Writer Got Screwed (But Didn't Have To...): A Screenwriter's Guide to the Legal and Business Practices of the Entertainment Industry

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Overview

The Writer Got Screwed is the first book to untangle the legal and business aspects of writing for the entertainment industry. For the young TV production assistant waiting for his big break, the executive with a treatment tucked away in a bottom drawer, the techie targeting the new field of cyberspace writing, or anyone who is inspired to write screenplays, this book is an indispensable road map to success. Savvy Hollywood entertainment attorney Brooke Wharton explains the proper methods of protecting creative ...
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Overview

The Writer Got Screwed is the first book to untangle the legal and business aspects of writing for the entertainment industry. For the young TV production assistant waiting for his big break, the executive with a treatment tucked away in a bottom drawer, the techie targeting the new field of cyberspace writing, or anyone who is inspired to write screenplays, this book is an indispensable road map to success. Savvy Hollywood entertainment attorney Brooke Wharton explains the proper methods of protecting creative work, decodes the legal jargon the new writer is likely to encounter (and be unfamiliar with), gives practical advice on how to find representation, explains the pluses and minuses of obtaining an agent versus a lawyer or manager, shows how to read between the lines of a contract before signing, tells how to receive appropriate compensation for work, and advises how to avoid getting sued or screwed along the way. Top writers from film, television, and the emerging field of interactive entertainment candidly reflect on their careers, giving valuable advice on how to pitch ideas and offering alternative paths to success. For example, Jane Anderson, writer of How to Make an American Quilt, reveals how she made the move from television to big screen, and Philip Lazebnik, screenwriter for Pocahontas, recalls the collaborative excitement that lured him - despite myriad obstacles - to write for feature animation. Useful resources, including a glossary and lists of agencies, competitions, fellowships, internships, and legal organizations, make The Writer Got Screwed an essential addition to every writer's tool chest.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
If Wharton's book were a major motion picture, it would be destined to gross $300 million. Not only does Wharton, a Hollywood entertainment and copyright lawyer, demystify the legal mumbo jumbo of the entertainment industry, but she also answers questions like, "Do I have a contract if the agreement is written on a cocktail napkin?" and "Do all contracts have to be in writing?" An outstanding section called "Agents, Lawyers, and Managers" and sample forms and agreements are included as well. Whether you are writing for film, television, feature animation, or interactive gaming, the topics that concern you are covered here. As an added bonus, the author includes interviews with professionals in the field. A brilliantly researched section called "Resources and Tools" concludes the book. Every serious collection on motion-picture screenwriting should have this one on their shelves.Marty Dean Evensvold, Magnolia P.L., Tex
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062701305
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/28/1996
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.42 (w) x 9.53 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 Why Do My Ideas Always End Up in Someone Else's Script? 7
2 How Can I Write Nasty Things About People I Know and Not Get Sued? 30
3 If Someone Writes an Agreement on a Cocktail Napkin, and I Sign It, Do We Have a Contract? 50
4 Congratulations, You're a Member of the WGA 64
5 Agents: What Do They Mean When They Say That They Are Looking for Someone with Passion? 75
6 Lawyers: What Do They Mean When They Say That They Are Looking for Someone with Passion? 104
7 Managers: What Do They Mean When They Say That They Are Looking for Someone with Passion? 118
8 What Can I Do if I Don't Have an Agent, Attorney, or Manager? 130
9 Writing for Film 137
10 Writing for Episodic Television 169
11 Writing for the Entertainment Industry 199
12 Why Write for Television When You Can Write for Cyberspace? 217
Resources and Tools 239
Glossary of Terms 241
Competitions and Fellowships 249
Writers Guild List of Agencies 255
Legal Organizations for Writers 260
Internships 262
Index 273
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