Writers Guild Approved “Additional Literary Material” Credit – The Hollywood Reporter
Members of the Writers Guild of America East and West voted to institute a “supplementary literary material” credit for feature films.
The credit will provide recognition to writers who previously could not receive feature film screen credits who work under contract with the Guild, have been employed to help with script development, or have sold or licensed a work for it and have submitted “literary material” to a screenplay, although they cannot claim authorship of the script. 73 percent of voting members voted in favor of the credit. Voting on the screen credits referendum began on November 2 and ended on November 15.
The proposed credit aims to recognize the work of writers who do not have authorship of a film but who nevertheless work on it: “feature film writers tend to have shorter, less complete and less precise resumes than TV writers with an equivalent work history, ”the Guild said in an explanation and frequently asked questions for members about the proposed change. The Guild’s Screen Credits Review Committee estimated that in 2020, approximately 185 screenwriters who worked on films for which the WGA determined credits did not receive credit for their work and would have a credit for “additional literary material” in place.
With these voting results, effective January 1, 2022, the WGA may offer “additional literary credit” to writers during the credit determination process, with the credit ultimately set to be posted on IMDb and the “Find a Writer” directory. From the WGA. . The credit is not retroactive and the studios will have to determine for themselves whether to include the credit in the final analysis of films: for the Guild to require that the credit be included in the final analysis of a film, they are expected to negotiate this in a future minimum base contract, and the current WGA base contract for film and television will expire after May 1, 2023.
However, the Guild noted that the television “editor” credit sets a precedent for how to institutionalize credit: “editor” credit began by being added to waivers rather than the minimum base agreement. the Guild. “The Guild started authorizing it in 2000, using codified language. It quickly became the norm, ”the Guild said in a document provided to members about the proposed credit. The WGA has drafted a waiver of the use of drafters in negotiating individual contracts with employers.
In recent weeks, the credit has sparked debate among Guild members, with some in favor saying the measure will help marginalized writers and some opposing suggesting that the credit would rob those with traditional screenplay credits on a power base. movie. In a statement from the Inclusion and Equity group of WGA West, the signatories, including Crazy Rich Asians writer Adele Lim and Unsafe Showrunner Prentice Penny said underrepresented writers often join a project late in the writing process to “do dialogue polishes, focused character work, or ‘authenticity passes'” and often do not receive traditional credit. “Please join us in voting YES in the referendum on screen credits. Let us put an end to the erasure of the names of our colleagues who work hard, ”they wrote.
A separate group that planned to reject the proposal, including writers Craig Mazin (Chernobyl) and Scott Frank (The Queen’s Gambit), meanwhile said in a statement that the institution of credit would harm all writers: cases be unjustified. And that will further expose this sausage-making itself – a pretty ugly process as it is, and one that uniquely defiles the status of writers, ”they wrote. Others who opposed the credit said it could open up writing credits to abuse by employers and individuals in other roles above the line, who could apply for the credit to individuals. friends or talents who do minimal script work.
During the debate, writers including former WGA Presidents West Howard A. Rodman and David A. Goodman and Rachel Bloom (crazy ex-girlfriend), John August (Aladdin) and Colin Trevorrow (Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker) voted in favor of the “Additional Literary Material” credit. Robert and Michelle King (The good fight) and Malcolm Spellman (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier) publicly opposed credit.