All signs indicate this is going to be a long strike for the WGA, so at some point lower-echelon writers may be forced to look for alternate sources of income if they haven't been socking enough money away into savings.
I realize a meager $2500 per week (starting pay for an entry-level TV writer) is not very much money-- okay, I don't realize that. But I'm trying to be helpful.
If financially vulnerable writers are loathe to flipping burgers or waiting on network executives at the Ivy to sustain themselves during the strike, I've got a suggestion: Porn.
Think about it; what's your biggest complaint about porn? Some of you probably said, "Not enough money shots, " or "Better camera angles on the money shots," or even "Better camera angles on money shots and more of them,"-- well, fine, I'll pass those suggestions along.
I'm talking about better scripts. Strike-idled writers could work under the table (figuratively) using assumed names to punch up, or maybe a better term is fluff, the scripts, applying their talent to an area of porn much in need of their expertise. There's only one place in porn that I want wood and it's not in the dialogue.
Imagine the possibilities if a Jon Robin Baitz, say, or an Alan Ball were to write porn. Dysfunctional families populated with self-absorbed, hot, well-lit characters navigate choppy emotional waters trying to find ways to connect with each other. Just like regular TV, except now they have a new way to connect and the climax could even include, well, a climax.
I realize writing for porn may not give the same satisfaction as learning to appreciate the little things, like the difference between medium-rare and medium-well; and it may not have the dignity of making an honest dollar by refilling Jeff Zucker's coffee; but at some point your hands are going to start cramping up from waving that picket sign.
An article on CNN.com in February talked about how hedge fund managers are rushing to the brave new frontier of adult entertainment, mentioning one respected investor "who's been going after companies he sees as ripe for turbocharged growth." It sounds like they're thinking about it in the appropriate terms, and I may have enjoyed reading that a bit too much.
Also, let me point out, the AVN Awards (dubbed the Oscars of porn) held annually in Las Vegas have become more star-studded with each passing year. They've even been called by one news outlet "the only exciting awards show," although that could have more than one meaning.
Hollywood movies took in almost $9.5 billion in theaters in 2006 while the adult entertainment industry made $12 billion. Considering those numbers, along with HBO's new, not-so-soft core trial balloon, Tell Me You Love Me, finishing up it's first season tonight, who knows where audiences' tastes and television is headed? If possibly big, carnal changes are coming to TV programming in the near future, surreptitiously boning up on a new genre during the strike might be worth considering.
And have you ever heard about a strike in the adult entertainment industry?