'Star Trek XI' Losing Great Lines To Writers' StrikeBy T'Bonz
November 16, 2007 - 7:25 PM
J.J. Abrams revealed the writers' strike is already causing the new Trek film to miss out on some great lines.
John August, a screenwriter who had been blogging about his time on the picket lines, revealed that the writer's strike could impact filming of the new movie. "Neither J.J. nor Damon are writers on the movie," he explains, "But they are writers, and WGA members. During a WGA strike, you’re not allowed to write on movies or television shows, period. So they can’t change a word of the script, nor can anyone else. The script they had at 11:59 p.m. November 5th is the script they have to shoot. To a screenwriter, that might seem kind of awesome," continues August. "For once, the director can’t change things. But when its your own movie, it’s maddening. J.J. was describing a scene he was shooting the day before. Midway through it, he got a great idea for a new line. Which he couldn’t write. Couldn’t shoot. Couldn’t be in his movie.
Word had got around the picket lines that Star Trek would be shooting on Wednesday. August, who had struck up a friendship with Damon Lindelof, the producer of Star Trek XI, used his connections to contact both Lindelof and J.J. Abrams, who is directing the movie. "I suggested that Damon and J.J. spend some time walking, talking, and engaging with the picket line," explained August.
The writer's strike has been ongoing for almost two weeks. The primary issue is that of residuals, the small fee paid when movies or television shows that a writer has written are repeated either on re-runs or on DVDs. Residuals are an important part of a writer's earnings and are received quarterly. The complaint of the writers is that the residuals rate paid for DVDs is too low and should be adjusted upwards. Moreover, it is realized that downloads will supplant DVDs in the future and the writers wish to iron out residuals details before the fact and not afterwards (when they would be losing potential money.)
August found both Lindelof and Abrams engaging. He had never met Abrams before and had this to say about him, "In meeting him, I found he was smart, friendly and conflicted about what he should do." August went on to further describe the difficulty that some face on account of the strike, "J.J., Damon and I have the same basic encumbrances: contracts that put us in partnerships with the corporations we’re fighting."
For more on August's thoughts regarding the strike, head over to his blog.