What Can the Guild's Standard Writing Services Contract Do for You?

(June 1999)

  • Are you frustrated by Company business affairs reps who take too long to draft a long form contract?
  • Do you find terms included in the Company's draft of a contract that you didn't negotiate, expect or want?
  • Is your compensation being held up because you are quibbling over contract language?
  • Do the Company's standard terms and conditions contain seemingly hidden provisions which impinge upon the writer's rights, such as reserved or separated rights?

Have we got a contract for you!

Attached is a standard form writing services contract which can be tailored to reflect the negotiated terms of any writing services contract you negotiate. We encourage you to use it in place of deal memos or those quickly jotted notes you write to confirm the terms just negotiated. Using this contract can and will make your life easier both at the time the deal is negotiated and in those unfortunate instances when a dispute arises at a later time. We believe this contract can help get writers paid sooner, reduce disputes over contract language and eliminate the inclusion of unexpected and unwelcome provisions which too often are discovered after a contract is signed. Currently, the Guild's standard form contract is for employment on theatrical motion pictures, but other forms will be available in the future.

This contract is not intended to constitute legal advice, but is offered by the Guild as an aid to ensure the timely delivery of contracts and, therefore, timely payment to the writer. The WGA Basic Agreement requires Companies to deliver contracts within specific time frames following agreement on major deal points and/or commencement of services (generally within two to three weeks.) In the event the Company fails to deliver a contract within the MBA time limits after negotiation of the major deal points, this form contract may be used to confirm the deal with the Company, in the same manner as a deal memo is used. Additional copies of the standard contract may be obtained at the WGA (7000 W. 3rd Street). We also would be glad to send you a diskette containing the standard contract or you can find it at the WGA website: www.wga.org. For additional copies or for a diskette, please call the WGA Agency Dept. at 323/782-4502.