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CrissCross
08-01-2013, 09:39 PM
If a newbie got lucky and sold a script I was wondering what would happen next ? Would he/she just get a lump sum of money and then would the production company or studio then have a more experienced writer re-write it ? Would the newbie then simply get "written by" credits ? Can the newbie ask for any more credits like producer, etc. And can the new writer even ask for any sort of proceeds from the movie. Novice questions I'm sure... so thanks in advance.

wcmartell
08-01-2013, 10:00 PM
Odds are you'd get an option fee, and then they'd talk you into doing some free rewrites (what if it takes place on Mars?) and purchase price somewhere down the road if this is that one-in-ten script that will actually end up on screen. Because you are cheap or free they will try to get as much work out of you as they can before they hire someone else.

I have no idea what credit you'll end up with, that depends on how many other writers are involved and how much they contribute. It's even possible that you'll end up with no credit (like the original EVAN ALMIGHTY writers).

You'll probably get "monkey points" - but they are usually worthless. Big hit films manage to never go into profit.

Not an easy business to make a living at.

- Bill

Ronaldinho
08-02-2013, 08:34 AM
If a newbie got lucky and sold a script I was wondering what would happen next ? Would he/she just get a lump sum of money and then would the production company or studio then have a more experienced writer re-write it ? Would the newbie then simply get "written by" credits ? Can the newbie ask for any more credits like producer, etc. And can the new writer even ask for any sort of proceeds from the movie. Novice questions I'm sure... so thanks in advance.

Normally what happens is that you get the first rewrite, maybe more if it's in your contract. Whether they bring someone in depends on a lot of factors, but if it's a big studio deal it's pretty much a given. Everyone gets rewritten.

You get the credit if you deserve the credit. Credits are determined by WGA rules. Depends how much rewriting other people do.

Proceeds from the film? You'll get residuals per the WGA deal. Writers often get a few "net points" which are generally worthless.

You could ask for a producer credit, but you're not going to get it nine times out of ten. Why would you ask for a producer credit, however, when you're a newbie and don't know a thing about the business, how movies get made, etc?

CrissCross
08-02-2013, 10:35 AM
I'd think a producer credit would be a good thing to have on your resume

JoeBanks
08-02-2013, 11:06 AM
I'd think a producer credit would be a good thing to have on your resume

From Mamet's "State & Main" --

White: What's an associate producer credit?

Smith: It's what you give to your secretary instead of a raise.

UglyShirts
08-02-2013, 12:08 PM
From Mamet's "State & Main" --

White: What's an associate producer credit?

Smith: It's what you give to your secretary instead of a raise.

Seems like the system may be changing in order to alleviate that somewhat.

I heard about this on a recent "Scriptnotes" podcast: Three of the Big Six studios (and a few prominent smaller ones) have entered into an agreement with the Producers' Guild to create the "Producers' Mark" as a new addition to film credits. Going forward, the Producers' Mark will be a credited designation that indicates who actually performed the traditional duty of the "Producer" on a given film. If I heard John and Craig right, whomever is determined to have been the legitimate Producer on a film will have the suffix "P.G.A." appended to their name in the credits. And he, she or THEY will then be acknowledged to have been the actual "Producers" of the film.

The reason this is important is because of exactly what Joe said: Producers' credits have sort of gotten out of hand. Any given film now can have a Producer, an Executive Producer, an Associate Producer, a CO-Producer...And/or any combination of multiples of all of the above. Since "Producer" credits are seemingly able to be handed out like party favors for just about any reason at all, and at the discretion of any number of parties involved with a film, ACTUAL producers who do the REAL job of PRODUCING a project were sort of getting lost in the mix. The legitimacy of their role was getting diminished due to a sea of barely-involved (or in some cases, not involved at all) others being able to claim they'd "produced" a given work based on having gotten a credit for some reason.

If I understand it right, it's not that these "candy" credits are going to go away entirely. You'll still see people with passing levels of involvement sucking up "Producer" credits. It's just that the industry will now have a much better method of determining who actually put in the work, and who is insisting upon being referred to as "Doctor" on the basis of a symbolic, honorary Ph.D. given for dubious reasons.

Here's a link to an even longer-winded version that goes into deeper detail:

The Producers Mark. What it means, where it comes from and how you can get it (http://www.producersguild.org/blogpost/923036/164597/The-Producers-Mark--What-it-means-where-it-comes-from-and-how-you-can-get-it)

Ronaldinho
08-05-2013, 10:19 AM
I'd think a producer credit would be a good thing to have on your resume

Not if it's meaningless.

Here's the thing: everybody in the industry knows who really produced a film. A vanity producer credit, for which you did no work beyond the work of a writer, which means nothing because you don't know how the business works, is not going to convince anybody in the industry of anything.

Being a producer is a good thing to have on your resume. Having a producer credit is not the same thing - despite the fact that naive out-of-the-business types may think it is so. Maybe it'll help you pick up girls at bars.