Hollywood writers had been striking for three months, and actors joined them a month earlier. Together, they filled the picket lines outside the major studios in Hollywood. But the strikes aren’t just having an impact in California. The industry says it employs more than 1.7 million people outside of that state, and pays them $158 billion a year in wages.
Strikes affect places like Montana – where 1923, Introduction to the show YellowstoneFilming was set to begin in June, before a writers’ strike halted production. Tina Buckingham is the show’s casting director. She told Yellowstone Public Radio that this and other cancellations have been difficult for businesses across the state. “It’s devastating for the industry because it’s flowing downhill. All the people who provide the food, the restaurants, the people who are going to work on the movie. And the lumber companies to build the sets, and the horse riders, and it all goes on. The amount of money lost is massive.”
However, Buckingham says she stands with the amazing writers and actors. “I believe that. Both the writers and the actors categorically need better pieces for projects when they go live.”
Montana attracts big produce with its natural landscape, but Georgia attracts more tax breaks. The Motion Picture Association estimates that the film and television industry brought in $3.5 billion in wages last year to productions there that included such blockbusters as Sweet magnolia And One female drunk.
Brian Smith works as a clothing designer in Atlanta and is in a syndicate, but none of these amazing ones. He said that sitters did not appear in their productions live at the start of the WGA strike as they did in Hollywood, so at first much of the filming continued in Atlanta.
But as the strike dragged on into the summer, all his work dried up. It was hard for him.
“I miss my job,” said Smith, “it was something I loved to do.” He’s been hesitant to pick up side gigs, but he has to do it in order to get by now.
Strikes happen to help people like Jay Adams, who has worked as an actor and stuntman in Michigan for more than a decade. “You don’t know me,” he said, “but you see me on an episode of a TV show fall down and get hit by somebody.” “The people whose names you don’t know are the people you actually see a lot.”
Adams said he didn’t have to find a side gig when the strike began, because he always needed one anyway. He hopes the strike will help change that. “We’re very focused on this side business. We want to be able to work our job, be able to train for our job when we’re not working, and be able to make a good living and take care of our families.”
As the strikes continue, it appears that millions of people across the United States working in and around productive industries will have to wait.
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