It turns out agents and execs are right about the record number of scripts forming slush piles all over Hollywood. In fact, one warehouse has more than a quarter-million of them.
And despite the microscopic chances that any of those scripts will ever be produced, the paper mountain at the WGA West’s intellectual property registry is getting taller.
Between 1998 and 2001, registrations varied between 37,000 and 39,000 annually; last year’s figure could be near 50,000. Caroline Chacon, administrator of the registry, says the pace in 2003 has kept rising due to several factors:
- The year-old online registration option attracts submissions around the clock and worldwide, with 50% of all filings done online.
- Pervasive use of software such as Final Draft and Movie Magic has made screenwriting easier and more accessible; HBO’s “Project Greenlight” has made it more understandable.
- The type of submissions allowed has expanded to include such areas as poetry, plays and photos.
The 76-year-old registry, located at a site known only to a few WGA staffers, charges $10 to WGA members and $20 to nonmembers. It positions itself as a way to safeguard intellectual property by documenting date of completion and evidence of authorship.
Submissions to the WGA East’s registry, which takes in 11,000 scripts annually, also is on the rise.
Registration lasts five years in L.A. and 10 in New York. And in a somewhat symbolic finale, scripts are shredded when registration isn’t renewed.