Why we’re pausing all pitching until 2023 WGA strike disputes are resolved.
WriteMovies would like to welcome our new Analyst Matt Rose, who shares our response to the 2023 WGA strike below:
Our team here at WriteMovies stands behind the Writers Guild of America during their current strike as they put the scripted film and television industries on hold in advocating for fair wages, protections from being overworked and understaffed, and safeguards against AI screenwriting.
As script consultants and contest runners, we’ve worked with countless writers, both aspiring and experienced, and we understand the painstaking labor that goes into perfecting a screenplay for production. From blockbusters to indie hits, we know that every great film or series begins with an excellent script. In all respects, we pride ourselves on doing everything we can to hone and bolster the voices of screenwriters. In solidarity with the writers who keep the entertainment industry afloat as proven by the numerous production delays and shutdowns effected by their strike WriteMovies will not be pitching to any studios that are WGA signatories until the strike comes to an end.
The demands of the WGA, outlined by AP News, include calls for much-needed updates to outdated wage and labor standards, which have effectively been used to underpay and overwork screenwriters in recent years. As audiences continue to move away en masse from live television towards streaming platforms, writers’ residuals from syndication have all but vanished while long-term streaming deals leave writers’ compensation disproportionate to their value. The WGA calls for increased upfront pay to correct for residuals lost to the streaming era.
Also based on norms of the past, overly-long exclusivity deals leftover from the age of 22-episode TV seasons block writers from accepting available work despite 8-10 episode seasons now being commonplace. The WGA demands shorter exclusivity terms to mirror the shrinking of TV seasons. The guild also wants to end the exploitation of “mini rooms” which overwork a handful of writers during development, and they demand contractual safeguards against studios’ and producers’ use of artificial intelligence to write scripts.
Any pitching to studios and producers is considered a crossing of the picket line even for aspiring guild writers, who may be permanently barred from WGA membership for scab behavior though writers may continue seeking agents or managers, according to screenwriter and WGA secretary-treasurer Christopher Kyle. WriteMovies will continue to offer our screenplay contests and development services, and our studio pitching for winning scripts will resume as soon as the WGA strike comes to a close. In the meantime, we are working as hard as ever to aid our winning writers in polishing their scripts and prepping our pitch materials!
Find out more about WriteMovies’ contests and submission opportunities HERE.