Monday, July 2, 2012

Writers Have Little to Be Happy about with 2012 WGAw Earnings Report

The annual WGAw earnings report for 2012 (reporting 2011 earnings) came out today, and there isn't a whole lot of good news.  In fact, mostly the numbers are down compared to 2010, and the worst in six years of reporting.

This summary from David Lieberman, Deadline:

"The number of writers reporting earnings fell 2.3% to 4,338 — the lowest level in at least six years. The biggest category, television, was up a slight 0.4% to 3,320. That was more than outweighed by the 8.1% drop in screen writers to 1,562. Meanwhile, writers’ total reported earnings dropped 5.9% to $911.7M, the lowest level since the 2008 recession, although the WGA says the numbers could improve as late reports come in. Television writers generated $559.2M, -1.2% from the all-time high set in 2010. But screen writers saw $349.1M, -12.6%. 'While late reports will offset this decline somewhat, the last two years have resulted in 15% fewer writers employed in screen, earning 20% less in the aggregate,' the WGA says. The picture’s mixed for the residuals that the union collected. TV was up 14.0% to $183.1M helped by reuse of programs in foreign territories and an increase in the number of shows made for cable. But theatrical films fell 9.8% to $128.5M — largely due to a 23.9% drop in home video to nearly $30M ... "
(Deadline, David Leiberman July 2, 2012)

Here are some grids to illustrate the sadness:


Bottom line, this only underscores what I've been saying about the importance for screenwriters to diversify and move into other areas of writing, especially online and self-publishing e-books (see my earlier post: So...You Want to Be a Screenwriter—Snap Out of It!).  If you want a life as a working writer, and one that finds real satisfaction and appreciation from readers (real readers, not Hollywood gatekeeper-readers)—then, diversify baby.

Now, go be a brilliant e-book writer!

No comments: