Archive for the ‘advocacy’ Category

Fair Payment for Online Use

14th November 2017 by Maura McHugh

As the European Parliament handed out its cinema award – the Lux Prize – Europe’s associations of screenwriters and directors and their collective management organisations congregated in Strasbourg to meet MEPs and new Digital Commissioner Mariya Gabriel with a clear message: despite the welcome benefits of awards ceremonies like the Lux prize, many screenwriters and directors are unable to sustain a career as an author.

They face income instability, weak bargaining power and high-risk during the unpaid development stage of new projects. On top of that, as more people pay to watch their favourite films and TV shows online, screenwriters and directors often find themselves unable to share in that economic success.

They are calling on Axel Voss, rapporteur for European Parliament report on the draft Copyright Directive, to strengthen the existing provisions on transparency and fair remuneration in contracts, and to include an unwaivable right to remuneration that will ensure that on-demand platforms have to negotiate royalty payments for screenwriters and directors with their collective management organisations.

A delegation of screenwriters and directors led by Oscar-nominated German screenwriter, Fred Breinersdorfer will meet Commissioner Gabriel on 15th November to discuss the Commission’s legislative proposals.

FERA, FSE and SAA congratulate director and screenwriter, Amanda Kernell for winning the LUX Prize with Sami Blood. Robin Campillo and Philippe Mangeot’s 120 BPM and Valeska Grisebach’s Western were the other finalists who received distribution support through the subtitling into all the languages of the European Union.

Quotes

Cécile Despringre, Executive Director of SAA said: “The time for rhetoric on fair remuneration for authors is over. Draft legislation is on the table, Members of the Parliament must now show they have the political will to tackle this issue.”

Pauline Durand Vialle, CEO of FERA added: “The authors’ community in Europe must be empowered to make the best of its future: we call on the Members of the Parliament to give us the tools to build sustainable careers in the digital era.”

David Kavanagh, Executive Officer of FSE said: “The problems of authors’ remuneration cannot be solved by our marketplace. We need legislative and regulatory solutions from the European Union.”


Writers Credits Guiding Principles

3rd October 2017 by Maura McHugh

The Writers Credits Guiding Principles were agreed between Screen Producers Ireland (SPI) and the Writers Guild of Ireland (WGI) in September 2017.

The following list of credits for writers is for guidance purposes only. The writing credit definitions mirror those of the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds.

It is important to note that the contract between the producer and the writer will take precedent over these guidelines.

We recommend that the producer and writer avail of legal advice before signing a contract.  You can also consult with the WGI/SPI.

  1. Story by
    The term “story” means an original idea written for the screen which is distinct from a screenplay and consisting of the basic narrative, idea, theme or outline indicating character development and action. A “Story by” credit is appropriate when the screenplay is based on a story, as defined above, and not based on any pre-existing material.
  2. Screen Story by
    Credit for story authorship in the form “Screen Story by” is appropriate when a story, as defined above, is based on source material though substantially new or different from the source material.
  3. Screenplay by
    A screenplay consists of individual scenes and full dialogue, together with such prior treatment, basic adaptation, continuity, scenario and dialogue as shall be used in, and substantially contributes to, the final script.

    A “Screenplay by” credit is appropriate when the screenplay is based upon a story or a screen story as defined above.

  4. Written by
    The term “Written by” is used when the writer(s) is entitled to both the “Story by” credit and the “Screenplay by” credit.

    This credit shall not be granted where there is source material of a story nature. However, biographical, newspaper and other factual sources may not necessarily deprive the writer of such credit.

  5. Narration Written by
    A “Narration Written by” credit is appropriate where the major writing contribution to a motion picture is in the form of narration. The term “narration” means material (typically off-camera) to explain or relate sequence or action (excluding promos or trailers).
  6. Based on Characters Created by
    “Based on Characters Created by” is a writing credit given to the writer(s) entitled to separated rights in a theatrical or television motion picture. This credit is accorded when a sequel to a theatrical or television motion picture is produced for television (excluding a television series).
  7. Shared credit
    When credit is accorded to a team of writers, an ampersand (&) shall be used between the writers’ names in the credit to denote a writing team. Use of the word “and” between writers’ names in a credit indicates that the writers did their work separately, one usually rewriting the other. This distinction is well established in the industry through custom and practice.
  8. The Possessory Credit
    The possessory credit “a film by” or its variations, is accorded to a director who has written and directed the film; and or who has a significant body of work and whose reputation as a film-maker is such that it can make a significant contribution to the marketing of the film. Writers’ guilds do not believe that the possessory credit should be used in any other circumstances.

EU Agrees Unwaivable Right to Fair Remuneration

11th July 2017 by Maura McHugh

This a joint press release from FERA, FSE, and SAA on “European Copyright: Parliament committees vote for an unwaivable right to fair remuneration for audiovisual authors.”

Today, the European Parliament Industry and Culture committees voted in favour of an unwaivable right to fair remuneration for authors and performers for the making available of their works. Supported by the European audiovisual authors’ community, such a remuneration right would ensure that screenwriters and directors receive royalties when their works are exploited on on-demand services, wherever in Europe, thanks to its collective mechanism.

The ITRE committee opinion, drafted by Polish ECR MEP Zdislaw Krasnodebski, was adopted including such an unwaivable right to fair remuneration introduced by S&D MEPs led by British MEP Theresa Griffin with the support from across the political spectrum. Drafted by French EPP MEP Marc Joulaud, the Culture committee adopted a compromise amendment with a similar positive provision for authors and performers based on amendments introduced by S&D, EPP and Greens but undermined by a possible derogation for original agreements which would raise the costs and sap the functioning of any collective agreement. Taking into account the weak individual bargaining power of audiovisual authors, such a derogation is not justified and will need to be reexamined.

The SAA encourages the European Council and the lead committee in the European Parliament, the Legal Affairs Committee, to support and adopt ITRE’s unwaivable right to remuneration.

The Legal Affairs committee, will discuss the Copyright Directive tomorrow and vote after the summer. The Council Intellectual Property Working Party held a meeting on this issue yesterday.

Quotes:

Cécile Despringre, SAA Executive Director said “The Culture and Industry opinions sends a clear and powerful message to the European Parliament’s lead committee and the Council. They have recognized that Europe’s screenwriters and directors must be financially rewarded when their works are successful online and have adopted the appropriate provisions to make sure that happens.

Pauline Durand-Vialle, FERA Chief Executive added “The unwaivable right to fair remuneration received support from across the political spectrum this morning. It’s great to see the European Parliament stepping up in support of the audiovisual creative community.

David Kavanagh, FSE Executive Officer said “This Directive is a unique opportunity to bring fairness to audiovisual authors by allowing them to share in the economic success of their works online: let’s hope this step forward in the EU Parliament paves the way for positive discussions in the Council.

FERA – Founded in 1980, the Federation of European Film Directors contains 39 directors’ associations from 29 countries. It speaks for approximately 20,000 European screen directors, representing their cultural, creative and economic interests both in Brussels and in the Member States. www.filmdirectors.eu @Film_directors

FSE – The Federation of Screenwriters Europe is a network of national and regional associations, guilds and unions of writers for the screen in Europe, created in June 2001. It comprises 25 members from 20 countries, representing more than 7,000 writers in Europe. www.scenaristes.com @ScreenwritersEU

SAA – Founded in 2010, the Society of Audiovisual Authors (SAA) is the association of European collective management organisations representing audiovisual authors. Its 31 members in 23 countries manage rights for over 120,000 film, television and multimedia European screenwriters and directors. www.saa-authors.eu @saabrussels

Building Momentum: The Road to Gender Equality

27th June 2017 by Maura McHugh

Organised by the Equality Action Committee (EAC) of the Writers Guild of Ireland, the Screen Directors Guild of Ireland (SDGI), and Women in Film and Television Ireland (WFT.I), this panel discussion will take place during the Galway Film Fleadh, at 3 pm on Saturday, 15 July in the Galway Rowing Club.

The panel will be moderated by Mary Kate O Flanagan, and will include Emer Reynolds (The Farthest), Marian Quinn (Board Member Irish Film Board), Michael O’Keeffe (CEO Broadcasting Authority of Ireland) and industry representatives to debate what has been happening with gender equality.

Where we are and where we’re going–and more importantly–what initiatives can we expect to see over the coming year?

Get informed, motivated and inspired! See you there!

Join us for a networking drinks reception after the panel at 4.30pm – first drink is free for members, but all are welcome.

Not a member of WGI, SDGI or WFT.I yet? Sign up on the day.

The event is free but ticketed, and open to everyone. Please phone to book your ticket via the Town Hall Theatre (091-569777) – if you book via the online system you will incur a booking fee.

See it – Be it!

1st July 2016 by Maura McHugh

See it – Be it! Putting Women in the Picture is a panel discussion taking place at the Galway Film Fleadh on at 3 pm on Saturday, 9 July in the Galway Rowing Club. It’s organised by by the Equality Action Committee (EAC) of the Writers Guild of Ireland & the Screen Directors Guild of Ireland.

We know that far fewer women than men write and direct films and TV drama. That’s true in Ireland and across the world, and it has consequences not only for the filmmakers themselves but for all of us. When women are out of the picture it can impact on the kinds of stories and characters that end up on our screens.

In December 2015 the Irish Film Board took steps that promise to shake up the landscape of Irish film. Their new 6 Point Plan includes 50/50 gender funding parity over three years. It’s bold. It’s innovative. And it’s the of talk of Europe.

But what exactly does it mean for you, the writers and directors? Join a panel of women filmmakers to shine a spotlight on women in the Irish film industry.

We’ll be celebrating and learning from the experiences of some of our women filmmakers. Afterwards, we’ll thrash out the challenges and possibilities of this new policy together. Get informed, motivated, and inspired!

Panel:

Chair

It will be followed by open discussion with Dr Annie Doona and members of the EAC.

The EAC is comprised of Liz Gill, Dr Susan Liddy, Lauren Mackenzie, and Marian Quinn.