One of the less-documented joys of being a working screenwriter is when you open the mailbox to find a big green envelope. It’s a very distinctive shade of green…
…which is only used for one purpose: a WGA residual check.
You never know quite when these envelopes are coming, or how much will be inside. Half the fun is guessing before you rip it open. If a successful movie you wrote has recently come out on DVD, the check could be for tens of thousands of dollars. Or for a movie like Go, it could be a few hundred, for showing on Cinemax. Regardless, it’s found money, and cause for jubilation.
Recently, I’ve been getting a bunch of little checks, on the order of $425.60. They’re payments for D.C., the staggeringly unsuccessful show I created for the WB in 2000. Although it only ran three episodes in the U.S., apparently all seven episodes ran in Europe.
Unbeknownst to me, the WGA did an investigation, and figured out that I was owed residuals for this. So they got Universal to pay me.
It’s not a lot of money, but strictly on principle I’m very grateful for it. Accountants are rarely lauded as heroes. So here’s a shout-out to the WGA collections department, and David DelVecchio in particular, for tracking down every last cent writers are owed.