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FilmmakerGround >> Register pitch with WGA worth it?


3/20/07 9:35 PM
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BarkLikeADog
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Edited: 20-Mar-07
Member Since: 10/11/2005
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I pitched a series idea to a friend that's producing a hit cable show that's about to end, & he likes it 7 wants it to be his next project. He asked me to rewrite it in a given format so he can better pitch it to networks. Should I register with the WGA as a nonmember? I don't really care if I get paid for the idea. I don't have any juice to get it made on my own. I would like to work on the project. My main concerns are a) to protect the pitch for his benefit b) to make sure I don't neglect an essential element on the paperwork, i.e. are they going to pass on the pitch because it's unprofessional to not register? ???
3/21/07 2:37 AM
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Pain dont hurt
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Edited: 21-Mar-07
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Couldn't hurt.
3/21/07 7:41 PM
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BarkLikeADog
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Edited: 21-Mar-07
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Well, it costs money; I don't see any benefit it offers over copyright, & I don't know whether using it marks me as a sucker vs. not using marks me as an outsider. What I'm trying to get at here: industry requirement or scam?
3/28/07 3:32 PM
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asymmetrik
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Edited: 28-Mar-07
Member Since: 01/01/2001
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many legit prod co's won't even look at your material if it hasn't been registered. it's only around $20 and is definitely worth the piece of mind.
3/28/07 4:40 PM
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BarkLikeADog
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Edited: 28-Mar-07
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Exec producer, production company & cash are already in line; they are the ones pitching it to networks. Does that make a difference?
3/28/07 5:03 PM
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asymmetrik
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Edited: 28-Mar-07
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you'll be fine. your friend should be able to let you know if its a requirement, but it probably won't be, especially at the stage you're at.
8/8/07 5:05 PM
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Johnny99
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Edited: 08-Aug-07
Member Since: 01/01/2001
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WGA reg is only, like, 20 bucks.
9/7/07 9:23 AM
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BarkLikeADog
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Edited: 07-Sep-07
Member Since: 10/11/2005
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Great news; a major network bought the pitch & it goes into production between the exec producer's current season & his upcoming live show. You all know this guy & you will all know this show. I heard from the friend tonight & he made me a couple of different offers that'll make good on the verbal deal I made with him, which I didn't expect at all. There's no way I could've brought this to market & I would've been happy to just be able to say "I wrote that," but it looks he's actually going to get me a writing credit & a production job out of the deal. !!!
9/7/07 12:49 PM
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Edited: 07-Sep-07
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Congrats!
9/29/07 8:40 PM
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NutraBulk
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Edited: 29-Sep-07
Member Since: 09/28/2007
Posts: 25
Outstanding
10/23/07 9:37 AM
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Pugilist82
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Edited: 23-Oct-07
Member Since: 10/31/2005
Posts: 663
Congrats man, any updates?
10/25/07 4:34 AM
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BarkLikeADog
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Edited: 25-Oct-07
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Writing credit didn't happen, Production gig didn't happen; producer dude stopped taking my calls shortly after my last post on this thread. I'm not surprised by any of that. Show aired tonight; I did not see it but from the promotions it looks like a third party pitched a similar show & they ended up together doing something that wasn't quite what either wanted. It looks like dookie to me & that part surpises me a little bit, 'cause what I wrote is really tons better. Sorry to get everyone excited over nothing. For the record, name of the show is Phenomenon.
10/25/07 3:15 PM
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Edited: 25-Oct-07 10:01 PM
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Sincerelt sorry to hear that, dude. This is classic Hollywood bullshit, by the way. Happens every day. I've learned this lesson many times... Do not celebrate until the ink on the contracts is dry. (Edit: brain fart) There's no integrity in Hollywood.
10/25/07 4:04 PM
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BarkLikeADog
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Edited: 25-Oct-07
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I don't think it's an integrity issue at all. My guy was very excited to be pitching & doing project. NBC picked it up, changed it to something completely different, my guy isn't even working on it. I think he's more embarrassed than ducking. I'm very glad my name is not on it because it's terrible & I don't even see it finishing its 8 episode run. A little disappointed I didn't get any work out of it yet, maybe I will someday, probably not, whatever.
10/25/07 10:09 PM
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Edited: 25-Oct-07
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You seem very relaxed about all of this, but if you really came up with a concept that spawned or contributed to the creation of the show "Phenomenon" and you're receiving no credit and no financial rewards, then you're getting screwed. Especially if you were promised "writing credit & a production job" If the guys your "friend" he should pick up the phone and call you back. That's not integrity, it's common decency. BTW, did you register the pitch with the WGA?
10/26/07 7:32 AM
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BarkLikeADog
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Edited: 26-Oct-07
Member Since: 10/11/2005
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Nope, he's not a friend. He's an acquaintence. Friend was easier to type. He also is not on the show & thus had no power to deliver what he originally offered. At the time, he thought he would be involved, but ended up not involved at all, either. The show I wrote is not the show they made, bottom line. Watch the promo materials for it; Geller & Angel sound like they're talking about two completely different shows, lol. Did not register. Did not participate in the pitch process. Lost more time on this thread than I did writing & problem-solving my version, lol. Have maintained from the beginning that the money didn't matter at all; the writing credit would have helped but I have already learned to be careful with writing credits if there is no creative control mechanism of any kind. I'm way more upset about NBC fucking up the entire premise of both pitches than I am about "getting screwed." I worked fairly diligently at recognizing applicable production problems & solved them all, but NBC fell into every one of them on their own, lol.
10/26/07 2:36 PM
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Edited: 26-Oct-07
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The part that confused me was when you said the network "bought the pitch." Which implies that somebody got paid for the pitch you helped create. Just be careful with your ideas. Writers really get stepped on in this business if they don't stand up for themselves. Unfortunately, if writers are not in the guild or repped by a big agency, people will continue to take advantage of them. The best thing to do until you're in the WGA/repped is to register your ideas and keep a paper trail of everything you do.
10/26/07 4:10 PM
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BarkLikeADog
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Edited: 26-Oct-07
Member Since: 10/11/2005
Posts: 5596
I already had a paper trail & all pertinent communications recorded; that wasn't the point of the original question. Thanks, though.

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