Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The WGA Strike and the Geek Perspective

Last night, television writer/producer Rob Long hung out with me and the rest of the geeks at Geekerati to discuss the current WGA strike. In addition to covering the expected questions like, "why the strike is happening" and "how will this affect the current television season," Rob discussed the ways new technology are going to change the ways we interact with visual entertainment. He discussed the need for writers to get their foot into the door when it comes to receiving their fair share of the "digital dollar" and what the digital future will look like.

You can listen to the episode by pressing pressing the play button below.

Or you can download the episode directly at the Geekerati website or on iTunes.

Rob Long is a writer and producer in Hollywood. He began his career writing on TV's long-running "Cheers," and served as co-executive producer in its final season. During his time on the series, “Cheers” received two Emmy Awards, and two Golden Globe awards. His most recent television series were "George and Leo," starring Bob Newhart and Judd Hirsh, “Love & Money,” on CBS, and “Men, Women & Dogs,” on the WB Network – all three of which he created with his writing partner, Dan Staley. Their production company, Staley/Long Productions, was based at Paramount Studios from 1993 to 2001, and is currently based at ABC Studios. In addition, he and his partner have served as creative consultants on numerous programs. Mr. Long has been twice nominated for an Emmy Award, and has received a Writers Guild of America award.

He has co-written several feature film scripts, including “Just a Shot Away,” currently in pre-production with a France-based production company.

His first book, Conversations with My Agent, chronicled his early career in television. It was published in the UK by Faber & Faber, in the US by Dutton, and in France by Actes Sud. His second book, Set up, Joke, Set Up, Joke, was published in November 2005 by Bloomsbury. He is also a co-founding partner in Madison Road Entertainment, an integrated advertising production company.

He is a contributing editor of National Review, Newsweek International, and the Los Angeles Times and writes occasionally for the Wall Street Journal and the BBC Radio Times (UK). His weekly radio commentary, “Martini Shot,” is broadcast on the Los Angeles public radio station KCRW, and is distributed nationally. It’s also podcast in iTunes, and can be found here: http://www.kcrw.com/show/ma

In addition to his work in television, film, and politics, Mr. Long is also a new media entrepreneur. His limited partnership venture, Yurth.com, is a fast-growing video site that combines videos, entertainment, news, and information all in a dynamic map-based interface. It can be found at Yurth.com.

He speaks often in front of trade, political, and community groups, including National Review Institute, CATO Institute, the Wednesday Morning Club, the Los Angeles Public Library Foundation, and the “Conversations/Design” Series on topics ranging from Hollywood and politics, screenwriting, contemporary media, and “how to break into the entertainment industry.”

Mr. Long graduated from Yale University, and spent two years at UCLA School of Film, Theater and Television, where he occasionally serves as an Adjunct Professor of Screenwriting. He serves as co-president on the Board of Directors of My Friend’s Place, an agency for homeless teens in Hollywood and is on the board of the American Cinema Foundation. He’s also an active and passionate member of the Southern Foodways Alliance.

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