IPSG and SPI Writers Credit Guidelines

#Industry: Screen Producers Ireland and the Writers Guild of Ireland agree new writer credit guidelines

Screen Producers Ireland and the Writers Guild of Ireland have agreed a new set of guidelines for the crediting of writers on productions.

The following list of credits for writers is for guidance purposes only. The writing credit definitions mirror those of the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds.

It is important to note that the contract between the producer and the writer will take precedent over these guidelines.

Screen Producers Ireland and the Writers Guild of Ireland recommend that the producer and writer avail of legal advice before signing a contract. You can also consult with WGI and/or SPI.

  1. Story by The term “story” means an original idea written for the screen which is distinct from a screenplay and consisting of the basic narrative, idea, theme or outline indicating character development and action. A “Story by” credit is appropriate when the screenplay is based on a story, as defined above, and not based on any pre-existing material.
  2. Screen Story by Credit for story authorship in the form “Screen Story by” is appropriate when a story, as defined above, is based on source material though substantially new or different from the source material.
  3. Screenplay by A screenplay consists of individual scenes and full dialogue, together with such prior treatment, basic adaptation, continuity, scenario and dialogue as shall be used in, and substantially contributes to, the final script. A “Screenplay by” credit is appropriate when the screenplay is based upon a story or a screen story as defined above.
  4.  Written by The term “Written by” is used when the writer(s) is entitled to both the “Story by” credit and the “Screenplay by” credit. This credit shall not be granted where there is source material of a story nature. However, biographical, newspaper and other factual sources may not necessarily deprive the writer of such credit.
  5.  Narration Written by A “Narration Written by” credit is appropriate where the major writing contribution to a motion picture is in the form of narration. The term “narration” means material (typically off-camera) to explain or relate sequence or action (excluding promos or trailers).
  6. “Based on Characters Created by” is a writing credit given to the writer(s) entitled to separated rights in a theatrical or television motion picture. This credit is accorded when a sequel to a theatrical or television motion picture is produced for television (excluding a television series).
  7.  Shared credit When credit is accorded to a team of writers, an ampersand (&) shall be used between the writers’ names in the credit to denote a writing team. Use of the word “and” between writers’ names in a credit indicates that the writers did their work separately, one usually rewriting the other. This distinction is well established in the industry through custom and practice.
  8. The Possessory Credit The possessory credit “a film by” or its variations, is accorded to a director who has written and directed the film; and or who has a significant body of work and whose reputation as a film-maker is such that it can make a significant contribution to the marketing of the film. Writers’ guilds do not believe that the possessory credit should be used in any other circumstances.

Screen Producers Ireland (SPI) is a members organisation that promotes the growth and sustainability of a working environment conducive to a strong independent production sector. It is our duty to be the most effective voice of independent film, television, animation and digital producers in Ireland by addressing the needs of the sector and using our knowledge and expertise to deliver a strong and sustainable position for them. SPI are focused on shaping an independent production industry that is comparable to best international standards. SPI encourage state organisations charged with developing the industry to put in place development plans and policies for the sector to maximise potential. SPI support the continuance of the Irish Film and Television production tax incentive, Section 481. SPI continually identify potential improvements to the scheme and pursue Government to deliver on stated commitments.

SPI communicate and negotiate with industry stakeholders to include Broadcasters, The Irish Film Board, The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Government Departments and other relevant Irish and international organisations. SPI works to ensure that independent producers are provided with fair regulation across all broadcasting platforms. SPI develop good communications with relevant unions representing employees in Film & TV Drama, to deliver effective and competitive collective agreements.

The Writers Guild of Ireland (formerly the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild) is the representative body for writers in Ireland for the stage and screen. The organisation is a company limited by guarantee. It elects its Board from its members at its annual general meeting – at which all full members can attend and stand for election.

WGI believe that writers in Ireland are not generally WGIll-treated; that rates are modest to insulting; contracts poorly drawn up and always written in favour of the commissioner or purchaser of the rights; and that all of these issues can be at least partially improved by collective action. WGI believe that information – about exactly what others are getting paid, what rights they are selling and how they are improving their situation – should be distributed freely to any writer who is interested.