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Hugokeijzer
01-21-2013, 06:36 AM
Currently I'm developing a screenplay together with a screenwriter. Once we're done with the outlines he will start on the first draft and I will review and contribute from the sideline.

He does most of the work, but still, once it's finished, I'll have a lot of time invested in the whole process.

How do I make sure my rights are protected? Should I ask for a co-writer credit even though I didn't actually do any of the writing? How can I make sure I'll stay attached to the script as director?

LMPurves
01-21-2013, 12:11 PM
As far as I know, if you didn't do any actual writing, you aren't entitled to a co-writing credit. Perhaps a "story by" co-credit might be appropriate, but only if you contributed to the story.

As for staying attached to direct, well, the only way to guarantee that is to produce it yourself...

Geoff Alexander
01-21-2013, 01:06 PM
Currently I'm developing a screenplay together with a screenwriter. Once we're done with the outlines he will start on the first draft and I will review and contribute from the sideline.

He does most of the work, but still, once it's finished, I'll have a lot of time invested in the whole process.

How do I make sure my rights are protected? Should I ask for a co-writer credit even though I didn't actually do any of the writing? How can I make sure I'll stay attached to the script as director?

Was it your idea? If so, share story by. If not, no credit.

To protect your rights, i.e., investment of time and energy, either option the material or create a shopping agreement with the writer.

Armak
01-21-2013, 06:04 PM
Option or buy the script, or pay the writer as a work for hire.

In either case, you need a contract and to pay the writer consideration.

Craig Mazin
01-22-2013, 01:24 AM
Currently I'm developing a screenplay together with a screenwriter. Once we're done with the outlines he will start on the first draft and I will review and contribute from the sideline.

He does most of the work, but still, once it's finished, I'll have a lot of time invested in the whole process.

How do I make sure my rights are protected? Should I ask for a co-writer credit even though I didn't actually do any of the writing? How can I make sure I'll stay attached to the script as director?

If you ask for a co-writer credit even though you didn't actually do any of the writer, please offer a co-directing credit to the screenwriter in return, even though he won't actually do any of the directing.

LauriD
01-22-2013, 05:55 AM
If you ask for a co-writer credit even though you didn't actually do any of the writer, please offer a co-directing credit to the screenwriter in return, even though he won't actually do any of the directing.

I wish DD had a "like" button. :)

Armak
01-22-2013, 02:07 PM
ZING!

lol

Hugokeijzer
01-23-2013, 05:55 AM
Alright, this is clearly a controversial subject.

Let me ask you this;

Two guys get locked into a room. To kill time they decide to write a screenplay.

They come up with a story and together they develop every step of it. The idea originated out of their combined creativity, the outlines were shaped and structured together, the characters brought to life, giving them backstory, depth and dimension, all as a combined effort.

Because this room has only one computer they decide one of them will use it to start typing the first draft. Though every word, line and paragraph are discussed, created and reviewed together. While one types, the other one studies and does research for the story.

Then the first draft is done. Both read, examine, review and comment. They discuss the story, think of ways of improving it and 'one' uses the computer to execute their choices, while 'the other one' looks over his shoulder every step of the way.

Finally they're rescued. One of the firemen, who also happens to be the nephew of a famous producer, reads the screenplay, loves it, wants to plug it and then asks the two men:

"who is the writer?"

LauriD
01-23-2013, 06:03 AM
"who is the writer?"

I dunno -- but that's a helluva pitch for a movie.

:)

goldmund
01-23-2013, 08:21 AM
]
"who is the writer?"

Both -- they're a writing team. Provided that actual sentences and actual dialog came from both of them. If one of them just provided his "vision" and "great ideas" the writer is the one who put those into sentences and words. Because this is actual work. Everyone has vision and ideas.

Edit:
You said "Once we're done with the outlines he will start on the first draft and I will review and contribute from the sideline" -- if so, he is the writer, you are not.

stainjm
01-23-2013, 09:11 AM
Can't you just do up a written agreement stating it is your movie but he will be given the writing credit and you will produce/ direct?

I did that recently, as the writer, and the director contributed to the story, even wrote the first act (that I completely revised), but he isn't trying to put his name as the writer because I wrote it.

Just shoot the movie and you don't have a problem.

artisone
01-23-2013, 09:12 AM
'one' uses the computer to execute their choices, while 'the other one' looks over his shoulder every step of the way.

"who is the writer?"

Answer: the one on the computer executing the choices.

madworld
01-23-2013, 09:13 AM
Currently I'm developing a screenplay together with a screenwriter. Once we're done with the outlines he will start on the first draft and I will review and contribute from the sideline.

He does most of the work, but still, once it's finished, I'll have a lot of time invested in the whole process.

How do I make sure my rights are protected? Should I ask for a co-writer credit even though I didn't actually do any of the writing? How can I make sure I'll stay attached to the script as director?

You're making a tremendous mistake not having a written agreement with the writer indicating the terms (for both of you) ahead of time.

You should get "story by" credit if you came up with the story together.

You should not get writing credit if he's writing it.

If you want to ensure you're attached as the director, put it in a written agreement. Have your entertainment attorney review and then you sign.

After that - begin your project.

Armak
01-23-2013, 02:57 PM
Q: "Who is the writer?"

A: Whoever negotiated to be the writer in the contract.

You don't have a contract? There's your problem.

Craig Mazin
01-23-2013, 08:53 PM
Alright, this is clearly a controversial subject.

Let me ask you this;

Two guys get locked into a room. To kill time they decide to write a screenplay.

Okay. So far, so good.

They come up with a story and together they develop every step of it. The idea originated out of their combined creativity, the outlines were shaped and structured together, the characters brought to life, giving them backstory, depth and dimension, all as a combined effort.

Got it. Seems clear that they have co-authored the *story* of what will eventually be a screenplay. So far on my scoresheet, I have "story by A & B".

Because this room has only one computer they decide one of them will use it to start typing the first draft.

I'm sorry. Wait. What? Typing?

Typing is a manual activity.

Do you mean that the two people agree on what should be typed, and then one person's fingers make the words appear on the page?

Or do you mean that the two people agree on what the scene and story should be, and then one person's brain executes that vision as a written scene?

If the former, then screenplay by A & B. If the latter, then screenplay by B.

Though every word, line and paragraph are discussed, created and reviewed together. While one types, the other one studies and does research for the story.

Please explain. He writes, then you read, then you discuss, then you both agree on exactly what should be changed and how, and then his fingers push the keys to effectuate this? I'm very confused, particularly in light of how you first characterized this collaboration.

Then the first draft is done. Both read, examine, review and comment. They discuss the story, think of ways of improving it and 'one' uses the computer to execute their choices, while 'the other one' looks over his shoulder every step of the way.

Sounds like he's writing, and you're producing/directing.

Finally they're rescued. One of the firemen, who also happens to be the nephew of a famous producer, reads the screenplay, loves it, wants to plug it and then asks the two men:

"who is the writer?"

Naturally, you point to the writer and say, "He is."

Grandmaster
01-23-2013, 11:57 PM
He does most of the work, but still, once it's finished, I'll have a lot of time invested in the whole process.
Um, just a tad different to how you went on to explain it in your following post.

So, together, you two dreamed up a story = Story By A & B credit

You then stood behind him, read what he wrote, and gave your opinions for him to adjust = you gave notes, not anything resembling a draft. What next: people's agents and managers demanding a credit? Hell, will script readers demand a producing credit for "finding" the project for their bosses?

Look, I get it: you've invested a lot in this work and want to direct it, but the problem is that it's not/isn't going to be (if it goes that far) his decision to make!

Hugokeijzer
01-24-2013, 02:40 AM
Can anyone recommend a good attorney / legal company where I can get these contracts fixed for a reasonable price? Preferably ones that operate online.

Midnite
01-24-2013, 04:42 AM
Can anyone recommend a good attorney / legal company where I can get these contracts fixed for a reasonable price? Preferably ones that operate online.

Took a long time to get to the punchline.

But seriously, although I don't know any attorneys, you can find references to them in the other Forum and ask from there.

Best

Midnite

Hugokeijzer
01-24-2013, 05:10 AM
Took a long time to get to the punchline.



LOL, indeed. :)

LauriD
01-24-2013, 06:08 AM
Can anyone recommend a good attorney / legal company where I can get these contracts fixed for a reasonable price? Preferably ones that operate online.

Try Rob:

http://www.yelp.com/biz/eclipse-law-corporation-beverly-hills

DavidK
01-31-2013, 03:58 AM
I wish DD had a "like" button.

Haha - that was my first reaction too ...