Writer’s Guild of America president David Chapple was among those who were surprised to hear that the organization was planning to raise the price of screenwriting certification to $250,000.
“This is an incredible milestone,” he said in a statement.
“We’ve always been the gatekeepers of screenwriters’ talent and have the most experienced, qualified, and skilled writers on the planet.
But it’s just that this is the first time that a group of professional writers have gone from being the gatekeeper of talent to actually charging a fee.”
Chapple said he hoped the fee increase would “encourage” producers to invest in screenwriting programs.
“Screenwriting is a very lucrative profession, and the industry needs a lot of money for training and to expand their reach,” he told Entertainment Tonight.
“But I do think that it will help us to get more producers and directors and actors on board with what we’re trying to do.”
A total of 12 companies are currently producing, producing, and producing-producing screenplays in Hollywood, and there are plans for additional companies to open up in 2018.
Chapple also pointed out that the industry had not been able to keep up with demand for screenwriting training programs.
The industry has been able for decades to fill the demand for writers with their skills and experience, but that is now being challenged by demand for more specialized training, such as screenwriting for the screen, and for a certain number of producers, Chapple pointed out.
“I think there are more opportunities for studios to get a little more involved with the industry than they did before,” he added.
“It’s really hard to imagine that we’d be as successful as we are now if we didn’t have the industry’s resources to help us with that.”
“I’m going to continue to fight for the next generation of screen writers,” Chapple added.