A strike can be a scary time for creatives. No one is sure when it will end, and you can live off savings for only so long. But in Hollywood, many people are used to this kind of instability.
As a writer, I've always held a bunch of side jobs to make sure I can gather income, and I have had my fair share of lean years.
But one thing I have been thinking about, especially lately, is how we don't have to wait on Hollywood to be fixed to work on projects. If you can work truly independently, you could be making stuff right now.
This idea has become popular lately, with actor Mark Ruffalo outlining how it would be done.
Ruffalo shared a Deadline article and wrote a thread on Twitter about how we could use this time to change Hollywood.
His first follow-up Tweet reads, "One sure way to strengthen our hand right now is to become very supportive & friendly to all independent projects immediately. Push every SAG-AFTRA member to join the ones that get SAG-AFTRA (WGA) WAIVERS immediately. The studios have no competition—this will change that."
So how do we build competition for studios? Well, we have to make projects without them.
He advocated for a profit-sharing model where creatives share in successes. The basic idea is to get independent financiers or to raise money to make your projects. Right now, you can attract SAG-AFTRA talent to be a part of it, you just need to clear SAG-AFTRA waivers.
Obviously, you have to keep budgets low unless you find some mad millionaire to bankroll things at a higher level, but creating things you're then able to sell to distributors or release yourself has always been the dream.
This is not an option for everyone, but if you have lower-budget projects already written or ready now, this is the time to put out feelers to see if any of these talented people who are suddenly available want to jump in and make something.