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.
If this topic makes your eyes glaze over, just vote YES on all three. They’re not remotely controversial.
Screen Amendment #1 affects screen credits for feature films.
Under the current rules, if a writer takes a director or producer credit on a film, she risks losing her writing credit. She’s considered a “production executive” and held to a 50% threshold rather than the normal 33%. This proposal would level the playing field when it comes to non-original screenplays — that is, adaptations of previously existing work. Any writer working on a non-original screenplay would need to have written a third of it to receive credit.
Screen Amendment #1 leaves in place the rules with regards to spec scripts. “Production executives” who rewrite someone else’s original screenplay (a spec) must demonstrate that they wrote more than 50% of it to receive writing credit.
TV Amendment #1 allows for the arbitration panel to teleconference. Having been an arbiter, I can promise you this is a good idea. It allows arbiters to maintain anonymity while reaching consensus on proper writing credit. Without a teleconference, it ends up being a lot of little phone calls and confusion.
TV Amendment #2 cleans up the language in the TV credits manual. The ballot pamphlet shows the red-lining.