Hey, remember the weeks and months approaching the recent writers' strike, when all of Hollywood panicked and began rushing projects into production and feverishly coming up with contingency plans? Have you wondered why the looming Screen Actors Guild strike and the ongoing SAG/AFTRA catfight have not really provoked a similar hysteria? The New York Times'answer: because producers are calling SAG's bluff.

Or, in the Times' more tactful language: "the film industry's needs have overwhelmed any conviction that actors will actually walk out." That's its explanation for why big, expensive productions like Terminator Salvation, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Angels & Demons are steadfastly forging ahead despite the risk that a strike will send most of their casts off the set, leaving them with half a movie.

Could just be hubris, or willful stupidity. I haven't followed the recent guild developments closely enough to be able to speak with any authority on whether there will be a walkout any time soon. But look: the idea behind election markets (for example) is roughly that the best way to forecast the future is to see where large numbers of people are willing to put their money. That this time Hollywood bigwigs -- in particular, many of the people who will have a say in the outcome of any contract negotiations -- don't seem to be blinking in the face of a possible strike suggests to me that we aren't heading toward one, or at least not a protracted one. If we are, then it looks like a lot of people are going to be out a lot of money.
categories Movies, Cinematical