Monday, November 9, 2009

WGAW reaches out to its scribes

WGAW reaches out to its scribes

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Guild seeks assessment of climate in Industry
With annual earnings for writers having plunged 18%, the Writers Guild of America West has launched an online member survey seeking a "candid" assessment of the current climate for scribes.

WGA West president John Wells and the WGA West board of directors sent the missive to guild's members Friday, specifying feature and longform TV writers.

"We expect the data to be enlightening and informative for 2028>screenwriters as well as for the leadership and staff of the guild," the message said. "Furthermore, we believe it will help guide our2028>efforts to best represent the membership. Writer-specific information will be kept confidential."

The missive also said that each of the signers had already completed the survey and were all able to complete it in less than 20 minutes.

WGA West spokesman Neal Sacharow told Daily Variety that the survey's part of the guild's ongoing outreach efforts to members and wasn't triggered by its most recent earnings report.

The guild reported to members during the summer that earnings fell nearly 18% to $801.4 million for the fiscal year ended March 31 in the first full year following the 2007-08 writers strike. WGA-covered earning set a record in the previous year at $976.3 million.

The WGA report noted the number of writers reporting income declined 9.7% to 4,163. TV employment declined 11.2% to 2,929 slots while earnings for TV scribes declined 3.1% to $437.5 million. Feature film employment declined 14% to 1,716 slots. Film earnings, which had surged 19.5% in the prior fiscal year, declined a whopping 30.7% to $361 million.

The WGA's current feature-primetime contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers expires in May 2011.

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