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LauriD
02-26-2014, 12:34 AM
If several writers are involved in a non-WGA production, how are writing credits determined?

What contract clauses best protect the writer?

For example, I have seen:

"Although Producer is not a WGA signatory and Writers are not WGA members, writing credit shall, to the extent possible, be determined pursuant to the WGA guidelines, and to the extent possible, the principles of the WGA credit rules shall be followed by the parties in resolving any matters relating to the awarding of writing credit."

Does this work? Or is there a better version of this?

Since the WGA doesn't arbitrate for non-members, is there another organization that does this?

(Here's the WGA credits manual, if anyone's interested: http://www.wga.org/subpage_writersresources.aspx?id=167.)

JeffLowell
02-26-2014, 02:47 AM
That language basically means that the producer decides the credit.

LauriD
02-26-2014, 03:01 AM
That language basically means that the producer decides the credit.

So is there any better option for a non-WGA production?

EdFury
02-26-2014, 08:52 AM
So is there any better option for a non-WGA production?

The only answer I can think of is that you have guaranteed screen credit put in your original contract. That's how I've done it in the past. You make it part of the deal. Otherwise you're at the mercy of too many.

Centurio
02-26-2014, 10:49 AM
The only answer I can think of is that you have guaranteed screen credit put in your original contract. That's how I've done it in the past. You make it part of the deal. Otherwise you're at the mercy of too many.

Yep... only way is to have it as part of the contract.

cmmora
02-26-2014, 12:29 PM
I had it put into my contract. There was also a clause in there that if the director came in and did more than 50% of SUBSTANTIVE CONTENT changes to the finished script that they would get a credit also.

With this in my contract there was a dispute to what substantive meant. so be vigilant to what you agree to.

DavidK
02-26-2014, 02:48 PM
At gunpoint. Or, as others have said, in the contract. I've had a contract which stipulated that the writer's credit would appear on screen immediately following the director's credit and would appear for three seconds and would be in the same type and size font as the director's credit and would appear as a single credit. That might seem rather petty but it's the only way to ensure the outcome. Re. the example you give, phrases "to the extent possible" allow for manoeuvrability or discretion on the part of the producer, which is why you really need an entertainment attorney to protect your interests in any contractual arrangement. I know this isn't always possible and there's an amount of free-wheeling in indie production, but as a matter of habit it's good to do as much as possible by the book and under a professionally managed contract.

LIMAMA
02-27-2014, 03:33 PM
In my Showtime contract (which was non WGA) I was guaranteed sole screenplay credit.