Meet the Negotiating Committee: John August
Bio: John August's credits include Aladdin, Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride, and Frankenweenie. He also co-hosts the popular weekly screenwriting podcast Scriptnotes.
What prompted you to join the Negotiating Committee?
As a writer who mostly works in features, I want to make sure screenwriters feel their needs are being addressed in negotiations. Having now served on the Negotiating Committee four times, I've come to learn a lot about issues facing writers throughout the Guild.
Tell us about a time when you have felt a strong feeling of solidarity with your fellow writers.
Early in the 2008 strike, we held a rally in Century City. It was the first time I realized just how big the WGA is. Even our large member meetings can only fit a small portion of our membership. When you put that many people together in a space, you can feel that energy.
What makes the 2023 contract cycle different from past ones that you have witnessed or in which you have participated?
I've never seen this level of member engagement, particularly so early in the process. I think that's because writers in every specialty, at every level, recognize we're facing a crisis in compensation. We have to maintain writing as a career, not a series of short gigs.