Hi. I'm Steve Marmel.
Unless you're one of the people I work for or work with, you probably don't know me... but chances are your kids might.
It's nothing creepy - I don't pose as a 13 year old girl on Myspace - I've been an animation writer for nearly ten years now, starting with the worst freelance "Batman - The Animated Series" script that was never produced, through Johnny Bravo, Fairly Oddparents and now, over at Disney on "Yin Yang Yo."
Consequently, I have a "written by" on a lot of stuff that is shown over and over and over and over again. That's probably why your kids know my name (although they probably pronounce it Marmle instead of Mar-Mel, like I was some sort of Kryptonian Jew.)
For writing animation, I get no residuals, but I knew that going into it.
As an animation writer, I am represented by a different union - Local 839 of IATSE, which stands for the International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees. I get a very nice health plan out of it, and some sort of pension, but that's it. My union, or alliance, is sort of a combination of a trade organization and Allstate. We're also not on strike.
I'm losing you, aren't I?
Okay, okay. Back to my point.
Most of what I do isn't to entertain you. So I don't expect you to care that I don't get another penny. In fact, considering how shrill Cosmo's voice is, and how often you hear him say the same lines repeated on Nickelodeon, I can only imagine that you probably think I owe you money. Fair enough.
But most of the people who are on strike are the people that DO entertain you. 24. Sopranos. Scrubs. Lost. Heroes. Shows like that, for people like you, that are interested in stories instead of watching B list celebrities skate, dance, date or lose weight. (Not a fan of reality, btw.) I'm not going to bore you with percentages, or residuals history. I'm not. I'm just going to ask you:
Don't you want to reward the people who are getting into this to entertain you? The human adult?
They're not trying to teach your kids a lesson, or babysit your child, or bring a new generation of young folk into the wonderful world of fart jokes (guilty!). These are sophisticated and smart individuals, passionate and creative souls, who do something that only a handful of people on the planet can do well.
Aren't these the people you should be supporting?