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View Full Version : What to do if get offer whilst unrepped?


Earl S. Court
11-06-2012, 03:16 PM
Looking for some advice... I'm UK based and unrepped with a script in the scouting service of a UK based script development company. A producer with some impressive credits requested a copy yesterday via the service and I sent it across to him.

Now I know it's 10,000 - 1 against it going anywhere, but what should I do if he does come back to me looking to do something with it? Anyone been in a similar situation?

As I say, it's so unlikely I didn't even think about this right away and I don't expect anything to come of it but being completely unprepared is rarely smart so any advice appreciated!

Knaight
11-06-2012, 03:22 PM
Yep, it's unlikely. But sure, something could happen.

In the event that he wants to make a deal, you need a lawyer. If it's a real deal, with actual money on the table, you won't have any problem getting somebody on board. Industry standard is for them to take 5%, but if you're working with someone in the UK, it may be different.

If I were in your situation, I would only work with the lawyer to sign the deal. After it's closed, I'd use that deal to get a manager on board, and perhaps an agent. But there's no reason to pay an extra 10-20% to that manager and/or agent if you did the work of getting it to the producer.

On the flipside, say that producer likes it, but it's not for him. Or say he's interested enough to try and do something with it, but doesn't want to put a lot of option money on the table at this point. If that producer has enough clout, I would ask them for a referral to a manager. Sometimes that's all you need.

JeffLowell
11-06-2012, 03:30 PM
If I were in your situation, I would only work with the lawyer to sign the deal. After it's closed, I'd use that deal to get a manager on board, and perhaps an agent. But there's no reason to pay an extra 10-20% to that manager and/or agent if you did the work of getting it to the producer.

Ten to twenty percent of a sale is a very, very small investment in your career if it helps land a meaningful rep. Besides which, a good rep can probably negotiate enough added cash to make up for their commission. And, reps don't just negotiate sales, they help get movies made, help you get paid, help you from being abused on free rewrites, etc, etc.

I think a rep will be more interested in hearing "will you help me negotiate an offer?" than hearing "will you be my rep and help service a project that you made nothing on?"

Knaight
11-06-2012, 03:36 PM
Ten to twenty percent of a sale is a very, very small investment in your career if it helps land a meaningful rep. Besides which, a good rep can probably negotiate enough added cash to make up for their commission. And, reps don't just negotiate sales, they help get movies made, help you get paid, help you from being abused on free rewrites, etc, etc.

I think a rep will be more interested in hearing "will you help me negotiate an offer?" than hearing "will you be my rep and help service a project that you made nothing on?"

I guess I'm basing this on my own experience, where my manager helped me get my first deal, but the lawyer was the one who did all of the negotiating (and turned it from a good deal into a great one).

That is a good point about having a manager on your side to make sure you're getting paid and to keep you from being abused.

OP, I defer to Jeff.

Geoff Alexander
11-06-2012, 04:08 PM
Looking for some advice... I'm UK based and unrepped with a script in the scouting service of a UK based script development company. A producer with some impressive credits requested a copy yesterday via the service and I sent it across to him.

Now I know it's 10,000 - 1 against it going anywhere, but what should I do if he does come back to me looking to do something with it? Anyone been in a similar situation?

As I say, it's so unlikely I didn't even think about this right away and I don't expect anything to come of it but being completely unprepared is rarely smart so any advice appreciated!

Give me a shout if you get close and I can refer you to a great U.K. based rep.

Earl S. Court
11-06-2012, 04:29 PM
Guys, thanks very much for those replies, all very helpful and much appreciated.

JeffLowell
11-06-2012, 04:30 PM
I guess I'm basing this on my own experience, where my manager helped me get my first deal, but the lawyer was the one who did all of the negotiating (and turned it from a good deal into a great one).

Legally, there are restrictions on managers negotiating. Agents can (and do) negotiate.

Mintclub
11-06-2012, 06:06 PM
UK wise lawyers/ solicitors 'mostly' charge by the hour. That being said, there are a few firms who (provided they like the project) work in a similar fashion to their US counterparts. HARBOTTLE & LEWIS are one of those.

Rep wise check out industrial scripts website. They list all legit UK reps from the big hitters such as Independent Talent and United Agents through to the boutique agencies. Hope that helps.

Mac H.
11-06-2012, 06:22 PM
Legally, there are restrictions on managers negotiating. Agents can (and do) negotiate.Just to be clear - those are legal restrictions in California.

Since he's talking about being UK based , it is possible that the producer with impressive credits isn't actually based in California. I know - it's not overly likely ... but we should remember that there are actually producers with impressive credits in the wider world!

Mac

JeffLowell
11-06-2012, 06:24 PM
Good point.

Earl S. Court
11-07-2012, 03:51 PM
The producer is UK based. I was surprised at the level of credits, not hundreds of millions in budgets but all films I'd heard of or seen. At the level I'm at just now I'd be happy just to get some feedback from him but either way thanks for all the replies.

lilgoo
11-08-2012, 09:11 AM
Hi all. So whom is usually understood to be the best negotiator... a stellar Entertainment Attorney or a stellar agent? And if you retain both is the Attorney understood to defer to the agent in leading the negotiations, or is it done in tandem? Thanks!