The writer’s strike hit the Hollywood economy hard. Experts say that the 3-month shutdown had led to $2.5 billion in lost business. Aside from the wages, awards shows like the Golden Globes were cancelled (that event alone cost $60 million n cancelled ads and promos).
The writer’s strike has got many people thinking about the Hollywood economy — and how most of the industry don’t lead the glamorous, luxurious life of A-list celebrities.
Though the 2006 study of the Motion Picture Association of America pins the average HOllywood salary at $73,000 a year, most employees get much, much lower than that. The average includes executive salaries, which reach millions of dollars a year. But carpenters, set decorators and scriptwriters are lucky to get $50,000 to $80,000 annually.
Pretty good rate, but factor in that these jobs aren’t steady. Most will work 8 months of a year, and will have to audition or bid for positions. Writer Diana Ljungaeus says “it’s milearned a place where everyone is something else.” Cab drivers are directors, cashiers are stand up comics. Most take two or three jobs to support a craft.
“Very few people can live off the arts of TV, theater and film. It’s a few that can and they live well. The rest of the hopeful are just struggling,” she adds.