The Guild’s Organizing Department is actively reaching out to writers of indie features and documentaries about joining. The Guild has recently dedicated resources to expanding our membership in this area as well as strengthening the collective voice of members who already work in independent film. These efforts include signing independent production companies to Guild contracts so that writers on those projects can have the benefits of union membership. Guild membership is important to independent filmmakers because it establishes protections such as guaranteed creative rights, Guild minimum salaries, and residual compensation structures, among others.
The Guild’s Low Budget Agreement provides exceptional flexibility for films with budgets under $1.2 million. The WGA Low Budget Agreement and Documentary Screenplay Contract was designed to fit the needs and realities of independent and documentary filmmakers. No budget is so low that screenwriters should sacrifice Writers Guild protections and benefits.
If you are writing an independent film or documentary and are interested in doing so under a Guild agreement, please contact Ursula Lawrence at 212-767-7836 or ulawrence@. wgaeast.org
“Suddenly I had someone looking out for my rights, watching my back, and putting the collective power of hundreds of other writers behind me. And I found a community of creative people who have become both friends and resources. At a time when the media world is in such tremendous and anxiety-provoking flux, the WGA provides a welcome -- indeed a necessary -- anchor in my creative life.”
-- Amanda Vaill, writer, Jerome Robbins: Something to Dance About