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David Poland

By David Poland

The WriGAms

ADD: 11:17p – An e-mail landed at 5:44p from a publicist – “You’re probably already aware but just in case you’re not, wanted to bring to your attention that Disney/Pixar’s UP is unfortunately ineligible for DGA and WGA Awards because the filmmakers are not signatory members of either guild.”
Nice job by Steve Pond in pointing out the real story on why The Weinsteins didn’t chase WGA noms for three of their awards season films. The films just weren’t eligible.
Add to that An Education, which was DQed because its WGA member, Nick Hornby, is not a member of the Writers Guild of Great Britain and did not write the Brit-made, non-Sony-funded film under their CBA. To wit;
To be eligible, a theatrical motion picture must have been written under the WGA MBA or under a bona fide collective bargaining agreement of the Australian Writers Guild, Writers Guild of Canada, Writers Guild of Great Britain, Irish Playwrights & Screenwriters Guild or the New Zealand Writers Guild (collectively,

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6 Responses to “The WriGAms”

  1. Jerryishere says:

    Interesting. Then what was the loophole that allowed QT a WGA nom for his CSI ep? Because the show was written under the WGA MBA? But how was QT as a non-member allowed to write it in the force place without having to join?
    Anyone know why QT isn’t a guild member?

  2. Jerryishere says:

    “first” not “force”

  3. District 9 and In the Loop also ineligible:

  4. SJRubinstein says:

    Yeah, that happened to one of the best scripted movies of the last few years, too, with “Pan’s Labyrinth.”

  5. PastePotPete says:

    DGA has lots of bs credit rules that you have to abide by or get fined. The reason George Lucas left the DGA is because he didn’t want his name credited at the start of Star Wars. So he was fined $10,000 IIRC, and quit. Robert Rodriguez quit the DGA because he wanted to share credit with Frank Miller on Sin City and DGA rules only allowed co-director credits from established directing partnerships, ala The Wachowskis.
    Tarantino was able to work on CSI by getting a waiver from the guilds. You can apply for them but they aren’t always granted. He also got a waiver for his ER episode from the DGA but was denied one for an X-Files episode, I think.

  6. I remember Todd Field was ineligible for In the Bedroom, as was Nolan for Memento. Although the Education one seems awfully pedantic.
    Tarantino has never been a WGA or DGA member (although DGA allows non-members to be nominated for their prize for whatever reason). I think its the indie upstart in him, as if saying “you don’t need to be a member of these clubs to make movies” etc.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon