Since I studied screenwriting in college (which qualifies me to write this post) and have a number of acquaintances who are screenwriters, I hear all kinds of colorful and sometimes depressing anecdotes about film credits for screenwriters, Writers Guild of America arbitration, and who really worked on a certain screenplay. And now that some screenwriters are keeping blogs, I get to read even more of these stories. You hear these tales from all kinds of angles: the writer who originally was signed to rework the script for the remake of Movie X, but then a big-name director took over who rewrote the script enough to get the writer removed entirely from the credits of the film; the writer who doesn't quite understand why his name is still on the credits of Movie Q, since she knows at least three other people have worked on the script since she turned in a draft five years ago; the writer who has asked to have her name removed from Movie B, because it's so far removed from what she originally wrote, and the stink lines from the finished product radiate across the country.

David Poland of Movie City News recounts one such story for us in "Little Red Writing Hood Goes to Sundance." His fairy tale concerns the credits for the film Nanking, and Elizabeth Bentley's battle to get her screenwriting work recognized in the movie's writing credits. In Poland's version, Bentley is portrayed as poor little Red, who narrowly escapes being devoured by the big bad wolves: directors Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman, who want to take all the writing credit upon themselves. It's a sad story, and as a former screenwriter, I want to sympathize most with Bentley. But as a cynical reporter who's been keeping an eye on the workings of the film industry, I want to hear what the directors and producers have to say about it, and I'm skeptical that this whole situation would fit nicely into a fairy tale with clearly delineated heroines and villains.