Written By Summer 2011 : Page 2

FADe in tH e M AGA zine OF tH e Writer S Guil D OF A M eri CA , W e S t WRITING TEAMS to remember: Gordon & Kanin. Diamond & Wilder. Heisler & Heline. Who? If you don’t recognize the last pair of names, consider the careers of Eileen Heisler & DeAnn Heline: a suc-cessful writing team for 21 years, starting out with staffing gigs on Roseanne and Murphy Brown, currently massaging The Middle into its third season on ABC. Just one of many reasons why Heisler & He-line are the cover for Written By’s premiere Emmy issue. As luck would have it, our timing couldn’t be better. The two writ-ers prove to be a fortuitous choice because, as Neely Swanson points out in an article about women writers and this year’s pilot season that she wrote for the Baseline Intelligence blog, “the earth didn’t just move, it was an EARTHQUAKE.” Swanson’s website No Meaner Place is an invaluable resource for screenwriters. Formerly the SVP of Development for David E. Kelley Productions and currently an adjunct professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts (writing division), Swanson replied to my questions about her posting: “For the 2010-11 pilot season, the participation of women, in-cluding women writing with a male partner, hit a new low for the new millennium, even as more and more women filled network and studio decision-maker slots. For whatever reason—and it might have just been a lack of awareness that so many different voices were being overlooked—things changed dramatically in the 2011-2012 pilot season as the number of pilots written by women, including female teams and male/female teams, almost doubled, and the number of pilots written by women-only almost tripled.” So is gender bias seemingly a thing of the past, at least for now? That verdict is still out. Casting a shadow over this positive news is the WGAW’s Executive Summary of the 2011 Hollywood Writer’s Report: Recession and Regres-sion . Published shortly after this pilot season, the report examines industry writers’ employment and earnings by ethnicity, gender, and age for the period from 2008 to 2009. The study declares: “Although the employment share for women television writers remained stable (still a very low 28 percent), the earnings gap in television between male and female writers widened again—an 84 percent increase from the previous report, issued in 2009.” Perhaps most depressing of all, when factoring in feature films, “Women writers’ overall employment share declined.” In her posting Swanson concluded, “It might still be a man’s world, but clearly, they aren’t the only ones holding the remote control”— or, might I add, buying the popcorn, as Bridesmaids demonstrates, written by the female team of Annie Mumolo & Kristin Wiig. In my first few months as editor of Written By, we published a theme issue titled “Women’s Writes,” my initial attempt to provide writers of the female persuasion their own issue. I cleverly titled a story, “What Do Women Writers Want?” And received this educational answer: “To be called writers.” — Richard Stayton, Editor 2 • WGA W Written By SUMMER 2011 W ritten B y © © WGAW OFFiCerS President John Wells Vice President Tom Schulman Secretary-treasurer David N. Weiss MARK MARK HANAUER HANAUER WGAW BOArD OF DireCtOrS Linda Burstyn, Ian Deitchman, Carleton Eastlake, Katherine Fugate, David A. Goodman, Mark Gunn, Chip Johannessen, Chris Keyser, Kathy Kiernan, Aaron Mendelsohn, Billy Ray, Howard A. Rodman, Robin Schiff, Steven Schwartz, David Shore, Patric M. Verrone, Dan Wilcox exeCutiVe DireCtOr David Young GenerAl COunSel Tony Segall WGAW PHOne inFOrMAtiOn The Guild (All Departments) 323.951.4000 FAx 323.782.4800 WeBSite: WWW.WGA.OrG WGAW DePArtMentS Administration Agency Awards & elections Claims Contracts Credits Dues Diversity executive Offices Film Society Finance Human resources legal library Member Services Membership Organizing Public Affairs Publications registration residuals Signatories theater Operations Written By Pension & Health 323.951.4000 782.4520 782.4502 782.4569 782.4663 782.4501 782.4528 782.4531 782.4589 951.4000 782.4508 782.4637 782.4615 782.4521 782.4544 782.4747 782.4532 782.4511 782.4574 782.4699 782.4500 782.4700 782.4514 782.4525 782.4699 818.846.1015 800.227.7863 800.890-0288 WritersCare info. Written By welcomes your comments. Send letters to: 7000 W. Third St., L.A., CA 90048 Or E-mail us at writtenby@wga.org

Fade In

Richard Stayton

WRITING TEAMS to remember: Gordon & Kanin. Diamond & Wilder. Heisler & Heline.

Who? If you don’t recognize the last pair of names, consider the careers of Eileen Heisler & DeAnn Heline: a successful writing team for 21 years, starting out with staffing gigs on Roseanne and Murphy Brown, currently massaging The Middle into its third season on ABC. Just one of many reasons why Heisler & Heline are the cover for Written By’s premiere Emmy issue.

As luck would have it, our timing couldn’t be better. The two writers prove to be a fortuitous choice because, as Neely Swanson points out in an article about women writers and this year’s pilot season that she wrote for the Baseline Intelligence blog, “the earth didn’t just move, it was an EARTHQUAKE.”

Swanson’s website No Meaner Place is an invaluable resource for screenwriters. Formerly the SVP of Development for David E. Kelley Productions and currently an adjunct professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts (writing division), Swanson replied to my questions about her posting:

“For the 2010-11 pilot season, the participation of women, including women writing with a male partner, hit a new low for the new millennium, even as more and more women filled network and studio decision-maker slots. For whatever reason—and it might have just been a lack of awareness that so many different voices were being overlooked—things changed dramatically in the 2011-2012 pilot season as the number of pilots written by women, including female teams and male/female teams, almost doubled, and the number of pilots written by women-only almost tripled.”

So is gender bias seemingly a thing of the past, at least for now? That verdict is still out.

Casting a shadow over this positive news is the WGAW’s Executive Summary of the 2011 Hollywood Writer’s Report: Recession and Regression. Published shortly after this pilot season, the report examines industry writers’ employment and earnings by ethnicity, gender, and age for the period from 2008 to 2009. The study declares: “Although the employment share for women television writers remained stable (still a very low 28 percent), the earnings gap in television between male and female writers widened again—an 84 percent increase from the previous report, issued in 2009.”

Perhaps most depressing of all, when factoring in feature films, “Women writers’ overall employment share declined.”

In her posting Swanson concluded, “It might still be a man’s world, but clearly, they aren’t the only ones holding the remote control”— or, might I add, buying the popcorn, as Bridesmaids demonstrates, written by the female team of Annie Mumolo & Kristin Wiig.

In my first few months as editor of Written By, we published a theme issue titled “Women’s Writes,” my initial attempt to provide writers of the female persuasion their own issue. I cleverly titled a story, “What Do Women Writers Want?”

And received this educational answer: “To be called writers.” —Richard Stayton, Editor

Read the full article at http://www.bluetoad.com/article/Fade+In/750363/72023/article.html.

Previous Page  Next Page


Publication List
Using a screen reader? Click Here