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Jae Solina

Script Doctor

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Good afternoon beautiful people of cinematography. I hope all is well with you. I know this forum is a cinematography forum but this is probably the only place I actually get feedback. That being said, I hired someone in upwork to help me with my screenplay. Am I now responsible for putting him as a co-writer when submitting my screenplay to film festivals? Will I have to put him in the end credits if I somehow manage to film the said screenplay?

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What share of the credit did you agree when you hired the writer? Ideally it's always important to agree that sort of stuff in advance.

It's a tricky subject and on big movies the Writers Guild do a lot of credit arbitration to work out who gets the credit based on the amount they contributed to the script.

In your situation you could have a discussion with the other writer about what's fair.

If he just contributed a few bits you might credit as "additional material by"

If its very loose editorial script doctoring help you might credit: "Script edited by"

If he say wrote more then 25% of the text then thats a co-writer credit.

If you wrote the story, you could give yourself "story by" and share the writing credit.

But yes if he wrote a chunk of the script and you make it, you should offer to credit him fairly. Unless he signed something to wave his credit. He might not be that bothered about the credit, but it better to be cool, ask him and give fair credit where it is due.

Some writers for hire and script doctors are fine with getting no credit and they are usually paid very well. 

If you didn't pay this person very much (and fee's on upwork can be silly low at times) then I think crediting is more important. 


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Posted (edited)

Script editors don't usually get a writing credit, since they don't usually do any actual writing on the script, they make points or just ask questions. They can get script editor credit, which you often see on TV serials and soaps.  If this is your personal  project and you hired them, you can even ignore what they say,. however, make sure that their editing background matches your project. They may be good at one genre, but not so good at others, while others are good at a range of genres.

If they do write additional material, the suggested credits by Phil makes sense



Edited by Brian Drysdale

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