Friday 18 May 2007

Shift the Power Balance

Michael Gubbins writes for about the invisible role of the screenwriter in the filmmaking industry, and the aspirations of the recent European Screenwriters Manifesto.

The stumbling block, or the great opportunity, is money, suggests UK writer William Nicholson, a writer on the Oscar-winning Gladiator. The status of the writer owes much to their position as a salaried employee of a film's producer, who is normally the person taking the financial risk.

"As long as we continue to be in that relationship to the project it will be hard to demand control over our work or even respect.

"The way forward if you really do want power is to function as a writer-director or even more as a writer-producer. If you want the power, you must be willing to shoulder the risk. If you don't want rewrites, be the boss," he says.

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