World Conference of Screenwriters
Warsaw 1 - 2 October 2014
The third World Conference of Screenwriters, which took place in Warsaw, Poland, over two days at the start of October, saw members from 30 guilds across the globe come together to discuss issues of major concern to the profession in 2014.
Interviews made by Stuart O'Connor, journalist at the Third World Conference of Screenwriters on 1 and 2 October 2014 in Warsaw.
Andrew DaviesWriter, UK
"When I started writing, the writer in general had a bit more autonomy. My early work was almost like writing a stageplay."
Anjum RajabaliWriter, Film Writers Association, India
"In India, the big problem is the severe inequality in the bargaining power between the screenwriter and the producer."
Bill ArmstrongWriter, TV Committee Chair of Writers Guild of Great Britain
"Writers in the UK are increasingly being asked to do more and more work for free - work that previously would have been paid for."
Camilla AhlgrenWriter and Chairman of the Swedish Writers Guild and Nikolaj Scherfig, Writer, Denmark
"When you are writing or making a television series, it's always about [being] surprising."
Emma ReevesWriter, Chair of the Children's Committee, UK
"For women writers at the BBC, some departments - such as children's - are quite welcoming. I think children's has comparatively quite a good gender ratio - I think it's probably about 50-50 - although interestingly you do notice that in children's comedy, it's still incredibly male dominated, [while] children's drama slightly tips toward being female dominated."
Gail RenardComedy and Children's Writer, UK
"If John Lennon tells me a writer, then I must be. That is the greatest gift you can give anyone, especially a kid or a teenager: belief in you. I will always be grateful."
Jill GolickPresident of the Writers Guild Canada
"In every guild around the world, women screenwriters are far fewer than 50 per cent - we're seeing memberships in the 20 to 30 to 40 per cent range, so less than half the population and getting far less of the work."
Katrine VogelsangHead of Fiction, TV2, Denmark
"When the rest of the world tend to make themselves attractive for the international market, then the Scandinavian [shows] tried to make themselves attractive for the Scandinavian audience - and it turned out that was a very good business because it travelled really well."
Lisa HoldsworthTV Writer, UK
"The collective noun for writers is a 'whinge' of writers - we're very good at moaning. But there are things that are recurring and are of concern - mainly for the status of the writer."
Maciej KarpinskiScreenwriter,President of Polish Screenwriters Guild
"It is truly interesting to learn from different discussions, panels and also private conversations with our colleagues from all around the world that the problems of the screenwriting trade do not change much."
Robert Staatsjoint CEO of VG Wort, Germany
"The money we collect we distribute to our membership. It very important to have joined forces to defend copyright in the digital age."
Tom FontanaWriter/Producer, USA
"There was a long tradition, in America certainly, of doctors who were God, and what we tried to do with St Elsewhere was say, 'Well, they're just people like us and you have to really be aware of the fact that they're as flawed as any of us'. It allowed us to sort of break a lot of the mythology about the medical profession."
Ugezu J UgezuWriter and Nollywood Licensed Director
"If you go to Nigeria, you will see people by the roadside with their computers. What they do is to put somebody's song in your phone - and you pay 20 Naira for each track. Nobody pays anything to the owner of that song, and funny enough, the policeman who is supposed to arrest that criminal actually gives his phone to that criminal, actually pays money, to have somebody's song downloaded into his own phone."