Writers Guild of America, East, (WGAE) announced today that the New York based union has signed an additional 13 digital media production companies in the fourth quarter of 2009, bringing the total new media signatories to 22 for the year. The new additions join the previous group from earlier this fall, though some of the new signatories were inlcluded in our in-depth look at the WGAe’s efforts in new media, dubbed The Writer’s Guild 2.0 Initiative.
The announcement, part of the Guild’s effort to organize the bevy of new original web series productions, included some light hearted joking from the comedy writers in the group. 9am Meeting’s co-writer Matt Koff quipped, “I joined the guild for the same reasons as everyone else: respect, recognition, and Joss Whedon’s eternal friendship.”
While some creators have griped at the idea of sharing scare digital revenues for other people’s pension plans, for now the stamp of legitimacy for the young creators, along with some degree of health care benefits, seems to be enough to jump on board with the 98 year-old labor union. “I joined the WGA so that I wouldn’t die; out-of-pocket health care, just like my failed attempts at sustaining a Hollywood drug addiction, is just way too expensive,” joked Don Hooper, writer and owner of Jamtown Films Productions.
WGA West, the sister union of WGA East, also has a new media contract in place which some web series, like Joss Whedon’s Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog have chosen to use. But so far the East has been much more active in engaging new media productions than the West.
Full list of new WGAE signatories:
9am Meeting – Award winning and “disarmingly laid-back” animated web series from creator Dan McCoy on Channel 101 NY. (Ep. 1 below)
AGBK – A Brooklyn-based production company creating and producing of web series, short films for the web, branded entertainment/web commercials and music videos.
The Battery’s Down – Live action musical web series from creator Jake Wilson, full of dozens of cameos from top Broadway stars.
Confirmed Bachelors – Animated web comedy series starring radio star Frank DeCaro, uses 1970’s Hanna-Barbera-style animation. (Episode 1 below)
Alex Bloom and Ben Zelevansky – Creators of Unleashed, a popular animated web series follows the trials and tribulations of animal actors in Hollywood. The series is ranked #16 in the iTunes directory of Top 100 comedy podcasts. (Episode 7.6 below)
Downsized – Workplace comedy web series from Daryn Strauss that our reviewer lauded as “some of the most thoughtful visual compositions you’ll find in any web series, the style of which perhaps most defines Downsized’s quietly moody atmosphere.” (Episode 1 below)
duder – New York based comedy web series from The Onion writer and web producer Matt Kirsch who stars as Glen in the series. (Episode 1 below)
Gavin Lance – A unique live action web series take on the comic book genre. (Issue #3 below)
Guy and Cut Films – Production company specializing in original web series and short films
Jamtown Films – Production company’s work has been official film/pilot selections in New York TV Festival, Big Apple Film Festival, Queens International Film Festival and more.
Respect Films – Production company producing live action web series including psychedelic sci-fi show The Third Age and for NFL Writers Room for ESPN.
Undead New York – Original animated web series in production.