2001 WGA MBA Creative Rights Provisions - Theatrical & Long-Form Television Motion Pictures

By now, writers, agents, managers and attorneys, as well as signatory Companies, should be acquainted with the new creative rights the Guild secured in the 2001 MBA Negotiations. Most of these rights are extremely time-sensitive. For example, if your client is not invited to the first cast reading, he or she will not have another chance to participate in that way. The only way to enforce these rights is through timely intervention. The following is only a summary of the creative rights. This summary describes creative provisions of the agreement in some detail, but the actual Guild contract governs in the case of a dispute. If you or a writer you represent has questions or difficulties regarding any of these provisions, please contact the Creative Rights Coordinator at (323) 782-4741 as soon as possible.

YOUR CLIENTS’ CREATIVE RIGHTS

Sweepstakes Pitching: If a writer invited to pitch or be interviewed for possible employment on a screen project, inquires as to whether an invitation has been extended to other writers, the Company will inform that writer of the approximate number of writers invited to pitch or be interviewed on the project.

Meeting(s) with the Director: Guidelines provide that it is the preferred practice that a meeting be arranged between the director and currently employed writer shortly after the director’s hire and before any decision to hire a new writer.

Filmography: Participating writers are to submit their backgrounds and filmographies to the Company’s advertising/publicity department when they turn in their last piece of literary material to the Company.

Call Sheets and Staff Directories or Crew Lists: The Company will list up to three writers or writing teams on the call sheet adjacent to the director or producer(s) listings. In addition, the currently employed writer will be provided with a copy of the daily call sheet. All participating writers will be listed in staff directories/crew lists.

Cast Reading: The preferred practice is for the director to invite the currently employed writer(s) to attend the first cast reading of the script.

Cast/Crew Events: All participating writers will be invited to cast/crew events. The Company may provide transportation and/or overnight accommodations, but is not required to do so.

Set Visits: A writer may wish to visit the set and bring a reasonable number of guests. The preferred practice is for the Company, in response to a request from the writer(s), to arrange for such a visit at an appropriate time. The director retains discretion to approve any such visit.

Interviews for Press Kits and DVD: The credited writer(s) will be interviewed for the purpose of including information about the writer(s) in the press kits and DVD if the Company interviews the director for the same purpose, unless notified otherwise by the Company. If the writing credits on the film have not been determined at the time interviews are conducted, the Company will interview the writer(s) it believes in good faith shall be entitled to writing credit. The Company will only include material from credited writers in press kits issued after final determination of credits (if practicable), and on the DVD.

Viewing Cut: All participating writers have the right to view a cut of the film in sufficient time to allow the writers’ suggestions to be implemented, if approved.

Sneak Preview: All credited writers will be invited to the first sneak preview, if any, to be held in L.A. county. If possible, the Company should give them five days notice.

Premiere/Festival and Press Junket (Theatrical Only): All credited screenwriters of a theatrical motion picture will be invited to the domestic premiere or film festival at which the film is first exhibited, and the domestic press junket, unless notified otherwise by the Company. The Company will furnish first class transportation and accommodations for up to two such screenwriters if they are required to travel more than 150 miles to attend.

Press Kit:The name, background, and filmography of the credited writer(s) must be included in the standard print and electronic press kits, if such information about the director is also included.

Final Shooting Script and Videocassette: All participating writers are entitled to a copy of the final shooting script. Credited writers on a theatrical motion picture must be furnished, at no cost, a videocassette of the film when videocassettes are made.

DVD and Web Page: The domestic version of the DVD, as well as the Internet web page dedicated to a screen or long-form motion picture, shall contain the filmography of the credited writers if such information about the director is included.

Thank you in advance for helping us enforce these important rights. Please feel free to contact the Creative Rights Coordinator at 323-782-4741 if we can assist you or your clients regarding creative rights.