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Screenwriting : WGA's "No Writing Left Behind" ?? by Melanie Star Scot

Melanie Star Scot

WGA's "No Writing Left Behind" ??

I need some clarification. According to the WGA, writers should never leave behind pages of their work. https://www.wga.org/members/employment-resources/no-writing-left-behind

If I'm understanding this correctly, how does this work when a production company requests to read your script and you have to sign a release form, releasing them from all liability if they "just happen" to make a film that is similar to your script?

Isn't this like handing over your script for free to a company who can then legally just change the names and locations but make your script into a film without owing you credit or pay?

And if this is so, how do you get your script read without having it stolen?

No Writing Left Behind
No Writing Left Behind
What should a writer do if asked to leave written material with a producer after a pitch? A new outreach campaign, No Writing Left Behind, launched by the Writers Guild of America West aims to educate…
Dan MaxXx

Submitting spec scripts is not the same as going to a meeting where you're there to pitch for a writing assignment and the employer wants to keep your notes.

But everyone has done it some time in their lives - work/write drafts for free, leave notes, chase . Even A-List writers who do screenwriting podcasts.

Craig D Griffiths

The NWLB is when they ask you to come in and pitch in their idea. What would be your take in “Stretch Armstrong Movie”? Don’t leave that stuff. It then becomes free product and a poor representation of what you are capable of producing.

Craig D Griffiths

Kay Luke this isn’t about thief. It is to break the cycle of people thinking writers will do free work.

If they pay, leave the sample. If they don’t, take it back. The WGA is trying to get people to realise that all writing has value.

CJ Walley

Indeed. This has basically become free consultation work on tap. The whole purpose of the WGA is to step in and address issues like this. It has nothing to do with submitting a spec.

Melanie Star Scot

Thanks everybody! I appreciate the feedback. So, if a production company wants to read your spec script and wants you to sign a release, you just do it?

Melanie Star Scot

Thank you Kay, I greatly appreciate the info.

Melanie Star Scot

Also - let me clarify my question. I realize the WGA article was about not leaving your work behind while in a face-to-face personal meeting. My rationale was "Well, if you shouldn't leave work behind for an in-person, requested meeting, it doesn't sound like you should just send your work to a company that you've never even heard of......"

Craig D Griffiths

Kay Luke I will. Do you know any? Credible ones I mean.

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