15 Screenwriting Lessons People Learn TOO LATE

This is it, kids – your chance to become the leader of the pack.

Click on, keyboard-wielding soldiers:

From Film Courage

A Positive Look at Reboots

The obviously superior human being known as Siskoid shares his thoughts on the usually obviously inferior works of creativity known as reboots. And comes up with an interesting and, to us anyway, genuinely new perspective:

by Siskoid

So I was perusing the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 comics series, kicked off by Joss Whedon himself, and positing what happened after the cult series ran its course. It’s got the Scoobies running an international group of 500 slayers, Giles working with Faith, the military investigating the hole in the ground that used to be Sunnyvale, villains both old and new, and Dawn turning into a giant and a centaur due to… unprotected sex with a demon? Let’s just say it throws you into the deep end from issue one and goes from there.

Continuing celebrated franchises in comics form isn’t unique to Buffy, plenty of movies and television series have spun off into comics to tell interstitial stories and to continue the sagas. Star Wars is an early example, as are Star Trek and Doctor Who, but early examples don’t have the same function Buffy Season 8 does. First, those are franchises that have kept going, putting in doubt the canonicity of any comics (or other media) material, but more importantly, they were crafted at a time when there was no way to easily revisit your beloved franchise. No VCRs or DVDs, no streaming services, no Internet, even movie theaters were simpler and had fewer screens (NOTHING ever stayed more than a week in my local cinema in the 80s)… Even straight adaptations of the material become worthwhile because that’s the only way you can re-experience the material ON DEMAND. Yes, television shows might be syndicated and run an episode (not of your choosing) every week night, but you’re really at the mercy of local stations, and your favorite show might drop off the schedule completely. Movies are even harder to come by.

In this day and age, the world is very different, so the comics continuation really isn’t the only game in town. While older series might have been content with stories that didn’t rock the boat, could be ignored wholesale, and never permanently changed anything about the setting or characters (and regretted it when they did, just look at the convolutions of Movie-era Trek comics), “Series Eights” today want you to think they ARE canon, appointment reading for true fans, and with no further televised material in our future, the actual continuation of the saga you followed for what might be 7 years. There are still interstitial series (Doctor Who, Trek, etc. have comics that fill in holes, but the continuations are still expected to hit our screens), but comics companies now go out of their way to develop material for series that are over (or were cancelled before their time) with the series creators themselves. The name alone tells you this is OFFICIAL and part of the auteur’s VISION.

Sure, a series creator could decide to push for a movie continuation or a sequel series, but those are BIG projects that don’t often pan out. They cost money, and take a lot of time….


More on the WGA-Association of Talent Agencies: War

Now it’s getting really interesting.

Did you know that managers and lawyers have never been WGA authorized to negotiate payment for TV and screenwriters?

Until NOW:

WGA Deputizes Managers And Lawyers To “Fill The Gap” If Agents Are Fired En Masse
by David Robb

The WGA is deputizing managers and attorneys to procure employment for writers and negotiate their over-scale terms – essentially taking the place of agents. The move comes as the guild prepares for the possibility that it might ask all writers to fire their agents en mass if it can’t come to terms with the Association of Talent Agents for a new franchise agreement.

With that agreement set to expire on April 6, the guild said that it is “preparing for the possibility that members may have to leave their agency after April 6. To ensure that as much support as possible will be in place for writers seeking work, the WGA is providing a limited delegation of our exclusive bargaining authority to managers and attorneys who represent guild members.”

“While we are working toward a swift and equitable resolution of our differences with the agencies,” the guild said tonight in a message to its members, “we must still plan for other contingencies [for] members who could soon be without representation by a franchised agency. Many guild members have a manager and/or attorney who can help fill some of the gap.

“To eliminate any doubt, the guild has issued a formal written delegation authorizing managers and lawyers who represent WGA members to procure employment and negotiate over-scale terms….”

Read it all at DEADLINE.COM

See also WGA Makes ‘Significant Move’ For Deal With ATA – But Not On Key Issues Of Packaging And Producing


‘The Good Fight’ Just Got Even Better…

…And in our opinion, it already was the best show on TV. Even if it’s actually on CBS All Access, which means it’s really a full-length web series.

Hmm, who would’ve predicted that particular Great Thing, like, five years ago?

Bottom line: Season 3 of The Good Fight started last week, and not only is it even more terrifical than ever, so are its little add-on type dealie-boppers, like this one:

Yeppers, gang, showrunners Robert and Michelle King are walking their talk. Now if enough people will just listen.

Um, wait. What? We were getting political here? TVWriter™ doesn’t exist to do politics but to give as much insight into TV writing and the writing process as it can? Well, Manafort’s balls, doods, if this kind of thing isn’t insight into the writing process, what is?

Didja watch the video? Good. Watch it again.

The Staff Of Gimlet Media Is Unionizing

The following article is one of those news items that doesn’t seem to mean much at the time but which will – TVWriter™ predicts! – be seen as a portent of the future in, you know, the future.

In other words, this is “The One Where the Writers Guild of America Recognizes, Accepts, and Opens Its Arms Wide to Audio Writers!” Wonder how much the writing minimums are going to be.

by Caroline O’Donovan

The 83-person staff of Gimlet Media, a podcasting startup acquired by music streaming service Spotify for $230 million in February, is unionizing with the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE).

Gimlet was founded in 2014 and produces popular podcasts including Reply AllStartUp, and Crimetown.

“As Spotify’s reported $230 million acquisition of Gimlet makes clear, however, Gimlet is no longer the small, scrappy operation memorably documented on the first season of ?StartUp,” the Gimlet organizing committee wrote in a statement published Wednesday. “Our union is an expression of passion for what we do, and a proactive effort to work with management to shape the future of the company. It’s important for us to solidify the things that make Gimlet a great place to work, and to address whatever issues may arise.”

Among the issues Gimlet’s union says it plans to focus on are fair treatment of contractors, workplace diversity, employee intellectual property, and transparency around pay, promotions, and termination.

Employees, 75% of whom signed union cards in support of the organizing campaign, are asking management to voluntarily recognize their union, which they say will include content creation roles such as producers, engineers, reporters, and hosts on both the branded and editorial sides of the company. The union will not include managers or sales and marketing staff.

In a wave of media labor organizing over the last year, companies including the New Yorker and New York magazine voluntarily recognized employee unions, while other efforts, such as the Los Angeles Times employees’ successful National Labor Relations Board election, have been more contentious. Gimlet is now owned by a public tech company, though, and union drives within the tech industry are much less common. Still, companies including GoogleMicrosoftAmazon, and Salesforce have seen increasing employee activism over political issues and working conditions.

A spokesperson for Gimlet said the company has “received a formal notice from the WGAE union and plan to review” but had “nothing further to report at this time.”

The WGAE, which represents a number of other digital media properties, including Vox, Vice, HuffPost, and Gizmodo Media Group, said Gimlet is the first podcasting company to join the union.

“Podcasting is one of the most exciting new media platforms for storytelling and Gimlet is at the forefront of creating compelling content,” WGAE executive director Lowell Peterson said in a press release. ”We welcome the people in this field into our Guild, where we will work to ensure they are afforded rights and protections like those won by other content creators working in film, television, news and new media….”

Read it all at BUZZFEED.NEWS