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View Full Version : Producer Question: Foreign sales and WGA-ness


WriterManJimbo
08-26-2013, 05:25 PM
I'm WGA. I was flirting with a indy project that we were going to work with the ultra-low budget agreement. Things were going fine until the producer insisted it couldn't be WGA because it was a major pain and very costly for the royalties.

Not so much the payouts, but the costs to hire an agency to track them down. Basically, my involvement in the project will now be done...

Anyone know anything about these 'agencies' you must hire to track down foreign royalties? Is this all a load of crap to get me to not get royalties?

Anybody know?

markerstone
08-27-2013, 09:38 AM
It smells like a large load of crap... this may be a thing, but any producer with integrity and a desire to continue producing would adhere to all union guidelines.

markerstone
08-27-2013, 09:41 AM
Contact your lawyer/agent/manager...

LateNightWriter
08-27-2013, 12:35 PM
Red flag for me. The WGA has very forgiving guidelines for ultra-low budget indies, and they bend over backward to make it as easy as possible for producers to work within the guidelines, including deferred payment, etc.

I ran into this with a foreign producer who told me that the "WGA would never know" blah blah blah and that "WGA writers do it all the time." It's the line you hear from producers who have no intention of paying the writer. Don't be that writer, and don't risk your WGA membership on it.

Just my $.02.

Late Night Writer

WriterManJimbo
08-27-2013, 01:23 PM
Oh, I'm not. My question isn't 'should I do it', my question is -- is it true? Is there some issue about Royalties that goes way beyond just what I get paid. Is there an issue that makes it a no-go in the indy world? And what's the ballpark numbers behind it.

In this case, the producer was happy to do the signatory paperwork and file the low-budget and give the deferred. It wasn't the upfront $$ or the minimums. It was specific to the royalties and the mess they cause for foreign sales. I'm just trying to get a better knowledge of it...to see if I can talk him into still going WGA and still working with me.

Juno Styles
08-28-2013, 11:13 AM
Weird. Sounds more like something a producer doing a non-union indy project would say.

LateNightWriter
08-28-2013, 03:15 PM
Why would the producer be concerned about that? The Guild goes after the royalties. Unless this producer is going to be the responsible party...

It just sounds like a convenient excuse.

Late Night Writer

WriterManJimbo
08-28-2013, 05:46 PM
Why would the producer be concerned about that? The Guild goes after the royalties. Unless this producer is going to be the responsible party...

It just sounds like a convenient excuse.

Late Night Writer

His claim is that for foreign sales the distributors have to hire an agent that charges.(I think he said upward of 20%). And some distributors are reluctant to do it or take it off the top.

jimjimgrande
08-29-2013, 09:48 PM
smells fishy to me, but I suggest you call the guild.

Tell them you're negotiating with a producer, and it's going to be WGA etc. but that he's leveraging your price with a claim about agencies to collect royalties.

also, do you have a lawyer doing this deal for you? If you don't, get one. He or she should know.

LateNightWriter
08-30-2013, 02:49 PM
What JimJim said. Distributor costs should not be the writer's concern..

Late Night Writer

Craig Mazin
08-31-2013, 12:18 PM
I don't think he's correct.

Call the WGA and ask to speak with someone in Independent Film Contracts. If they don't help, I'll put you in touch with Howard Rodman.