Any film buff can confirm that for any given movie, reference is usually given as such: “XYZ movie starring ABC actor, directed by PDQ director.”

Rarely will you hear the name of the writer spoken aloud. You may see, briefly, the name of the book, and author, from which the work derived, often in small, non-celebrity font size, in passing.

And over the many decades since the advent of film, the argument of which piece is the most important piece in the production continues. Is it the writer, director, actor, producer, soundtrack, sound effects…?

As a writer I will proclaim that the writer is the most important part of the equation.

The writer creates the film, setting, tone, characters, conflicts, action from which all things evolve.

Now, the actor, a paid pretender of life, a professional mimic, may well do justice to the character developed by the writer, but honestly, if you’ve ever heard actors speak off-script, it’s usually a miracle they can strings words together at all.

And for this they get paid far more than the writer without whom there would be no performance, no job, and no fat paycheck.

Likewise, the director does an integral job holding together the construction of the film. Nonetheless, without the writer’s creation, there would be no need for a director at all. Directors also get paid far more than the writer as well.

Scoring the film is vital. This art form injects emotion that without its presence would leave a boring showing of people just walking and talking. However, no scoring is required in a book as the writer creates all those elements that engage all the senses of a reader. And yet the writer is paid less than the composer whose name is also remembered more often.

The writer is God!

Despite this the writer persists. The writer is the observer of life, using fiction to explain life events, to make sense where none exists. The writer creates worlds and the scenarios for the beings who inhabit it and, in that sense, becomes God if his or her universe.

The writer is not mimicking or pretending, not shrouding reality with something else; rather the writer develops layers of richness that, when complete, allow readers to escape their own downtrodden lives.

Surely this merits having the name of the writer come first, stand large across movie marquees, having writers interviewed about what they eat, who they’re dating, with whom they’re having an affair? Surely writers should get priority seats at restaurants and have fans swooning at every movement. Perhaps writers should have their own reality shows. The Real Writers of Beverly Hills showing opposite The Kardashians (what exactly is a Kardashian, anyway?)

How about The Writer Awards, red carpet and all, televised around the world to millions of viewers?

It’s high time writers came into their own, front and center at Comic-Con events, lead attraction instead of William Shatner or the nameless actor in the Hello Kitty costume.

I want to hear those muttering when a writer walks into a store. “It’s that the guy who wrote XYZ? We should ask for an autograph.”

It’s time for writers to rebel. Arise and demand equal stardom for writers. After all, without writers the rest of the industries would just be babbling incoherently.

They just can’t live without us!

What do you think? Ready for a Writer Revolution?

Hmmm, there’s a movie in that premise!

2 Comments

  1. I agree. I’ve always thought this. Wasn’t there a screenwriters’ strike in Hollywood sometime back? What did that achieve? Fair pay? Even if the Hollywood film industry thinks that a group of screenwriters is not equal in strength/personality/authority than the stars, directors etc. none of these would exist without a story. None of the ‘Friends’ episodes would have been written, but who were the writers of those episodes and where are they now?

    Kaye Bewley
    1. It’s just as bad for screenwriters as they are often assigned (or unassigned) or worse, working for a time and then replaced sometimes losing credit.

      Original screenwriters and writers are the backbone of this industry. God knows none of the execs knows how to make a decent creation. Just look at some of the horrors that Hollywood has come up with!

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