27 The Writers Guild from Why Researching Screenwriters (has Always) Mattered [Video] (51 seconds)

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27 The Writers Guild from Why Researching Screenwriters (has Always) Mattered

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Transcript:

Because what the writers learned was that everyone took a pay cut except IATSE — is the union for the people who work on the set– and that had come from Broadway and they did not take a pay cut because they had a 3-year union contract and it couldn’t be taken away and that’s when the writers said Yeah, we need a union. That’s a great idea. Let’s start a union and they started a couple of versions and it wasn’t until the 1950’s when the current union — the one that does that magazine I mentioned — existed and it had existed since then and that’s protected writers by making sure that credits match on the screen. In the early days, a producer could put the credit for the film to his girlfriend simply because he wanted to make some money. You had no right to credit on your own film. So the Guild, that was one of the major things they did as well as pensions, benefits, and things like that.

A Note About This Presentation

A clip from my keynote speech at the 10th Screenwriters´(hi)Stories Seminar for the interdisciplinary Graduation Program in “Education, Art, and History of Culture”, in Mackenzie Presbyterian University, at São Paulo, SP, Brazil, focused on the topic “Why Researching Screenwriters (has Always) Mattered.” I was especially pleased with the passion these young scholars have toward screenwriting and it’s importance in transmitting culture across the man-made borders of our world.

To understand the world we have to understand its stories and to understand the world’s stories we must understand the world’s storytellers. A century ago and longer those people would have been the novelists of any particular country but since the invention of film, the storytellers who reach the most people with their ideas and their lessons have been the screenwriters. My teaching philosophy is that: Words matter, Writers matter, and Women writers matte, r so women writers are my focus because they have been the far less researched and yet they are over half the population. We cannot tell the stories of the people until we know what stories the mothers have passed down to their children. Those are the stories that last. Now is the time to research screenwriters of all cultures and the stories they tell because people are finally recognizing the work of writers and appreciating how their favorite stories took shape on the page long before they were cast, or filmed, or edited. But also because streaming services make the stories of many cultures now available to a much wider world than ever before.

Many thanks to Glaucia Davino for the invitation.


 

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