View Full Version : Pitching Movie Ideas
10-08-2001, 04:00 PM
1) Can any writer pitch a movie idea (w/o script) to an
exec? Does the writer have to have been produced
2) How do you keep your pitched movie idea from getting
"ripped off" by the exec or studio/producer? Is there a
release form(s) that is signed by the exec before you pitch
your movie idea to him or her?
3) I assume there is upfront money (advance) with a literary
contract after the movie idea is greenlighted.
4) I also assume there are no guarantees that the studio will
let you write the screenplay for the movie idea. If you don't
get the assignment, then do you (pitchman) get an
associate producer credit and a "friggin' bone"? :)
10-08-2001, 04:29 PM
1) Any writer can pitch a movie, yes. But it is very difficult to get into a pitch meeting without agency representation or having prior work already produced.
2) You cannot protect ideas. You can only protect the realization of those ideas in script form. What you can do, is write a treatment from which you pitch, and register that with the LOC. A jury will decide if the producer has stolen enough elements of your script that you deserve compensation.
3) If you are hired to write from a pitch, you'll most times get the cash after submitting the finished product. Also, the "rights" to the pitch/story can be optioned without a completed screenplay.
4) More often than not, they'll wait until you submit a final draft, THEN they'll let a stranger butcher it. If he/she changes enough of your original idea, you might end up with a story by credit.
10-08-2001, 04:52 PM
1) You don't have to be produced, but to get the meeting in the first place you have to have a hot script - so that they WANT to meet with you.
Since you say you have 2 scripts set up at studios already, this shouldn't be a problem for you.
2) You can't protect an idea, only the EXECUTION of an idea. Basically, they can rip off your idea... but then they wouldn't have you to write it. The reason why they have the meeting with you in the first place is because of your WRITING. If your writing isn't any good - no meeting (unless you have a good agent). A pitch meeting isn't so much about the pitch, it's about hiring YOU to write a script. The want your writing skills.
3) Usually these are step deals. You get money for completing each step. You don't get paid for the pitch - you get paid for writing the script based on the pitch.
4) You might get cut off after writing a treatment, but usually you get to write the first draft... usually you go through most of the steps (because you're cheap) and they hire other writers later.
The contract isn't much different than the one you signed with those two studios on those two scripts you say you sold in a previous post.
10-08-2001, 05:02 PM
What is the LOC?
If the pitch/story "rights" are optioned how much money
(minimum-maximum) should the writer receive from the
10-08-2001, 05:38 PM
Wait a minute. You've sold two screenplays?
Why aren't you asking your agent/ent. lawyer about this?
The LOC is the Library of congress. You can register intellectual properties with them.
10-11-2001, 10:00 PM
My mistake. What StoryDude actually said was:
"My two scripts are already at a number of major producers (with deals) now."
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