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Old 12-23-2016, 05:28 PM   #21
madworld
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Default Re: Writing on Spec Question

Anecdotal but there was a biggish producer one time who tried to get me to write an idea of his. I illustrated a lot of the concerns in this thread and he literally said that if he can't sell it, I can take it free and clear. I didn't end up doing it because the idea just didn't get there for me but you never really know. It's worth voicing your concerns because they might bend. Rare I suppose.

At the end of the day, I'm not sure *owning* it really means much because truthfully once people start to say no, most potential buyers won't want it anyway. They like new/ not second hand things. Once it's been shown, you can't unring that bell. But projects are given new life at new places too. God, who knows?

One thing is fact, you have love the idea. It's a commitment.
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Old 12-23-2016, 05:53 PM   #22
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Default Re: Writing on Spec Question

Okay, I'm really going to sound like an idiot, but it's only inexperienced ignorance at play-- please bear with me and laughing is okay...

JeffLowell, in this scenario the writers received the $2.0 million, right? What does the producer get? I'm trying to understand how they make money. The producer becomes attached for a specified $ amount that he negotiates for him/herself, right?

Does the producer make money throughout the development or production or do they get a payment when principal photography starts? Do they get a take of the box office gross? Or are there various ways for deals to be struck (I'm guessing he latter) I would imagine any back end deal is best on gross and not net profits because they could probably make it look like something made nothing when it really did, right?

Madworld, I agree it's a commitment. But things do sometimes take quite a while to get into the right hands. Timing may matter and something that didn't sell years ago, might still sell later with the right combination of the right people. I might be mistaken, but I think ProffessorChomp's Starfall was a little kinda sorta like that, no?

This is very interesting and my apologies to LiteBriteWrite for derailing it a bit.
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Last edited by finalact4 : 12-23-2016 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 12-23-2016, 06:09 PM   #23
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Default Re: Writing on Spec Question

Yeah it's not zero sum. Projects do bounce around and find new life. But it gets harder with every no, it just does. That doesn't mean it doesn't happen. It's always exciting to hear stories like Chomp's, I love it. The reality is as Lowell said, the overwhelming majority of projects you do with a producer of this sort mean you will not be able to divorce the project from the producer. But I still think it's worth taking that position (i.e. it's mine if we part) when you get approached to spec because if you're writing for free for months, often multiple drafts, it's comforting to know you will control the project if the producer becomes disinterested or can't set it up.
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Old 12-23-2016, 06:11 PM   #24
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Default Re: Writing on Spec Question

Madworld, here's my own story about producer attachments:

John Tucker Must Die was written as a spec. A producer took it into MGM. MGM bought it. It went through a lot of drafts, ended up dead. I did not enjoy working with that producer during the process.

A couple of years later, Fox wanted to buy it from MGM and make it. The original producer wanted to stay involved, even he was only contractually attached at MGM. I went to my agent and said I wanted the producer out. The agent said that legally, I could absolutely do that. But Fox wouldn't buy it in that case, because they wouldn't do that to the producer. Who had no rights.

I kept the producer involved. Eventually, he convinced the studio to fire me from my own spec, even though they were happy with my work. Such a lovely place, Hollywood.

Finalact:

When a producer is attached to a movie that's bought by a studio, they get a nominal fee. Usually five figures. But if the movie is made, they get their producer fee, which can run into the millions, and actual profit participation that pays out. Writers also often get points, but they're meaningless.

So, usually, a writer does much better if the movie isn't made; the producer does much better if the movie is made.
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Old 12-23-2016, 11:56 PM   #25
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Default Re: Writing on Spec Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffLowell View Post
Madworld, here's my own story about producer attachments:

John Tucker Must Die was written as a spec. A producer took it into MGM. MGM bought it. It went through a lot of drafts, ended up dead. I did not enjoy working with that producer during the process.

A couple of years later, Fox wanted to buy it from MGM and make it. The original producer wanted to stay involved, even he was only contractually attached at MGM. I went to my agent and said I wanted the producer out. The agent said that legally, I could absolutely do that. But Fox wouldn't buy it in that case, because they wouldn't do that to the producer. Who had no rights.

I kept the producer involved. Eventually, he convinced the studio to fire me from my own spec, even though they were happy with my work. Such a lovely place, Hollywood.

Finalact:

When a producer is attached to a movie that's bought by a studio, they get a nominal fee. Usually five figures. But if the movie is made, they get their producer fee, which can run into the millions, and actual profit participation that pays out. Writers also often get points, but they're meaningless.

So, usually, a writer does much better if the movie isn't made; the producer does much better if the movie is made.
Hi, Jeff!

Can you tell everyone it was nice checking back in for me? I can't do it because somehow my computer and this message board don't mix. When I click "New Posts" or "Today's Posts" none of the new threads refresh.

It is infuriating and makes me have to leave this place. And if you tell me it's my fault the only reason I won't kill you is because this thread will never pop up!

Goodbye!
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Old 12-24-2016, 07:55 AM   #26
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Default Re: Writing on Spec Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by BattleDolphinZero View Post
Hi, Jeff!

Can you tell everyone it was nice checking back in for me? I can't do it because somehow my computer and this message board don't mix. When I click "New Posts" or "Today's Posts" none of the new threads refresh.

It is infuriating and makes me have to leave this place. And if you tell me it's my fault the only reason I won't kill you is because this thread will never pop up!

Goodbye!
I'm not much of a poster and don't want to derail -- but because this thread's advice/info is so valuable, I'll chime in that I'm having the same problem too, BDZ. You're not alone.
Hopefully a mod will fix it soon, or let us know the cause of the issue.

Anyway, carry on. These are some very interesting/helpful anecdotes.

Last edited by Stek : 12-24-2016 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 12-24-2016, 09:09 AM   #27
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Default Re: Writing on Spec Question

Jeff thanks for sharing that, wow. BDZ I'm having the same problem, no refresh.
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Old 12-24-2016, 09:31 PM   #28
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Default Re: Writing on Spec Question

Ditto. Hasn't worked for me for months. To see new posts, I have to close the browser, re-open, re-log in, then go to new posts. And even that only works on Firefox. Gotta get this straightened out!
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Old 12-25-2016, 07:44 AM   #29
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Default Re: Writing on Spec Question

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Originally Posted by ProfessorChomp View Post
Ditto. Hasn't worked for me for months. To see new posts, I have to close the browser, re-open, re-log in, then go to new posts. And even that only works on Firefox. Gotta get this straightened out!
It is not something we can straighten out, unfortunately. It's the coding of the forum software vs. some new browsers. I use Firefox all the time and it works fine, if and when I use that feature. It's a Google Chrome conflict/issue.

Not that this might help, but 99.9% of the time I never use that feature. Granted I'm more of an overseer of all, but still you can easily look down the main page of the forum and see where all the new posts are, then pop into that forum and all the new posts are at the top. This does sort of require one to mark a forum read each time, I guess, which I do for easy tracking. But I keep up with all and basically never use the NEW POSTS feature.

Upgrading to the latest software for vBulletin is such a nightmare and can frequently cause the forums to be disrupted, go down and/or even risk losing posts -- not to be melodramatic -- that it's just not worth it to update.
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Old 12-25-2016, 11:50 AM   #30
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Default Re: Writing on Spec Question

Sorry to hear about the vbulletin software issue, Will. That's unfortunate but understandable. Thank you for letting us know!
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