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Screenwriting Help E-Mail (Previous)

Updated every Monday, one selected e-mail will be posted and answered here each week. With many years of experience in the film and television business, I look forward to providing answers to your questions (often with a humorous eye) about screenwriting or the entertainment industry in general.  Please send your e-mailed questions to: Script Advisor.  You may also wish to visit our Screenwriting Help E-Mails - The Archives.

This week's question: 

DcH, in keeping with the fourth of July, I want independence from not selling my screenplays.  Can you help?


This week's answer: 

Co-dependent No More Screenwriters

I most certainly can, kind sir.  Your words have moved us all here and we, inspired by your courage to speak out against the tyranny of not selling screenplays, have set down the following (including passages of the same):


The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united Screenwriters of America,

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men can create equal screenplays, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Screenwriter Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of selling a Screenplay.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the screenwriters, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the Screenwriters to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, or structure (to use a screenwriter’s term – and he has the inalienable right to use that term for the very same)

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united Screenwriters of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good Screenwriters, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Screenwriters are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent Screenwriters; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to Producers who don’t pay them for their screenplays,... And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence and WGA, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor (but not our residuals or points).

Thomas DcH Jefferson

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