If you are an avid Georgia film supporter, then you already know that there is a lot of growth taking place in Georgia with regard to film production. So much growth is taking place that Georgia is often referred to as the ‘Hollywood of the South.’ The spotlight has been on us for several years but critics challenge that Georgia is no more than the latest fly by night sensation in film that will most likely meet with the same fate as states like North Carolina or Louisiana. This could become a reality if local film supporters don’t come up with out-of-the-box ideas that could strengthen the film community in Georgia.
A game changer for Georgia to remain relevant and to effectively compete with California and New York in the film industry would be to create strong, stable writing communities in Georgia that support the local film industry. One way to begin to laying the foundation for strong writing communities is to begin to grow local writing talent and to attract more writing professionals to Georgia. This week, Jason Gordon, Director of Communications at the Writer’s Guild of America-East, shares with Reel Focus readers what it means to be a part of the Writer’s Guild and how to start establishing and sustaining professional writing communities in Georgia through developing signatories.
First tell our readers what the Writer’s Guild is and how important it is in the world of film and television.
The Writers Guild of America, East is a labor union representing writers in motion pictures, television, cable, digital media and broadcast news. The Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members; conducts programs, seminars and events on issues of interest to writers; and presents writers’ views to various bodies of government.
Tell us what a signatory is and how important it is for a company to be an authorized WGA signatory as opposed to not being a signatory.
A signatory company is an employer that has signed a collective bargaining agreement with WGA. Any company intending to employ a Guild member or option, or purchase literary material from a Guild member must become signatory to the Guild’s Minimum Basic Agreement, the collective bargaining agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) that covers screen, television, and new media writers.
Signatory companies range from the industry’s biggest film studios to independent production companies, and broadcast networks to webisode production companies.
Becoming a signatory means that you can hire professional writers. WGAE members can only work for companies that are signatory to Guild contracts.
I’m sure you have heard of the growth of film in Georgia. Would the presence of more professional writing signatories improve the local film production market?
More signatories in Georgia means more opportunities for Georgia’s film production community to work with Writers Guild members, who are the gold standard in writing for the screen and television.
Can you conclude with a step-by-step process on who should consider becoming a signatory and how to become a signatory.
The process to becoming a signatory is extremely easy. Simply fill out the WGAE’s 2014 MBA signatory application by clicking the link below: