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Old 03-24-2005, 03:19 PM   #1
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Default Do producers even option anymore?

I have a question about something I've seen in the industry, and wonder whether it's just been my personal experience or the indication of a greater trend. I've had three different producers by now express interest in various projects, then ask me to tweak them slightly (i.e., free rewriters, I suppose) so they can shop them to a few, named, specific contacts of theirs in the business. I realize this constitutes a verbal shopping agreement of sorts and have really had no problem with it as I've seen it as a way to get my scripts through doors that I, as a currently unrepresented writer, never could alone. I also know, of course, this involves reduced risk for the producers in terms of not being tied to a messy (or costly) option agreement if the project doesn't readily sell. Then again, to me it seems risky for them to put time and effort into giving notes and then shopping a work they don't have guaranteed rights to. After talking with other screenwriters, I've come to feel my situation is less than unique. Are producers going more and more this unofficial "gentlemen's understanding" route rather than paying out options, or is my perception as an as-yet-unsold-unproduced-bottom-feeder skewed?
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