Following the creation of the group “Words of scriptwriters” on Facebook, more than a hundred testimonies denounce the precariousness and the invisibilization of the profession in France. The creator of “Ten percent” campaigns to make their rights heard.
After leaving the writing direction of the final season of Ten Percent in 2018, its creator, Fanny Herrero, had confided in the Inrocks last October on the reasons for his departure. Exhaustion, need to move on after nearly ten years devoted to the creation of the flagship series of France 2 on agents of stars, but also conflicts in his working relationship with Dominique Besnehard, ex-agent and co-producer of Dix percent. Conflicts resulting in a deterioration of its operating conditions.
“As I felt an overload of work, for example I asked for the hiring of a second to help me. I was told that if that was the case his salary would be taken from mine. This decision lacked professionalism and was marked by a naivety and an affective functioning which are very French.”, She explained. “More generally, I always had to fight to establish myself as the patron of the series. If I fought this battle, it is not out of megalomania but because I think that a good contemporary series is built around the vision of a person (…) I had to fight for three seasons to keep the keys to the truck, to make Ten Percent not a pudding where everyone puts their two cents, but on the contrary a subtle, coherent and nuanced series.”
To fight to keep control of the artistic cohesion of a series and to guarantee its good ending, to be remunerated at its fair value, but also to have the necessary recognition of its peers on a titanic shadow work and too much craftsmanship. often neglected: so many reasons which pushed scriptwriters to create the collective “Words of scriptwriters” on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. In a few weeks, dozens of testimonies have accumulated, denouncing the precariousness of the profession and the lack of consideration for their work. A call for the creation of a general scenario was then formulated in a forum addressed to the Minister of Culture and relayed by Télérama in early February.
In a new interview for France Culture, Fanny Herrero affirms the need to revalue the work of screenwriters in fiction, denouncing the fact that directors still too often monopolize the parternity of a story.
Doubts in the United States, where the status of showrunner prevails in the creation of a series and is extremely valued, French screenwriters still struggle to have the importance of their work recognized and to obtain substantial remuneration. “The producers there say “writing is gold”. I never heard that [ici]. In France, we are between 3 and 5% of the budget of a series allocated to writing. In the United States, it is between 10 and 15%“, underlines the designer.
“Money also shows the balance of power (…) Often, we forget to grant us the authorship of our work, so that is the relationship with the directors; we forget to pay us when our work is due. success, that’s the relationship with the producers. We make sure that we don’t take too much space in the production of the series… In lots of places like that, we started to feel cramped. . And at one point, this profession is too important today, it is becoming a major player on the artistic scene, to be ignored even longer. “
Listen to the last episode of our Spotlight podcast in which three French screenwriters talk about their profession: