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Old 07-11-2012, 11:49 PM   #1
streaker12345
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Default Another Producer/Option Question

I've read on Done Deal in the past that any legit producer would put some money up front if he decided to option a script. I just heard from a producer who has a good track record and produces two series that have put a total of nine movies in the theatre and a bunch straight to DVD. He seems excited about me and my partners script and wants to get it made. He told me there is no money up front but he'll provide the development services with the hope of selling script and getting it made. I think we'll defintely take the offer and see what happens but wanted to see if anyone else had any dealings like this and what was the outcome?
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:39 AM   #2
SoCalScribe
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Default Re: Another Producer/Option Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by streaker12345 View Post
I've read on Done Deal in the past that any legit producer would put some money up front if he decided to option a script. I just heard from a producer who has a good track record and produces two series that have put a total of nine movies in the theatre and a bunch straight to DVD. He seems excited about me and my partners script and wants to get it made. He told me there is no money up front but he'll provide the development services with the hope of selling script and getting it made. I think we'll defintely take the offer and see what happens but wanted to see if anyone else had any dealings like this and what was the outcome?
These days, it's not uncommon for people - even legit companies and producers - to only offer low-ball initial options ($1, $50, $100, etc.) to new or otherwise unestablished writers. Just make sure that the option deal is fair, i.e. that the "free" option is for a very limited amount of time and that there's real money in the event of an extension. It's one thing to give someone with a track record six months to try to make something happen without a huge investment. It's another thing to give someone eighteen months for $1, then another 18 months for $100, then another 18 months for another $100...

As always, it comes down to the terms of the option deal. As long as you're happy with the terms and have an attorney vet the contract to make sure everything's on the up-and-up, then that's a good deal regardless of the size of the check they cut.

Just make sure you're both aware of what this producer means when he says he'll "provide the development services." Does that mean he's going to give you notes and you'll rewrite it? If so, do you keep the results and proceeds of that rewrite, or does he? If he keeps them, is he paying you for the writing, or expecting you to do that for free as well? Alternately, does that mean that he's going to take your script and develop it with someone else?

As with any contract, you want to be 100% clear on how the mechanics of the deal work. If you're okay with how everything works out and what you're getting in return for your work, then congratulations.
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Old 07-16-2012, 07:33 PM   #3
ColeBlackburn
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Default Re: Another Producer/Option Question

Very Critical..

Make sure the option stipulates that the producer is signatory
to the Writers Guild so you get credit for any sale and production.
If he isn't, and doesn't, you don't get the credits for admission
to the WGA. Leastways, that's the way it was back when
dinosaurs roamed the land.
The Cole
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