Friday, July 4, 2008

Working with a Writing Partner

When you work as a writer, at some point or another you will be asked to write a script with another person. Usually, this is a project for which they have either written a draft or a script, or a treatment, or possibly only have the idea. They will become your "Writing Partner".

I have been contracted to write my second such script. One of which I rewrote from an initial draft. This one is from a treatment. The issue is, they both want screenwriting credits on the script, even though they will eventually write exactly 0 words of the project. Now, on a WGA job, you can simply go to them and have them arbitrate and give you the full credit, and they would get a story by credit...possibly.

This is frustrating because when you send the script out, it looks as though someone else has written portions of your script. Now, it should be stated that they do deserve some credit because it is their idea which I am bringing to the screen. However, they're not really writing the project. They become a producer of the project. When Steven Spielberg hires a writer, he doesn't get a written by credit, even though it's his idea.

On the other hand, as a contractor, once the project is done I can hand it off to another person and have them do a lot of the legwork.

And in the end, regardless, it's always nice to see someone get a finished project that they love. It's nice to see them send their script out and get positive feedback, meetings, or (hopefully some day) a deal from it.

I suppose it is better than being a script doctor and getting no credit.

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