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HAMMOND Goes Inside The WGA Awards

Pete Hammond

In accepting the Best Original Screenplay award for Inception at Saturday night’s Writers Guild Awards, winner Christopher Nolan addressed the elephant in the room by noting that not all the best screenplays were eligible for the prize. The Writers Guild, as they do every year, disqualified scripts not made under Guild agreements and this year that list included four screenplays that are nominated for Oscars including The King’s Speech, Toy Story 3, Another Year, and Winter’s Bone. Nolan noted that 9 years ago, even though he was a WGA member, he was told his script (later Oscar nominated) Memento would not be eligible for a WGA award. Nolan alluded to those “screenplays not considered but I am not going to name them for fear of boosting their chances at other shows”. He said that, hopefully, next year all scripts will be eligible “without qualification”.

I talked to WGA President John Wells at the pre-show reception about this thorny issue and he said that The Weinstein Company did in fact want to try and make King’s Speech eligible retroactively but that the producers of the film balked at the costs. (Wells’ recent film The Company Men was distributed by TWC.) He said the practice of disqualifying screenplays that don’t meet Guild production standards is one that comes up time and again at WGA Board meetings but the guild feels it’s a good way of convincing some productions to sign on to the … Read More »

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Writers Overwhelmingly Approve Pattern of Demands In Upcoming Negotiations

By | Thursday February 3, 2011 @ 3:46pm PST
Mike Fleming

Members of the Writers Guild of America, West and the Writers Guild of America, East have given their overwhelming approval to the Pattern of Demands for the 2011 Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA) negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) and major television networks.

A total of 2,021 valid ballots were cast in Los Angeles and New York with 1,951 (97%) writers approving the pattern.

“Our thanks to those who voted so strongly in favor, affirming the relevance and importance of the issues outlined in our pattern of demands,” said WGAW President John Wells and WGAE President Michael Winship. “This overwhelming support from our joint membership is a powerful mandate for our negotiating committee as it moves forward toward the next MBA.”

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