In a move to ameliorate the writer-agent fiasco, the WGA has started a new program called a “Weekly Feature Memo” that will allow writers to connect directly to producers, forgoing an agent altogether. It has been two weeks since writers gave the ultimatum for their agents to sign a new Code of Conduct, banning extra fees such as for packaging as well as production agency affiliations. According to Deadline, the writer’s guild will compile a list of specs scripts and pitches that are available and send them to producers and development executives every week through a subscription email service. This move was in order to help writers continue to work despite the second week of their strike against major talent agencies.
“You simply submit your logline to the guild,” the WGA explained to its members in a memo. “The submissions will be organized by genre. Any producer wanting to read your spec, hear your pitch, or set a general meeting will be able to contact you via a link to the Find-a-Writer Database.”
The program will send out all submissions received by Wednesday at noon every Friday of that week, excluding holiday weekends. All submissions received after the deadline will be sent out the following week. Writers can submit up to two pieces per month, and the program is available to current, post-current and associate members. In order to submit their work, writers can log into MyWGA. The first set of submissions will be sent out April 26.
Other tools the guild has offered its members in order to find jobs after firing their agents include updating its “Find-a-Writer” directory, which allows employers to find and contact writers directly. Concerning television, the guild has formulated a new Staffing Submission System, whereby writers can provide work samples in order to showrunners.