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To the pipe-dreamers

November 03, 2002

I was amazed and gratified to see Steven Schiff, co-chairman of the Writers Guild's credit review committee, actually admit, "The stature of writers would be enhanced if we had one writer per film" ("To the Rescue?" by Rachel Abramowitz, Oct. 27). But, sadly, while recognizing this simple fact, he vociferously leads the charge to undermine such a laudable goal and touts credit changes that, if adopted, will lead to further credit expansion and, regrettably, more vicious infighting, pitting writer against writer.

Mr. Schiff dismisses the idea of one writer, one film as a "pipe dream." I pity his cynicism. I always thought writers were supposed to be the pipe-dreamers, the windmill-tilters, the fighters for the ideal. I would much rather struggle toward making this ideal a reality than to fatalistically accept credit proposals that facilitate the weak and greedy among us to cannibalize their fellow writers. It is better for credits to reach for an honorable dream than to reinforce the sad, sordid, shameful truth that writers will viciously savage each other to get their name on a movie.

Charles Edward Pogue

Hollywood

Charles Edward Pogue is a former Writers Guild of America, West, board member and a guild member since 1984.

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