New Tool for Writers: WGAE Project Page
April 4, 2022
We recently surveyed and met with working freelance members about the growing demands and pressure to perform free work – demands which features writers have experienced for years and are now expanding into the TV/SVOD space at an alarming rate. We are concerned that studios and networks increasingly expect to offload development costs, demanding more and more time, energy, and pages before committing to a deal and paying writers for their work.
The WGAE Project Page is a new writer tool that is designed to help all writers be more informed at the initial point of contact on any project. (A version was also launched by the WGAW last fall.)
When a writer is considering whether to engage with or compete for a project, there are some basic facts that will help the writer assess both their interest and their odds of getting hired, such as how many other writers are in the mix, how long the project has been in development, or if there is a director, actor or other talent attached.
The Project Page collects all the key information in one, easy to understand document, and it allows every writer interested in the project to be in possession of the same information.
Before any Guild member is engaged on a project, members should ask that the producer or executive fill out the short Project Page either at the request of the writer’s reps or the writer themselves. This begins the conversation on any new project with transparency and gives the writer a way to make informed decisions about how best to proceed.
For example, if the completed Project Page informs the writer that the rights on the underlying IP are not closed, the writer can then decide whether they want to wait until the rights are secured, to go ahead and take the risk with their eyes open, or perhaps move on to something else.
Writers without representatives can simply download the Project Page from the Guild’s website and send it to any producer who wants to work with them. Upon receiving the Project Page back from the producer, the writer should retain a copy for their records and reference it as needed if the scope of the work changes. The Project Page can also be used if it is necessary to contact the Guild to seek advice and/or report a violation.
It is our goal that the Project Page should become industry-standard and are embraced by writers, representatives, producers and executives alike as a means of facilitating communication.
If you have any questions about the Project Page, please contact WGAE Director of Contracts and Enforcement, Geoff Betts (email@example.com; 212-767-7852).