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Old 11-10-2019, 08:06 AM   #7
TigerFang's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 1,169
Default Re: WCA Agreement gone wrong....

Originally Posted by Deni View Post
Hi everyone, it's been a while since I posted.

I have such a headache on my hands

Entered a collaboration agreement with two mates. We made a verbal agreement on how we would work together with equal input, work as a team, transparency, no edits or revisions unless all three agreed and/or compromise. With this in place, I reluctantly signed onto the project as the head screenwriter. Everything worked perfectly, I completed the first draft and then all hell broke loose.

One of the Collaborators, I'll call him C1 decided to make unilateral decisions and take control over everything behind our backs and without our knowledge. He decided for himself to change the tone, the characterizations, etc. etc. And went on to write draft 2-6, again without our knowledge.

We gave him the benefit of the doubt and requested to read the script and it was horrible. He's a director, not a screenwriter. I critiqued his work and he became defensive and then non-responsive.

He sent a secret email to our third collaborator to get her to side with him on his version of the script and have me kicked off the project. He tried to manipulate her by alleging that he's been taking Hollywood Screenwriting Courses and because he's been getting 100% on all his tests, he's not a Professionally Licensed Script Doctor/Editor/proofreader...yeah, I know!

The Agreement is pretty airtight and basic. Basically we are all co-authors and co-owners and no one can be forced to leave the agreement. If there's a dispute we can choose to leave by written consent. Also, no one can sell the Work unless all three collaborators agree and sign off on the sale. Anyhow, he hired a litigator to try and settled the dispute and he has a list of empty demands.

The other collaborator and I work well together and we like the script, so I don't get why he feels he's entitled to the project and not us. And how idiotic is it to piss off the people you need in order to make this project work. Regardless everything is at an impasse.

So let this be a cautionary tale to those who enter into Collaborative Agreement, make sure you have an exit or breach clauses in place if one person goes off the rales...if there are three or more people.

Any advice...? I have the right to give my list of demands as well, right? I can't afford an attorney but neither can he, this is a scare tactic. He also had the litigator request that we resolve this sensibly to avoid mounting court fees and distress.
You say that Collaborator C1 is all about contracts and NDAs. Why not have an entertainment attorney draw up a document for you and Collaborator C2 that rescinds his involvement so that the project is free and clear for you and Collaborator C2?

If the futility of his actions is laid out for him — either in a registered letter that accompanies the contract or in the contract itself — that the project is dead in the water without consent from all three participants, he could be swayed to give over all of his rights and obligations to the project. It could be worth the effort.
“Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room!” — Dr. Strangelove: or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
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