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Old 10-06-2002, 11:36 PM   #1
Tipjar
 
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Default What does "$300,000 against $2,000,000" mean?

Obviously I'm new. And, no, it wasn't offered to me; I just saw it on the Script Sales page. I'm guessing it means the writer gets paid $300,000 by the studio/production company for an option period, and the remainder if it actually goes into production. Right?

If so, is there a standard option period? Assuming writers with a track record have more negotiating power. Or does the option period fluctuate to meet the current buying climate?

Thanks in advance (no pun intended),
Tipjar
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Old 10-07-2002, 12:24 AM   #2
caffeine buzz
 
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it means that they buy the script for 300 k, and pay the writer an additional 1.7 mil if the script gets produced.
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Old 10-07-2002, 01:13 AM   #3
Tipjar
 
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So its actually BOUGHT for the lower figure. That's news. Thanks.

Anyone care to venture a guess on what a one year option by the studio might have fetched on that same script?

Tipjar
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Old 10-07-2002, 03:15 PM   #4
Atkid
 
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This is my understanding -

Yes, it's $300 000 up front. But there's not a jump then to the 2 mill.

You'll get a chunk of the money for a rewrite for example. There are stages in between the money amounts so that you may not walk away with the 2 mill, but you'll end up with more than the $300 000 depending on how many contractual obligations you fulfil and getting a greenlight.

It isn't $300 000 and then there are no stages between that and 2 mill. Not all or nothing. There are stages, but I believe they depend on the individual deal.
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Old 10-07-2002, 03:29 PM   #5
Mompboken
 
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Usually if it says 300k against 2mil (not a likely split, but hey, it's for illustration purposes), then the 300k is for all the first steps. Draft, rewrite, maybe a polish. Then you would get the remaining 1.7 mil if the picture gets made.
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Old 10-07-2002, 03:30 PM   #6
Atkid
 
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Thanks Momp.

Sorry Tipjar.
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Old 10-07-2002, 03:32 PM   #7
Mompboken
 
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Yeah, I wouldn't mind that 'against 2 mil' part at all.
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Old 10-07-2002, 03:42 PM   #8
wcmartell
 
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What Momp said.

You get $300k for the script and the rewrites... in steps. You don't get the whole $300k at once. Usually you get all of that $300k, but a friend of mine got bounced before doing rewrites and wasn't paid for those steps.

You only get the $1.7 if the film is actually made, and even then there may be conditions. You may have to be sole credited writer, etc. Most scripts don't get made, most scripts are rewritten by several other writers (making sole credit almost impossible).

So you may have some big deal in the trades that ends up being a small deal in real life.

No one really gets rich writing scripts. Many years ago I was a bagger at Safeway. A guy who was hired the same day as I was stuck with the job (I sold a script). He is now regional manager for Safeway, and makes much more per year than I could ever dream of making. Probably much more than William Goldman makes. If you're in it for the money, there are easier ways to earn a buck.

- Bill
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Old 10-07-2002, 03:46 PM   #9
Tipjar
 
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Thanks everyone for your inputs. Great place!

Tipjar
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Old 10-11-2002, 10:01 AM   #10
Gymbal31
 
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That's it then!

I'm tossing out my Movie Magic Screenwriter 2000 software, cancelling my subscription to "Written By", and heading over to the Safeway.

Do you want paper or plastic?
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