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Celtic Studios, local actor reflect on Hollywood strikes potentially ending

2 months 1 week 5 days ago Monday, September 25 2023 Sep 25, 2023 September 25, 2023 6:18 PM September 25, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Five months of writers and actors striking for better wages and fair pay has halted production in Hollywood and here in the Capital city.

"There was a lot of skepticism coming into this year and there wasn't a lot of production starting up because of all the worry about the strikes happening," Celtic Studios Executive Director Kevin O'Neil said.

With headway being made with the different unions, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and O'Neil says it is bright.

"We'll have a lot once we get back to work. Like I always say, I don't think there should be an empty studio or a production person out of work for probably a good three years after this."

One person looking forward to getting back to work is LSU adjunct professor and actor Joe Chrestmost recently known for his role as Ted Wheeler on Stranger Things.

In fact, the highly-anticipated final season of the show was supposed to be filmed by now.

"We were just getting ready to get together to start shooting it, I mean just a couple weeks away, when the writer's strike hit," Chrest said.

Stranger Things streams on Netflixa company at the heart of the strikes.

"The streaming contracts and residuals just aren't in line with the old network way."

Chrest is fortunate to have been in the business for a long time and doesn't depend on streaming residuals.

"Somebody like myself, who's been doing it for 30 years, it doesn't really impact as much. I have all that work that existed prior to streaming."

There is a downside, he says, other than not being able to work. The strike prevents studios and actors from promoting projects that are coming out. For Chrest, it's the upcoming Martin Scorcese film, Killers of the Flower Moon.

"You know I have a lot of really good stuff that I'm proud to be in, but I can't really promote it."

Through the struggles, Chrest says he supports his striking colleagues.

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