The WGA West has debuted an enhanced online staffing and development platform to connect writers directly with showrunners, producers, and executives. The revamped WGA Platform features upgraded capabilities and an improved user experience to help writers find jobs. The guild sees it as a valuable tool to help writers get jobs, especially for those who have been without agents for the past year because of the WGA’s ongoing dispute with the major talent agencies.
“We started working on these enhancements well before the COVID-19 pandemic turned our industry upside down,” said Luvh Rakhe, a member of the guild’s board of directors. “The upgraded Platform will be a resource for members to stay connected even as we must physically separate. Down the road, we hope this contributes to the industry’s recovery because the work of writers will be critical to that.”
The Platform features writer, producer, and executive profile pages; in-platform messaging; a television staffing submission system; a board for posting and submitting to open writing assignments; and lists of spec and pilot ideas. The Platform also provides access to jobs for new talent and writers from underrepresented communities.
The WGA Platform initially launched in April 2019 and has more than 9,700 writer profiles. Some 1,300 executives and producers have created accounts, and more than 200 series showrunners have used the platform’s Staffing Submission System to post job openings, resulting in more than 12,000 submissions from writers. In addition, 140 open writing assignments have been posted, generating 2,100 submissions from writers.
“Executives, producers, and showrunners can discover new talent and ideas, or seek out a specific writer,” the guild said. “Executives and producers can post open writing assignments, review television and feature spec/pilot ideas, and use the new dynamic list tool, Grids, to keep track of the talent they like. The WGA Platform also provides valuable tools to franchised agents and managers, allowing them to discover new talent by filtering for writer characteristics like film/tv, or genre or to help them procure new work for their clients.”
In a message to their members today, the guild said:
“The WGA Platform has always had one goal only – putting power in the hands of writers. What started as a remedy for TV staffing season has developed into a suite of tools that we aim to make a permanent resource for all writers, as well as the people who want to hire them.
“Obviously the COVID 19 pandemic has turned our industry upside down – but investment in the future can and must continue. That is why we’ve spent the last few months completely revamping the Platform, and today we are pleased to announce its debut…When production starts again, it will begin with the work of writers.”
New features include:
* My Availability: You can specify your availability in a variety of work areas. This was one of executives’ most-requested features.
* Memos: All memos have moved directly into the platform. You can now submit and manage your memos using the “Memos” tab.
* Staffing Submission System: There are numerous upgrades within the SSS which include:
Filter by Desired Position: Showrunners can filter by positions they are hiring for. Writers can filter by positions they are seeking.
* Single Login: If you are staffing a series, you will now have direct access from your writer account. Once you are attached to a series, it’ll be organized under the “My Series” tab.
* Season Structure: Showrunners can archive submissions from a previous season and start a new one.
* Grids: Showrunners can create personalized tracking grids with their favorite writers, make personal notes, collaborate with co-workers and download their specific writer lists.
* TV Development Project Tracker: Keep track of all upcoming projects in the industry. Be ready when projects begin staffing.
* Video Tutorials: We want you to get the most out of the WGA platform, so each section will have a video tutorial to guide you through the process.