David Bloom, one of the writers of the British film Donkey Punch, has an entertaining essay up over at the Guardian about his Sundance experience, from smooth-talking LA producers to boisterous American audience members.
He also reiterates a good (if flippant) point about the state of writers in Hollywood:
The next morning the publicist hands me our press schedule. I search for my name. Nothing. What is going on here? Doesn't anyone want a photo of the writer? And everyone knows how much I love pancakes, especially those really thick ones with the fresh blueberries and the Grade 1 Vermont Maple Syrup, just like they serve at the "directors only" pancake breakfast.
And for the first time I realise what the American writers' strike is all about. The indignities that we writers suffer. Let's be clear. This is not about pancakes. This is about respect!
All humor aside, he's right. This is a very simple and fundamental truth underlying the WGA strike. There has never been much respect for writers in the film industry. Only stars - and directors who can make themselves stars - but hardly ever writers. And that also underlies why the strike was necessary, because the only time we seem to notice, and respect, them is when they're gone.
Obviously, the bottom line here is: show your solidarity! Buy a writer some pancakes!