Irish writers taking more control over the work they create and being compensated accordingly is an essential next step in our industry in order to address the current inequities of a system where, as originators, we deliver the content, but are not always encouraged to take part in the subsequent key creative and production decisions.
Today, the Writers’ Guild of Ireland is launching a campaign to recognise the role of writers as Executive Producers, to empower and encourage our members to feel like this is something they can ask for in their contracts, to equip them with the skills and information to take on that role with confidence, and to encourage our friends and colleagues who are producers to engage with the writers they are working with and support them in taking on this role.
The Irish Film & Television Industry is booming, according to recent statistics published by Fis Eireann/Screen Ireland. The Audiovisual sectors generated just over €1 billion in Gross Value Add (GVA) for the Irish economy in 2016 and supported 16,930 full-time equivalents of which 10,560 was in direct employment. (Olsberg SPI, 2017).
In launching this campaign, Chair of WGI, Jennifer Davidson, said
“We at the Writers’ Guild of Ireland wholeheartedly believe that if our industry is to continue to flourish as it has done over the last number of years, then a key part of that must be the part that writers play in the development and production of their own work. In the US, and in the UK it has become increasingly the norm for writers to take on an Executive Producer role in series that they have written and originated themselves. Yet in Ireland we hear again and again from our members stories of producers not understanding what that role might look like, and not wanting to deviate from the status quo. We know that it can feel like uncharted territory, but fear of change is not enough of a reason to not move the industry, and the quality of Irish productions, forward.”
The Writers’ Guild of Ireland looks forward to working with our members, and with key industry stakeholders on this important issue.