InsideHollywood Newsletter 2005/09

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~~~~ InsideHollywood.Info Newsletter ~~~~

An online information ezine dedicated to teaching you all about Hollywood and the Film and TV Entertainment Industry.

September 01, 2005
Issue #2005-09

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# Introduction
---- Newsletter Topic Ideas

# Designing a Career
---- Basic overview about Writing for Film/TV

# Tell us what you think
---- Make this newsletter even better by submitting questions
and what you think of this newsletter.


Dear Subscriber,

I wanted to remind everyone that if you have newsletter topic ideas please send me an email.

Sorry for the delay in sending out the newsletter but some personal issues arose that kept me from being able to send it out.

I thought that it might be interesting since I get many questions about Writing, Acting, and Directing that I would dedicate the next couple of months with each area. I will go over classes that I took or heard about that people recommended, have links to information and encouragement to all who pursues this dream.

Just reminder one thing, never give up on your dreams.

Hope you enjoy this issue....


# Subject: Basic overview about Writing for Film/TV

First things first, you need to protect yourself, therefore, you need to copy write and or register your treatment or script with the Writer's guild. -

The Writers Guild (WGA) has registered more than 55,000 pieces of literary materials each year and is available to members and non-members. You can register your work online or in person. Below are the links that will take you to the registration instructions and additional information.

~~ Register your work online
~~ Register by mail or in person

The registration process prevents measures against plagiarism or unauthorized use of an author's materials. Though the Registry cannot prevent plagiarism, it can create legal evidence for the materials that establishes a date for the materials existence. The WGA registry therefore can becomes a neutral third party and testify for the evidence.

The fee provides five (5) years of legal evidence for your materials. You can register materials that include scripts, treatments, synopses, outlines and written ideas specifically intended for radio, television and film, video cassettes/discs or interactive media. The WGA Registry also accepts stage plays, novels and other books, short stories, poems, commercials, lyrics, drawing, music and other media work but registering your work with the WGA Registry does not take the place of registering with the Library of Congress, US Copyright office. However, both create valid legal evidence that can be used in Court. I would register with both organizations.

Questions regarding copyright should be directed to the U.S. Copyright Office in Washington, D.C. at (202) 707-3000 or to an attorney specializing in the area of Law. - for more information. The fee is $20 US for the public and $10 US for WGA members in good standing. The online system accepts only Visa/MasterCard and you will be billed in your local currency if you are outside the U.S.

If you submitted by mail or in person you can pay in cash, check, money order or credit card. All fees paid either by check or money order must be payable in U.S. dollars. Checks and money orders should be payable to WGAw. WGA will not accept bank transfers of any kind. Material and payment may be sent by mail or hand-delivered to the WGAw Registry:

WGAw Registry
7000 West Third St.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 782-4500 Information
(323) 782-4803 Fax

Please be aware that just because you registered your materials with WGA does not allow your admission to become a member. There are strict rules and guidelines and they base there admissions on what they call "Units". In simple terms you will need 24 units of credits in a three year span. If you completed the qualifications with a WGA Collective Bargaining company and obtain the 24 units within the preceding three (3) years of application then they will ask you for a cashiers check or money order to be payable to the Writers Guild of American, West (for Writers residing west of the Mississippi River) or Writers Guild of American, East (for Writers residing East of the Mississippi River 555 West 57th street, New York, NY 10019) in the amount of $2,500.

Below is the breakdown of the schedule of units of credit.
- Two Units - For each complete week of employment within the Guild's jurisdiction on a week-to-week basis.
- Three Units - Story for a radio or television program less than thirty (30) minutes shall be prorated in increments of ten (10) minutes or less.
- Four Units - Story for a short subject theatrical motion picture of any length or for a radio program or television program or breakdown for a non-prime time serial thirty (30) minutes through sixty (60) minutes.
- Six Units - Teleplay or radio play less than thirty (30) minutes shall be prorated in five (5) minute increments; Television format for a new serial or series; "Created By" credit given pursuant to the separation of rights provisions of the WGA Theatrical and Television Basic Agreement in addition to other units accrued for the literary material on which the "Created By" credit is based.
- Eight Units - Story for a radio or television program or breakdown for a non-prime time serial more than sixty (60) minutes and less than ninety (90) minutes; Screenplay for a short subject theatrical motion picture or for a radio play or teleplay thirty (30) minutes through sixty (60) minutes
- Twelve Units - Story for a radio or television program ninety (90) minutes or longer or story for a feature length theatrical motion picture; or breakdown for a non-prime time serial ninety (90) minutes or longer. Radio play or teleplay more than sixty (60) minutes and less than (90) minutes.
- Twenty-four Units - Screenplay for a feature length theatrical motion picture; radio play or teleplay ninety (90) minutes or longer; Bible for any television serial or prime-time mini-series of at least four (4) hours; Long-term story projection which is defined for this purpose as a bible, for a specified term, on an existing, five (5) times per week non-prime time serial.

There are additional rules for the unit system, but I thought it would be interesting to see the basic rules to see if you can qualify or what you need to do. You can go to their site for additional information of what constitutes a unit.

~~ Mentor Program

The Writers Guild has a unique Online Mentor Service which is provided at no charge. If you are an inspiring writer or a writer that needs some guidance, check out this section. How it works is, a member of the guild agrees to share their time and expertise. There is a list of writers (First name only so you do not know whom you are writing to unless they want to tell you). The list is based in order of interests (eg: Drama, Comedy, etc), but please make sure you are not asking questions on how to get into the guild. They will only talk about crafting, developing, etc. The mentor group put together a great FAQ section which lists the top response to the questions that you might be looking for from basic script formulas, treatments, story structure, Agents, Submitting, etc. They would like you to check out the FAQ section before you select a writer since their time is so valuable. Do not send scripts, treatments, or other documents to a mentor unless you receive prior consent to do so. When I was doing some research, I found this site very helpful and informative.

There is an additional section that will show you breakdowns of different type of agreements from the Basic to the Independent Low Budget agreement. This should be helpful both as a writer and as a Producer who needs to create a budget and/or needs to know the Guild rules. Another great section with so much information is their Research link page. I cut and pasted some interesting sites based on FAQ that we have received.

Below are links to Writer related guilds and organizations throughout the globe. I do not indorse any of the links but wanted to give you additional information that might be helpful.

~~ Writers Guild of America, East (WGA East)
~~ Writers Guild of Canada (WGC)
~~ The Australian Writers Guild \
~~ New Zealand Writers Guild
~~ The Writers Guild of Great Britain
~~ Society of Authors, Composers and Editors of Music --
Franco-American Cultural Fund
~~ Societe des Auteurs de Radio, Television et Cinema

~~ American Screenwriters Association
- Organized for educational purposes, including the promotion of and encouragement of the public's participation in and knowledge of screenwriting as a literary art form. A national non-profit, ASA is committed to the support and advancement of all screenwriters.

~~ Organization of Black Screenwriters (OBS)
- OBS is a non-profit organization committed to the development and advancement of African-American writers.

~~ Scriptwriters Network
- The Scriptwriters Network is a non-profit organization of writers supporting emerging writers with knowledge about the
entertainment industry. The Network hosts an assortment of programs to help writers in both the television and feature film mediums, including monthly meetings featuring notable guest speakers.

~~ Authors Guild
- The Authors Guild is the nation's largest society of published authors and a leading advocate for fair compensation, free speech and copyright protection.

~~ PEN
- PEN American Center is a membership association of prominent literary writers and editors. The organization seeks to defend the freedom of expression wherever it may be threatened, and promote and encourage the recognition and reading of contemporary literature.

~~ World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
- The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is one of the 16 specialized agencies of the United Nations system of organizations. WIPO is responsible for the promotion of the protection of intellectual property throughout the world.

~~ Done Deal
- A constantly updated list of recent film script deals, including title, log line, studio, agent, price, and other info. A truly great resource. Be sure to check out the New Archives section.

~~ EuroScreenwriters
- Bills itself as "the first website to act as a showcase for European screenwriting talent.

~~ Liszt
- Often people interested in the field you are writing about are the best source for research information. This site lists over 70,000 mailing lists devoted to specific and general topics.

~~ Equery Direct
- A query submission service to over 300 literary agents and managers via email.

~~ Free Script Exchange
- Aims to give beginning writers a chance to get visibility. Based on the notion that beginning writers have the least resources (and funds for marketing of their work) we offer a place were they can review other's materials and improve their skills. This site is absolutely free and requires all posted material to be registered with the WGA.

- The Professional Authors Group Enterprise - a full-service bulletin board system for and run by professional writers, with dozens of forums on writing, as well as general information topics.

~~ Screenwriters Inc.
- The only organization in Los Angeles that mounts weekly workshop readings of original screenplays. It is the Writers Division of the Filmmakers Alliance. Screenwriters Inc., holds weekly staged readings of original screenplays at the Strasberg Theater Institute. The readings are presented in workshop format.

~~ Screenwriting Source
- Provides an online directory of literary agents and managers, film production companies, and movie producers, as well as a continually updated list of articles to help new screenwriters with cast actors and constructive feedback afterwards.

~~ TheScriptSmith
- Offers script analysis, development notes and consulting for screenwriters. The website also includes tips for aspiring screenwriters and selected industry links, including, as a resource for signatory agent listings and the magazine,
Written By.


If you are looking where to send your resume to get jobs in the Film or TV Entertainment Industry or more tips and tricks, make sure to check out my upcoming eBook on how to find a Job in the Entertainment Industry - "Show you want to be in Show Biz?"


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That is it for this issue of the InsideHollywood.Info Newsletter. Until next time....