Local Screenwriters Feeling Pinch During Strike

Some local screenwriters are hoping their negotiators in the Writers' Guild can deliver a Hollywood ending to the two-week long strike.

"We've gotta do something about it," Dan Bronson, a screenwriter from Bear Valley Springs, said. "If we dont do it now, it's never going to happen."

The sticking point is residual income from distribution through new media and DVD sales. Writers receive four cents a copy; they want to double that amount.

"Technology over the last five years has changed the market: where writers used to make their money, where actors will get their money, and where the profits lie," actor Charles Napier said.

It may seem like a drop in the bucket, but it adds up. The strike is affecting showbusiness peoples' ability to contribute to the economy, even here in Kern County.

"There will even be collateral damage here, individuals who work directly in the industry who will find themselves out of a job during the strike and maybe for a long time afterward," Bronson said. "They won't be spending here in Tehachapi."

An extended strike has added consequences for the studios. The Screen Actors' Guild contract is up in June, and if both unions are on the picket lines, it could shut down much of Hollywood.

"It would change television forever, what are they gonna put on, strictly news? Or I'm dancing with an elephant?" Napier asked.

"If you were to find both the actors and the writers out at the same time, i think you'd find a rather speedy agreement with the studios," Bronson said.

*ABC23 will update this story throughout the day with video and images.