• Michael Russell Gunn (COM’07)

    Michael Russell Gunn (COM’07) Profile

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There are 8 comments on POV: I’m a Hollywood Screenwriter. This Is Why Our Strike Matters to You

  1. Though all the concerns here are valid, it is interesting that Mr. Gunn sees himself as the “canary in a coal mine”, as if he were the first to be threatened by automation.

    He casually dismisses those who have had their livelihoods impacted by technology before him. “Robots on assembly lines and tractors on farms is one thing”, he says. To the displaced factory workers who had to go find a new way to survive it’s not so different.

    Writers are just another bump in the road as technology will soon be able to perform most any job better, cheaper and faster than a human can. Mr. Gunn is right though, it is time to make a stand. Machines make be able to make movies, but we might not be around to watch them if we don’t.

  2. As important as it is, this strike has seriously hurt my son, who works as a DP, grip, gaffer, AC and just about any film, TV, or video production job he can get. In a field where you have to hustle to get work anyway it now is next to impossible to get anything. Those complaining about the encroachment of the gig economy seem blind to the experience of a production crewmwmber that has to wait for a call, and can’t take a steady job without risking having to leave two weeks in to respond to a 1 week gig opportunity. Getting 3 to 4 such jobs a year for $300 – $400 a day has meant my son has lost his apartment and is suffering depression and re-evaluating his self worth. What is being done for the craft workers and creatives that aren’t writers or actors during this strike? It seems to me selfish and irresponsible to throw those who were already at the margins into such an untenable position without giving them something to hold them over and remind them that the industry that they feel so passionate cares about them.

  3. It sounds like you guys didn’t think AI was coming for jobs that require creativity. Some dumb hick who works on an assembly line or some illiterate farmer? Sure those guys will lose their menial jobs under the steamroller of technological advancement (oh look, I can write too) but artists can’t be replaced. Surprise! I’m guessing you’re a tree-hugger so try this one for size…the fewer people traveling to a studio the lower the carbon emissions will be. Also, less waste and garbage will be created (and I don’t mean the shows). If a machine can do something faster and cheaper with relatively the same quality then machines will be used to do that job. It’s always been that way. When’s the last time you took a rickshaw to work? Even if the rickshaw driver really needed the job and was great at it? No, you’re still driving your car because it’s better. Finding a way to make yourself irreplaceable is probably the answer.

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