SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Weeks into the nationwide writer’s strike, the movie production industry in New Mexico continues to feel the effects.
“The writers start it all. It all begins with the words and if you don’t have the words, you have nothing,” said Melinda Snodgrass, a member of the Writers Guild of America.
Members of WGA took to the state’s capitol on Friday in hopes of getting studios’ attention.
“The biggest thing for me is fair pay of course we need to improve that with the residuals changing and syndication changing it’s not sustainable, but also the mini rooms is really the way forward,” said a Writer at the protest, Sid Gray.
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Writers said wages have stayed stagnant in the past 10 years. They want fair pay and residuals. According to protestors, mini writing rooms, where writers work for a short amount of time instead of longer periods, are hurting writers. WGA members mentioned writers are often barred from set.
“If you are in a room, you get to take part in editing, in casting. You learn how the business works. What is happening to us is that we’re killing the next generation. We are not creating the next generation of young writers,” said Snodgrass.
Writers added they want those mini rooms abolished so that writers get experience and credit for their work. They said the rooms do not give creators the opportunity to see their work come to life on set. They feel as though they aren’t a part of telling the story anymore.
Gray added in the past, productions would keep writers on set in a writer’s room. This would give them an opportunity to be involved in making the movie. She said now because of short-term writing rooms, writers are sent home after they write their script.
“Writers are the ones that create the story. It’s our conflict that we want to explore. It’s our pain we want to share. It’s our joy we want to share. It’s amazing being able to do that, but if you can’t really help shape that vision and if you can’t be a part of it to its full extent, it loses some of the joy,” Gray added.
Friday’s strike comes after two productions this week paused work to stand in solidarity with writers.