Working For Free

Working without compensation is one of those issues that a lot of people have really strong feelings about, regardless of what side of the spectrum those feelings fall.

In general, support for the idea of working for free is something along the lines of, “You never know what opportunities will pan out, so you should take chances, even if there’s no money involved.”

Conversely, opposition to the idea of working for free is usually based on the argument that working for free establishes no value for your work, and can very quickly lead to getting taken advantage of.

So which one of these positions is correct?

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Best of 2017

I’m not big on ranked lists. I think they tend to invite argument more than they facilitate healthy discussion and conversation.

“How is X only at #10?”

“You don’t honestly think A was better than B?”

“Where’s C?”

But I do believe in giving credit where credit is due, so this is my list of favorite movies from 2017. In alphabetical order and without any qualifications, these are the great movies, guilty pleasures, and good times I had at the theater last year.

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Additional Writing By

This is going to be a bit of a departure from my usual blog posts. Rather than writing up a relatively objective explanation of a concept, I’m going to get a little theoretical and propose an idea I’ve had rattling around in my head about how writers are credited, particularly as it relates to the Writers Guild of America and its rules.

In particular, I want to explore possible ways to maintain the integrity of the WGA’s existing credit structure while also addressing the problem of so many Guild writers being excluded from receiving credit.

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Profit Participation

Profit participation is a very complex topic that is the subject of a great many accounting disputes, legal claims, and general ill-will between companies and the people to whom they’re supposed to be paying participations.

This post is an attempt to give as simple a picture as possible. Even so, this is your fair warning that this is going to be a very long post, and I will be generalizing or simplifying a lot of really complex concepts for the sake of providing a clearer, broader overview.

Also, please keep my disclaimer in mind. I am by no means an undisputed authority on this topic and in trying to distill a complex process down, there will likely be some details that you’ll want to consult an attorney and/or accountant about before diving into profit participation on your own deals.

For everyone else, I hope this overview helps to demystify this complicated concept a bit.

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An individual who serves in more than one professional capacity is informally called a “hyphenate.” Some people, for example, are writer/directors, writer/producers, actor/producers, author/entrepreneurs, etc.

Let’s take a look at what it means to be a hyphenate, and the pros and cons of calling yourself one.

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WGA Negotiations

This is just a quick note to say that I strongly recommend checking out the Negotiations Special episode (#327) of The Writers Panel podcast, for anyone interested in what’s going on with the current negotiations between the WGA and AMPTP (and really, that should probably be everyone that reads this blog).

Ben Blacker talks with former WGA President Chris Keyser, as well as other guild members about what’s going on with the negotiations and the call for a strike authorization vote. It’s incredibly informative, and clearly addresses a lot of the questions and uncertainty that writers have over the upcoming vote.

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