this. I found this earlier today, and bought 10 boxes for Dollhouse. I'll post about this on my LJ and Myspace accounts :) Spread the word, people!!!
I'm in. :)


Posted on the two major LJ communities, _thefirefly_ and fireflyfans:
(Except, of course, the actual image is there and is linked to

In support of the writers strike! Joss speaks about Pencils2MediaMoguls at Whedonesque.

If the strike is still going on after the Browncoat Cruise, you might very well see pics of me on the picket lines on December 7th, which has been designated as Mutant Enemy Day.
I sent 5 packs for Dollhouse and 5 for current shows I watch.
My pencils have also been purchased, in the name of Dollhouse of course.
There's a dragon?

That would be Variety.
Finally! Something I can do from Faraway Australia. Pencils sent, in the names of Dollhouse and Battlestar Galactica.
Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, Pushing Daisies, Battlestar Galactica, The Office, Freaks and Geeks, My So-called Life, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Drive, Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls, Southpark, The Simpsons, Robot Chicken, Mad Men, 30 Rock, West Wing, Studio 60 on Sunset Boulevard, Veronica Mars, Tru Calling, The Inside, Miracle Man, The Wire, Marti Noxon: Untitled New Show, Joss Whedon: Untitled New Show, Drew Goddard: Untitled New Show, Jane Espenson: Untitled New Show, Tim Minear: Untitled New Show, David Fury: Untitled New Show, Ron Moore: Untitled New Show.

That's probably enough to be going on with for now. It's just amazing how many of the shows I still love are of the cancelled variety.

And come ME Day, I can't help but wear my none-too-arty glaases, but I'll also have popinjay scarves to hand out to the masses. I'm nothing if not effete.
I believe that Brian Lynch also has an Unititled New Show somewhere in the works (you could ask him at his signing for Angel: After the Fall, next Wednesday).
Not that I'm pimping Brian Lynch or anything.
You guys watch too much tv.

Ooh and John "Kung-Fu Monkey" Rogers who, when he's not writing blistering analyses of the strike, posts about his new heist show "Leverage" that they're currently filming the pilot for (Timothy Hutton, Saul Rubinek, heist series - how canz hate ?).

(he's not scabbing BTW because they're not making it for a studio - so if it becomes a success, it could signal something of a sea change)
10 Boxes for the Dollhouse. And they're action figures, not dolls!!!
30 boxes for Dollhouse on there way.
I didn't specify a show since I want it to be clear that I'm doing this to support the writers not just get my favorite shows back on. I also added this to the message: "In support of the writers , I will not buy any DVDs, watch any reruns or internet programming until the strike is over. Please, be fair!" to hit the suits where it hurts.

Writers get paid residuals for reruns whether anyone watches or not. However, advertisers -not so fond of people not seeing their big expensive commercials. The internet? Well writers aren't getting paid for that anyway and same thing re: advertisers. Now, I know not buying DVDs will also screw writers out of their 4cents, but I don't think the studios will be too thrilled at the prospect of not selling as many DVDs during the x-mas holidays seeing as they make a lot more than 4 cents per DVD.

So, far the public opinion has been overwhelmingly in favor of the writers... Now, we just need to keep encouraging people to take action. The corporate swine may pay the writers' salaries but it's the consumers, the FANS, that pay theirs. Kick them MFs where it hurts. Once they have to start drinking Foldgers instead of $5 lattes, they'll be crying like babies and begging the writers to come back. HA!

Fight the power!
10 boxes for Dollhouse here. And possibly more to come after I balance the checkbook!
The Pencil Company is probably in extreme bliss right now.
$1 Joss Whedon projects.
$1 Jane Espenson projects.
$1 Marti Noxon projects.
$1 Tim Minear projects.
$1 Bryan Fuller projects.

And that's all my lunch money for today. Five dollars well spent.

P.S. I like the part that says "send the moguls a message."
Done and Dollhoused.

Am I the only one who was thinking the description line should actually read "Our Evil(it's not evil) Master(bater) Plan".

I think you're drawing a lot of crazy conclusions about the Unholy Mighty Moguls... bater.
Started humming along when I read the title of this post! My kids adore musicals (Newsies is their fave, even over the Buffy ep) and thanks to a wreck on the highway today, we had time for an extra-long "why our favorite show won't be on in a few weeks" discussion.
They'd donate their allowances to the big pencil-push if I'd let them, but I think I'll cover this one.
Oh, dear gods! Joss and the other master writers have banded together to form the Writers Legion of Doom! Corporate Studios beware! You still need to recruit Bryan Fuller though. Get him to join your ranks and not even Superman could stop you from taking over the world!
tehabwa...i can cover you for 5 boxes. just tell me who to send 'em in honor of.

And just in case my comment gets lost among the shuffle, i just went ahead and sent 5 more on your behalf for "all things Whedon".

[ edited by skeezycheeses on 2007-11-18 03:40 ]
10 boxes for Bones ... Thought David's show needed a little love too ...
I'm buying pencils, too. By the way, I saw Jamie Bamber at the Vancouver airport this morning around 6:30. (I'm posting this because I'm guessing his departure was strike-related.) Even at that hour, he was gorgeous - and polite.
Me, doing a double take: "Jamie?"
Him, in that weary voice that comes from getting up in the middle of the night to catch a flight and then wondering if there's any possibility that this strange woman actually knows you: "Yes."
Me: "I love your show!!"
Him, with wan smile: "Thanks."
Battlestar Galactica
Pushing Daisies
Friday Night Lights

"That'll put marzipan in [their] pie plate, bingo!"
Saje and others: If you're looking for alternative programming methods, everyone should check out , it's an online show that's released twice a week in 9-10 minute segments. The best part is that it's by Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick, the ones who did My So-Called Life.

The first 3 parts of Episode 1 are up right now and it's pretty good, it has the same naturalistic dialogue that made MSCL so good.
Purchased a few in the name of Dollhouse, Bones, and Battlestar Galactica. :)
You guys watch too much tv.


I sent 5 more boxes in the names of 5 more shows. I'm completely broke now!
Pencils aren't nearly as yummy and filling as pizza. Plus there are splinters. Who wants splinters in their sphincter? Oh, these are to be sent to the people making money off the backs of the writers?

I'm in. ($20.00.)

Although I'm even more sure there will be "ss," since they're probably so unfamiliar with writing implements that they'll mistake them for suppositories. "This isn't a Blackberry! What am I supposed to do with it? Help!"
Whoa! This is quite a scene to awaken to, what I miss? Abbreviated and the high notes please, I spent last night studying a "Heineken" beer can. Hmm, nothing new to report there, so lets hear it!
The whole thing is just awesome.

If anyone's got an address, I offer my Newsies soundtrack for the picket line. (Yes, I own the special edition DVD AND the cd.) :)

A few more boxes from "Australian Supporters of Joss Whedon" on their way!
Back to point. Take it we're buying pencils to support our writers? Right?
Yes, indeed Maddy! The Purple One's entry pretty much sums it up.
Well, friends, you've already made me proud. I saw one of my brothers in the EVIL LEGION of EVIL... or, a writer... guy... and he said you 'Esquers were topping the charts in our bid to DESTROY ALL HUMAN LI... yeeh, buy pencils. There was much joy in the orbiting headquar... normal building. But the question remains: how do we get the word out? How do we get people who love their shows but aren't web savvy to hear about this and sign up to BECOME MY MINDLESS SLA --God! It's like tourettes! You know what I'm trying to say. You guys are better at this than me. I've wracked my enhanced, glowing brain (winner 'most sexy 2007', still waiting for that plaque, people!) and consulted my normal, certainly-not-evil writer friends and here's our ideas so far.

1) Create Pencil-Buying Ray
2) Float Akron, Ohio several miles above the Earth, threaten to drop it if people don't buy pencils.
3) Ask Satan for help (AGAIN).
4) Call everyone in the world simultaneously after inventing a really complicated machine (that one was mine!)
5) Bring pencils to life.
6) Beat the s#%& out of a penguin. (That was Humunculo, and, yeah, we're probably kicking him out.)
7) Kidnap Lois Lane.

I know. It's not perfect. And I'm really sorry about Humunculo -- we don't even know where he's going with half this stuff. Anyhoo, if any of you comes up with a good idea (or a really complicated machine allowing me to call every living being on the planet simultaneously) (I'm looking at YOU, Gossi...), then please speak up. Type up. Whatever. In the meanwhile, thanks again for impressing the E.L.E., and I look forward to the day when we will feast on the blood of our... internet residuals.

Best, Dr Horri -- a man.
Ahh, thanks Harm! Next question, these funds are going where?
I'm in. 20 boxes for "All of them!" Because, I do support all the writers. Even the shows I don't like. Because everyone deserves to be paid what they're worth. Even me. I also used the "pencils down" line in the "send a message to the moguls" box.

This was fun. I like fun.

I might send more later!!
(I'm looking at YOU, Gossi...)

Better drop that plan for, gossi. Apparently Joss wants something NON-webby.

(I suppose that the networks wouldn't let us get away with standing outside the window of The Today Show with pencil propaganda signs.)

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2007-11-18 07:12 ]
Joss, I'll put together some flyers that people can print up and hand out to the norms in the real world, briefly explaining the campaign and telling them they must donate to the cause, because the fate of Metropolis rests in the balance! (Or because it's just a really good idea. I haven't decided yet.) I'll post 'em on F4W and let y'all know when they're ready.
Hi, Joss. That "Brings pencils to life" still giving me a spin, but I'm just that way.

Looking forward to "Dollhouse". Can't wait!
- Some writer-type person (like yourself, Joss) can write a column for a newspaper like the Times or WSJ and mention the pencils thing
- People can go hang out outside the Today Show with signs that say "Al Rocker's mom buys pencils." (is that not how that pun works?)
- Subliminal messages
- The original instant message: Giant baskets of food (I've gotten off track, haven't I)
- Ads taped to pizza boxes
- Send emails to blog writers writing about the writer's strike (Like a lifesaver if you're me)

There are ways, Joss. There are ways.
- Find fans inside the cable news channels willing to risk losing their jobs by slipping the pencil message into the closed captioning

- Dress like Charlton Heston kneeling down in front of a statute of the AMPTP and start yelling, "You did it, you finally did it, damn you all to hell!"

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2007-11-18 07:21 ]
Heh,heh. 'bix, I don't think any of us could pass as Charlton Heston, however I have a sister who...nevermind.

Back to this pencil thing, is there an address to send said funds?

About to ask Simon.
It wont work. No one will even miss Akron.
The flyer is ready, here. Sorry it took me so long. ;) Print and distribute to your heart's content.

Madhatter, there's a paypal donation form here.

[ edited by lexigeek on 2007-11-18 07:53 ]
Dear Joss,

When we do fan campaigns, our goal is print. So I leave messages on reporters' voicemail, we take out Variety ads, we send letters to the editors of our local papers and to the entertainment reporters.

There's a weird issue with this.

I say this with all the love in the world, as someone who has run campaigns for your shows since I fell in love with BtVS many moons ago; it's sort a sticky situation when you have very, very wealthy showrunners asking fans to spend their money, asking fans to campaign on their behalf for the sake of you all making more money.

I just got a big fat royalty check, so I absolutely understand the issues, and I'm on your side. I went out to Fox to support the strike. I'm not coming from an ugly place on this, I swear.

It pains me to know that so many non-WGA workers are affected by the strike, and ultimately, I absolutely know it pains you as well.

So, I think that it is really important that you all put your money into it as well, and suggest that for every dollar the fans spend, the showrunners will donate a dollar to the Solidarity Fund for the crew folk.

Holidays are coming, you know?

I've always felt a sense of honor in this fandom, in your fandom, due to the charitable nature of, well, all of us. Your work has always inspired us to take care of our fellow humans.

So what say you? How about a dollar for dollar match? I know that it will encourage far more people to buy boxes of pencils. Right?

With love and respect,

Madhatter, seriously, just click on the link...(above). If you cannot do pay pal then I think you could mail in a couple of bucks to the WGA West. The money will buy pencils (made of environmentally friendly sustainable wood), to dump upon the networks as a promotion about how much the fans support the writers. Extra funds will be donated to organization which helps non-union staff who get laid off during the strike. It is ALL written out right there in the original link.

Actually I think Arabchick is on the right track: getting the pencil thing mentioned in the newspaper, through ads or just through a sympathetic reporter (is there such a thing?).
Well the Akron plan wont work, it's the rubber capital - if you drop it it will just bounce.

Although we could put up flyers on community bulliten boards like at local libraries and stores.
3) Ask Satan for help (AGAIN).

Only if he's played by Ray Wise (if you don't know what I'm talking about, watch Reaper).
I agree with Allyson, as I already said above. This is a ton of money being spent on...what? People in need are affected by this strike and they don't want pencils.
So what say you? How about a dollar for dollar match? I know that it will encourage far more people to buy boxes of pencils. Right?
It would certainly make me far more willing to send pencils if I knew my dollar was doing double-duty.

Double-Duty not a cool band name. But a cool concept!
Joss, my evil mast... cool writer guy colleague...
I've done the following (in addition to buying some pencils myself):

1. Prayed to Satan (again). Starting to think he doesn't really exist. I told Him the plan was "totally evil" and nothin'!
2. Prayed to Jesus. Told him the Satan thing was just a little joke. Either He didn't buy that or he doesn't exist either.
3. Sent out a mass e-mail to friends and family and told them to buy pencils or the AMPTP would continue to exploit writers... and kill puppies and kittens. Hey, I have no proof they DON'T!
4. Tried to make a pencil buying ray out of an old TV remote. Don't think it worked but I think I need some fresh aaa batteries to be sure.
5. Made sweet love to myself. That didn't really help with the pencil thing but it made this writer pretty happy for about 8 minutes.

Then I came up with an awesome plan! Get our pal James Gunn to pledge to buy a box of pencils everytime he curses or makes reference to raping or being raped by Nathan Fillion. Surely, we'd have a few billion pencils by the end of the month....
but then I realized the flaw... we'd have to clear-cut the planet to make that many pencils and poor James would be broke and in debt for the rest of his life.

I still think #3 might help -especially if people buy the whole killing helpless baby animals and, really, who'd put that past Rupert Murdoch?

(DISCLAIMER: the above is a joke and I have no proof that Rupert Murdoch or anyone else kills puppies and kittens and therefore am not liable for slander.)
That would be a bold and decidedly non-evil act.

ETA: I mean the matching thing.

[ edited by dreamlogic on 2007-11-18 08:24 ]
I'm agreeing with Allyson as well.
- Get a network to air the reality show "Ew! Picket Up!", which inevitably would include striking writers talking about the pencil campaign
I vote yes on Allyson's idea. We'll promote the hell out of it, too.
I also support Allyson's idea.
Get a network to air the reality show "Ew! Picket Up!", which inevitably would include striking writers talking about the pencil campaign

LMAO. Everyone has such great ideas.I'd be willing to take part as a cameraman on "Eew, Picket Up" if someone could pay to get me to LA for ME Strike Day! LOL
Also, I hope fans of The Office have seen this, where you can directly support the recently laid-off crew of The Office. They can't buy Christmas gifts with pencils, after all.
Yes to Allyson's idea.
Awesome. I wasn't sure if I'd be banned from fandom.

If the showrunners agree, we could even come up with a goal, like $50,000 by December 21st. With ten showrunners agreeing, it'd be like 5K each for them, and we could have one of those thermometer thingies at unitedhollywood.

I bet the actors would help out with promotion as well, if, you know, Joss et al called some of them up.
The match idea is good. And/or if half of the money raised by the pencil funds is given to the solidarity fund. It would mean less pencils but the ability for the WGA/unitedhollywood to say "We're looking out for those affected by the strike while the studios are just laying them off."

Perhaps even a seperate campaign to donate to them and the striking writers with a message to the studios from the fans saying something along the lines of: "Rather than buy any DVDs this holiday season, of which you'll get almost all the profit, we're giving our money directly to writers and the crew members affected by your refusal to give the writer a fair deal."

Yeah? Anyone?! I'd muck in for that.

[ edited by TommytheZombieSlayer on 2007-11-18 09:01 ]
TommytheZombieSlayer, it doesn't mean half the pencils. It means that ONLY fans, the audience, should be buying pencils.

It means a greater thing if we're the ones sending stuff, each represented by a box of pencils, saying we support the writers. Keeps the campaign pure, because otherwise, if Joss sends a truck of pencils, it's a cheap stunt.

The writers would be responsible for matching us, dollar to dollar, to the Solidarity Fund.

There'd be no dilution of effort...but there would be an added measure of pure gratitude to those crew members who are totally fucked by the strike.

By doing this, we're actively supporting all the fine folks who have been entertaining the shit out of us all these years.

Also, in my plan, we are beltless.

[ edited by Allyson on 2007-11-18 08:53 ]
It means a greater thing is we're the ones sending stuff, each represented by a box of pencils, saying we support the writers. Keeps the campaign pure, because otherwise, if Joss sends a truck of pencils, it's a cheap stunt.

Yeah, I've seen some pushback in various places because this is coming out of the UH camp, rather than directly from the fans. A matching campaign could reframe the conversation and get some positive media to boot, which in turn would increase awareness of the pencil campaign to the offline world.
Already spent $10 bucks on pencils before running out this morning and it was so easy, I forgot to put in any mention of any show or writer!

Allyson's idea is great -- it'll be a pretty irresistable hook for the press types, too...unless they are utterly controlled by Evil Media Moguls :(

Uh, Joss, does the WGA have any PR person/firm in its corner or on staff, retainer, whatever you call it?
What Allyson said.

The most successful Whedon inspired efforts have had a charity aspect attached. It even provides added incentive to fans--I wonder if it becomes tax deductible?
Wow, Allyson. Bravo for a terrific idea and for your courage in posing it. I hope it receives a warm response. Very well thought out, sensible, and impact multiplying :)
Thank you. Now let us all look Jossward with puppy eyes and wait for a response, now that we've pinned him to a wall.

Also, in my plan, we are beltless.

Gotta love those Andrew stories!

I just want to say, and no offense at all Allyson, how weird would it be if when Joss finally recognizes you and everything you've done for the fandom, its online at his weblog and not one of the times you've met him face-to-face?

You could write a sequel and call it "Will the Vampire People Please Purchase Pencils?"
The check's already in the mail. I just so enjoy watching you guys!
Yes, Allyson, very good idea!

It makes me feel bad about my intention to only give you 3 stars on Amazon... some day... when I got around to it. Also, the comments I made to one of my co-workers about it while reading it instead of working. (Actually, it would be 3 and 1/2 if they allowed halfs.)

The book may still only be 3 (and 1/2) stars, but this idea is stellar! (Star... stellar ::ahem:: Yeah, I suck.)
If the showrunners agree, we could even come up with a goal, like $50,000 by December 21st.
The petition has over 55,000 signatures. If each one of those people gave ONE DOLLAR, we'd be set. You had to put in an e-mail address for that, didn't you? I wonder if the petition starter would be able to send an e-mail to everyone who signed asking them to put a teeny bit of money where their mouths are. I've always wanted that "If we all just gave a dollar" thing to work, but it generally requires 100% participation.
I have no idea how to respond to that.

Um, I guess it's better than two stars? So thanks?

Does that work?
I also think dollar matching would be menschy.

At the same time, remember this isn't really writers asking fans to spend their money. It was the fans' idea and initiative. United Hollywood found a way to streamline the process that I think makes it more powerful and probably more cost-effective (as well as environmentally friendly) than it would have been to do it the way we planned, by sending individual pencils through the mail (which we're still free to do).

lexigeek and other F4W folk, would it be feasible for F4W to take over the running of Pencils2MediaMoguls from UH? I know it's asking a lot, but it could appease the concerns about where this is coming from. (But would it dilute the awareness, even if UH linked to it?...)

p.s. Dude, Joss, drop Akron. Really not a big deal. It'll be missed about as much as Stamford, CT.
p.p.s. Just kidding, Akron and Stamford. Keep it classy!
Allyson, I was just throwing ideas out there. I deinitely see your point and concur completely. I was just thinking I'd like to help the cause beyond the publicity and statement. I'm all about making a point to the studios with the pencil campaign and did buy a couple boxes but I'd rather buy a couple of symbolic boxes of pencils and donate the rest directly to the striking writers and layed-off crew. That's kinda why I suggested a seperate campaign... I'd rather spend a couple bucks on pencils and donate more bucks directly to the fund.

I mean I totally get the perspective but who's going to match? All the showrunners? That's a big commitment. Hopefully it would be a lot of money and it could possibly backfire if it turns into more money than those commited to matching can reasonably afford.
In other words, I'm down with the idea in spirit but there's a lot of logistics in getting enough successful writers on board to make it reasonable and then where do you draw the line of what's reasonable to match? I think just setting up something to help donate money to non-WGA members affected by the strike is a pretty noble, compassionate thing... and if some writers want to come in and say, I'll match every dollar up to X amount or start the fund off with a big donation, that still accomplishes the goal of helping and showing that the writers are trying to help the non-writers affected -unlike the studios. Win-win.

Again, not trying to contradict you because I think you're right. Just trying to bounce the logistics of it all off all y'all.

Although... BELTLESS?! You're insane! My pantaloons'll fall down and I'll trip and hurt myself!
Just tie 'em on with your fancy scarf.
I think the proper response is, "You bought it, right? You didn't borrow it from a friend, or get it from the library? I win!"
Oh, Ally, I loved your book. Thank you!
lexigeek and other F4W folk, would it be feasible for F4W to take over the running of Pencils2MediaMoguls from UH? I know it's asking a lot, but it could appease the concerns about where this is coming from. (But would it dilute the awareness, even if UH linked to it?...)

I don't think it would, for a couple of reasons. First, UH were the ones that struck the deal with the pencil company, and migrating that to us would be a logistical nightmare. Second, we don't have the infrastructure or manpower to take the orders and fill the trucks. Finally, and probably most importantly, the campaign is already out there. Moving it now would make it look like we're trying to cover up UH's involvement, which wouldn't look good for anyone involved.

I think it's just important to keep reminding people that this idea originated with the fans, and fans are the ones buying the pencils. UH simply streamlined the process.

[ edited by lexigeek on 2007-11-18 09:40 ]
Roger that. Thanks.
*touches knee in salute of the all powerful purple*

Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Serenity, Dollhouse, Joss Whedon, Tim Minear, House, Heroes...

Is it bad of me to think about sending pencils to un-support certain undeserving shows?

Also, two thumbs up (and three toes) to Allyson's idea in whatever way it goes about.
Allyson: If we could get the wealthier of the writers or just the show-runners to commit to this, it would be a very good thing. Now it's a 2-for-1 special!: $1 a box, and that same dollar will get matched to a donation to support the crews.
Hello TommytheZombieSlayer, nice to meet you. That name is a mouthful.I believe "Tommy" is still a free name shake in this room, yes?
I think your idea is great, Allyson. I'm glad you thought of it and glad you shared it. I wouldn't care if Joss tweaked it for logistics, but I really hope that he at least responds to it.
Get a network to air the reality show "Ew! Picket Up!", which inevitably would include striking writers talking about the pencil campaign

Heh ;). And maybe a follow-up show, "So a Stranger Gave You Pizza and You Ate It ? Dude, WTF ?".

And re: the "pushback", it's important to be clear, this is just a way of allowing all fandoms to contribute in one place - the original pencil idea was grass-roots. And besides, it matters why ? A good idea's a good idea, who has it is irrelevant.

I also think Allyson's suggestion has merit BUT it has to be clear that it's entirely voluntary - wouldn't want folk that can't afford it to feel any pressure to match fan contributions. We are legion after all, could be a lot to match (especially given how frikkin' addictive buying pencils turns out to be - who knew ? The Shadow Joss knew, for he has seen it ! ;).

(and thanks for that "Quarterlife" link Kokomo, will definitely check it out. Have you heard of "Sanctuary" ? Similar sort of direct-to-market idea but with a more sci-fi/fantasy spin though, at least partly because of the effects required, it's not free unfortunately, or at least not free-as-in-beer though it's pretty free-as-in-speech - they let fans re-use content etc.)

[ edited by Saje on 2007-11-18 11:08 ]
Anyhoo, if any of you comes up with a good idea (or a really complicated machine allowing me to call every living being on the planet simultaneously) (I'm looking at YOU, Gossi...)

I've seen some sci-fi films, and I think this script would be called JOSS WHEDON: FASCIST LEADER (possibly written by James Gunn). Remember, though, until the strike is over NOT ONE OF YOU can read that script. The humanity! This is why we need to end the strike now. Fascist entertainment awaits.

As for reaching the average joe viewer (not the viewers of AVERAGE JOE, by the way - I hate them all), there's a few things;

- Official network websites. FOX provide a lovely forum for all their shows, as do most networks. FOX New Media are also moving to community based websites (I'm looking at you, Dollhouse), so their new shows have wikis. Now, I'm not suggesting people spam the shit out of the official websites, but those networks let the average joe find the site and interact. So interact.

- Youtube. At the minute, people are making excellent things like Not The Daily Show, which got 186,000 views last time I looked. They filmed it with a home video camera. That's powerful stuff. But - all these videos are being indexed under things like 'WGA strike'. Average joe? Never gonna see them. And average joe? Needs to see them. Make it funny; people will come. Don't talk about bread if you're being filmed, though.

- Newspapers. You know those (usually quite terrible) local newspaper entertainment sections, where somebody goes to see movies, watch SURVIVOR (I spelt it American!), and answer letters? Write 'em.

And finally, we have come to the end of this post. Great, right? I've one more thing, before I depart - coworkers. Friends. Family. One hundred and eighty six thousand people watched that Youtube from the Daily Show writers. A lot of people are following this strike, far more than saw that video, I'd suggest. That's far more of an audience than anything Serenity on youtube ever got, frankly. Where am I going with this? Word of mouth. If you hear coworkers bitchin' about that hot doctor from Desperate Housewives disappearing off their screens as the show has stopped, tell them why. No, it's not because Nathan Fillion killed the show, either.

Now if you don't mind, I've got world domination to plan.

PS: Allyson is smart. Listen to her, and be smarter.

[ edited by gossi on 2007-11-18 11:38 ]
Hiya Hatter. Tommy is fine. Or "C<3CKSUCKER" (but only if you mean it as a compliment.)

Saje, yeah, that was part of my point. It could amount to a lot of money to match and even successful showrunners are looking at a rough patch now with the strike and not knowing how long it will go on and some of the ones whose shows aren't hits may find themselves without shows when all is said and done so, it is a lot to ask. Many writers with projects on the table may lose those deals so they're already giving up a lot of potential money by striking.

I get Allyson's point though that the AMPTP will likely try to spin the pencil thing into "Oh look at the WGA trying to get fans to waaste money on some publicity stunt with pencils when people are losing their jobs while they strike!" It doesn't matter that it was the fans that came up with the idea or that the studios are the ones who forced a strike by not bargaining fairly, that's still how they'll try to spin it. So, I think the idea of coming up with something that also contributes more to helping the solidarity fund is a good one. I just don't know if the dollar for dollar match is a practical and reasonable one... at least not without some parameters and limits.

But I think it's awesome that y'all are brainstorming about it. Hopefull Joss may have some ideas that he can run by the people in charge to that end.

Personally, I still think the best course is to hit the studios where it hurts and let them, and their advertisers, know we won't be buying DVDs for the holidays, won't be watching any reruns or watching any content online. The studios are still thinking it's them VS. writers and not even factoring in people going as far as to boycott them. The reason this strike is happening is because they only care about the bottom line. I say we let them know we've got their bottom line tied up in our basement and we're torturing it with Celin Dion CDs on an endless loop... okay I took the metaphor too far. But my point being: the best way to help everyone is to end the strike as quickly as possible with a fair deal for the writers and the only way that is gonna happen is if we make it clear that we'll make sure that it will cost them way more if they don't. The bottom line is the ONLY thing that registers with these suits.

Y'know? Power to the people and all that. We're the ones that pay their salary. We're the ones that can hurt them. And when those swine have to drink Foldgers instead of $5 lattes, you can bet they'll play ball then! HA!

[ edited by TommytheZombieSlayer on 2007-11-18 11:57 ]
...I live in Akron. I mean, I've already got a Hellmouth less than an hour north of me, and now you wanna take my whole city hostage?! Thanks, Joss. ;-)

I think I'm gonna send some pencils.
Well, so long as it's voluntary I don't see a problem Tommy.

What is UnitedHollywood doing with the data generated by the "TV Show" field in the pencils thing ? Because it might be cool if the showrunners that chose to sign up for the matching donations idea ONLY matched donations that mentioned them or their shows directly. I like that because it scales quite well i.e. the showrunners with the most fans (therefore being, presumably, the most financially successful) will obviously get more donations so that the people most able to match fan contributions would be the people more of the "burden" fell on.

Still has to be clear that there're no conditions attached to them running with this idea though, either from we fans or their fellow professionals. If they choose to do it great, if not we carry on doing what we're doing (which I personally think should also mean contributing to the "Actor's Fund" or similar).

And gossi's absolutely right everyone, fascism is the future, embrace it or be extinguished ! At least I think that's what he means.

(and 'Survivor' is a proper name so it should be spelled incorrectly the American way. Just like it's "The Color Purple" for instance)
Actually, that said, i'm struggling to find a way to donate directly to the Union Solidarity Fund.

Can members of the great unwashed even do so ? Linkage ?
I went ahead and did that geeky thing of creating a group on facebook:

It kind of works though. I managed to invite, and thus tell, 200 people to seize the pencils. If everyone does it, then....whew. Lots more people.
I have to agree with Allyson. Yes, it would have to be thought out very carefully, and it could not be forced on people, but it would serve to put the "millionaire writers" that the media seems so fond of mentioning in a whole different light.

"Because it might be cool if the showrunners that chose to sign up for the matching donations idea ONLY matched donations that mentioned them or their shows directly."

Oooo Saje you do like to spend Joss's money, don't you. ;-) I see a problem with that idea, (besides the one that says that not everyone is going to have the cash flow or have been around long enough to cover a show that has an internet savy and rabid fanbase) if people are writing in Dragnet and I Love Lucy, who is going to track down their showrunners to contribute? ...Just a thought since I believe you were one of those who displayed anarchistic thoughts. Hmmm, an anarchistic facist. It could make it really tough to follow the edicts. :-)
Soo late to this party but so proud I could cry. A Fan Union! I'm a member!! Then made the mistake of reading Joss's second post while eating strawberry yogurt. Luckily I missed the keyboard, just sprayed the monitor (And nearly choked to death) ;-)

Dearest Joss, if Satan ever gets back to you, please ask him if he would be interested in a badly....I mean "slightly"....used soul, willing to exchange for round trip ticket from Hawaii to L.A. for ME day. And there will be NO BEATING OF PENGUINS!!!

Off to purchase pencils, for Dollhouse & all things Joss, BSG & maybe more. LoveLoveLove this fandom *does happy dance*
I've lost track of who is supposed to be wagging whose tail here.

Yes, it would have to be thought out very carefully, and it could not be forced on people, but it would serve to put the "millionaire writers" that the media seems so fond of mentioning in a whole different light.

If I were to play devil's advocate I would say that the counter argument from the management spin doctors would be "if the showrunners can afford to donate to the fund then why do they need to strike"? It's a simple message that can be easily fed to the general public.

My fear would be that this would dilute the pro-strike argument and focus attention away from the main issues. Cause management like to use "play the man, not the ball" tactics. And so for the showrunners it's a damned if they do, damned if they don't situation.
Maybe just do it then Simon rather than court publicity for doing it ? Which, for all any of us know, they are/were intending to do anyway, as a private matter.

... if people are writing in Dragnet and I Love Lucy, who is going to track down their showrunners to contribute?

Well, surely there'll be no tracking down since it's voluntary (but I like your fascistic thinking ;) ? If the showrunner(s) of "I Love Lucy" sign up for the match idea then presumably someone knows where to get hold of them, if not they don't have to match at all.

I know what you mean about rabidity of fanbase and financial success not necessarily jibing (also, some shows may "skew rich" in their demographics so that e.g. BSG receives a disproportionate number of donations) but I think in general the principle holds (and that showrunners will have some idea of their own fanbase as well as, obviously, their own ability to stump up the cash before they volunteer).

(also, fascists are anti-democratic, authoritarian and willing to maintain their position through force. So are anarchists, it's just that they're "authorities" of one ;)
Speaking of joining the Fan Union, where is the website? Doesn't one of the website fairies automatically create these things with a wave of a wand, a snap of the fingers and a whole lot of hard work?

Just askin'. ;-)
My problem with Alyson's idea is that it takes the power away from the fans, but she is right that there is already some perception that this is being orchestrated by the WGA (although the original idea did come from the fans).

What I mean is: we (the viewers) are the third element, and in the past we have pulled these 'stunts' (mailing in crap) as our attempt to make a statement, something truly our own, without regard to the writers or actors or anyone else. We protested the networks.

If the showrunners were to match us dollar per dollar than it begins to look like the wealthy showrunners are using this to protest the networks their-own-selves, and the force of the fans action is diluted and trivialized. And I worry that the showrunners would look silly (instead of like heroes, shoveling in all the pencils their fans sent in).

It is a weird situation, and it is true that it can be spun and twisted in different ways according to who reports on it (I think we can presuppose a hostile media however).

And newcj, isn't fans4writes supposed to BE the fan union? I mean it is supposed to be a collection of fans of all different shows, coming together to support the writers (I know, I shouldn't answer seriously...but it is SO early in the morning out here!).
There is actually a fan union website thing I believe, which isn't any of the Whedonesquers doing. I'm a little weary of it as their intended goal on launch was to get shows back into production, which whilst noble, wasn't really addressing the spectrum of issues.

Regarding Allyson's thing (or more politely, idea). Personally, I couldn't care about the publicity/PR/reporting side of the pencil thing. There's going to be both positive and negative thoughts on it in the media, and we can't control what's said. What I do think we all have to do is keep in mind the people being caught in the cross fire of the strike. Pencils? Great. Fantastic, in fact. All credits to Pointy and Joss for picking up the idea. Am I suggesting Joss (and friends) don't care about the crews and such? God, no. Showrunners know more than anybody else the human impact of a strike. For serious. What I am saying is that everybody who's sending a pencil is trying to help, and hopefully the helpless in this situation all get support in some way. Let the reporters write what they want to write, but let's make sure we are standing for something.
If I were to play devil's advocate I would say that the counter argument from the management spin doctors would be "if the showrunners can afford to donate to the fund then why do they need to strike"? It's a simple message that can be easily fed to the general public.

Simon, the current poll numbers show that the general public is not buying management's spin as it is, and I really think they'd try to ignore this rather than spin it. It's the wealthiest effected by the strike helping the most seriously disadvantaged. Everybody already knows that there are millionaires striking.
Succatash: By 'wasting' I mean, will the pencils just be thrown away? Given to schools? Are we just stuffing the supply closets of every studio office for the next five years?

I don't think anyone answered your question, but have no fear, this was on the web site.
We’ll also send the media moguls suggestions about where they can donate the pencils to non-profits that teach kids how to write.

Purple Man: 6) Beat the s#%& out of a penguin.

For those of us afraid to go to the zoo, because the hyena cage is just before the penguin tank, I suggest finding on old copy of Batman:TAS (the real version by Timm-Dini), where you can watch a beating of the Penguin. (VHS taped from the original broadcast... no DVD purchase until after new contract.)
Everybody already knows that there are millionaires striking..

Yep, and this'd show that they're aware of the other people affected by the strike and are trying to help out. The whole point of the strike is sharing what wealth there is more equally, this only promotes that IMO.

If it was just the showrunners matching the pencil donations with more pencil donations i'd be against it frankly but as gossi says, ultimately, no matter the spin, more donations to the solidarity fund means fewer people in dire financial straits as a result of the strike which can only be good.

And to be honest, I think having the public behind them is great but the strike is about taking care of business as a union so I doubt the WGA are just gonna cave because the public are against them, stuff like that should be irrelevant to their stated aims.

[ edited by Saje on 2007-11-18 15:53 ]
I’ve bought some pencils and would happily "match myself" if it were as easy to do as buying the pencils. The closest I've come to finding a way to do that would be to buy something via the strike swag! link on the United Hollywood page.

Allyson refers to the goal of fan campaigns being print. How about this for an idea that might help to get recognition in the printed media?

A group of writers put together an anthology of writing about the strike - a mix of new pieces and things that have already appeared on blogs. It could include a list of links to interesting blog posts and find new ways of publicising what's out there, including the youtube videos – eg, maybe the writers from the daily show could include a script for theirs. The creative folks on the picket lines could come up with lots of creative stuff. It could become a weekly event.

The compilation/newsletter could be sold from the United Hollywood site in digital form (as a pdf?). All profits, including writer donated royalties, would go to the Union Solidarity Fund.

Fans could buy a ‘download’ (or multiple copies so as to donate more money) or pay extra (to cover printing and postage) to have a paper copy sent to their local newspaper, library or radio station, college newspaper[add any other venue of choice]. Fans could print off copies for family and friends, especially the ones who don’t use the internet much, thereby getting the word out whether they’ve paid for lots of downloads or not. Money would go to the fund and the purchases would generate money for writers off the internet – without any of it going to the studios.
Head spinning - trying to keep up with all this. Since we just bought non-refundable tickets to LA for the 7th, I need to watch and be aware of what's happening. Son and I are agreed that if there's no need to go because the strike gets settled - then YAAYY!!! But we're poised either way. What you all are hashing and working out here is great - I'm trying to interpret it for my son and we're being educated together. This IS about the writers and - pencil campaign or no pencil campaign - it's important to keep that in perspective. We love our shows and we're crazy about Joss, but we recognize that what we REALLY love comes from the artistic genius and heart of tons of creative, intelligent, hard working people who deserve to be compensated fairly. Thanks Allyson for your post - curious about Joss's response if he posts one - but comfortable enough to take a moment now to go purchase pencils for Bones! Then hitting the coffee and diving into my final paper on The Hollywood Ten. (Man, am I particularly psyched for THIS paper!)

Support the Writers!
This is a FAN effort.

We already know who's side the writers and showrunners are on. If you can't afford a buck, then don't support them...however, if you are reading this, then I assume you are a bigger fan than a typical civilian.

Not only should Joss NOT spend one dollar on pencils but he should be carried to the pencil event on one of those giant alter type deals that they used to carry Xerxes except instead of solid gold, it should be made entirely of environmentally friendly pencils.

As far as ideas, yes, call your local news papers. Hit up the Star Trek and Star Wars rooms. Those guys know about struggle and fighting the big bad.
20 more boxes on their way in the name of Dollhouse!
OK now someone stop me if I'm missing something here, but the idea being discussed is for some of the better off showrunners to match the amount spent on pencils by donating to the union solidarity fund for the benefit of non-WGA members affected by this strike action?

There are I believe 12,000 WGA members. Now admittedly not all of them are actively writing (you know full well I meant before the strike began) but even so how many production workers are going to be out of work now because of this?

Having been on a TV set once or twice I have an idea about the sheer number of people that will be out of work on every show that's out of production on account of this strike.

$50,000 wouldnt mean a damn thing, so unless you can persuade everyone of the showrunners in the entire business to put in as much as they possibly can this isnt gonna do a whole lot.

However it is of course true that not everyone is going to be needing assistance straight away and some will have other means of income that enable them to ride out the strike without any real concern so it might be that if some of the men with money can be persuaded to do this it might be of assistance to the most desperate few but I simply fear that we are rather kidding ourselves that this kind of idea rather out-reaches itself it terms of the positive impact it could have against negative publicity it would definitely generate.

Saying all that I dont have a better idea. Oh except watching the reruns and buying the DVDs and downloading the content for which the writers and other production staff members currently DO get (admittedly shitty) residuals for, rather than boycotting it all and screwing them when they need it most.

Oh and gossi, fascism? What's next, an idiot tax?

[ edited by dev on 2007-11-18 17:06 ]
Can we send them stuff from as well? :)
I'm with Alexreager - this is a fan effort, the showrunners and writers are already losing money by not working and are probably donating plenty that they're not publicly announcing (solidarity and all that).

No, while Allyson's idea is good, I think this campaign is about how much the fans love and support the writers and should stay that way.

But if someone has a donation site for a Variety ad, I'm there!
but he should be carried to the pencil event on one of those giant alter type deals that they used to carry Xerxes except instead of solid gold, it should be made entirely of environmentally friendly pencils.

I like Joss better when he walks around in his wicked gay Dawn bag.

dev - Man, you are still MY fascist leader. I don't believe those Hollywood films, anyway.

I think the bit which irks some people is, yes, it's a fan effort, but it's endorsed by showrunners. But I don't presume to know what those showrunners do with their money.

By the way, Variety ad? I was thinking 'bout that. Whilst The Industry would see it, and that'd be cool, I can't help but thinking other magazines are a) cheaper and b) read by TV viewers.
Lady Brick: "Pencil Me In" LOL

About to go buy some pencils... Is anyone up for a "Joss for President" campaign? He clearly gets things SO much more than our current one (hey, he's actually SMART, what a concept for a president), is good at negotiating, and has a better fan base ('though we might not all have money to invest in oil).

But he DID quote Jubal Early, which frankly gives me the shivers. EEEEE
And he IS environmentally friendly, after all...
Wowie zowie... this thread got long and full of stuff.

I think it was great of Allyson to offer up the idea. In the end though, it would be the showrunners who would have to make any sort of decision. They know whether it's financially feasible and they probably have a better idea of positive impact versus negative press than most of us would. It seems like our time would be better spent debating on how we the fans can better help the people and penguins who are hurting because of this strike, rather than discussing whether or not we should spend other people's money.
I would think that if one ordered all one's pencils at once, the PayPal charge would be less, and thus extra money could go towards the WGA strike fund....
Gossi, i was wondering about other printed works other than Variety, given that it is mostly read by the industry, which already knows what's going on.

Are there any national papers in America? Sorry if this sounds like a stupid question but never having been stateside and knowing how everything else is divided up, it seems logical that maybe there isnt (especially given time differences from one coast to the other).

Of course an ad in a national paper would probably cost a lot more...
10 more boxes of pencils in support of Dollhouse.
dev, I'm thinking consumer magazines like TV Guide and such. I'm sure there's better examples (I've also never been stateside).
To take another D.A. position. We don't know if they aren't already matching the funds ... without telling us because that would put a spin then don't want the studios to know about. You see what I am saying. In reality we are not controlling the campaign they are so they will know the actual number of pencils we bought, they may then match that number and give it to the charity but make it look like it all came from the fans, you see.

I know Allyson raised a valid point and yes it would be lovely if they mentioned that but can you see how that would be viewed by the studios if they did. Like others have said in this thread it would dilute the power of the message of the fans, and they would spin it against the WGA. We dn't need this fracturing rightt now. We need to be seen as fans as a united front. If you taint the campaign, then you tarnish all involved, fans, wriers, and showrunners. This was a simple plan, if you don't want to buy a box, then don't. And you can question it but phrase in a way that doesn't plant a seed of doubt in others. Send your question to the UH and see if they offer you an answer, if it satisfys you then perhaps find a way to share it. Just remember people tend to be skeptical to start with when stuff like this happens and not only does it take away money from the charity but it may also take away pencils from children. Sometimes in life, like in the movies or on tv, we have to take a leap of faith.

Believe me, I see everything from the negative perspective and 'what's in for them' pov. So for the cynical pessimist in me that was the hardest thing to type, something that seems optomistic. **shakes head** what on earth was that all about. I do not follow people blindly, I go in with my eyes wide open and question everything but even I know when to put the blinders on and push through the doubt for the greater good. The charity gets the money and the kids get the pencils. If I didn't think the intention was not good or honest I would be coming down on top of it with both feed to stop the spread of it.
You better be thinking gossi, what with the immense pressure someone who shall remain purple just levelled at you, hehe. Do you feel special now?
PEOPLE MAGAZINE - I can see it now.

I should be cleaning my house but Photoshop is more fun.

[ edited by Succatash on 2007-11-18 18:31 ]
RavenU, to be fair, I don't think anybody is questioning the intention of anything, just the way it will be perceived by others. Unless I'm, you know, wrong.

dev, my parents used to call me special. I thought that was cool until I got all growed up.

I've actually thought up a way for Joss to get a message through to millions of people across America (and the world). It's revolutionary, you'll all be in shock AND it's in the technicolor: I've decided to name it 'Televisular Entertainment'. He can use it to beam stuff directly to your brainbox. I know, I know, I'm not just special but I'm also a genius - I can hear the echo of you all thinking that RIGHT NOW.
Reckon I should have requested Dollhouse and Sara Connor Chronicles for the shows we are going to watch and DVR, but the wife and I did list some of our favorites now. Heroes, Pushing Daisies, Office, Scrubs and Ghost Whisperer along with 50 Boxes of #2s.
God Bless and keep are WGA strong and patient and faithfull for what is right.
Good things are bound to happen.
And for you our beloved Joss and Family man, Via Con Dios.
Joss, Wife and I understand your beliefs, Please allow our Blessing to you and yours. Thank You
And Now... HILLARY in 2008.

[ edited by renegade on 2007-11-18 18:39 ]
I'm with RavenU. Hurrah for solidarity!

Due to the amazing UK/US exchange rate there are another 10 boxes on their way. They fly under the banner of Dollhouse and Battlestar Fantastica.

Are we going to develop some kind of strategic whedonesque missionary service to spread the word to other fansites/forums?
curlymynci - take a look at the forums on Fans4Writers for that.
It's revolutionary, you'll all be in shock AND it's in the technicolor: I've decided to name it 'Televisular Entertainment'.

Hmm, but can money be made from it ? You should thoroughly research that before paying anyone a penny gossi.

(and i'm both with and against RavenU. Hooray for mushydarity !)
Love the People magazine cover from Succatash...
Joss Whedon, Sexiest Showrunner Alive!
The emerging Televisular Entertainment industry is worth $500 billion in the next quarter. But we won't be paying anybody as it's too early to establish the worth of the market.
Also, you're taking all the risk. I mean, making that much money, you could get robbed or something. Risky.
FWIW, I posted the link in the Stage & Screen section of CompuServe's Books & Writers Community -- and almost immediately got a "Pencils sent!" reply from Diana Gabaldon (whom the odd bookworm here may know *s*). I thought that was way cool.
By the way, Variety ad? I was thinking 'bout that. Whilst The Industry would see it, and that'd be cool, I can't help but thinking other magazines are a) cheaper and b) read by TV viewers.

This was, originally, in the first Fans4Writers gameplan. It then sort of disappeared. I have no idea if it's been discussed again since I took myself out of the loop.
For anybody who wants to ask the WGA directly about things, go to, go the the Strike section, call the number given for Strike Headquarters and ask questions. They will definitely have answers, or find them for you.

With the great money debate -- and not trying to be Grinchy to anybody's posts -- while I support the idea of giving money to people who need it, *any* people who need it, I think there's a slippery slope of saying, "Why are you giving money to this and not that?" Why are we giving money to an entertainment industry strike in any form when there are worthy social causes and political campaigns and environmental issues and ...? The pencil campaign is the pencil campaign. It has gained momentum, so yay. If people want to do a different thing in addition to the pencil campaign that will help other strike-affected people, or don't want to personally do the pencil campaign but want to do the other thing instead, then also yay. But I think the pencil campaign seems to be in very good shape for something that came together very quickly from one group of people supporting another group of people, and unless the WGA officially says (or asks Joss to say), "Please do it this other way," then let the pencil campaign exist as is and make other efforts separate. JMHO, your mileage may vary.

And I agree with gossi that everybody who supports the strike, no matter where you are in the world, should write to your local newspaper and ask them to cover the WGA strike as a labor issue that will have far-reaching consequences as far as how other labor disputes are handled in future. Even call in to your local talk radio station (if you can bear it, and if you think the host won't turn your words inside-out) and ask them to talk about the issue -- voice your support of the writers.
Now you all kinda got your own Union.

... and now the Fan Union. That's the union they'll be hearing from -- one they don't even know exists.

(Probably a bit late now to post this - never mind.)

Joss, I think what you are talking about here is so important for society. Real, satisfying, advanced democracy should mean effective participation for all in the chain of an industry or service, from creation to consumption.

I work for the (UK) blood transfusion service. Like all of our public health service the management style is increasingly overbearing and undemocratic. I have just written a document for a strategic review which puts forward alternative visions for future governance of the blood service.

In the Netherlands, blood donors are able to join local blood donor associations, like branches (similar organisations did exist in this country at one time). This treats the donors more like informed and involved stakeholders in the supply chain, rather than a passive 'target customer' or a resource. This is wise as clearly blood donors are very highly motivated (and intelligent, altruistic) people, and recognising the role they play hopefully means stronger commitment in return.

Ideally (yeah, I know, we're getting into fairy-tale territory here, but perhaps one day...) members of such councils of blood donors could elect people onto the management committee at local blood centres and the national board of directors.

You are showing obvious respect for conscious TV fans here Joss, with initiatives like this, in a refreshingly and unusually huge-minded way.
shicks: don't change your plans, even though talks resume on November 26th the WGA and AMPTP are still far apart, and I expect the strike will continue beyond December 7th (when you'll get to join the Mutant Enemy strikers).

alexreager: that was EXACTLY what I was trying to say, this is a FAN effort and we are doing it to honor and support the writers. The important points (to me) are:
#1. unions are good for the workers and should be supported.
#2. creative artists should actually get to own their work, that is to say that in MY world screenwriters would continue to own their scripts in exactly the same way authors and playwrites do! But that is a little radical for Hollywood, but they should definitely not settle for less than fair residuals in all media!

It is my understanding that of the 12,000 WGA members, only half of them earned enough money to qualify for health insurance (ie they are NOT doing that great), and most of the others are just earning a middle-class income. Sure the showrunners are probably millionaires, but I don't know that, and it is none of my business. It is definitely has nothing to do with why I support the strike, and the pencil thing is MY effort to support the strike, not theirs.

gossi and succatash: YES! TV Guide and People magazines are awesome ideas with huge readership (and that People cover is the stuff of dreams succatash).

[ edited by embers on 2007-11-18 20:05 ]
Edited to remove content as no longer applicable

[ edited by dev on 2007-11-18 20:17 ]
I don't think it's worth folk getting bent out of shape over this. It's just an idea being mooted, if no showrunners decide it's a good idea then it goes nowhere and nothing's lost (except some hot air from all of us ;).

If they do and they decide to match Pencil donations with actual money for non-writers affected by the strike then where's the harm ? Either way, airing ideas and debating them doesn't tarnish anything.
You know if the website made the word Union Solidarity Fund a link to another page that allowed people to donate to another paypal account and then showed how much people donated.

That would allow people a way to do charity. And it would be separate to the pencil.

Some people might match. Some people might just donate. Some people who are donating already to the fund might donate there because there was a total showing.
dev, I beg your pardon, and I edited my post (above) to remove the reference to your post. I did misunderstand (my fault for reading too many posts too quickly).
I know that feeling, especially with so many good thoughts going on here for what we can do, I also reacted rather sharply, I apologise and am going to remove my previous post now.
Guys? I think you're heading towards the cliff at full speed. And I hope I'm wrong. So I'm gonna stop.

Too bad Joss doesn't know anybody on myspace with 38813 friends or with 23235 friends. Or whose blogs show up in myspaces top blogs when he has time and something funny to write about.

And don't forget myspace bulletins.
What? Nathan Fillion's 28,663 isn't good enough for you? Or James Gunn's 25,212 friends?

Allyson, I don't think you are wrong here, except that according to the New York Times the AMPTP did not agree to return to the bargaining table because of the fans (although they were pretty shocked to learn that they only had about 4% of the public on their side, according to the Pepperdine poll). The key element seems to have been the nervous stock holders (let's hear it for Nervous Stockholders! Yay!). So, as far as I can see, all the fans and the WGA need to do is keep the strike in the news, keep those stockholders on edge.
28,663?? It is 38,813. Almost 7 legions now.

28663 is the number of comments. As in "Displaying 50 of 28664 comments"

[ edited by Anonymous1 on 2007-11-18 21:28 ]
We could also plan to inform the stockholders of who is actually giving them their returns.

I presume we can get a list of who they are? If we could find those that have the biggest percentage, probably investment companies, we could send them a letter. I think that United Hollywood have already sent one to the pension fund holders.

Not the most glamourous of plans....but it could hit a nerve, maybe?
I have a stupid thought.

I am supporting the writers in this .. ALL THE WAY because writers continuously get the shaft.

But I was thinking about that poor woman who got fined 200,000 dollars by the RIAA (who is really SONY!) for sharing 9 songs on Limewire.

And this strike is about Internet royalties...
I'm just a little uncomfortable with the notion that corporations will feel more justified in pursuing and fucking with schmoes because they download a show on Limewire.

I WANT the writers to get paid for their writing (except maybe Tina Fey...writing ABOUT writing is just too incestuous) but will the outcome of this strike make corporations more powerful in the end (just something to think about).

What do you think Joss?
I WANT the writers to get paid for their writing (except maybe Tina Fey...writing ABOUT writing is just too incestuous) but will the outcome of this strike make corporations more powerful in the end (just something to think about).

Like it or not, most production of any significant quality still need to go through the studio/network system. As long as that's the case, all that can be done is to make sure that the people actually creating the stuff through the studio/network system are getting their fair share.

(I get that everyone loves their illegal downloading. I even get that some creators don't necessarily carp about it. I don't think it's relevant, though.)

If more of the relevant people are actually making their proper money off of legal media, it could in theory make the Companies even more committed to stopping illegal downloads. But as long as most stuff is produced through the studio/network system (because that is, after all, where the money to fund stuff actually resides), them's the breaks.
Hmmmm. I THOUGHT I had read that the pencil sales do generate a "profit" that will be given to, uh, someone's strike fund.

I see it isn't on the Pencil Page's sort-of-FAQ.

Did I halluncinate that (aGAIN?!)

SkeezyCheeses: I DID see your post, and very much appreciate your kicking in boxes of pencils for me, and "Joss-in-General" is fine as optional: in support of whom, exactly? Some may call you skeezy, but not I. (which means I have to call you 'cheeses'?)

Simon, the "few people own everything; everyone else are their serfs" thing WAS changing. For the better. The middle class was becoming a bigger proportion of the population; it now go bye-bye. The percent of everything owned by the few had been shrinking; it's now sky-rocketing. These are what's making me crazy (and the ONLY things, mind).

Well, that and the "everything has always sucked and always will suck, therefore accept that everything will always suck" thing. Even Evil Geniu -- I mean JOSS suffers from this disease (as I consider it). In fact, an indepth discussion of this very thing is exactly #1 on my "If I were ever to have a chance to talk to Mr. Dude" wish list.

Person-who-lives in Akron: Lucky you! You get to FLOAT. Never thought I'd say this, but, gee, I wish I were in Akron right now.

gossi: LOL and LOL again with the "We'll make $500 billion next quarter. We can't offer a percent, since there's no way to project profits." was so freakin' over the top SPOT ON. (and better written than my version)

Whew! Now to read the 978 more comments posted while I was writing this screed.
tehabwa, it's right there on the page:
What happens to the money from the pencils?
Anything we have left over from our costs will go into the Union Solidarity Fund, which was created to help non-WGA members affected by the strike.

So that's not the WGA's strike fund, it's to help the other workers in the industry who lose work.
Ah! Thank you jam2; clearly my brain is neither large nor sexy.

So does this change Allyson's mind at all? The fact that, the more donations, and bulkier the purchase, the more money goes to help non-WGA's affected by the strike?

I found the issue very interesting, and can see both sides, though had kind of a "let's spend other people's money" reaction to Allyson's original post.
One other thing to remember. The faster we put pressure on the media moguls, the faster we'll get to a resolution so that people can get back to work and get paid.
I understand the concerns, but anything really spelled out seems too much like we're "bargaining" with the showrunners. I want to support the writers, the possible future Josses who might never make shows if the life holds no economic promise. It seems like the best way to do that is send a message to the studios (lots o' pencils, TV guide ad, People magazine cover...)and to donate to help the needy crew members.
The rich showrunners know about their credibility issues--they can deal with that issue themselves.

And Gossi:
I like Joss better when he walks around in his wicked gay Dawn bag.
Dawn is wicked? and gay? And what does her bag look like?
It's the evil lesbian phenomenon. Happens all the time. Also there's a bag.
JOSS: "Anyhoo, if any of you comes up with a good idea (or a really complicated machine allowing me to call every living being on the planet simultaneously) (I'm looking at YOU, Gossi...), then please speak up."

While I naturally believe that gossi could invent whatever he set his mind to, especially if the Purpley Jossir asked him, I do believe that Joss himself has already invented this - it just needs to be engineered. Anyone?

"Obviously, we'll see advances in technology. TiVo, iPods, streaming video — the way we watch TV is changing dramatically. It's on our phones, in our cars — even projected on specialized eyeglasses. But don't listen to the talk about having shows beamed directly into your brain. That's science-fiction nonsense. Shows will be stored in the pancreas and will enter the brain through the bloodstream after being downloaded into your iHole." - Joss, TV Guide Guest Columnist 1/03/06, "Guest Columnist Joss Whedon Eyes the Future of TV."

(And while I think helping crew members and staff affected by the strike is of primary importance, I'm inclined to hash this out with fans over at the forum rather than in this thread.)
Soooo... Anyone else think that they'll find a way to sell us back our pencils?

"Genuine fan movement pencils! Stick it to the man! Get them while they're topical!"

I personally would like one of my Dollhouse pencils ;)

Sent a few boxes, and i feel better for it.
I do believe that Joss himself has already invented this

Damn. I just shed a Dawson tear thanks to Pacey Joss.

I'm told a TV Guide ad would cost around $80k. I don't think we have that kind of money, and I don't think I'd be comfortable spending it on an advert over this.
bubblecat asked: I presume we can get a list of who they are? If we could find those that have the biggest percentage, probably investment companies, we could send them a letter. I think that United Hollywood have already sent one to the pension fund holders.

The identity of individual stockholders of companies is not information that is generally publicly available. However, by law, certain stockholders of public companies such as those who are "insiders" (i.e., officers and directors) and those who own more than 10% of the outstanding stock are required to make public filings disclosing their identity and the amount of their holdings. You can look up companies and the relevant filings (search for either Section 16 filings for insiders or 13D filings for +10% holders) on the SEC's electronic database.

US Securities and Exchange
$5 for Dollhouse, $5 for Battlestar Galactica, $5 for Firefly, and $5 for Veronica Mars.

Also posted a link on facebook.

My message to the moguls: "You can't control the future."

[ edited by zoinkers on 2007-11-18 23:11 ]
Wow. I knew that by going away for the weekend I was going to miss stuff and I come back to this! Off to oder a handful of boxes.
Think I'll put "Any show by Joss Whedon" to show that Joe Public does actually know and care about writers, not just the shows.
Concerning my comment about the possibility of this strike emboldening corporations to go after "downloaders".

It's not just "illegal music"...
but what about fan-movies?
what about fan-fic?
what about pics of our favorite stars and characters? (Have you heard? Prince is going after people who use his image on their sites.)
what about kids making video collages on YouTube of their favorite scenes?
What about all sort of expressions that haven't been thought of-- that use the media DIRECTLY or indirectly?

We may need to be careful HOW we advocate for the people we care for... all this may come back later and bite us in the ass.

[ edited by hbojo on 2007-11-18 23:55 ]
hbojo, it doesn't matter.

They (meaning the Companies) can do whatever they want to when it comes to such things because they own the material in question.

How we do or do not support the writers in the strike won't change that.
I think it matters a lot that we, at least, broach the subject here-- where people (Joss!) who are involved can hear us.

We are supporting people who will be involved in negotiations (some directly and others indirectly) and I don't think it's a terrible thing to ask...
"Hey make sure that there's no fine print in those contracts that end up screwing over people who love and support you"

I've already seen the RIAA affect music blogger and ... c'mon...we've seen how the studios reacted to the Buffy musical Sing-a-Longs.

It's not out of the question to imagine the studios positioning themselves to justify even more draconian measures....
c'mon...we've seen how the studios reacted to the Buffy musical Sing-a-Longs.

Fox did what they did re: the sing-alongs because the Screen Actors Guild complained about them. So it's hardly an example of anything to do what what you're trying to argue.

But cmon now. Realistically, you really think we're in a position to say to the writers, "Hey, in all of this hullabaloo about your livelihood can you try to make sure nothing in your contracts prohibits us from using the copyrighted material however we want?"
But cmon now. Realistically, you really think we're in a position to say to the writers, "Hey, in all of this hullabaloo about your livelihood can you try to make sure nothing in your contracts prohibits us from using the copyrighted material however we want?"

Honestly, after seeing HOW ruthless the RIAA has been (they've gone after grandmothers, 12 year olds and single mothers), I don't think it's too much to ask that people at least think about it.

and actually I'm not trying to argue for anything...
I just think that it's something to think about.

[ edited by hbojo on 2007-11-19 00:26 ]
theonetruebix is on the money on that point.
I just think that it's something to think about.

I don't dispute the issue, and invariably I believe that the country's copyright regime has become too extreme. I'm just saying that the idea of it somehow needing to be considered in AMPTP/WGA negotiations, or as some sort of quasi-demand from fans to the writers, is kind of silly.

There's a very particular fight going on here, and it can't be transformed into a fight over everything.
Hmm, interesting point, hbojo. Heh, we're basically chanting for Internet scrutiny; we may end up getting uncomfortably scrutizined.
Regardless what happens with the strike, the Suits will go after copyright infringers on the web. The WGA strike has nothing to do with that one way or the other. Pick your battles.
There's a very particular fight going on here, and it can't be transformed into a fight over everything.

20 more boxes sent. How many truckloads are we up to now?
My choice of venue that isn't print or TV? Ebay. It's how I make my meager living. Make a pencil Charity auction for Buffy, Firefly, whatever show you choose. The "Why We Strike" video or whatnot imbedded in the listing, or hopefully something more imaginative than my bourbon'd brain can conjure. Sometimes a listing will become viral if it's done right, and before ya know it it's everywhere. At least in my world.

I know it's internet, but tons of folks who know nothing of fan bases and corporate monoliths buy and search on Ebay. And many are not otherwise internet savvy.

I don't have the HTML skills, but many different versions could be made, many different categories and titles. The Joss stuff alone generates hundreds of thousands of hits, as we speak.

Anyone, anyone?


[ edited by bsanut on 2007-11-19 02:03 ]
Over on we're getting the message out to Browncoats who are also in on the pencil campaign. I bought 5 boxes, (hey, I don't have allot of cash, but I do what I can) for the cause. I posted on our site about why I did so.
I LOVE television and films that are really well written. Kinda the way I like guys: you can be pretty, but if you don't have a brain, I'm not interested.
Go over to the strike site and pony up $5. You'd pay that much for a beer in a bar. And I know many of us here have paid more than that for Firefly, Buffy and Angel DVDs. Give our authors ('cause that's what they are) their due and flip pencils at the execs. Really, it'll be like high school only fun!
Announced in HER BLOG today: Jane Espenson bought pencils!

as if anyone expected less of her *grin*

[ edited by Love's Bitch on 2007-11-19 02:21 ]
Ahhh you all speak so eloquently! Bix has a point tho...let's not cloud the issue too much.
Okay, I've posted on my blog (which no one reads!) on, as well as posting to the Sacramento Browncoats and Fantastic Frontiers regarding the pencil effort. So a FEW more people will read about it.... Yeah for the Evil (okay, not evil) Master! And hoping he's no longer phlegmy...
Actually ruebix... Negotiations don't take place in a vacuum.

Teachers (having been one myself) weigh issues very heavily as they strike or negotiate work terms....teachers strike and negotiate for better work conditions and salary...but never at the expense of students.

I think it's an appropriate analogy.
And it's a valid question, "Will the result of the strike end up hurting fandom?"

I take these issues very seriously because's stupid and ridiculous that studios hold so much profit back from the people who basically make them tick. And Joss is right, the stories writers tell are the framework that define our reality on a visceral level. So who ends up controlling the stories is very important.

All I'm saying is that it's worth discussing and having it be noted.
hbojo, honestly, I think the issue of how a strike effects a fandom in terms of Youtube and such is not the biggest issue on the plate right now. If we start questioning, uhm, copyright law in the US (which I agree by the way - it's widely misused in all manner of sense by corporations) that's going to completely sidetrack what we're trying to do here.

The fact theonetruebix sent Universal a bill for, what, $2m?, for Serenity suggests he kinda has issues with it also.

My moment of zen today. (cheers, P-C).

[ edited by gossi on 2007-11-19 06:18 ]
ba ha wa?

b sent a bill for 2 mill?

Thassa freakin song, mang! You know it's hard out here for a pimp!

Seriously? (Oh tell me it's true because I'm going to put him on a fucking shirt and wear it everywhere if so.)
OK, back to Allyson's idea. If Joss and the showrunners want to match our dollars, I'm all for it! I think it's a great idea.

Also, how about yard signs?? I would very much put up 2 to 3 signs...I live on a busy street corner. It's a non-webby thing that could work.
Whew! This discussion has certainly gone in a lot of unexpected directions!

First of all, to the person talking about how cool the idea of Quarterlife is: well, yeah, it is, except NBC has already bought it as a television series. And it was originally developed for a TV network, too, so I guess what I'm saying is that the networks are with us for a while more, and so getting them to pony up fair and equitable payments to artists is important.

To the people talking about the showrunners of Dragnet and I Love Lucy: funny you should bring them up. Those individuals have passed away, but Irv Brecher, a writer (and showrunner?) of a radio show called Life of Riley and movies including Meet Me in St. Louis and The Marx Brothers At the Circus, has made a video for United Hollywood explaining that he has been angry about the poor treatment of writers ever since a deal in 1938 when the Screenwriters Guild (as it was then called) first agreed to let the studios keep the copyrights of scripts. So writers of TV shows and movies made before 1960 get no residuals whatsoever, so (as it was explained in the Why We Fight video) the showrunners of I Love Lucy never got any residuals. So even if they were alive, they wouldn't have residual cash sitting around anyway.

Also, if you are looking for some of the millionaires on strike to give money to support those out of work, here's George Clooney donating $25,000 to the Actors Fund, which, despite its name, supports any person in show business who is experiencing economic hardship, whether that person is an actor or not. And, look no further than Joss himself, who said in the post that started this very discussion, "If there’s any money left over, it will be donated to the Union Solidarity Fund, which is a nonprofit for non-WGA members affected by the strike." So it seems pretty clear to me that the United Hollywood folk are thinking of the non-WGA people already.

I personally think Allyson's idea of a dollar-for-dollar match to the Union Solidarity Fund or Actors Fund or something similar is a good one. I wouldn't be surprised to see the showrunners doing something very much like this. I don't think it makes them look like they are millionaires who don't need a strike to get rich, I think it would make the point that they understand that the strike is affecting people who are vulnerable. But the showrunners are creative and smart people after all, and they will figure out something spectacularly clever to show that they understand this. I mean, look how they worked with the fans' suggestion of sending pencils one by one and refined it to a plan of sending very inexpensive pencils that are environmentally sound in a mass shipment that echoes the successful Jericho nuts campaign and without making the lives of mailroom staff miserable by sending them a box at a time. Bottom line for me is, brava Allyson for speaking up about this, and now let's see how the showrunners respond, without working ourselves to a frazzle about it!
Succatash: LOVE the People photoshop pic. Awesome!
What swanland said. Meaning the last paragraph.
Not to get all political on a thread that .... oh, right ;) But renegade I couldn't let the "Hillary in 2008" pass.
Who is the only presidential candidate who has been on the WGA strike lines?
That's right, repeat after me .... John Edwards!!!

gossi, loved the YouTube Moment of Zen. Then, gods help me, I got distracted by a Led Zeppelin video *is ashamed*.
$10 for Dollhouse. If anyone wants to read more about the issue of gender in who's getting screwed, check out
b sent a bill for 2 mill?

When the licensing crackdown started happening, I asked Browncoats to send me their total hours spent promoting Serenity. I then put up online the total "bill", using a single figure per hour, and put up The (Browncoat) Invoice.

Ah, good times.

Huh. Sure could use my share of that money right about now, though.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2007-11-19 09:31 ]
THey have a pencil tally up now at UH. 156,000 pencils so far...
which I'm gonna assume means 13,000 boxes of 12. Pretty cool for the first couple days.

Edit: that's weird. I looked at it before and it said 60,000 and I left a comment asking if it was 60,000 boxes or 5,000 boxes of 12. Then a minute later it said 156,000 so, i left another comments saying I guess I misread it... but now, I went back and it say 60,000 again. So, I'm not wonky, their counter is. Okay, we're both wonky but in this case, the counter more than me... not to be confused with Nick Counter -who we all know is wonkiest in the land.

[ edited by TommytheZombieSlayer on 2007-11-19 10:35 ]

[ edited by TommytheZombieSlayer on 2007-11-19 10:36 ]
It says 156,000 for me now, which I also take to mean 13,000 boxes! Wow. Still, how many boxes to fill a truck?
I dunno, how high is up and how long is a piece of string ? ;)

I.e. it depends on the truck. Based on a Luton van (about the size you'd hire to move house, over here anyway, capacity roughly 4 X 2 X 2 metres) and a pencil box size of 4 X 1.5 X 18 cm gives about 150,000 boxes to fill it. That's probably high though because it assumes perfect packing and no other boxes around the pencil boxes - which seems unlikely. The size of pencil box may err on the large side too.

Bigger truck (and everything's bigger in America, right ? ;) obviously means more boxes to fill it.

ETA: If they're going for the dramatic "open the back of the truck and watch pencils fall out" thing it's more complicated - if you just empty the boxes into the truck higgledy piggledy the less efficient packing means fewer pencils required (cos there's more air between them). And yep, it's Monday morning, of course i'm bored at work ;).

[ edited by Saje on 2007-11-19 12:08 ]
Having just finished packing up 48,000 books, I know an Allied Van Line truck can fit 20 48" x 40" palettes. Probably not going to fill that but the point is that's the capacity of an 18 wheeler so one can calculate downaward from there.

My boxes went to Dollhouse.
I paid for some boxes for Joss Whedon's Shows. It's the very least I could do for all the hours of entertainment you've given us over the years.

Firefly finally gave me something besides baseball that I could talk with my brother about. I even got it for my dad, not only did he LOVE it, turns out he had watched it way back when it was on TV and liked it back then too.
Well...I just dropped some dosh for 10 boxes of #2. Indeed, I got boxes in the name of Joss, Tim, Jane, The Unit, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, NCIS, Dollhouse, House, Chuck and Battlestar Galactica :D

Gotta say...feels all kinds of good!
I've been finding a lot of fun stuff this morning: The LA Times reports that a lot of fans have been phoning the networks and making the CEO's assistants nuts (I hadn't even thought about phoning! LOL)! And The Prairie Home Companion has written a catchy tune (see segment 1 'movie script' supporting the writers' union!

"you gotta go down and join the union
or else they'll steal your baby's shoes
they'll steal the eye balls off a dead man
you gotta go down and join the union and pay your dues"

All the extra press is all good for the WGA!

[ edited by embers on 2007-11-19 20:18 ]
Yes. I forgot about that. People are phoning the companies. Google the exec office numbers, phone up and ask to be put through to voicemail.

Of course, don't be crazy, but if they're getting actual viewers phoning up and leaving them hundreds of voicemails complaining about their shows going off the air... It's something they can't not notice. I know there's quite a few fans who got transfered straight through to execs. Fun.
if they're getting actual viewers phoning up and leaving them hundreds of voicemails complaining about their shows going off the air... It's something they can't not notice.

Of course, that should not be the message, because the Companies can easily spin that as "see, fans want writers to get over it and come back to work".
Yes, the main message should be that we want a fair deal for the writers. We want the writers to be able to get back to work soon, but not before they get fairly compensated for it.

The character limit in the box doesn't let me add writers' names to the shows I want to pencify. :( I suppose I should make them all say Dollhouse.
Of course, don't be crazy

A fine motto for any group action as well as personal philosophies. ;) It's the flip side of saying "just be cool."
Well, part of the message should be that we love our shows because of the stories the writers tell, so we'll be largely tuning out if it's just reality shows on the air. (Those who intend to boycott DVDs and internet views can mention that too.)

I mean our support for the writers is great, but it means nothing to the studios unless translated to the only language they speak: their bottom line ($).
True, mentioning what you won't be watching, buying, or downloading in the interim is very important also.

Changed my mind. 5 boxes each for: Joss Whedon, Jane Espenson, Drew Goddard, and... uh, Martu Noxon. Glad I checked that before clicking forward. I can has proofread?
Before this thread disappears over the horizon I wanted to be sure that everyone noticed that UnitedHollywood has posted information for The Actors Fund (which will benefit non-union workers who are laid off because of the strike)
The Pencils2MediaMoguls campaign will donate money remaining after the pencils have shipped to the Union Solidarity Fund. Once an online donation system for the USF is in place, we'll post it here.

But of course while we are grateful that Union Solidarity Fund and the Actors Fund will try to help those laid off, we don't want to forget that the AMPTP forced this strike by being unwilling to negotiate, and the networks are the ones laying these people off, NOT the writers.

[ edited by embers on 2007-11-20 05:34 ]
Fans calling studio execs...I bet the soap operas have stopped now. WHAT WERE THE STUDIO EXECS THINKING!!! If people don't get their soap operas, people could turn in to REAVERS!
Heh, good point. I know my sister and mother will go nuts. (My sister calls me whenever her soaps are pre-empted by tennis or college sports, like it's my fault somehow.)

However, they've been saying soaps are good through January or February. I guess they write and shoot really far ahead.
I've heard that the soaps are using scab writers. Sad if it's true. My understanding is that they work about a week ahead.

My mom depends on the soaps to keep her going through the day. She's blind and has trouble getting around. I tried to explain the strike, but she wasn't interested.
"I've been finding a lot of fun stuff this morning: The LA Times reports that a lot of fans have been phoning the networks and making the CEO's assistants nuts (I hadn't even thought about phoning! LOL)! And The Prairie Home Companion has written a catchy tune (see segment 1 'movie script' supporting the writers' union!

"you gotta go down and join the union
or else they'll steal your baby's shoes
they'll steal the eye balls off a dead man
you gotta go down and join the union and pay your dues"

All the extra press is all good for the WGA!

[ edited by embers on 2007-11-19 20:18 ]
embers | November 19, 19:37 CET"

Thanks, embers. I love Garrison Kiellor, but have not had a chance to listen in a while. He also ends that section with this ditty that is sung in the dramatization after the producers cave:

"We write the words,
We write the screenplays.
We make you laugh,
We make you cry,
With metaphors,
Like beautiful flowers.
That's our name on top,
Where it says written by.
We're the Writers Guild of America.
We're on strike. Yea!
swanland: I know that the show was originally developed for TV, but when they couldn't sell it because the networks are annoying like that, they decided to try this new method. They also have never tried to hide the fact that they wanted it to end up on TV, the audience there is just wider, but they want to keep it internet based.
My point about Quarterlife was not that it will replace network tv, and not that it's the only show out there like this. My point was that this project is from high profile producers who have more influence in the industry than other online only show distributers.
Fantastic statement. And thank you, Joss, for making yourself all the more wonderful by knowing the songs from "Newsies".

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