Q. WHEN IS A DEAL NOT A DEAL?Complications Ensue
Complications Ensue:
The Crafty Screenwriting, TV and Game Writing Blog


April 2004

May 2004

June 2004

July 2004

August 2004

September 2004

October 2004

November 2004

December 2004

January 2005

February 2005

March 2005

April 2005

May 2005

June 2005

July 2005

August 2005

September 2005

October 2005

November 2005

December 2005

January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010

April 2010

May 2010

June 2010

July 2010

August 2010

September 2010

October 2010

November 2010

December 2010

January 2011

February 2011

March 2011

April 2011

May 2011

June 2011

July 2011

August 2011

September 2011

October 2011

November 2011

December 2011

January 2012

February 2012

March 2012

April 2012

May 2012

June 2012

July 2012

August 2012

September 2012

October 2012

November 2012

December 2012

January 2013

February 2013

March 2013

April 2013

May 2013

June 2013

July 2013

August 2013

September 2013

October 2013

November 2013

December 2013

January 2014

February 2014

March 2014

April 2014

May 2014

June 2014

July 2014

August 2014

September 2014

October 2014

November 2014

December 2014

January 2015

February 2015

March 2015

April 2015

May 2015

June 2015

August 2015

September 2015

October 2015

November 2015

December 2015

January 2016

February 2016

March 2016

April 2016

May 2016

June 2016

July 2016

August 2016

September 2016

October 2016

November 2016

December 2016

January 2017

February 2017

March 2017

May 2017

June 2017

July 2017

August 2017

September 2017

October 2017

November 2017

December 2017

January 2018

March 2018

April 2018

June 2018

July 2018

October 2018

November 2018

December 2018

January 2019

February 2019

November 2019

February 2020

March 2020

April 2020

May 2020

August 2020

September 2020

October 2020

December 2020

January 2021

February 2021

March 2021

May 2021

June 2021

November 2021

December 2021

January 2022

February 2022

August 2022

September 2022

November 2022

February 2023

March 2023

April 2023

May 2023

July 2023

September 2023

November 2023

January 2024

February 2024

June 2024


Wednesday, May 25, 2005

A. When the money hasn't been negotiated yet.

I got good news from a producer the other day that he wanted me to do a crash rewrite on a project. But, it turns out, he did not want to pay WGC scale, unless the project "got funded." If it didn't get funded, he could only pay half of scale.

Not all producers in Quebec thoroughly understand the concept of "scale." (You know who you are, boys.) They take the WGC IPA as a good basis for further negotiation -- downward.

This sort of thing just pisses me off. Yeah, it was still a fair chunk of change. But it's disrespectful. Who tells a contractor to build him a house, and then if he has the money, he'll pay for it? If you don't get your funding, do I get back the time I spent working on the script?

What bugs me most is that I'm always tempted to just do the job. I know I can't take the job. But I'm tempted to. Especially after I've had a nice meeting and I like the people and I've already solved the problems in the script. I'm creatively engaged with the project. And now a little thing like money is going to split us apart.

On the other hand, if I don't uphold the IPA, who's going to? I'm a busy writer. I know how I'm paying the mortgage next month. If I take half of scale, how does the guy who hasn't worked in a year insist on scale? And then we don't have a union. And then no one ever gets paid scale. (The ten top guys would still get over scale. But the ten top guys had to start somewhere.)

In the end it turned out to be an easier decision than I'd thought. I'd understood that it was just the up front payment that was a problem. The producer in question, though, had no idea of the production fee writers get in Canada when the film gets made: a bit over 2% of the production budget. No way he was going to pay that. Which made it very easy indeed to walk away from the project.

In general, of course, the unwillingness to abide by the IPA is just the tip of the iceberg. A producer who pays less than scale isn't going to want less work. He's going to want more work, and he's going to guilt trip you for draft after draft until he loses interest in the project. A producer who skimps is going to skimp away all down the road.


Very interesting ! Thanks for sharing :)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:22 PM  

Great post. Agree with you 100%.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:39 PM  

Creativity has no value until paid up for what it's worth, otherwise talent is exploited or free.

Funding is just about the only way anyone with career perspective at entry level IPA numbers could receive or warrant a payment AS contracted for.

This industry has lost its fundamental source in writers because greed and extortion belongs to a profit margin shared between ownership and "structured" investing capacity.

The workforce could have as many negotiating leverages with WGC or legal counseling (be it, personal or collective), it doesn't change the fact that ambitious money hungry corporations are on the stake-out for the next cheapest deal accepted or signed for.

Seriously, who would work for someone knowing they're being stolen from? Or always treated at the low wages scale (continually, time after time, on every opportunity they MIGHT get!) BY offer rather than comprehensive reasoning.

It's the artform which is in danger of collapsing from a clear lack of resources. Basicly, some writers starve when they simply let it.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:43 PM  

Post a Comment

Back to Complications Ensue main blog page.

This page is powered by Blogger.