Five Reasons to Make Sure Your Low-Budget Indie is WGA-Covered

(July 8, 2014)

Under the WGA’s recently revised Low Budget Agreement for narrative theatrical films and the Documentary Screenplay Contract for theatrical documentaries, writers of films budgeted at $1.2 million or less can receive Guild protections and benefits.

If your film continues to make money through DVD, online, or foreign exhibition, you continue to make money.

Pension benefits
A WGA-covered indie with employment means the writer may be eligible to have contributions made to his/her pension fund, the same as any other Guild-covered show or film. After you retire and stop writing films, your vested pension income continues.

Health care coverage
WGA coverage means contributions toward coverage that could pay for that pricey root canal or other medical procedures without having to sell your firstborn.

Credit Protection
If someone decides unjustly that they deserve to share the writing credit for your film, you can challenge them using the WGA’s credit arbitration system.

Community of Writers
If your independent film is WGA covered you are part of a community of writers and colleagues. “In my life very little has been more valuable then the company and companionship of fellow writers,” says WGAW Vice President Howard A. Rodman. “By making a WGA-covered film you’re sitting at the best dinner table in town.”

(Reminder: If you are already a Guild member, you are obligated to make sure your film is covered.) 


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