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RayRayRay
05-14-2014, 06:36 PM
A director passed on my script but is interested in developing a different idea with me as a writer and involving his Manager from the ground up.

What's a reasonable amount of compensation to expect for something like this? Is it unreasonable for them to expect me to just develop the idea and only get paid if it gets sold? This is a director with 2 films in wide release in the last 2 years and his Manager is at one of the top firms. Not sure if that factors in at all.

Ronaldinho
05-15-2014, 12:04 AM
A director passed on my script but is interested in developing a different idea with me as a writer and involving his Manager from the ground up.

What's a reasonable amount of compensation to expect for something like this? Is it unreasonable for them to expect me to just develop the idea and only get paid if it gets sold? This is a director with 2 films in wide release in the last 2 years and his Manager is at one of the top firms. Not sure if that factors in at all.

A lot of people are speccing ideas with directors and producers these days. It can be a good way to get your foot in the door. A lot of times there's no compensation. I'm not saying this is a good thing, but it's a thing that is.

However, a couple of important questions:

Make sure there are no other writers working on the same idea.

And insist that you own whatever you write free and clear if he proves unable to set it up in a certain amount of time. That is to say, view your compensation as ownership of your expression of their idea, and the freedom to sell it elsewhere.

WIthout these two things, I think you're likely to get screwed.

That being said, even with those two things, only consider writing the project if it lights a fire under your butt. Is it something you would consider writing on your own, anyway, if it was your idea?

ducky1288
05-15-2014, 01:21 AM
Chances are it would be on spec for free, that's just usually how it goes.

And as Ronald said, make sure you know what you're getting into. You don't want it to be something he has the rights to and you're speccing it because if you can't get it off the ground then you own nothing really.

RayRayRay
05-15-2014, 12:23 PM
Make sure there are no other writers working on the same idea.

And insist that you own whatever you write free and clear if he proves unable to set it up in a certain amount of time. That is to say, view your compensation as ownership of your expression of their idea, and the freedom to sell it elsewhere.

Hadn't thought of that. Very good points. Thanks!

Would it be weird to have a lawyer create a contract of some sort?

BurOak
05-19-2014, 02:02 PM
Hadn't thought of that. Very good points. Thanks!

Would it be weird to have a lawyer create a contract of some sort?

+1.

nic.h
05-19-2014, 10:42 PM
Hadn't thought of that. Very good points. Thanks!

Would it be weird to have a lawyer create a contract of some sort?

Not weird. Smart.

dave22
05-20-2014, 12:14 AM
Remember, compensation doesn't always have to be in the form of money. Work hard for the director, and deliver an excellent product, it's always possible to ask for introductions to offices you might not be able to get into on your own.

Susanlbridges
05-24-2014, 12:52 PM
A director passed on my script but is interested in developing a different idea with me as a writer and involving his Manager from the ground up.

What's a reasonable amount of compensation to expect for something like this? Is it unreasonable for them to expect me to just develop the idea and only get paid if it gets sold? This is a director with 2 films in wide release in the last 2 years and his Manager is at one of the top firms. Not sure if that factors in at all.

Scriptnotes talked about this recently. Craig said to be sure NOT to spec something only they have the rights to (like an optioned book or other story). If you spec something like that and it falls through, you have nothing in the end.