Wednesday, December 12, 2007

WGA, Animation and Reality

From comments: "... why [has] the WGA ... suddenly added into the negotiations the issue of folding in reality and animation writers into the WGA?"

I don't think the WGA's current proposals for these jurisdictions are rash or sudden. The Writers Guild has had proposals to represent animation for at least a couple of contracts now. In the past, they've always withdrawn them ...

I believe the Guild's 2007 proposals for jurisdiction of reality and animation will ... when the dust settles ... also be pulled off the table, because the Guild won't be able to achieve a new contract otherwise. The conglomerates simply won't sign an agreement that contains them. (Of course, miracles can happen. And flying monkeys can attack Burbank's City Hall at dawn tomorrow. I just don't think, this year or next, we'll see winged simians over Olive Avenue, or the AMPTP caving to these proposals. Maybe I'm wrong.)

The Guild will have to organize animation and reality companies on its own, one at a time.

Keep in mind that the Writers Guild's first significant contract in animation was its 1997 collective bargaining agreement with 20th Century-Fox which today covers The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad and King of the Hill. (I believe they had some smaller, concessionary contracts prior to this.) The Writers Guild also had a contract with Carsey-Werner for the prime-time series God, the Devil and Bob, also one covering Dilbert at Sony/Columbia. The Animation Guild represented writers on Father of the Pride.

In feature animation, the W.G.A. has repped writers on The Simpsons Movie. The Animation Guild has represented feature animation writers at Disney, DreamWorks, Universal and Warner Bros. since 1952.

Writers working on product at Pixar and Blue Sky Animation have no union representation. The only way they're likely to get any is have the W.G.A. or T.A.G. organize them. I pretty much doubt that the studios will be helping with that ...


Anonymous said...


Lets say that the WGA were somehow able to get animation writing under their control. What about all of the story artist working on features and DVD releases. Would the WGA have to concede that these artists are not just pencils pushers but may write or re-write whole sequences of a screenplay and therefore must also be admitted as WGA members too? Or am I just blowing Pixie dust?

Anonymous said...

Another question for Steve. Let's say the impossible happens the the writers of 839 join the WGA -- what would happen to all the retirement benefits the writers earned while in 839?

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