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Old 05-29-2019, 08:27 PM   #1
TravisPickle
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Default WGA-ATA stalemate. workaround?

hey all

earlier this April I had to fire my agent as per the WGA.

he represented me as a writer but part of our work together centered around positioning me as a writer-director and not "just" a writer.

under that circumstance (writer-director) would he and I be able to talk about a specific project I am working on? ironically i don't even think i will be writing it, as it's based on a short story and the writer will get a crack at writing the script.

i just want to know from others if projects intended as directing vehicles "clear" us from any potential WGA-related issues.
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Old 05-29-2019, 09:38 PM   #2
JoeBanks
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Default Re: WGA-ATA stalemate. workaround?

many of the big "hyphenates" apparently have kept their Big-4 agents on the directing side (for now). how that works in practice i have no idea
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Old 05-30-2019, 11:46 AM   #3
AnyOtherName
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Default Re: WGA-ATA stalemate. workaround?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TravisPickle View Post
hey all

earlier this April I had to fire my agent as per the WGA.

he represented me as a writer but part of our work together centered around positioning me as a writer-director and not "just" a writer.

under that circumstance (writer-director) would he and I be able to talk about a specific project I am working on? ironically i don't even think i will be writing it, as it's based on a short story and the writer will get a crack at writing the script.

i just want to know from others if projects intended as directing vehicles "clear" us from any potential WGA-related issues.
Frankly, I think the sort of behavior you're considering would undermine our union and serve as a slap in the face to everyone who's made sacrifices for the long-term benefit of writers.

You can talk to your agent about future projects if/when this gets resolved, or, better yet, you can go sign with Verve!
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Old 05-31-2019, 09:57 AM   #4
Mintclub
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Default Re: WGA-ATA stalemate. workaround?

*

Last edited by Mintclub : 06-01-2019 at 02:35 AM.
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Old 05-31-2019, 11:03 AM   #5
TravisPickle
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Default Re: WGA-ATA stalemate. workaround?

Get off yer horse mate. I just asked a question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnyOtherName View Post
Frankly, I think the sort of behavior you're considering would undermine our union and serve as a slap in the face to everyone who's made sacrifices for the long-term benefit of writers.

You can talk to your agent about future projects if/when this gets resolved, or, better yet, you can go sign with Verve!
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Old 05-31-2019, 11:14 AM   #6
AnyOtherName
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Default Re: WGA-ATA stalemate. workaround?

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Get off yer horse mate. I just asked a question.
I know, but your question was "can I limit my personal sacrifice for the collective good with this shady 'workaround'?"

And to be clear, I'm not condemning you for asking the question! The same sorts of schemes have occurred to me, and, I'm sure, to many, many others. None of us would have survived in this industry if it wasn't in our nature to seek out any advantage, any tiny opening we can pry open to usher our projects through.

There is nothing immoral about imagining this sort of thing. But it would be deeply immoral to act on it. That was the only point I was trying to make, and I apologize if it wasn't clear.
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Old 05-31-2019, 11:20 AM   #7
asteven50
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Default Re: WGA-ATA stalemate. workaround?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnyOtherName View Post
Frankly, I think the sort of behavior you're considering would undermine our union and serve as a slap in the face to everyone who's made sacrifices for the long-term benefit of writers.

You can talk to your agent about future projects if/when this gets resolved, or, better yet, you can go sign with Verve!
Come on man, that's not helpful. He was asking a legitimate question about being a hyphenate. The WGA has issued statements about hyphenates during this process and they'd probably tell OP that what he's talking about is totally fine.

Oh, also... Verve doesn't have a packaging department. So as much as they're being painted as a white knight in this whole process, the truth is they never had much skin in the game. They're not in the ATA, they don't have an affiliate Production Company, and signing the COC cost them relatively nothing... and they still held out for a month. Think about that a moment.
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Old 05-31-2019, 12:18 PM   #8
AnyOtherName
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Default Re: WGA-ATA stalemate. workaround?

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Come on man, that's not helpful. He was asking a legitimate question about being a hyphenate. The WGA has issued statements about hyphenates during this process and they'd probably tell OP that what he's talking about is totally fine.

Oh, also... Verve doesn't have a packaging department. So as much as they're being painted as a white knight in this whole process, the truth is they never had much skin in the game. They're not in the ATA, they don't have an affiliate Production Company, and signing the COC cost them relatively nothing... and they still held out for a month. Think about that a moment.
I strongly disagree. If you're legitimately a director (you've directed features before and regularly go out on ODAs), that's one thing; if you're a writer who marginally directs (or, worse, hopes to direct) and is therefore keeping his agent to rep him "as a director," that DEFINITELY violates the spirit of this action. I don't think that's remotely a gray area. I mean heck, the very title of the original post framed it as a "workaround" for the collective sacrifice we're all making. I don't think TravisPickle left much to the imagination as to what his aims were (though see my post above-- I don't blame anyone for brainstorming/daydreaming.)

And I don't think it remotely matters whether Verve has packaging agents (though, FWIW, they do). The argument isn't "go to Verve because they're so great and moral and deserve a prize." The argument is, "go to Verve because Verve is a model for what agencies should look like." If that model becomes increasingly successful, while the cartel model of agencies becomes increasingly unsuccessful, writers win. If people keep trying to come up with "workarounds," writers lose.
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Old 05-31-2019, 01:11 PM   #9
asteven50
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Default Re: WGA-ATA stalemate. workaround?

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Originally Posted by AnyOtherName View Post
I strongly disagree. If you're legitimately a director (you've directed features before and regularly go out on ODAs), that's one thing; if you're a writer who marginally directs (or, worse, hopes to direct) and is therefore keeping his agent to rep him "as a director," that DEFINITELY violates the spirit of this action. I don't think that's remotely a gray area. I mean heck, the very title of the original post framed it as a "workaround" for the collective sacrifice we're all making. I don't think TravisPickle left much to the imagination as to what his aims were (though see my post above-- I don't blame anyone for brainstorming/daydreaming.)

And I don't think it remotely matters whether Verve has packaging agents (though, FWIW, they do). The argument isn't "go to Verve because they're so great and moral and deserve a prize." The argument is, "go to Verve because Verve is a model for what agencies should look like." If that model becomes increasingly successful, while the cartel model of agencies becomes increasingly unsuccessful, writers win. If people keep trying to come up with "workarounds," writers lose.
How are you drawing the line between "legitimate" directors and "marginal" directors? DGA membership? So if you're DGA then you can go ahead and keep talking to your agents, but OP can't?

I don't think anybody here is suggesting that they pretend to be a director so they can go around the WGA and meet with their agent. I'm not going to speak for OP but from his post, what he asked was if he can continue having conversations with his agent about a potential directing vehicle. The answer, according to the DGA, is yes. And you shouldn't shame him for doing it.
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Old 05-31-2019, 01:15 PM   #10
Bono
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Default Re: WGA-ATA stalemate. workaround?

I agree with AnyOtherName -- he may have not said it nice enough for Travis -- but he was honest. And I respond to that.

But if you ask a public question, sometimes you get responses you don't like.

And yes workaround says "I'm trying to work the system..." not asking a sincere, oh can I still talk to my rep about directing projects?

You want our blessing, to say go for it -- and my guess is this one of those area that is up to you the person. I wouldn't do it myself, but I don't have this issue right now.

I think of Jon Stewart during WGA strike, starting doing the Daily Show again... but he was kind of in WGA, but not really and the show was actually very great during this time (but he obviously wrote it... so I'm still ocnfused how it worked, some different late night rules) and people were very very mad at Jon. But I think his thinking was their are cameraman and other things to consider besides the WGA... such as will there be a show to come back to if we don't go back on the air... and I think Leno and Letterman might have gone back too... As a viewer I loved those shows. But if I was a member of the WGA, I'd be pissed.

When you have writer and director and producer and actor, it gets so complicated.

I'm not trying to win this argument, I'm just saying, Travis I would leave the agent fired until this all gets resolved.

It's like when couples break up but still f$ck. I'm like -- okay that's not how this works!
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