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View Full Version : Producer showing my material without agreement


thirdchance
12-14-2004, 02:06 PM
I currently have a manager/producer showing my material, but we do not have any kind of written agreement. Does anyone have on opinion or experience to share?

LauriD
12-14-2004, 06:28 PM
Is this person doing this without your PERMISSION? If so, tell him to stop.

If he's doing it with your permission but without a written agreement, he's being foolish (because he may be wasting his efforts since he has no rights to your work) but that's more his problem than yours.

Sounds like you could use a written shopping agreement specifying which companies he can send it to, for how long, and what his share would be if he manages to sell it. Consult your local entertainment attorney.

LauriD

phatgirl
12-15-2004, 10:08 AM
I'm curious about this too. If a manager likes your script enough to send it out to people he knows (with your permission), does it follow that he would want to represent you?

Also, it sounds like the manager has more at risk in this situation than the writer so the shopping agreement would benefit the manager, right? If so, what's the downside to the writer just going along with the situation the way it is?

And... should thirdchance "push" to get repped by this guy?

RoloTamossy
12-28-2004, 03:09 AM
I don't have specific experience with a producer/manager sending out my scripts without an agreement. But I have had a producer send out my script without a written agreement (though with my verbal permission) to people in Hollywood. This was largely to see if a larger prodco or financer would fit the bill to produce the script. Ultimately, a financer did express interested but it later disbanded, leaving my project in the dumps.

But I had no problem with her going out wide with the script without a contract. That's how a lot of smaller producers work. As for producer/managers, I don't know if that's good or bad, but if your potential rep is more interested in producing your script than managing your career, I don't see it as a bad thing that he's sending your script around. (With your verbal permission of course.) He just might not be confident in your career from a managing standpoint, so it could be a one-time thing.

Carlton Redford
12-28-2004, 09:36 AM
"If he's doing it with your permission but without a written agreement, he's being foolish (because he may be wasting his efforts since he has no rights to your work) but that's more his problem than yours."
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The above is a bit naive. What's being done for the original poster is done all the time with newer writers. When done by a manager or agent it's a form of "hip-pocketing" wherein material is circulated or verbally teased to targeted execs and if there appears to be interest (some agt/mgrs want indications of an offer) the writer will probably be signed or in the case of a producer -- the material optioned.

If a reputable producer, manager or agent is doing this for you, and as is extremely likely, no one else has even wanted to do this much with you, then be thankful and hope for the best. Whether the person testing the waters for your material is being foolish doesn't hinge on his having contracted rights, but rather on his ability to estimate the material and the marketplace.

At least you're actually somewhat in the game this way.

The mgr/producer clearly doesn't want to option the material nor sign the original poster as a client just yet. On the other hand he/she is still completely free to continue to search for someone who will do either.

Could his/her ideas be pirated? That happens. But if that's a concern, just leave your scripts safely at home after they're finished and no one will steal them.

As to wasted efforts -- anyone in town will tell you that this is the only industry in the country where at least 90% of all projects fail or lose money if completed. It's that small percentage that does succeed that makes wasted effort a risk everyone wants to take.

carlton-redford@usa.net

JustinoXV
12-28-2004, 06:30 PM
"As to wasted efforts -- anyone in town will tell you that this is the only industry in the country where at least 90% of all projects fail or lose money if completed. It's that small percentage that does succeed that makes wasted effort a risk everyone wants to take."

The same could be said of publishing. Most books don't really make money. Only the best sellers do, and most books aren't best sellers. Or of theatre as well.

"The mgr/producer clearly doesn't want to option the material nor sign the original poster as a client just yet. On the other hand he/she is still completely free to continue to search for someone who will do either."

On the other hand, perhaps the original poster would be better served by going with a different representative. Perhaps this rep is shady. We don't know either way.

The bottom line is that no one should send out your material without your PERMISSION.