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Old 11-12-2015, 12:04 PM   #1
ManbunShiva
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Default Need help understanding what this request means

Hi guys,

So a producer who read my script responded with this:
"Would you be open to a deferred rewrite payable upon close of finance?"

I'm not entirely certain what the gist of this means and don't want to misinterpret what he said.

Can you vets please help me figure this out? Much thanks
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Old 11-12-2015, 12:53 PM   #2
MontanaHans
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Default Re: Need help understanding what this request means

Assuming you're NOT in the WGA, this means that he wants to give you (likely) extensive notes on your script. You can discuss these notes with him over the course of a few weeks. Then you will rewrite the script FOR FREE (aka on spec aka "deferred") to develop the story to his liking. Then he will take the script to his contacts (studio execs, directors, actors, financiers) and try to get attachments which might lead to funds being allocated to make the picture. Once he has a real budget and has a greenlight to film the movie you might get paid something, depending on what you agree on in your contract. If you go forward with this I would HIGHLY recommend finding an entertainment attorney to draft a for-hire contract that states how much you will be paid for your original spec script, how much you will be paid for the rewrite, and how much you will be paid for any subsequent future rewrites. Assuming you're not WGA these "quotes" can vary greatly. If you are WGA then you will get guild minimums or higher. This payment is typically due to the writer on the first day of principal photography (ie when cameras are rolling). Hope this helps. Congrats on the positive response to your work. Also, if you want to reveal the name of the producer, I'm sure some folks here may have things to say about the person. They always do...and it can be helpful to know how producers have treated writers in the past.
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Old 11-12-2015, 01:00 PM   #3
EdFury
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Default Re: Need help understanding what this request means

Quote:
Originally Posted by ManbunShiva View Post
Hi guys,

So a producer who read my script responded with this:
"Would you be open to a deferred rewrite payable upon close of finance?"

I'm not entirely certain what the gist of this means and don't want to misinterpret what he said.

Can you vets please help me figure this out? Much thanks
I means they want you to rewrite it their way for free and if, just if, they get someone to finance the film, you'll get paid. 99% of these deals result in no pay and a rewritten script with revisions that you my not own.

It's up to you and your lawyer how you proceed from here. Get a short paid (even if it's only a few hundred dollars) option period. A contract with a fair purchase price.

Whenever I've been asked to do something like this my first question is, "if you can't finance this and it reverts back to me, will I own the revisions?" If they say no, run away. Or tell them that's the only way you'll do it. But as always the choice is up to you. Me? I don't believe in free or deferred rewrites. But I understand when you're just getting started how sometimes you need to throw caution to the wind and take a chance. Just protect yourself while doing it. And know the overwhelming chance is that nothing will come of it.
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Old 11-12-2015, 01:34 PM   #4
ManbunShiva
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Default Re: Need help understanding what this request means

montana, that was really helpful. Thank you so much.
Ed, thanks for the reality check. I'm quite skeptical of any promises till it actually happens, and I think that's the best strategy.

This offer is from Eclectic Pictures. Has anyone dealt with them?
So, the best course of action now would be to get a lawyer in the mix and see if a workable deal can be written up? I'm not a fan of giving my services for free either. Although as a token of good faith, a nominal signing fee would be professional, right? Even a few hundred bucks?
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Old 11-12-2015, 02:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: Need help understanding what this request means

Yes, get an attorney. Even if you pay the attorney more than you will be getting paid for the option and rewrite. This contract is a safeguard for your future and your career. As Ed says, an option on the current draft would be the norm. You are right in demanding at least a nominal good faith fee of say $100 for the option, which would be for a certain amount of time (say 12 months) which gives them a ticking clock to develop the material. According to IMDBPro the company Eclectic Pictures has six projects in development including THE EXPENDEBELLES which is a big production, and they have a list of past produced features including one with Avi Lerner from 2008, who is a legit producer at Millennium (if not a tad bit shady). Anyway, in my humble opinion if you can get a contract or an option and keep the rights to your original work if nothing moves forward, it would be worth it to develop this one on spec. Just another writer's opinion. I'm sure many would disagree with this but it is a way to open doors. Good luck!
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Old 11-12-2015, 03:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: Need help understanding what this request means

Thumbs up for Eclectic. I once queried them with a very generic logline and was asked to come in for a meeting, which was kind of strange since I was told they don't accept unsolicited material - and they didn't even request the script
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Old 11-12-2015, 04:31 PM   #7
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Default Re: Need help understanding what this request means

You guys seriously rock. The knowledge here is unbelievable. montana, once again much thanks for your suggestions which ae really helpful. cheers!

BillG, thats good to know. Any thoughts you could share on your meeting with them?
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Old 11-13-2015, 01:47 PM   #8
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Default Re: Need help understanding what this request means

Sure thing. Also, something else to keep in mind:

IF (and only IF) Eclectic Pictures is a "Guild Signatory Company" (meaning they can ONLY work with WGA writers) you may have a chance at getting the required 24 Screen Writing Credits that will get you into the WGA. A feature script sale to a Guild Sig company gets you those 24 points. So if they hire you (ie the movie goes into production and you get paid) then if they are sig, they will be required to pay you WGA minimum rates and use the gig as a way to get you into the Writers Guild of America just to work with you. You may want to call the WGA and ask them, they're pretty responsive. Good luck!
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Old 11-13-2015, 06:16 PM   #9
ManbunShiva
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Default Re: Need help understanding what this request means

Thanks montana. So, going by your info I databased eclectic at the WGA and it doesnt show that they are sig.
What would you suggest I do to try and get into WGA?
Register for this project as a one off LLC? Why would they want to do that?
And lastly, besides some of the benefits listed, what are the true advantages to being a WGA member?
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Old 11-14-2015, 02:39 PM   #10
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Default Re: Need help understanding what this request means

That WGA sig list isn't always comprehensive and it isn't always current. The only way to be sure is to call the WGA directly, go into the offices in LA and ask in person, or just ask the producer straight up. You could also call the prodco anonymously and ask. Entrance into the WGA is coveted, and very hard to attain. The more assignments you rack up with signatory prodcos the more screen writing credits you get. Indie productions mean nothing. Only WGA sig. If you develop a script on spec then sell it to a sig company you get in. That seems to be the fastest way in, but it is very difficult because of the double edged sword slash Catch 22 aspect of the industry. Guild Sig companies cannot work with non WGA writers, but you can't get in the WGA if you don't work with Guild Sig Companies. Check out the WGA packet on the site. In the WGA writers get full health benefits, retirement package, legal assistance, residuals collection - it's a union working for you and watching over your back. By working hard enough any screenwriter should feasibly be able to get in...I hope. Just develop it with the producer, be yourself, be passionate about the project, and hopefully they'll love your rewrite(s) and option the script. Consider yourself lucky to have the opportunity, and get an attorney!
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