Bulletin Number One

Writers of film and television look to two primary sources for information and help in their professional lives: their Guild and their agent. With this mailing, the Writers Guild of America West begins an occasional series of bulletins to alert, you, the agents, to issues of concern for our mutual clients, writers.

The Purpose of The Writer/Agent Alert!

Our goal for these bulletins is to provide you with useful, timely information that will impact your daily efforts in representing your writer clients. These bulletins will usually be brief, always to-the-point and mailed only when the information warrants it. The subjects will range over the full breadth of a writer’s professional life: from MBA interpretation, to above-scale contract provisions, to creative rights, to credits issues, to industry practices. Our targets will be the subjects that rise in relevance at particular points in time because of company practices, arbitration results, or negotiations.

These bulletins can better serve writers if you, as the writer’s day-to-day representative for transactions, help us identify issues that should be covered here. The Guild often becomes aware of changes in boiler-plate language and business affairs practices later than agents, often when a grievance is filed and the Guild pursues the claim for the writer. An early alert could allow the Guild to head off claims by circulating an advisory. We would like your input. Suggestions can be made to Jane Nefeldt, WGAW Assistant Executive Director at the Guild’s offices.

The Creative Rights Pamphlet

To inaugurate the Writer/Agent Alert!, we have enclosed the recently published WGA Creative Rights pamphlet. This pamphlet summarizes, in plain language, the creative rights already provided by Guild agreements. It indicates provisions of the standard minimum basic agreement, or MBA, as well as the provisions of the PBS Agreement, which often exceed the creative rights in the MBA and can be used as models for above-scale provisions.

WGAW and WGAE members have received this pamphlet in recent weeks. Extra copies are available from the Guild for a nominal charge from the Department of Publications. Questions about the creative rights described in the pamphlet can be addressed to the Contracts Department.