It means you have one piece of evidence saying that on June 4, , this particular piece of intellectual property was in your possession. The fact that you obtained an official copyright or WGA registration does NOT mean you have protection or a more powerful piece of evidence. And in order to prove those things, you need evidence.
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Not protection… just potential pieces of evidence. Well… if registering or copyrighting your scripts or treatments gives you piece of mind… go for it. Firstly, it is nearly impossible, in the world of TV, to steal a script or idea from the writer. TV shows tell new stories week after week, year after year.
And while you could argue that the original writer could be replaced, this rarely happens in TV… especially in the embryonic stages of development. Normally, one of the reasons studios and networks acquire a show is they love the unique voice and vision of the writer.
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These shows all have fiercely strong, unique voices and visions. I mean, there have been plenty of suburban soap operas, but nobody saw the world quite like Marc Cherry. And while a show may eventually stand on its own feet enough to be run by a different showrunner, most series need—in their delicate first few months—the guidance of the visionaries who created them. This is what networks and studios want to find and buy… not just well-written scripts or ideas.
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Think about Psych and The Mentalist. The only true way to protect your work… or sell it. If a network or studio likes your idea… they want you involved. They need you; the last thing they want is to boot the creative visionary who sees the world of the show in a special way. So the best—and perhaps only —protection for your TV show? Your job, as a TV writer or producer at any level , is NOT to come up with a brilliant idea and try to protect, write, produce, or sell it. Most of your ideas will be crap and never go anywhere, but this is how your brain, your imagination, should be working… constantly creating and exploring new avenues.
You should be coming up with at least ten fresh ideas a day, good or bad. But people who come up with one great television idea… even a brilliant idea… are not legitimate producers or writers. Your only hope is to do it differently than everyone else. A few years ago, a friend of mine, a TV writer working on a fairly popular show, spent months slaving over an original pilot she was excited about. Days after finishing her final draft, Showtime announced they were doing a series with the exact same premise — and almost the exact same title— from a high-level showrunner!
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Although my friend was never able to sell her pilot, it was such a good illumination of her voice that she used it to land a job… writing on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A good idea can come from anywhere… a friend, a co-worker, an executive, an agent, your barista or bus driver. You also form connections with other creative people. By brainstorming story ideas with a producer today, you position yourself as the imaginative writer he wants to hire tomorrow.
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Yet by being overly-protective, you not only miss out on potentially helpful suggestions, you remove yourself from the creative flows and whorls that fuel Hollywood. Having said this, I fully recognize the need to shelter a still-tender idea or script from outside influences; sometimes you need to be alone with an idea, letting it marinate in your own creative juices. This is fine… and totally different from the fear of sharing your work because you think it could be stolen. So again… if you want to pay to register or copyright your work… go for it.
In fact, here are the links to online registration at the Writers Guild,the U. Copyright Office, as well as ProtectRite:. If you—or anyone else—has more questions, thoughts, or comments… please feel free to post them below, tweet me at chadgervich , or email me at chad chadgervich.
Boy, do you need to find another attorney. Shockingly, most attorneys who call themselves entertainment attorneys know almost nothing about copyright litigation. I hear and read mistakes all the time at forums and on blogs. I correct when I can. I am a copyright litigator. Although copyright registration costs a bit more than WGA registration, it lasts forever, and the info is searchable online. WGA arbitration is private and only lasts 7 years.
A waste of money unless you want proof of registration immediately. Google it. Thus if a nobody, uncredited within the TV genre, pitching becomes vulnerable to infringment.
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So even with this projects uniqueness of content and never done before elements being apparent, I feel the only way to protect my work is by stepping outside the box and my comfort zone, hitting the bricks to package it with principal talent most of which are Icons of the industry before pitching… Thus presenting a package much too legit to infringe on in any way. What do you think? You can copyright a concept. I imagine you mean the reality show format.
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People sue based on reality show theft often. Sometimes they win, sometimes they lose. But there is some protection and the ability too sue. There is no blanket prohibition. I worked for an A-list prod. So I was more than willing to read new writers as long as submitted through proper channels that is. However, more often than not — I could to turn to page 1 — and that is what would be the red flag.
The writing was bad and you could tell the write did very little study of the craft. Many times, I have to admit — these types of writers were the one who listed all their WGA reg info. Just being honest. However, I have no bias to the copyright for some reason. Again, these are just personal little biases — but they come from years of experience.
My advice to new writers is — read a TON of produced scripts in whatever format you want to write for. Maybe awards momentum has something to do with that. The National Board of Review had already dubbed it best picture of the year, and the American Film Institute ranked it among their top 10 for the year. Tony Lip is there for protection. Kennedy to get him and Lip sprung from prison.
This is a true story. Shirley on a tour of the South. Shirley, meanwhile, really was a concert and jazz pianist—an outright prodigy, who, as the movie depicts, lived with regal splendor in an apartment above Carnegie Hall. That road trip undergone by the two men? That really happened too, though it lasts about two months in the film while, in real life, it lasted about a year. There should be ample opportunity for intimate familial realities to sneak their way into the movie.
Vallelonga still has tapes of his father recounting incidents he ended up including in the script. It should be no wonder, then, that Mortensen had a decisive leg up when it came to fleshing out his character. He had the audio tapes of my father, video of my father.
But by all accounts, Mahershala Ali had no such real-life contact with Dr. This disparity has its advantages for a skilled actor like Ali; by relying only on vague clues, Ali could reimagine the character through his own performance. Which is, for the record, beautiful: his Shirley is monied, erudite, and slickly sophisticated, with a sly sucking-in that make his cheekbones sharp with superiority. Despite being a black man in the 60s, Shirley, as Ali plays him, has no qualms about his social status.
When staying at a black-friendly motel, he holds himself apart from other blacks, wearing his fine clothing and turning up his nose.
Perhaps most outlandishly, Dr. Really, the problem is more specific: Tony Lip drew an impression of Dr. Shirley for his friends and family, and in the making of Green Book, no one seemed to question whether those impressions were honest. Then the film came out—and the Shirley camp began to speak up. In November, Maurice Shirley, Dr.
For one thing, Maurice said, Dr. Shirley was not cut off from his family. At the very least, his brother said, he never would have let a white man egg him into eating it.
Starting with the script
As the movie rightly knows and attempts to dismiss with good humor and a playful wink, loving fried chicken is a black stereotype. The production delves into deep psychological tensions, but Michelle Tan's script has a lightness and optimism, with a dash of self-deprecating humour and razor-sharp sarcasm - which keeps Risa likable throughout. We have been experiencing some problems with subscriber log-ins and apologise for the inconvenience caused.
Until we resolve the issues, subscribers need not log in to access ST Digital articles. But a log-in is still required for our PDFs. Skip to main content. Benson Ang. A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 16, , with the headline 'Probing play on truth lightened by script'.
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