Sunday, September 18, 2005

Screenwriting credits

Mark Lawson looks at screenwriting credits, in The Guardian.
Anyone going to see the Jane Austen adaptation [of Pride And Prejudice] this weekend will be given one answer: the screen says "screenplay by Deborah Moggach". Certainly, Moggach worked on a substantial version but it's on the record that Lee Hall, the Billy Elliot scriptwriter, contributed further drafts and the whisper from behind the arc lights is that Emma Thompson (credited screenwriter on the movie of Austen's Sense and Sensibility) contributed a dialogue polish.

What seems to have happened is that the Writers Guild of America (the screenwriters' union, which decides whose names roll past as the cinema empties) judged that Hall had not achieved the 33% alterations necessary for a credit, while Thompson wished her contribution to be anonymous.

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