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Lewstory1
07-29-2012, 06:53 PM
Hey Pros,

I've been on several forums a lot, but this is my first visit to this one. Briefly, someone who wants to film my short sent me a 6-page contract. At least half of it has to do with the possibility that the short could be morphed into a feature-length.

I have no illusions that the short will be monster box-office around the globe. And I'm good at understanding the King's English (I teach writing, in fact), but the contract is definitely not reader-friendly.

I'm a playwright and have signed several contracts after submitting them to our guild, the Dramatists Guild. However, I'm not a member of the WGA. Do any of you have any suggestions for making sure the contract is win-win--other than hiring an expensive attorney? (Are the last two words an oxymoron?)

Craig Mazin
07-29-2012, 07:16 PM
I'm feeling a weird twinge in my liver, and lately I've been pissing blood. Does anyone in here have any advice, other than paying an expensive doctor?

JJBones
07-29-2012, 07:24 PM
I'm feeling a weird twinge in my liver, and lately I've been pissing blood. Does anyone in here have any advice, other than paying an expensive doctor?

I'd drink a lot of either vodka or gin. Cuz I heard some guy once say that clear alcohol was actually good for your liver. And plus the more clear liquids you drink will thin out that blood when you piss so it doesn't look as bad.

Other than that, I have no experience or knowledge about your specific situation... But let me just say anyway... Maybe just spray some Windex on your junk and see if that helps.

Lewstory1
07-29-2012, 07:36 PM
Great! I post a legitimate question, and I get two drunks whom, I'm sure, have sold myriad scripts and have had all kinds of contracts reviewed by barristers. Not! I can see the blokes on this forum are not helpful as they are on the other forums.

Don't bother adding to this thread unless you want to pass it backward because I won't be visiting it anymore.

NoirDigits
07-29-2012, 07:39 PM
If it involves a sale, you can usually find an entertainment attorney that will take a percentage of the sale rather than upfront money.

wcmartell
07-29-2012, 07:50 PM
What the two drunks are saying is that writers are not lawyers, and don't have a clue. For legal questions, lawyers have the answers. If writers *were* lawyers, our parents would approve of our career choice.

There are (in California at least) some Lawyers For The Arts organizations that will help you for free or at least for cheap.

- Bill

Dr. Gonzo
07-29-2012, 08:13 PM
Great! I post a legitimate question, and I get two drunks whom, I'm sure, have sold myriad scripts and have had all kinds of contracts reviewed by barristers. Not! I can see the blokes on this forum are not helpful as they are on the other forums.

Don't bother adding to this thread unless you want to pass it backward because I won't be visiting it anymore.

Mazin happens to be a professional drunk.:party:

mikewrites
07-29-2012, 08:36 PM
I'm feeling a weird twinge in my liver, and lately I've been pissing blood. Does anyone in here have any advice, other than paying an expensive doctor?


Craig, PM me for a coupon for a free exam at LensCrafters.

Sure, it might be a little awkward explaining why you're dropping trow in that dark room with the giant glass gear thingie on your head, but hey, the price is right for medical-adjacent advice.

p.s. I for one enjoy your drunken advice.

ComicBent
07-29-2012, 08:37 PM
I get two drunks who, I'm sure, have sold myriad scripts and have had all kinds of contracts reviewed by barristers.
Mazin is not a drunk, but he haunts coffee houses and has all his contracts reviewed by baristas.

Aw, chill out, Lew, and come on back. They were just razzing you a little.

Craig Mazin
07-29-2012, 09:41 PM
Great! I post a legitimate question, and I get two drunks whom, I'm sure, have sold myriad scripts and have had all kinds of contracts reviewed by barristers. Not! I can see the blokes on this forum are not helpful as they are on the other forums.

Don't bother adding to this thread unless you want to pass it backward because I won't be visiting it anymore.

I've sold a few scripts here and there.

My point, sir, is that you shouldn't ask laypeople for their legal advice. Bite the bullet and get a lawyer.

Craig Mazin
07-29-2012, 09:42 PM
You know, you'd think these people would google a real name before storming off...

gridlock'd
07-29-2012, 10:34 PM
I'm feeling a weird twinge in my liver, and lately I've been pissing blood. Does anyone in here have any advice, other than paying an expensive doctor?

Web M.D.?

Centurio
07-29-2012, 10:53 PM
You know, you'd think these people would google a real name before storming off...

I thought you answered the question very well. What's the issue?

Mac H.
07-30-2012, 03:37 AM
However, I'm not a member of the WGA. Do any of you have any suggestions for making sure the contract is win-win--other than hiring an expensive attorney?

There are (in California at least) some Lawyers For The Arts organizations that will help you for free or at least for cheap.

As well as seconding Bill's suggestion - I wonder what if associate membership of the WGA would help.

Here in Oz you can join the AWG (our version of the WGA) as an associate member for about $150 .. and then get the AWG lawyer to review the contract for you.

They don't negotiate points or any of that nonsense - but they do a sanity check on the contract to make sure that it says what it should and doesn't say what it shouldn't.

I've heard varied comments about the quality .. but there may be something similar that could be useful.

Good luck,

Mac
(PS: The interesting thing is that you effectively signed a 9 page contract (http://www.donedealpro.com/terms.aspx) so you could get some thoughts from us before signing a 6 page contract! I wonder how many of us actually read the 9 page contract and got legal advice on it? )

gridlock'd
07-30-2012, 06:11 AM
Yeah, if you're a playwright, I assume you're not rolling in money for rainy day legal fees.

I had some questions about the law and parody/copyright infringement and a lawyer friend directed me to free legal advice for artists. Set up for just this very purpose. Might be worth looking into.

http://www.starvingartistslaw.com/help/volunteer%20lawyers.htm

SoCalScribe
08-01-2012, 12:51 PM
Hey Pros,

I've been on several forums a lot, but this is my first visit to this one. Briefly, someone who wants to film my short sent me a 6-page contract. At least half of it has to do with the possibility that the short could be morphed into a feature-length.

I have no illusions that the short will be monster box-office around the globe. And I'm good at understanding the King's English (I teach writing, in fact), but the contract is definitely not reader-friendly.

I'm a playwright and have signed several contracts after submitting them to our guild, the Dramatists Guild. However, I'm not a member of the WGA. Do any of you have any suggestions for making sure the contract is win-win--other than hiring an expensive attorney? (Are the last two words an oxymoron?)


Sometimes you can get an attorney to bill you on a percentage of your income rather than an hourly rate. Other attorneys might look at a quick six-page contract pro bono, especially if you're a friend or acquaintance. But engaging an attorney is the only way to "[make] sure the contract is win-win." It's what they do for a living. Asking for a way to look out for your legal interests without engaging a legal professional is kind of like, as Craig mentioned, wanting medical attention without engaging the services of a medical professional, or wanting to find a good tutor for your kid without engaging the services of anyone who's worked in education. Sure, you might be able to find someone who kinda knows what they're talking about, but that's no substitute for someone who does that kind of work for a living. And people who do it for a living, by definition, get paid for their work.

You might be able to find someone that will look at it as a favor... but if they're not a legal professional, it's going to be hard to get them to ensure that your contract is indeed "win-win." There are too many nuances to contracts to be able to get comparable advice from a nonprofessional.