Talk about everything happening at once...
On the same night that the WGA leadership presented to the membership the details of a tentative deal that looks almost certain to end the strike this week, the Guild also announced the winners of the "Writers Guild Awards '08" and PANDEMIC, a screenplay I co-wrote with my wife, Jackie, actually won the "Long Form Original" category!
This odd merging of events happened because, pre-strike, the Writers Guild Awards were scheduled for February 9. Once the strike was on, all attention had to go to that, so the black-tie and gown festivities were sacrificed. A simple posting of the winners on the web-site was substituted. Then, as fate would have it, the tentative deal came together this past week, and the membership meeting got scheduled for -- you guessed it -- February 9!
Who cares? Jackie and I are thrilled that the long nightmare of a strike is almost over and with a deal that seems to be reasonable, if not everything we'd want.
"Pandemic" was a Hallmark miniseries, four hours, that was, as the award states, "original," meaning that it was not based on any pre-existing material. It's a number of interlocking stories about an unexpected strain of Avian flu and how an outbreak in Los Angeles leads the military quarantine of the entire area. In its struture, it's a bit like "Crash" with microbes.
On a personal level, Jackie and I are so honored because this award comes from a panel of writers who actually read the scripts instead of watch the movies. We think it's humbling to be among the honored screenwriters who demonstrate why the work of writers is valuable and worth fighting for at this critical moment in the WGA's history. Here's to everyone going back to work in the days ahead!
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