The strike

This is old news, but for a couple of months now I've been casually wondering who exactly the Writers Guild of America was striking against. I knew what they were striking for, but since I assumed that writers are hired by different production companies for each job, I wasn't quite sure if the production companies had some sort of association and/or set rates or percentages that they had to pay writers, or what.

If you were wondering too, the production companies are organized. The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers is the organization of the production companies in Hollywood. And, yes, set rates and percentages are established for the industry. The WGA has a schedule of minimums on their site that highlights major points from the last time negotiations were held in 2004. There are specific dollar amounts mentioned, an implied formula for figuring rates based on the film's or show's overall budget, and it looks like room for agreeing upon compensation higher than the set minimums. Also, based on an outline of what (film) producers need to know (again, based on the 2004 basic agreement, and there is a separate one for television producers), there is a set checklist of expectations, including timing of payment, informing the Guild of contracts, allowing writers to meet with the directors, editors, etc., and being informed of other writers working on the script. Kind of interesting -- a lot more goes on behind the scenes that one would realize!

No comments: