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Old 08-21-2010, 10:37 AM   #11
mswriterj
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Default Re: Producer charging a writer fees for option

Is it Fast Eddie Kritzer?
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:02 AM   #12
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Default Re: Producer charging a writer fees for option

Thanks for the feedback. That's what I thought. I can't reveal the producer yet because he's threatening to sue me through some big shot law firm based in Beverly Hills if I go elsewhere with my screenplay-- even though it is out of option.
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:29 AM   #13
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Default Re: Producer charging a writer fees for option

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Originally Posted by Gumsandals View Post
Thanks for the feedback. That's what I thought. I can't reveal the producer yet because he's threatening to sue me through some big shot law firm based in Beverly Hills if I go elsewhere with my screenplay-- even though it is out of option.
Threatening you with what? It sounds as if he wouldn't have a leg to stand on.

Last edited by BurOak : 08-21-2010 at 11:29 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:40 AM   #14
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Default Re: Producer charging a writer fees for option

Isn't it true though that if a producer options a script, spends money developing it and then wants to buy it, that the writer has to agree ? That he can't all of a sudden decide that he would rather his script go elsewhere? Is that what happened? Or did you decide you wanted to back out after the option ran out and thus choose not to renew?
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:44 AM   #15
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Default Re: Producer charging a writer fees for option

It's very simple. When the option period expires and if it's not renewed, the writer can shop it anywhere and everywhere -- even with changes based on the producer's notes. I had one producer try to tell me after our option agreement expired that he expects co-writing credit if I manage to sell it (based on notes he gave me). I told this producer to fvck off.

By the way, it was a free option to begin with (not that it matters).
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:45 AM   #16
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Default Re: Producer charging a writer fees for option

If the option has expired and you've made no written nor verbal agreement to extend it, then you own 100% of the rights to your screenplay. It's yours, and you can do whatever you want. If he's so desperate to hold onto the script he'd make it happen or renew an option and pay YOU again for that option. Look this guy obviously has no clue what a producer does so he shouldn't call himself one, he doesn't know how the business works, and sounds like an utter a**hole to boot.

With no option in place, it's back to being your script now, you can do whatever you want, and you don't owe him a penny since he's done nothing to advance it. If you have any doubts, get a lawyer. Have them look over all contracts and email exchanges you've ever had with him and no doubt they'll tell you the same thing to put you at ease, and then it'll be over and he can pitch a fit all the way back to the hole he crawled out of.
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Old 08-21-2010, 12:40 PM   #17
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Default Re: Producer charging a writer fees for option

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Originally Posted by Rantanplan View Post
Isn't it true though that if a producer options a script, spends money developing it and then wants to buy it, that the writer has to agree ? That he can't all of a sudden decide that he would rather his script go elsewhere? Is that what happened? Or did you decide you wanted to back out after the option ran out and thus choose not to renew?
After two years and not one red cent in option money, I chose not to renew. That's when he threatened to sic his lawyers Loeb and Rothschild on me.
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Old 08-21-2010, 02:49 PM   #18
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Default Re: Producer charging a writer fees for option

Wow so he never even paid a cent the first time? And for TWO YEARS no less? Good grief, this guy just wasted YOUR time and took advantage of YOU. If anything HE owes YOU money. Geezus dude, you got hosed. I can't believe he has the audacity to threaten legal action against YOU when HE is the one not following typical procedure, he is the one wasting your time and efforts, and he is the one who owes money. What a tool, this has to be one of the worst cases of a douchebag producer taking advantage of a writer and then being a d*ck to boot I've heard in awhile. Sorry you're having to deal with such bs. Seriously, look into getting a lawyer at least long enough to reaffirm where you stand and send the dude a letter saying you owe him nothing and to stop harassing you.
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Old 08-21-2010, 03:43 PM   #19
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Default Re: Producer charging a writer fees for option

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...look into getting a lawyer at least long enough to reaffirm where you stand and send the dude a letter saying you owe him nothing and to stop harassing you.
But that takes money and money-to-fight, or the gumption, is what the prod is hoping you don't have -- not that he has anything to do with your not having money, of course!!!

Yet if you don't fight back, doesn't the prod win the case automatically in U.S. courts, unless there's a VERY sympathetic judge sitting there waiting for you to show up.

This is one reason, aside from the fact we writers yield way too much power anyway, that I do not intend to do any free options or anything free. No free rewrites up front or anything.

You have to draw the line somewhere, and it's always best up front.

At the very least, we should get something enough up front to cover our lawyer's fees to check out the agreement or contract for the so-called "free" option. Because of course we'd have a lawyer check it out before we sign, right?
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Old 08-21-2010, 04:18 PM   #20
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Default Re: Producer charging a writer fees for option

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Originally Posted by Gumsandals View Post
After two years and not one red cent in option money, I chose not to renew. That's when he threatened to sic his lawyers Loeb and Rothschild on me.
He got that relationship off to a good start. Sounds like a complete a**h***. Full of sh**.
The option has expired, you've been paid nothing, you're free to run in the opposite direction and find someone you might actually want to work with.
ETS: I'm assuming you fulfilled all your obligations under the option.
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