How credit arbitration works

John and Craig take an in-depth look at how screenwriting credits are determined. In some ways, credit arbitration is a luxury problem — the movie you wrote got made! — but it’s one of the most controversial, contentious and misunderstood parts of a screenwriter’s career.

How residuals get divided between writers

If two writers share a credit slot (like screenplay), that portion of residuals is split squarely between them.

How residuals work

Craig and John take a look at awards-season screeners before going deep into a discussion of how residuals work and why they’re so important to screenwriters. Plus, a visit from Craig’s cleaning lady, who thinks he’s insane.

Undervalued simplicity, and WGA coverage for videogames

John and Craig tackle reader questions about self distribution, pseudonyms, separated rights, and studios’ feelings about international versus domestic box office.

WGA, copyright and musicals

In episode five of Scriptnotes, Craig and I dive deep into the esoterica of the WGA, copyright and separated rights as prelude to a discussion of two ongoing lawsuits: Jessica Bendinger vs. the Bring It On musical and Harlan Ellison vs. In Time.

Pitching a take, and the WGA elections

Today marks the inaugural episode of Scriptnotes, a podcast that Craig Mazin and I are trying out. It’s meant to be a weekly-or-so conversation about items of interest to screenwriters, from getting stuff written to dealing with insane producers.

WGA Elections, 2011 Edition

WGA members should have received ballots this week for the 2011 election. You’ll see my name listed on several endorsements for candidates I think are terrific, but I also want to give a more general overview of the issues and personalities involved.

Anatomy of a script series

Every year, the Writers Guild Foundation holds a series of discussions with film and television writers focusing on one of their past or current projects. This year, I’ll be a guest, talking about Big Fish.

Getting paid late

A screenwriter colleague recently vented her frustration with always getting paid late for her studio jobs. I didn’t have any particularly good advice for her — what she describes is hardly unique. In fact, the situation is so much the norm that I asked if she would write up a post about her experiences, since I’ve never really discussed it on the blog.

Election results announced

The votes have been counted in the WGAw Board election.

WGA election time again

WGAw members should now have received ballots for the Board election. It’s an important vote, because this Board will be setting the agenda for the next round of negotiations.

Credits referendum overwhelmingly approved

The three uncontroversial proposals for amending the TV and screen credits process passed by a large margin.

Producers, managers and deals

How much should a first-time writer expect to make on a sale?

WGA credits proposals on the ballot

If you’re a WGAw member, you probably got a ballot in the mail over the weekend. There are three proposals, all amendments dealing with credit determination.

WGAw screenwriter survey

WGAw screenwriters should have received an email yesterday about an online survey the Guild is conducting. Please find the email — it might get stuck in your spam filter — and click the link.

What’s wrong with the business

Writers are making less money, and it’s part of a bigger shift in the industry.

WGA election results

While most WGA members have already taken a look at the results, other readers might be curious to see the results of the WGA election.

WGA members: please vote

Deadline for ballots is the 17th.

On the WGA elections

Looking through the candidates’ statements and endorsements, I want to explain my priorities for this election.

The only one who has seen the movie

At a screenwriting panel last week, Robin Swicord said something that reframed the issue in a very helpful way.

Based on an idea by…

“Based on an idea by” is a rare credit, for good reason.

Notes on the state of the industry

Matt gives the full report from a WGA panel about the film industry.

Script to greenlight panel

WGA hosts a panel and Q&A on studio feature development.

More Remnants

I was happy to get such a strong reaction since posting the pilot for The Remnants. Every few days, we get a surge of hits as new sites link to it. A fan even set up Draft The Remnants to get people to pledge their love. For something that’s been sitting on a shelf for […]

Cablevision and the infinite TiVo

How technology could upend the economics of filmed entertainment.