Angelina Burnett: Hi, I’m Angelina, and I mostly write for television.
Michele Mulroney: And I’m Michele, and I mostly write for screen.
Angelina Burnett: We are here to tell you about some of the additional tools the Guild is launching to help all writers connect with producers and projects.
Michele Mulroney: We’re consolidating the tools already in use, like the portal and the weekly memos with newly developed tools and we’re calling it the Staffing and Development Platform. This platform will provide all sorts of ways for producers and writers to share and access information about one another. It will help connect you to open writing assignments and development opportunities.
Angelina Burnett: Now, we spoke with a bunch of producers in the process of designing these tools, to make sure they would serve their needs as well, and we heard time and again, how excited they are to be connecting with writers they never had direct access to before. They also shared challenges, and these tools we have designed to help address those challenges.
Michele Mulroney: So in a nutshell, the Platform is a giant database of writers, producers, companies, and projects, all of it protected behind a login. Now, there are numerous ways to view, search, and sort all of this information, depending on your needs.
Angelina Burnett: So, when you log in to the platform, you’re going to see these options.
All of these tools, including the ones you may already be familiar with, are accessible from this one place.
Michele Mulroney: So one exciting new feature for screenwriters is the Open Writing Assignment portal. Clicking this takes you to lists of both feature and television opportunities that you can then browse, sort by genre, or search by exec or company.
Every writer receives three total OWA submissions a month, across film and TV.
Angelina Burnett: Now, although we’re starting with a modest list, we expect the number of OWAs to grow as companies get more familiar with the platform, so please keep checking back and know that Guild outreach to procure more OWAs will be ongoing.
Michele Mulroney: You can also browse, search, or sort the profiles of producers, executives, and companies where they’ll be sharing their development needs. When you find opportunities that look like they would be a good match with your interests, you can submit a request for a general meeting.
Each writer gets 10 requests a month.
Angelina Burnett: So the other new development tool is an expanded Find a Writer profile. We have added an additional, private section, only accessible by producers with logins.
There they will find samples you’ve uploaded, a short statement about your interests, and most importantly, your availability.
Michele Mulroney: The one challenge every single producer shared with us was how difficult it is to check availabilities without agents. So your private Find a Writer profile now allows you to set a detailed status that accounts for, say, an overall deal, or development position, or end dates for feature or staffing jobs.
Angelina Burnett: So please take a couple minutes, go to your Find a Writer profile on the WGA website, and set your status. Ensure your profile’s complete. Producers are really excited about the possibility of a tool like this. But it is only as useful as the information we put into it.
Michele Mulroney: Right. And of course, the same is true on the other side of things. The Platform is only valuable to writers if the information the producers are putting into it is complete.
Angelina Burnett: So we are committed, both leadership and staff, to doing continued outreach, whatever is necessary to ensure producers are engaging with these tools and keeping their profiles updated.
Michele Mulroney: The most inspiring thing about the staffing portal was seeing writers use it, frankly, in ways we didn’t anticipate. Writers have told us that they loved being able to see a roster of available shows, and some took the information they found there and then they leveraged their other representation, or their own networks, to create opportunities for themselves.
Angelina Burnett: So while of course there is continued value in having a fierce advocate whose interests are properly aligned with their clients’—the key goal of our agency campaign—we believe the Staffing & Development Platform will empower writers to take more control of their careers now, and far into the future.