WGA

Adaptation Nic Cage

The Writers Guild of America‘s latest survey of screenwriters [PDF] shows that the world of storytelling isn’t that sunny. From the bother of late payments to the difficulty of sweepstakes pitching, the overall number of screenwriters is down along with the overall money their industry is able to make. So what happened? For former WGA board member Craig Mazin, it seems like the movie industry is less and less interested in making movies. He joins us to explain a key business shift that created a huge work gap between screenwriters, to dissect the results of the survey, and to define some of the technical jargon. Oh, and if you’re looking for a happy ending, this particular Hollywood story might not have one. Fair warning. Check out the entire 24-minute interview below: Download This Interview Enjoy More Reject Radio

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Adaptation Nic Cage

Citing late payments and a general feeling that giving away some rewrite work for free is necessary to compete, the latest WGA survey shows that writers are more than a bit unhappy. The survey, which is done anonymously for protective reasons, caused the WGA to say that “screenwriters believe their status in the industry has significantly deteriorated over the past several years,” in a recent letter to union members following the results. According to Variety, feature film earnings in 2011 dropped 12.6% to a total $349.1m and employment figures dropped by 8.1% to a total of 1,562 writers employed. Whether or not this lays the groundwork for a new strike is unclear. The 2008 strike focused greatly on payment shares for the burgeoning digital market, but widespread difficulty in securing meaningful work is undoubtedly a more strident reason to renegotiate terms or, if need be, to threaten to stop work. Yes, a strike would affect the entire industry all the way down the line. Even if these conditions are a result of the natural belt-tightening done by the major studios – notably focusing on tentpoles instead of middle-budget features – they all must remember that, without a script, there is no movie. View the entire survey via LA Times (opens as a PDF).

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The Writers Guild of America has released the nominees for their Writer’s Guild Awards today, and while there’s certainly some room for quibbling as far as their choices go, the screenplays they’ve nominated in their film categories are at least a diverse array of projects. There’s something here for everyone. I balked at these choices a bit on first glance, they’d left off many of my favorite films of the year. But after thinking about what was missing for a few seconds I started to realize that a lot of the films I really loved over the course of 2011 relied more on mood and photography than they did their screenplays. In my mind, there was no real superstar script this year, like Inception and The Social Network last year. I loved things like Drive and Shame, but did their greatness really lie in their screenplays? Still, I can think of a handful of things that I would have liked to have seen included that weren’t. As far as original screenplays go, I think a film like Warrior was a master of structure, and is more deserving than something like Bridesmaids, which was a fairly generic comedy plot and which probably relied largely on improvisation for its humor. And I really miss a nomination for something like The Skin I Live In when it comes to the adapted screenplay section; especially when they’ve nominated a film like The Help, which cannot name writing as one of its strengths. Check out […]

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Put simply, it’s going to be a populist kind of year. Once again, the likes of Avatar and Star Trek, along with The Hangover, are hanging around during awards season.

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Slumdog Millionaire

For those of you not paying attention, there appears to be one little film that is tearing its way through awards season — and it isn’t that big Batman movie or that curious case. It is this little rags-to-riches tale from the slums of Mumbai in India, envisioned by a brilliant British director and adapted by a now red hot screenwriter.

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SAG will fight AFTRA!

I’m not exactly sure why SAG is holding out. A strike would be a pointless effort right now because it would go virtually unnoticed.

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In the words of the late, great Rodney Dangerfield, “Hey everybody, we’re all gonna get laid!”

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The strike could be over soon. But when are we going to get our damn TV shows back?

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Reuters and the NYT are reporting that the strike is over, and that it appears to have worked.

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Friday and Saturday talks could lead to an end to the WGA strike as soon as next week.

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The Writers Guild announced its interim agreement with producers of the Grammy Awards show.

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Now that the Directors Guild has a deal, the WGA may be pressed to compromise in order to end the strike.

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Coming, as predicted, on the heels of the Director’s Guild of America’s deal with the AMPTP, the Writer’s Guild of America is heading back to the negotiating table.

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The Director’s Guild of America, who’s contract expires this summer, has reached a tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

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With the Writer’s Guild strike still in full force, the Justice League movie may be put on hold.

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The newest episode of the online-only Speechless ads has premiered, and it stars Zach Braff talking dirty!

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The Writers Guild of America have announced their awards show as set for February 9th, and have released the nominees for best original screenplay, best adapted screenplay and best documentary screenplay.

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Take a look at a letter from IATSE President Thomas Short to WGA-West President Patric Verrone. Interesting stuff.

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NBC has announced that the telecast of the Golden Globe Awards has been cancelled. They will replace the show with an hour-long Press Conference.

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