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.
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.
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.
In the entertainment industry, there’s a lot of talk about project attachments. So-and-so is attached to direct. Attached to star. Attached to produce. Attached to finance, distribute, represent as a sales agent, etc.
This post is a look at what those attachments are and what they mean for your project.
When writers are first starting out, they’re typically hired to work for a company like an employee might: they agree on what services will be provided for what pay, they’ll fill out a bunch of tax forms to get inputted into the company’s payroll system, and the payroll system will issue a check payable to the individual that deducts taxes and other withholdings.
At some point, though, writers may find it more beneficial to incorporate and loan their services out to the production company through an intermediary. This post will take a look at how that works and in what situations that might be preferable.
In my most recent post about writing credit, I mentioned that one of the perks of receiving screen credit on an original project that’s signatory to the Writer’s Guild of America is the screenwriter is entitled to something called separated rights. This post will take a look at what separated rights are and why they’re so important.
For screenwriters, writing credit is a big deal. It’s a significant milestone that separates you from the majority of other working and aspiring writers out there, and there are often considerable financial benefits tied to receiving writing credit. This post will look at how writing credit is determined and what benefits are typically connected with receiving credit.