If you’re a screenwriter, and you should be if you follow this blog, I hope you’re keeping up on the battle between the Writer’s Guild and the agents. It is affecting how business is getting done in town, and could change the shape of how it’s done in the future.
Get up-to-date information in this Deadline article:
UTA, one of the big four agencies, made the first move to reach out to writers and get them back to the table. Initially, a date was set for this week but it was pushed. Inside word is that the WGA didn’t want to sit down until all parties agreed on some ‘rules’ for the next round of talks. Smart move. As of now, the new date for both parties to meet is June 7th.
It is interesting to note, that an article came out this week trying to stir up trouble between the WGA negotiation team and their membership. Hopefully, that wasn’t a bargaining ploy, but who knows. As the battle extends, it probably won’t take much to make the membership push for a resolution–even though the scribes have been scrambling to find work in unique ways. (Some have succeeded!)
As for the agents, they’ve got to be feeling the pain just as intensely. Many were released from their jobs, having lost all their clients. Others are hanging on, having a more diverse client list or by being a part of an agency with deeper pockets. The mood around town, however, is cautious. For those not in the WGA or ATA, it’s like everyone is waiting for something definitive to happen before they publically take a side. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.
Whether you currently have skin in this game or not, what’s being negotiated matters for anyone in the business, as it will have far-reaching results. Keep up on both sides of the issue and make up your own mind about how the WGA and ATA should find some common ground and get everyone back to work!