Can the WGA contractually cover animation?
Yes. While certain types of animation are not automatically covered by the MBA, we have covered animation projects for decades, either by existing signatories agreeing to cover animated projects, or by new companies becoming signatory to cover animation.
I have been approached about writing on an animated project or selling an animated TV or digital series or feature screenplay. How do I get a WGA agreement for the project?
First you will need to let the company know you want the project to be covered by the Guild. Your contract must be with a WGA signatory company and contain specific language to make sure the project is covered. Please contact the WGAW Contracts Department (323-782-4501) so they can help negotiate your deal.
I asked for a WGA agreement and the company said they are not required to sign a WGA agreement.
Coverage is negotiable. If the company is not a WGA signatory, ask them to sign a letter of adherence to the WGA agreement or to assign the project to a related company that is already signed. You or your representative should contact the WGAW Contracts Department (323-782-4501) which will advise you on drafting language to ensure that the animation project is covered. Any writer can request a WGA deal.
I understand there is another animation union; how does that affect my ability to secure a WGA deal?
If you have a binding contract with a company whose animation writers are represented by another union, the Guild cannot sign a contract covering your work. However, the identity of the employing company and the question of union coverage are negotiable points. It is not as complicated as it may sound; many companies have become WGA signatories in order to cover animation projects where the writers have demanded it.
Are there special minimum rates for animation?
The WGA Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA) has negotiated rates for live action projects that can also apply to animation projects. So can MBA provisions regarding residuals, credits, separation of rights, and pension and health contributions. Some animated projects have terms that are better than MBA minimums. The goal is to get the best possible deal for writers. The MBA Schedule of Minimums is posted on the WGA’s website.
I’m not sure if the project is going to be live action or animated, so how is that handled?
It will benefit you to secure a WGA contract whether the project originates as a live action or animated project. You or your representative should email or call the WGAW Contracts Department (323-782-4501) to get help in negotiating language that covers all contingencies.
Can I join the WGA if I’m already a member of another union that covers animated projects?
You may join the WGAW even if you are a member of another union.
Who can I talk to about getting my project covered?
Please contact Shelagh Wagener for animated TV or digital series and Kay Wolf for animated features in the WGAW’s Member Organizing Department. We will work with you and any other writers on the project to gain coverage. We also regularly communicate with writers of animated material who have secured WGA deals; you can benefit from their experiences.
Having a WGA agreement in place would be great, but how do I go about communicating with fellow writers who work in animation?
We welcome your involvement! Please contact Member Organizing Department staff to find out about the WGAW’s animation writer initiatives.