Writers of live-action features get royalties when their work is repackaged and sold. But writers of animation don't. Their "ancillary profit participation," as it's known, is paid in multiples of zero.
It's an industry standard evolved over a decades-long debate between the writers and their employers, and in a practical sense, it means that the writers of "Goldmember" get paid a small percentage of every sale of a video or DVD, which can add up to tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, while the writers of "Shrek 2" receive nothing.
This disparity has its roots in the early days of animation, when storyboard artists and animators were the primary creative forces behind projects and screenwriters, if they were used at all, came in to add polish at the end.
Friday, August 18, 2006
In The LA Times, Jay A. Fernandez looks at why Hollywood animation writers are trying to get the same deals as their live-action counterparts.