General links to websites about screenwriting and filmmaking. These are national and international resources.

For links specific to Western Pennsylvania, visit the Pittsburgh Resources page.

Screenwriting Resources

Creative Screenwriting Magazine []

Script Magazine []

Screenwriting Contests and Pitch Forums

Note: The websites listed within the contest and pitch links often charge entry fees. More than 70 contests exist; the links provided are the established and respected contests.

Academy Nicholl Fellowship []

Amazon Studios []

American Zoetrope Virtual Studio []

Austin Film Festival: []

Big Break Screenwriting Contest (Final Draft) []

BlueCat Screenplay Competition []

MovieBytes []: Clearinghouse of various contests, MovieBytes also profiles past contest winners.

PAGE International Awards []

Virtual Pitch Fest (VPF) []: Each pitch costs money, but there is a guarantee of response from industry professionals.

Filmmaking Resources

Creative COW []

DVXuser []

Filmmaker Magazine []: Good website for filmmakers also the sponsor of the Independent Filmmaker Project [].

IndieTalk []

Indiewire []

MovieMaker Magazine []

Videomaker []

General Film and Media News

Hollywood Reporter []

Production Weekly []

Tracking Board []: Easily the best source for “insider” information on movie deals and development.

Variety []


Professional films should employ expert casts, crews, and leadership teams. Micro-budget productions (less than $250,000) can often obtain special waivers to employ these skilled individuals for reasonable pay. See the Pittsburgh Resources page for information on some locals of the industry unions.

Actors’ Equity []: Sometimes known as AE or simply Equity, the Actor’s Equity is the union representing most professional stage actors. One of the sister unions that includes SAG-AFTRA.

Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) []: For studios and independent producers, the trade association responsible for negotiating most current industry-wide guild and union contracts.

Animation Guild (Local 839 of IATSE) []: The Animation Guild represents traditional and digital artists specializing in animation. Some writers and technicians are also members. The Animation Guild is Local 839 of IATSE.

American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) []: A professional organization, but not a union,the ASC publishes the American Cinematographer Manual, a technical resource some consider “the filmmaker’s bible.” ASC membership represents the “gold standard” for cinematographers. The associated union is the International Cinematographers Guild, Local 600 of IATSE.

American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) []: The songwriters and composers guild, ASCAP negotiates basic contracts between music creators and the film industry.

Directors Guild of America (DGA) []: The Directors Guild represents any director on a union project. The DGA has been good at securing high residuals on future distribution for directors.

Dramatists Guild of America (DG) []: Not a union, the Dramatists Guild is a professional organization that offers some union-like benefits to members. Many members of the Dramatists Guild are members of the WGA, DGA, NWU, and other unions. The Dramatists Guild does protect the concept of authorship and copyright for playwrights.

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) [,]: Local 40 represents electricians at major film studios, and Local 45 represents electricians at most television studios.

International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts (IATSE) []: Many entertainment unions, especially in film and television, are locals of IATSE. Though workers in motion pictures and television now dominate its membership ranks, the IATSE name traces back the the glory days of stage.

International Cinematographers Guild (ICG, Local 600 of IATSE) []: The bargaining union for most professional cinematographers, the ICG is Local 600 of IATSE.

Motion Picture Editors Guild (MPEG, Local 700 of IATSE) []: Not to be confused with the Moving Picture Experts Group, this MPEG is a union local that represents film and television editors. MPEG is Local 700 of IATSE.

National Writers Union (NWU, UAW Local 1981/AFL-CIO) []: Yes, freelance writers are represented by a local of the United Auto Workers, UAW Local 1981. The National Writers Union offers the full range of union benefits to its members, many of whom write for digital (online) content providers.

Producers Guild of America []: Guild representing “production team” members workin on films and in television. This includes anyone with “producer” in his or her title, as well as many managers, supervisors, and coordinators.

Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) []: One of the strongest unions in the industry, SAG represents actors working in most media.

Teamsters Union Local 399 []: Considered the union local for “everything else” in Hollywood, Local 399 of the Teamsters includes everyone from animal trainers to truck drivers.

Writers Guild of America, West (WGAw) []: Includes Hollywood, and therefore most feature films, WGAw hosts the script registry that most screenwriters use. Because WGAw members dominate film and television writing, generic references to WGA usually mean the WGAw.

Writers Guild of America, East (WGAe) []: For years, included most daytime television writers. With New York City in the region, many regional shows fall within WGAe representation.