Due to mysterious ways, The Crusading Chemist is on its way to The Library of Congress rather than the Writers Guild. That is, to Washington, D.C. rather than Los Angeles, California.  My literary friends, please read closely just in case you ever plan to publish/produce some of your work.

On Tuesday Dad brought home the 10 bound copies of the screenplay from the Minuteman Press. All is well with that, though there are a few minor typos I overlooked that are infuriating to me (it’s not like I didn’t proof-read it!). But those slip-of-the-pen things are common enough to not distract people too badly (I should hope).  After all, there is alot of editing in the movie making process.

TCC Bound Copies

On Friday Mom took an unbound copy and a bound copy to the Post Office. The unbound copy was on its way to the WGA, while the bound copy was on its way to myself (an old legal check – mail it to yourself and never open it so you will have legal, date/time stamped proof that you are the author).  Just in case you are wondering, this WGA plan was not some wild idea of mine.  According to what we had read, registering a screenplay with the Writers Guild is a legitimate step forward to finding a producer.  Supposedly it is also advisable for playwrights and book authors to register their works as well.  {However...}

To WGA, Or Not To WGA...

As Mom was mailing the script, a man behind her over heard her explain to the bewildered woman at the desk that the package contained a screenplay.  He then questioned Mom about it as well and advised her to not send it to the Writers Guild unless the screenplay was government-copyrighted first, describing it as a "cut-throat industry".  He said he had worked as a director and screenwriter and explained that the Writers Guild is able to lift manuscripts that haven’t first been registered with the Government Copyright Office. He further stated that you can’t register a script with the Writers Guild unless you are a member and that you can’t become a member unless you know someone in the industry (strange…their website said nothing about this!).

Mom was quite taken aback – what are the chances of running into someone like that in a rural town Post Office just as you happen to be mailing something to the Writers Guild?  The woman at the desk said they were getting ready to close, so Mom decided to take the scripts back home. She didn’t get a chance to ask the guy what his name was, so that is all the information we will get from him most likely.

Later that day we researched the Government Copyright Office registration system. It is a much more in depth process, but it doesn’t ask for your social security number like the WGA does. It is also a bit more expensive, costing $45 as opposed to $20, but it seems like the safer way to go now. 

For a dramatic work you have to fill out the PA (Performing Arts) form.

Form PA info

 They had the handy PDF form fill out system, so the only part I had to use a pen for was my signature.

Form PA Signature on PA Form

Now it will be sent to the Library Of Congress – which incidentally happens to be one of the locations in a scene in the script itself.

I trust that the LORD was keeping me from making big mistake – it will be interesting to see what happens next!

~Amanda~

Comments

Sunday, April 6, 2008 – Untitled Comment

Posted by Jay
Wow, the chances of that happening are just about 0%. And from what I read in your post, it sounds like it was the right thing to do. It would be disastrous for someone to steal all of you hard work, so I’m glad you are taking the time to make sure that everything is safe and sound.

P.S. The photos in the blog post were a nice addition as well.
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Sunday, April 6, 2008 – Hi Amanda,

Posted by nancysnook
I went through the LOC to get my favorite quote copyrighted and had to pay $35 for it. But it’s MY quote now and if anyone ever wants to use it in a movie, song, play or other type of entertainment endeavor they have to go through me to do it…I think in your situation I would have done the same thing….listening to the man at the Post Office was a wise choice even though it may slow things down a bit and cost more money…in the long run, you’ll know your work is yours legally. Great post!

Nancy
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Monday, April 7, 2008 – Untitled Comment

Posted by GraceElizabeth
Wow, getting something published or produced sure is a complicated task, from what I see of your experience up to this point! I hope everything falls into place and that reaching the goal will be worth all the work and hassle!

~Grace
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Tuesday, April 8, 2008 – Untitled Comment

Posted by pianolove
Copywrights, copywrights, copywrights…. Ugh, so confusing!

Thank you for your comment. I used to be the oldest of eight, I was so proud. LOL!

May I add you to my friends list?

Heather
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Wednesday, April 9, 2008 – Untitled Comment

Posted by ChristineDaae
Hello,

Wow it sounds like things are really coming along with your script! I hope that all goes well.

I have a new template on my blog, and if you could come check it out sometime I would love to know what you think!

In Christ,
Christine
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Saturday, April 12, 2008 – Hello Amanda,

Posted by BreezyTulip
Wow, what a blessing to be better informed before sending off something so precious to you! It sounds so intimidating, that some one could just “take” your script so easily. I know God is looking out for you and your script! I hope everything goes smoothly for it.

Just a while back my mom was looking into copyright stuff like that…I didn’t realize there were forms, etc. I’m sure you were relieved to get a chance to protect your work. :^)

Blessings,
-Breezy

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Saturday, April 12, 2008 – Untitled Comment

Posted by Anonymous
so, you are trying to sell a screenplay?

God bless one that:)

onedaymore