You wrote a screenplay. Congrats!
You managed to sell a spec script. Double congrats!!
A production company actually gave your script the green light. Triple congrats!!!
But wait, you say they’re having someone else do a rewrite? What does that mean? Will you still get a writing credit? Is a bigger writing name going to push you out of the way for the sake of marketing? What will you do?!
Most of us will never reach any of these scenarios. I know, heartbreaking, right? However, that doesn’t mean none of us wonder what would happen. Fortunately, the nice folks at Scriptnotes (and by folks I mean John August and Craig Mazin) have us covered.
Their most recent entry goes pretty in-depth into how writing credits are determined, the history of writing credits, how arbitration works, who does the arbitrating, and a bunch of other details around the whole process. Craig really knows his stuff when it comes to this area, and John offers some fun commentary and personal experiences as well. If you’re lucky enough to sell a spec to a WGA signee studio or production company, this is all stuff that will eventually impact you.
You can check out the show here.
And if you don’t already, I’d encourage you to check out John’s blog and subscribe to the Scriptnotes podcast in iTunes. It’s a nice and informative resource for aspiring writers to listen to, if only to hear Craig rail on so called “script experts” from time to time.