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Leveraging Independent Writers for Book Adaptations During the WGA Strike

As the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike disrupts the entertainment industry, authors who wish to adapt their books into scripts may wonder if they have any options for moving forward. While the strike may limit collaboration with WGA-affiliated writers and the struke companies and affiliates under the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), there is still potential to bring an author's stories to the screen.

The WGA Strike and Collaboration

The ongoing WGA strike impacts the availability and willingness of WGA members to undertake new projects. However, it's important to note that the strike does not prevent authors from collaborating with independent writers who are not part of the WGA. Authors can still work with these writers to adapt their books into scripts without violating any strike rules or hindering the strike itself.

Advantages of Independent Writers

1. Creative Freedom: Working with an independent writer offers creative freedom and flexibility. Authors can find a writer who shares their vision for the adaptation and collaborate closely to ensure their story is faithfully translated to the screen. Without the restrictions of WGA guidelines, authors and independent writers can focus solely on creating the best script possible.

2. Control and Ownership: Authors who work with independent writers have greater control and ownership over the adaptation process. They can negotiate the terms of the collaboration, retain full rights to their IP, and maintain creative input throughout the script development.

3. Faster Development for Post-Strike Opportunities: With an established IP, authors can expedite the development process by having a completed script based on their book and themselves for post-strike opportunities. Once the strike concludes, there may be increased demand for quality scripts and fresh stories. This is even more relevant with the SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) also going on strike as of 11:59 p.m. July 12, 2023, causing productions that were unaffected by the WGA strike to shut down as well. Authors who have a polished script ready to present will be well-prepared to take advantage of these opportunities.

If you or an author you know is considering the idea of adapting a written work into a film or television adaption, please feel free to reach out to award-winning screenwriter Jeanelle Warren, who is currently dedicating her time to assisting authors with this very task.


Jeanelle Warren

Los Angeles, CA

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