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View Full Version : Lawyers, Guns, and Money


nextwon
07-11-2006, 08:51 AM
Okay, well not many guns. But it got you to read, didn't it?


After liking my spec, a producer told me about a project he is developing. It is a very specific genre film and he has some investors lined up who would like to get it made.

He's a legit guy with decent credits and I really like working with him. Actually calls instead of emails.

He told me he wants to toss some ideas around and come up with a pitch, and possibly a treatment, to present to the financiers.

My question is, When do I bring up money?

I dont mind doing a one-page treatment on spec. To me, this is more like an assignment than anything else.

If the investors like the pitch, he said they will definitely be able to put money up front for the script.

If it is a $4-6M film, What kind of money would this be? Obviously a lawyer would figure negotiate that, but I was just curious on realistic estimates.

I know $5M is the changing point between 35K and 75K for the WGA, but I'm not sure if this will be Guild affair.

Could also help me land an agent. At what point in the process should I contact some? At what point would they contact me?

I've thought of asking the producer for someone he likes working with, but haven't gotten there yet.

Is the process using investors the same as with a studio or production company? (He's independent.)

Write script, goes out to talent, etc? I dont know if having money in place changes things.

I know some are basic questions, but I'm looking for your own stories, successes, pitfalls, and best practices. Post or PM any help.

I'd really appreciate it.

NW

odriftwood
07-11-2006, 12:43 PM
In cases like this it might be best to hold off on the talks of money but embrace the talks of "ownership." Suppose he's got a cool idea that is one sentence and very thin. You run off and write out a treatment with well developed characters, strong plotting and the complete journey. Everybody loves it. You write the script. Because no money or contract has changed hands technically you own the script and might merely share story credit with your guy. Now you're sitting on a script everybody loves. That's when you move in to make your deal because you're in the strong owenship position. Suppose before you ever type fade in you make a deal for a purchase price. Now you're locked in. Suddenly you write Star Wars but you're only getting $1.98 for it. Play along but know that you own what you write until you sign papers.

English Dave
07-11-2006, 01:36 PM
In cases like this it might be best to hold off on the talks of money but embrace the talks of "ownership." Suppose he's got a cool idea that is one sentence and very thin. You run off and write out a treatment with well developed characters, strong plotting and the complete journey. Everybody loves it. You write the script. Because no money or contract has changed hands technically you own the script and might merely share story credit with your guy. Now you're sitting on a script everybody loves. That's when you move in to make your deal because you're in the strong owenship position. Suppose before you ever type fade in you make a deal for a purchase price. Now you're locked in. Suddenly you write Star Wars but you're only getting $1.98 for it. Play along but know that you own what you write until you sign papers.

Can't top that really. You are in a position that many find themselves in. A producer loving you up, talk of investors, blah blah blah.

If you have the time and the inclination then write it. But with eyes wide open. Everyone wants something for nothing. Sometimes it works out. Mostly it doesn't.So long as you know that then you have to use your own judgement based on the personalities involved.

M4estro
07-11-2006, 01:44 PM
Can't top that really. You are in a position that many find themselves in. A producer loving you up, talk of investors, blah blah blah.

If you have the time and the inclination then write it. But with eyes wide open. Everyone wants something for nothing. Sometimes it works out. Mostly it doesn't.So long as you know that then you have to use your own judgement based on the personalities involved.

Sounds like you're talking from bitter experience ;)

No worries, I've had my fair share of run-ins in the past with producers with BIG ideas and BIG plans. They all talk the talk...

Btw, killer title for a movie.

English Dave
07-11-2006, 02:32 PM
Sounds like you're talking from bitter experience ;)

No worries, I've had my fair share of run-ins in the past with producers with BIG ideas and BIG plans. They all talk the talk...

Btw, killer title for a movie.

Nope. No bitter experiences. I wasn't p1ssing on your chips. Clearly if you have had you fair share of run-ins with producers then my post was superflous. :)




WAIT A MINUTE - you weren't the O.P!