Over at Craig's joint, he's endorsing an off-slate candidate for the WGAw board, one Jeff Kleeman. Jeff had the mad temerity to run against the Writer's United slate, and then got smacked around for it. Smacked around as if he had no right to run. Craig explains some of the (magnificently tedious) internal politics involved in the above referenced post.
In a word, this attitude is bullshit. What Jeff brings to the table is experience on the other side of the business end, as a studio exec and producer. This is a good thing. More arrows in the strategic quiver during what will certainly be one of the most important contract negotiations in the entire career of most screenwriters working now. I've worked with Jeff on a movie, talked an inordinate amount of business with him, and he's one of those guys who's so smart he constantly reminds me that I am pretty much faking any business savvy I picked up in the last 12 years. He is terrifyingly well-informed about the legal/contract side, and experienced in many aspects of the production business. Oh, and he's a pretty spiffy writer. I wanted to be one of the people officially endorsing Jeff, but I'm WGA East, so I was ineligible.
Which leads us to the other article at Craig's -- about possibly merging Writer's Guild East and West. I know I can and should switch, but the point that I have to has always irked me. I wrote television and movies in New York, and now that I write television and movies based out of LA, I need to fork over a couple grand in "processing fees"? This is an anachronism well past its due date, and I hope we'll move toward a merger soon.
All that aside, although I cannot officially endorse Jeff Kleeman as a member of his guild, I can certainly put in my two cents and say that I'd want him riding point on any assault against the suits in which I might be involved.
WGAw brethren and sistren, Vote Jeff Kleeman for the Board.