Writers Guild of America Announces 2020 Negotiating Committee

Preparing for another battle.

Because that’s what TV and film writers do.

Last Friday’s announcement from the combined Writers Guild West and Writers Guild East:

November 8, 2019
Dear Members,

The WGAW Board and WGAE Council have appointed the members of the MBA negotiating committee for our upcoming contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). WGAW Executive Director David Young will serve as chief negotiator.

The members of the committee are:

Michele Mulroney, Co-Chair
Shawn Ryan, Co-Chair
Betsy Thomas, Co-Chair
Liz Alper
Arash Amel
John August
Amy Berg
Ashley Nicole Black
Adam Brooks
Francesca Butler
Patti Carr
Robb Chavis
Meg DeLoatch
Travis Donnelly
Kate Erickson
Dante W. Harper
Eric Heisserer
Melissa Hilfers
Elliott Kalan
Chris Keyser
Adele Lim
Peter Murrieta
Luvh Rakhe
Dailyn Rodriguez
Erica Saleh
David Slack
Lauren Ashley Smith
Amy Sohn
Meredith Stiehm
Patric M. Verrone

David A. Goodman, Ex-Officio
Marjorie David, Ex-Officio
Beau Willimon, Ex-Officio
Kathy McGee, Ex-Officio
Bob Schneider, Ex-Officio

Our current Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA) expires on May 1, 2020. In anticipation of the upcoming negotiations, Guild staff has prepared research, data and potential negotiating proposals for leadership and members to consider as we begin the process of setting priorities. Next week the Guilds will send out a member survey where you can identify the MBA issues that matter the most to you. The negotiating committee will begin meeting this month.

Member meetings will commence in early 2020 to give further opportunity for writer feedback, and a pattern of demands will be put to a vote prior to the start of spring negotiations.

In Solidarity,
WGAW Board and WGAE Council

Netflix to launch first original scripted podcast

What took them so long?

by TVWriter™ News Service
Via podnews.net

Netflix has announced it’s to launch its first original scripted podcast, with Spotify.

It is a 6-episode narrative, and first-of-a-kind play, designed to be a fictional, in-world companion podcast to go along with the new post-apocalyptic YA Netflix TV series “Daybreak” entitled The Only Podcast Left- Daybreak.” Showrunner and head writer Aron Coleitethe is on board as an executive producer. The podcast will branch off from season 1 to tell a story of where a group of teens decide to make a podcast during an apocalypse. Check out the promotional audio trailer HERE.

A launch date of Nov. 7 has been earmarked for the podcast, which will stream exclusively on Spotify until Dec. 12, before becoming available on all other platforms.

Show Description: It’s post-apocalyptic Glendale. The Jocks, Cheermazons, STEM Punks, Disciples of Kardashia, and more are battling for dominance in the valley. And after you tear through Daybreak Season 1, you’ll want to meet the A.V. Club. They’re a group of kids who survived the apocalypse by using their skills to rig cameras and spy on warring tribes all over the valley. And now they’re making a show about it, while juggling their own personal drama and trying to stay alive as mutant pugs, ghoulies, and a mysterious new tribe all try to kill their vibe. It’s The Only Podcast Left.

“Netflix is an amazing creative partner. When they asked us to do a narrative podcast in the Daybreak world, we came back with the most insane idea we could think of and they didn’t even blink. In fact they got even more excited about what we were trying to create,” said Coleite.

“We love how podcasts give creators more freedom to explore and go deeper into elements of their stories, and we see original scripted podcasts as the next level in world exploration. With ‘Daybreak,’ it’s a world ripe for that,” said Rae Votta, podcast lead for the Netflix brand and editorial team.

“If the Daybreak tribes can play video games after the apocalypse, we figured they could also be creating a podcast! This one was especially fun as it’s playing into the meta nature of it all and explores what makes a podcast.. by making a podcast.”

Netflix’s other podcasts include: “Present Company with Krista Smith,” wherein the former Vanity Fair West Coast Editor and newly-minted Netflix consultant sits with megastars and tastemakers like Eddie Murphy, Marta Kauffman, Mary J. Blige and TED Talk supernova Brene Brown. Moreover, “Strong Black Legends,” where podcast star Tracy Clayton talks to formative black creators and icons like comedian Jackée Harry and director Robert Townsend. Also, “You Can’t Make This Up,” which gives a behind-the-scenes look at how nonfiction filmmakers got their compelling true crime stories.

2019 Nicholl Fellowship Finalists Announced

by TVWriter™ Press Service

The Nicholl Fellowships are arguably the most important writing competition in existence for new screenwriters. In addition to the actual Fellowship, winners almost always end up with representation and agents and lots of wide open doors that were shut tight before.

TVWriter™ congratulates the following 2019 Nicholl Fellowships finalists on their achievement:

Aaron Chung, “Princess Vietnam”
Gary Patent, “Cosmonaut”
Jack Zafran, “Justice, Justice”
Joel Sinensky, “The Lie Factory”
Karen McDermott, “Lullabies of La Jaula”
Lynn Esta Goldman, “On the Wing”
Matthew Fantaci, “Scandalous!”
Paul Ashton, “Slater Berricks is a Dead Man”
Renee Pillai, “Boy with Kite”
Sean Malcolm, “Mother”
Toy Styles, “Concrete Beach”
Walker McKnight, “Street Rat Allie Punches Her Ticket”

Here’s a quick description of the Fellowships from an earlier post here at TVWriter™:

The Nicholl competition is open to any individual who has not earned more than $25,000 writing for film or television or received a fellowship prize that includes a “first look” clause, an option, or any other quid pro quo involving the writer’s work.  Entry scripts must be feature length and the original work of a sole author or of exactly two collaborative authors.  The scripts must have been written originally in English.  Adaptations and translated scripts are not eligible.  The earnings limit for 2013 is an increase from the $5,000 limit in previous years.

Fellowships are awarded with the understanding that the recipients will each complete a feature-length screenplay during their fellowship year.  The Academy acquires no rights to the works of Nicholl fellows and does not involve itself commercially in any way with their completed scripts.

To learn more about the Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, visit http://oscars.org/nicholl.

Antoine Fuqua Wants To Help Get Your Film Project Made

by TVWriter™ Press Service

Director Antoine Fuqua, whose films include Training Day, Tears of the Sun, and Olympus has Fallen as well as a ton of very well-done others, is making a new name for himself as an online mentor and teacher.

Fuqua’s website, aptly named antoinefuqafilms.com, shows just three pages in addition to the Home Page.

  • Movie Funding
  • Income Assistance Grant
  • Grant Contest

The Movie Funding page contains instructions for submitting your film proposal for the company to consider.

The Income Assistance Grant page offers “reliable granting services from most government agencies and NGOs,” and assists in the application process for “low and medium income earners.”

The Grant Contest page is all about entering Fuqua’s “Power of Presentation” Film Grant competition.

All of the above appear to be worthwhile, so why not take a few moments to check them out, starting here: https://antoinefuquafilms.com.

As TVWriter™’s lawyers keep pointing out, we aren’t recommending this service, just informing y’all of their existence. So if you do proceed into further stages, please let us know how it goes so we can pass it on to the rest of the TVWriter™ community.

Break a leg!

“Then Again with Herbie J Pilato” Gets a Second Season – and a New SPINOFF Series

by TVWriter™ News Service

We aren’t always reading about our pal Herbie J Pilato, but when we do, we read the most interesting things. Here’s the latest on what one of TVWriter™’s first and foremost contributing editors – now “Contributing Editor Emiritus” –  is up to:

Hello All –

I am so over-the-moon with this announcement:

THEN AGAIN WITH HERBIE J PILATO – a classic TV talk show for every generation – has been renewed for a second season.

And not only that, but a new monthly SPIN-OFF series has been given the green light.

None of this would have been possible without the remarkable executive team at Council Tree Productions, headed by Joel Eisenberg and Steve Hillard, producer Lorie Girsh, marketing maven Bob Barnett, countless multi-talented production team members, guest stars, and an endless list of remarkably creative individuals.

And the fans of the show? What would we do without you?!

I once again offer my sincerest and deepest gratitude to all!

Executive Producer Joel Eisenberg tells us that all but the last two episodes of the first season of Then Again are currently available on Amazon Prime, and during August the two remaining episodes, starring Burt Ward (Robin on TV’s original Batman) and Ed Asner (Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show), will join them.

As for that spinoff Herbie J mentioned?

Yeppers, it’s coming as a series of twelve monthly specials, but Eisenberg cautions that “We’ll keep his close to the vest for now.”

He also wants everybody to know that “I have to say it. I rib the guy mercilessly, but CONGRATULATIONS, Herbie J. You deserve this.”

Watch Then Again on Amazon Prime

The Then Again website is HERE

NOTE FROM MUNCHMAN: In the spirit of the moment, yer friendly neighborhood muncher wants everybody to know how he feels about Herbie J and how things are going for him:

I’m with ya, Herbie J .