As our industry continues to move forward, we’re not completely out of our strike times just yet. With Surviving the Strike, we’re exploring how industry professionals have been managing to keep their lights on while Hollywood has its own temporary shut-off.
In this installment, composer Michael B. Wilson, who’s also a member of the Society of Composers & Lyricists, virtually sat down with Casting Networks to share how he’s been making it through this time.
Editors’ Note: Wilson interviewed while both the WGA and SAG-AFTRA were fully on strike.
Wilson shared how the beginning of this year had been the busiest time of his career so far before the WGA strike began on May 2 and the SAG-AFTRA strike followed on July 14. On top of other work, he’d been assisting film and TV composer Leo Birenberg on projects ranging from Cobra Kai to Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous to Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.
Then the strikes hit, and the composer shared how his area of the industry, specifically, was impacted. “[With] us being in post-production, it’s taken us a bit longer to feel the effects of the strikes just because we’re at the end of the chain,” Wilson noted. “But you know, now that we’re into it, we definitely are feeling it.”
The composer added that he’s grateful to still have work in the form of assisting Birenberg on Netflix’s upcoming series Obliterated, as well as an animated project for Prime Video. He acknowledged that while the film/TV industry is slow, he currently still has enough on his plate. “As of right now, it’s enough to get me through what’s going on.”
When asked about his hopes for the future, Wilson touched on some of the major issues. “I hope [that] going forward, we can come to a solution that allows creators in all of the spaces within our industry to be able to earn residuals that are fair and something that we can live off of,” he asserted. “Because for many, many years, that has been a possibility for those working in this industry. And over the last decade-ish, those numbers have slowly but surely decreased.”
Wilson wrapped the interview with his desire for a new system that would allow for industry members to not just survive, but also thrive in their chosen career paths. “I just hope that is something that can be restructured in a way where all of us here in Hollywood are able to succeed and make a living,” he concluded.
You can catch all those insights and more in this on-camera installment of Surviving the Strikes.
This video interview has been edited and condensed.
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