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Old 05-03-2010, 11:51 AM   #1
trabaris
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Default Set-Up Agreement

I've been asked by a legitimate producer to enter a set-up agreement. This would allow the producer to market the script to two companies for a few months but would not be exclusive with anyone else. It's not an option and doesn't cover my ultimate payment if sold.

Does anyone know any pitfalls with this arrangement? It seems like a good idea to me but I haven't heard of this before.
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: Set-Up Agreement

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Sounds like a "shopping agreement". Often times it's verbal.

The reason to make this agreement is if the producer is a heavy hitter who gets things MADE. If it's just some dude on the fringe, F' that guy.

*The reason they want the agreement is because they are working on it for free at this point and don't want you going around their back, and what that in writing [devils advocate]. Right, they don't trust 'you'.

Main thing you need in writing [since they want to go this formal] is that at X date they have no ties to the script. NONE. PERIOD. Otherwise, let's say, down the line, Producer-B takes it out and sets it up, Producer-A could hypothetically come back and say "well, I sent it to ____ first, therefore I'm attached TOO." Thing is, it may have been a blind submission, who knows if anyone at the studio even read it. Or worse, they may not have even sent it to that person. Sometimes, rarely, people do fvcked up things like that. Make sure they have no claim after X date and you're good to go.

Ultimately, I would have a lawyer look over the piece of paper to make sure the producer has no ties to the material after X date. You walk away clean w/o baggage if Producer-A can't make it happen.

Did that make any sense...? I haven't had my morning paint huff yet.
Agreed. Yes, it is a "shopping agreement". Definitely want to be sure on the termination date of the attachment for the producer. All good advice.
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: Set-Up Agreement

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Ultimately, I would have a lawyer look over the piece of paper to make sure the producer has no ties to the material after X date.
Thanks for the info. So, I should get a lawyer for this? I hate to spend hundreds or thousands on something where I'm not even getting paid.
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: Set-Up Agreement

I've had a couple of these. Is it a non-exclusive or exclusive agreement? I mean, can you still shop the script on your own? Or are you just giving this company the right to shop it exclusively to these two outfits and nobody else. Are they giving you any money up front?
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:07 PM   #5
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Default Re: Set-Up Agreement

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I've had a couple of these. Is it a non-exclusive or exclusive agreement? I mean, can you still shop the script on your own? Or are you just giving this company the right to shop it exclusively to these two outfits and nobody else. Are they giving you any money up front?
I'm told that this will be exclusive (for a period of 3 months) to these two companies but I can shop it to anyone else. No money.
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:51 PM   #6
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Default Re: Set-Up Agreement

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I'm told that this will be exclusive (for a period of 3 months) to these two companies but I can shop it to anyone else. No money.
If you can shop it then it is non-exclusive. If you can't shop it during the three month period, then it is exclusive.

I'm not an attorney, but an email that says something like;

"This email confirms our shopping agreement for " ". For a period of three months, starting on..and ending on...you shall have the right to submit the project to ... and .... Should you, during this period, fail to negotiate a purchase acceptable to the writer, then you hereby acknowledge that as of ... you will have no further claim to the material and will in no way be attached in a producing capacity. Should, after the expiration of the 90 day period, the writer and one of the aforementioned companies enter into an agreement, as your attachment to the project will be ended, you will have no claim to compensation, credit or involvement in the project."

Now, all that being said, personally, if I were a producer on this, I would not agree to these terms. A "no" should take little time at all, but a "yes" can often take longer than 90 days....
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:51 PM   #7
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Default Re: Set-Up Agreement

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I'm told that this will be exclusive (for a period of 3 months) to these two companies but I can shop it to anyone else. No money.
As long as you know who the companies are, it's spelled out in the agreement along with the time frame--no worries. It's a non-exclusive agreement in the sense that you can shop it anywhere else--but they can't.
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Old 05-07-2010, 12:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: Set-Up Agreement

Thanks to Done Deal for adding a Shopping Agreement to your examples sections!
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Old 05-07-2010, 05:12 PM   #9
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Default Re: Set-Up Agreement

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Thanks to Done Deal for adding a Shopping Agreement to your examples sections!
You bet.

And do keep in mind, it's just an example. A little something to look over so you can get a feel for what one might look like. As people noted above, if you can have an attorney look at an agreement before you agree to or sign anything, then that would be best.
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