Accelerated production due to impending writers strike will slow movie, TV prospects for 2008

The looming Writers Guild of America strike would be “devastating” to Chicago production, said Local 476 business manager Mark Hogan. “The major production companies won’t attempt to produce anything until the strike is settled.”

It would end production on the Lifetime “Family Practice” series scheduled to shoot in Chicago where the law firm story is set.

The WGA contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) ends Oct. 31.

Since the two bargaining entities are still miles apart on compensation from new media, “A strike on Nov. 1 is a real option,” said WGA West president Patric Verrone.

Strike authorization ballots were sent to Writers Guild members and are due back by Oct. 18.

“We have had six across-the-table sessions and have been met with only silence and stonewalling,” said J. Nicholas Counter III, president of the motion picture alliance.

“The WGA leadership is hidebound to strike. We are farther apart today than when we started, and the only outcome we see is a disaster,” he said.