February 9, Originally published in Script magazine.
Should you do it? What are the considerations? This is no substitute for having an attorney, mind you… more on that later.
I wanted to learn, so I was involved in the negotiation process, and reviewed each round of revisions on the offers and eventual contracts, asked lots of questions, and took lots of notes.
Part I is the basics… what is an option, how to respond, and what to expect.
Producer Bob stumbled across your script on your site, or at InkTip. Granting a producer an option means granting them the exclusive right to develop the script… to try to raise the money to make it, get talent or a director attached, and otherwise exploit the property with the end goal of making your movie.
Getting optioned is exciting. So what you really want short of actually selling the screenplay is to have it optioned by someone who has a high likelihood of getting it made.
Not just for your ego, but for your career. Remember too that your scripts are your product, and have value. You want them out there representing you, if not to get sold, to at least be working as writing samples.
If you option to this producer, your script may no longer be working for you anywhere, either inside or out of the option.
That does you no good at all. There may be good reasons to take said chance with Mister unknown resourceless producer… more on that later. I promise you, they will handle things you never dreamed would need to be handled. And you will be better off for it. Second, partner with your lawyer.
Where do you find a lawyer? I can only tell you how I found mine. My first option deal was a no-lawyer friendly deal with a producer I knew from a previous film I was an art director.
I signed an option contract that looked fair to my unschooled eye and it pretty much wasand it ran its course. Then, I reached out to other screenwriters I know, asked for references, and was recommended to a great attorney in Beverly Hills.
No script, no movie. Iron Man comes to mind as a recent example … IP has inherent value, and potential value. The potential value is, of course, what its resulting film and all that might go with that… merchandise, novelizations, sequels, serializations, TV series, etc.
Your option contract should include at least two numbers: The option price is what you get for giving the producer temporary and exclusive rights to your IP, and taking it off the market.
The purchase price is just what it sounds like: This should be prior to the start of principal photography, but could be another negotiated date. But again, this is all negotiable. So what is the purchase price? So what do we ask for?
Be a partner, and an asset, not a financial liability. Instead, negotiate those alternative compensations.Maybe vs.
May Be. The most obvious difference between maybe and may be is that maybe is an adverb, which means that it’s modifying a verb/adjective/another adverb, . 14 thoughts on “ 7 Free-to-Enter National Writing Competitions That Impact Your Career ” Cathryn Louis September 27, at am.
Thanks Jane for posting this! Very helpful.
You asked about any others. I know of the St. Martin’s Press short story competition that closes on 10/1. An extensive list of short story competitions, including global & UK short story writing contests. Details on entry fees, deadlines, prize money & more.
Mario O. Moreno Post author October 30, at pm. Good question. Ever since the Hollywood Representation Directory went out of print back in , the only easy-to-find resource for listings of reputable managers is The Annual Agency Guide.
Hopefully, then, it's clear that in general terms, writing a screenplay is writing a story, and in that broad sense there's no actual difference. But in a professional terminology sense, in the narrow context of accreditation for story and writing in a film, there is a distinction as explained above.
The main difference between usage in the terms "screenplay" and "script" is the function of the document. The script the actors use during filming is primarily dialogue with minimal stage direction.
This is similar to the 'spec scripts' given to agents and producers to generate interest in the work.