You've got to love a lawyer who advises, "Don't make your lawyers rich." Entertainment lawyer Brooke A. Wharton provides an authoritative and, yes, entertaining primer for the beginning entertainment writer not just on the legal and business issues of writing for the industry, but also on how to get a career jump-started. The first section covers copyright, libel, and contracts, so that if you can't "control the exploitation of your scripts and written work ... at least [you'll] know when you're being screwed." The following section delineates the murky differences between the roles of agent, lawyer, and manager. The gist of it is that you don't need all three, but which ones you need depends on the type of person you are and the type of agents/lawyers/managers they are (industry insiders are not prone to job-title limitations). The next section has a series of interviews with writers, agents, and a producer, all of whom help to enlighten us about the various writing jobs the industry offers, from film to television to cyberspace. (If you're surprised to learn that "most writers working in the film industry do not make their living from the sale of a spec screenplay," I've got a good deal for you on some land in Florida.) Finally, there are lists of competitions, fellowships, internships, and agencies. And what about jump-starting that glamorous career? Contacts, baby. Contacts. And wouldn't you know, if you ain't got 'em, Wharton's got great advice on how to make 'em.
An indispensable roadmap to success, The Writer Got Screwed is the first book to untangle the legal and business aspects of writing for the entertainment industry. It is for the young TV production assistant waiting for a big break, the executive with a treatment tucked away in a bottom drawer, the techie targeting the new field of cyberspace writing, or anyone who is inspired to write screenplays.
Savvy Hollywood entertainment attorney Brooke Wharton decodes legal jargon, explains how to protect creative work, shows how to read between the lines of a contract, and advises how to avoid getting sued and screwed along the way. Useful resources, including a list of agencies, competitions, fellowships, internships, and legal organizations, make The Writer Got Screwed an essential part of every writer's tool chest.
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