Wednesday, August 03, 2005

A fabulous Joss Wheldon interview

You own a “Speed” poster on which your writing credit remains.

I do.

Was it a misprint? Was a teaser poster issued before the Writers Guild arbitrated that credit away?
It was “the” poster. And they put it out and then the arbitration happened kind of late. And so they pulled it and changed it.

So there are maybe a lot of those floating around out there somewhere?
I don’t know if they were actually up or if this was just the final mock-up. I just know that I have a copy of it. The arbitration was a great sticking point with me. I’ve always just disagreed with the WGA’s policy that says you can write every line of dialogue for a movie – and they literally say this – and not deserve credit on it. Because I think that makes no sense of any kind. Writers get very protective of themselves. They’re worried that some producer will want to add a line so he can put his name on it. But what they can do is throw writers at it forever without putting their names on it because of this rule. So I actually don’t think it works for writers. It certainly didn’t work for me.

Graham Yost [who received the sole screenplay credit for “Speed”] has always been very polite to me and very sweet but he did say to me, “You would have done the same thing.” And all I could say to him at the time was, “Well, I guess we don’t know if that’s true.” Because I’d never been in his situation. Then more than a year later John Lasseter called me and said, “I want to give all the animators who worked on the story credit on ‘Toy Story.’” And I said, “Sure.” And there are entire episodes of “Buffy” that I have written every word of that my name is not on. Which is gratifying to me because it means I finally have an answer to that. Which is, “No, I wouldn’t.”

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