Copyright © 2014 by Michael Ray Brown. All rights reserved.
“First rate analysis at a cut-rate price.”
— Creative Screenwriting
The Writers Guild of America (wga.org). The Guild accepts unbound copies 8.5 inches by 11 inches (21.5 cm by 27.9 cm). For a $20 fee ($10 for members), the WGA will keep your script on file for five years. Be sure to include your return address on the title page and your social security number (or foreign equivalent).
7000 W. 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90048-4329
Telephone: +1 (323) 782-4500
FAX: +1 (323) 782-4803
You can also register your script online at www.wgawregistry.org.
As a service to all writers, the Guild publishes a list of signatory agents who are licensed by the State of California. You can also view a list of agents and managers at Done Deal Pro (donedealpro.com). A subscription to Done Deal Pro costs $23.95 a year.
ProtectRite (protectrite.com), the National Creative Registry’s intellectual property protection service. You can upload your script (up to 3 MB in size) for instant protection. The $18.95 fee, payable by secure online transaction, is good for ten years.
Writers’ Copyright Association (wcauk.com), the foremost script registration service in Europe, provides worldwide protection at a higher fee (£10 a year). They also host a free script marketplace where writers can post their work and get it seen by hundreds of producers and agents.
Duly Noted™ (dulynoted.co.uk), also in the U.K., is the newest kid on the block. For £20 they keep your script on file for ten years using “fingerprint” technology, which they claim is tamper-proof. Their well-organized Web site contains a wealth of information about copyright.
File for copyright protection with the Library of Congress (loc.gov) in Washington, D.C. The disadvantages are it takes from 4 to 5 months to process, costs $30, and you must place a copyright notice on your work. Please be aware that the Industry tends to view a copyright notice as the mark of a paranoid amateur.
Click&Copyright (clickandcopyright.com) can assist you in preparing the proper forms. The Library of Congress estimates that half the applications they receive are incorrect, and must be re-filed. Click&Copyright makes sure it’s done right the first time. Their $119 fee includes all filing costs.
Alternatively, you can send yourself a copy by registered mail. This “poor man’s copyright” doesn’t provide the same level of protection, but it is faster and cheaper. All things considered, it’s smarter to register your work.
Registering your script is important, as it provides secure storage and some proof of authorship in the event someone plagiarizes your story. You have six options, including three online services. Registering your script online is convenient, but it’s riskier than using a brick-and-mortar service. (One of the first online registries recently went out of business.) Registration services are like banks: You want to make sure they’re still around when you come to make a withdrawal.
|Sample Script Analysis|
|Sample Selling Synopsis|
|Scriptwriter Interview #1|
|Scriptwriter Interview #2|
|Scriptwriter Interview #3|
|Scriptwriter Interview #4|
|Elements of a Great Script|