Cyberpunk: Edgerunners has been a huge hit. The series is very popular and collects extremely positive reviews from viewers and critics from all over the world. The theme of the anime was determined by Jan Bartkowicz, who believed it was underestimated and that the company did not include it properly in the opening credits.
Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is one of the newest hits on Netflix. The anime was made by Studio Trigger, but it’s no secret that CD Projekt has been developing the concept and working on the entire series for years. Ravi Jackie is referred to as a model and executive producer, and his name appears before each episode.
However, not everyone is satisfied with this situation – Jan Bartkovich wrote a large letter in which he presented his story. The creator feels underestimated because he believes CD Projekt RED has incorrectly identified his contribution to the work.
“I am very happy with the show and the people I have worked with (you know who you are and thank you all personally). But this post about my work on the show has barely been recognized. This is a cautionary tale for non-union writers whose final credits depend solely on the goodwill of their employers.”
Jan Bartkowicz started work on “Cyberpunk: Edgerunners” at the beginning of 2019 – when players were still waiting for the premiere of Cyberpunk 2077 and the community wasn’t familiar with the anime… Developed production for the Netflix platform was announced in June 2020. The creator was commissioned, As the lead screenwriter, he set the narrative direction for the series, so he created some of the key characters and plot points that were developed afterwards.
In the summer of 2019, the concept of the series “CYBERWEAR” was created, which, according to Bartkovich, already at that time had many common elements with the last release “Cyberpunk: Edgerunners” – The plot of the main character, his mother, the girl he meets and their relationship that pushes the young man to the end … I don’t mention the details here, because I realize that some viewers may not have seen the series yet, so Here you will find the full postwhere Jan Bartkowicz talks about identical elements of his original idea and the final vision of the project.
However, Jan Bartkowicz asserts that his problems with the series’ executive producer – Rafa Jakim, also began around that time:
“It was the summer of 2019 and after I rewrote production again, things started to go wrong between me and Executive Producer Raffaie Jakim. In the past, we all felt very pressured because we thought at the time that if we didn’t offer the scripts by the end of 2019, he might not see the show. Entire daylight is never daylight! Raphael gave me an ultimatum: If I keep rewriting, the series won’t be created. I was so exhausted that I decided to quit because I realized that my own existence and my obsessive commitment to making the story as good as possible could bury the project. However, after I left “I heard the writing was still in progress. The dates were pushed back, the show was rewritten for another two years, and while I felt we could adjust it during that time, I lost interest in thinking that if it was released it wouldn’t look like any of my stories. I eventually quit the company and got it out of my mind.” Lots of stories don’t come true… I assumed this was another case.”
Jan Bartkowicz left the project and although the creators were rewriting the production – In his opinion, “Cyberpunk: Edgerunners” is “CYBERWEAR”:
“What a nice surprise when I finally got the chance to watch early EDGERUNNERS shows. It was a cyberwar. Of course, modern and clean. But it was a show I came in in 2019 and made 10 episodes of. It was clearly adapted to the anime format, became more compact and focused and the lines changed , but the entire plot, the main characters, their motives, their maneuvers and even most of the scenes… It was all there!”
Here, however, there was a problem because Jan Bartkowicz is not included as the lead creator of the project:
“I was touched. It was an amazing feeling. My story is made by perhaps the best anime studio in the world. I congratulated Raffaie Jackie, named Bartosh Stebor, who took the position after my departure and congratulated him.”
He did a great job getting the show back into its final form. But then I realized that…no credits are mentioned anywhere at the end as a writer or “story”. Instead, I was eliminated very late from the pre-production credits. I also realized that Łukasz Ludkowski, our third writer who created a lot of delicate scenes between David and Claire (Lucy), was treated the same way.
Instead, ‘Created by Rafał Jaki’ appeared all over the screen in the opening credits.
Screenplay: Bartosz Stébor
Writers: Masahiko Otsuka and Yoshiki Usa.
Wow, I thought to myself. If you read these subtitles, you’d think that Executive Producer Raffaie Jackie came up with the idea for the series, Bartosz Sztybor improved it, and the great Trigger makers adapted it for the anime.
It was a feeling I hadn’t felt in my entire life.
I felt deeply betrayed. I felt robbed.”
In the same letter, the artist explains who “Created By” should really be, and then mentions a series of “humiliating meetings” with CD Projekt, thanks to which it was possible to jointly establish that Jan Bartkowicz was identified as one of the authors in the concluding section.
“There would be no David Martinez, Gloria, Lucy, Faraday, and a tragic story driven by cyber psychosis without me. And here I am fighting for the credits. Don’t let this happen to you, dear non-union writers! I wish you all that your characters and stories thrive on screen without any bitterness from your side “.
The subject matter is certainly difficult for the author who worked on the project and feels like a part of it, but it must be emphasized that in every copy (original and definitive) of “Cyberpunk: Edgerunners” Jan Bartkowicz is included in the final credits.
We don’t see a situation that often happens in our industry, even when one of the lead creators leaves a project before the premiere and gets removed from the credits. However, Jan Bartkowicz wanted the name to appear elsewhere and his job to be better served.
I decided to contact CD Projekt about this, which prepared a special statement for our editorial office. The company said it has hired an “expert with proven experience in legal issues related to film and television production” to help find a solution that is satisfactory for each party. It was the arbiter who said “Because of contributing only to the pre-production of the series, and not the final form of the script, Only Jan Bartkovic should be mentioned in the final credits. ” CD Projekt reveals on what basis the specialist made his decision, and also notes that “the plot of the series has changed dramatically.” The judge recommended that Jan Bartkowicz appear in the credits, it was done, and CD Projekt RED himself decided to present him also as the author of the “extra text” for the first episode.
This is what CD Projekt RED’s full statement looks like:
“We understand how important it is for creators to recognize their contribution to the creative process. Therefore, CD PROJEKT RED always makes every effort to value the contribution of each person involved in a studio project and to do so in line with their participation, role, and involvement. The list of people involved in creating Cyberpunk: Edgerunners Series is divided into two parts. – The opening credits, which lists the most important people involved in creating the entire project, and the final credits, which are different for each episode and reflect the participation of individual creators in its creation.Jan Bartkowicz is mentioned in the final credits for Cyberpunk: Edgerunners right from the start, but after his participation in the introductory show For the series – which was organized at the initiative of Rafał Jaki for him and the other people involved in the production of the anime – he expressed his dissatisfaction with being included only in subtitles.
Endpoints, as well as how their function is defined in the project. Jan Bartkowicz demanded to be included in the opening credits as co-executive producer (“co-executive producer”) and creator of the series (“Created by”), as well as writer (“Written by”) for the first episode. In response to these reservations, CD PROJEKT RED proceeded to clarify the situation in order to ensure that the solution adopted was fair and appropriate with respect to its actual contribution.
At the end of April 2022, we decided to hire an expert with proven experience in legal issues related to film and television production. Specializing in these types of situations, the expert agreed to take on the role of an independent arbitrator and help find a solution to the case that satisfies both parties in the context of comments made by Jan Bartkovic. Then he met with people directly involved in the case: Jan Bartkovic, Wakasz Ludkowski, Rafai Jakim, Bartosh Stibor, Saya Elder and Satoru Homma. After analysis, the judge decided that because he only contributed to the pre-production of the series, and not the final form of the script, only Jan Bartkowicz should be mentioned in the credits. In his assessment, the judge took into account not only the actual contribution of Jan Bartkowicz to the project and the facts collected during the meeting with all parties to the dispute, but also the customs of honoring the creators (including, in particular, the Japanese rules for anime creators). The expert’s decision was based, inter alia, on the following: on the fact that in the case of this particular anime, due to the large number of people involved in the production of the series, a place in the opening credits was reserved for people who had a significant and direct contribution to its final version (as and also people who co-created editorial credits accompanying the animation). Meanwhile, Jan Bartkowicz’s participation in the project ended when it was still in pre-production, after which the plot of the series was significantly changed. The referee’s recommendation was to make appropriate changes to the final credits to more accurately reflect Jan Bartkowicz’s contribution to the project, which we also did. Additionally, by decision of CD PROJEKT RED, Jan Bartkowicz is also mentioned in the final credits as the person responsible for the “extra script” in the first episode of Cyberpunk: Edgerunners (and Łukasz Ludkowski in episodes two and six), which exceeded the arbitrator’s recommendation.
Both the judge and CD PROJEKT RED itself made sure that all the people involved were informed of the final recommendations, both during live chats and by email, and were aware that the studio intended to introduce them to the series’ final version.
The final credits of Cyberpunk: Edgerunners Edition made available on Netflix on the day of its premiere, i.e. September 13, 2022, contained all changes recommended by the arbitrator and communicated to those involved in the dispute.
Red CD Project – 17.09.2022″
Take a chance – read our review on “Cyberpunk: Edgerunners”.
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