Friday, November 13, 2009

The Re-write Writing Credit

I've already been asked a couple times about the writing credit on this project so I thought I'd post the details here:

I won't be getting a writing credit on this one. But the director will give me some other kind of credit -- perhaps Story Editor or some made-up thing.

On normal movies the Writer's Guild of America has rather explicit rules regarding who gets writing credits on a movie and, in fact, is the final arbiter in disputes -- being able to override even the makers of the film.

But this isn't a WGA signatory movie so the credits are pretty much just whatever the company making the movie says they are and the original writer has ensured he gets sole credit on this -- probably so that the producer or director doesn't come in and poach a writing credit. And I certainly don't blame him for that!

Had this been a WGA signatory movie, the writing credits would be wrong on two counts -- the actual credits would likely be "Story by" the original writer and we'd share "Screenplay by" credits since much of the characterization, text, and ending is new, though there's a fair bit of the original left in there and the new stuff is pretty much an outgrowth of the original material.

The other wrong bit is the made-up Story Editor credit. The WGA is a stickler for making sure that companies don't start inventing these sorts of credits and giving them to every guy in the production who had some input on the screenplay or has enough pull to force their name into the credits because they offered a few suggestions -- it's a way of protecting writers from having their labor diluted.

Finally, I'd also be wrong here to specifically suggest what the writing credits would be -- I'd have to wait and let the final arbiters determine it.

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