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Old 07-03-2019, 11:49 AM   #11
GucciGhostXXX
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Default Re: Entertainment Lawyer Recommendations

OOPS! I think I totally misunderstood your question. I was thinking YOU were trying to option a book or article etc.

Yeah, now this situation makes no sense to me. Ignore my shopping agreement advice!
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Old 07-03-2019, 12:21 PM   #12
catcon
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Default Re: Entertainment Lawyer Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by finalact4 View Post
...you want to be sufficiently satisfied that the other party will prioritize your project, not back-burner it until the expiration date. also, you can write in language that ties the auto-extension into some kind of performance based requirement that will keep them working on your behalf.
That's the thing, it's really hard to know that they're not going to just procrastinate their effort into the final month or so of the option term; meanwhile, you're sitting there twiddling your thumbs. It's why nowadays I'm trying to get right into the producing end of it. After all, I have a lot of contacts from 10 years of pitching to people in every element of the industry, not to mention a (mostly) positive read history of my projects, to possibly make some sort of useful contribution on that front.

After all, nobody's got the passion for my work like I do, so even if I don't get a literal financial reward for my efforts, they may pay off eventually even if it's just an unpaid co-pro credit.

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Originally Posted by finalact4 View Post
...it should not be the same law firm that reps the prodco, imo. others may disagree...
The attorney should notify you of such a potential conflict of interest. The first time I contacted my attorney (been so, since 2009), he told me that one of his clients had an averse interest to the company I was contacting him about, so we didn't get together. A year or so later I contacted him again, and since he'd been freed up that's when we signed a simple agreement.

I could pass along his name, but he will cost you. For instance, in my first few dealings with him he wanted to read the script involved. He's no pro literary guy, but he wanted to make sure I wasn't wasting his time or going to besmirch his reputation when he started to send stuff out or make contacts on my behalf. Sound familiar? Anyway, I was okay with this (and had the cash at the time).

We made a deal on regular submissions and advice, at a vastly reduced hourly rate from his regular fee. He isn't generally interested in straight percentage unless the deal is for an eventual six figures; otherwise there's no money in it, and the small-time deals are probably dead ends anyway. I'd expect after my breakthrough (when/if) he'll act like my best friend, but till then I have to play second fiddle, and the fee such as it is prevents me from wasting his time on nonsense.

Incidentally, my attorney also required a retainer ($1000), probably as a requirement of the big firm he's with. This was quite a burden at the time for me, and impossible for the past few years. We have a somewhat looser relationship now, but that was after several years of the formal agreement, so it's still a thing. You might be able to find somebody who won't insist on a retainer.

For your case, then, you might be better off just finding an attorney who'll look at your deal for $100 or $200 bucks, just for any truly outrageous wording or terms. Then, if you have a number of projects and s/he'll see a potential serious client on his/her hands, you might land actual representation for all situations.

As I mentioned already, I know this chase sounds familiar to what we see in the pursuit of representation with manager/agents, but most agree that the one rep you need is an attorney. Don't short-change yourself.
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Old 07-03-2019, 01:13 PM   #13
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Default Re: Entertainment Lawyer Recommendations

If it's a free option, there is no reputable Ent. Attorney who will handle it for 5%. You'll have to pay them a fee, which will most likely not be worth it. PM me the name of the company if you'd like.
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Old 07-03-2019, 01:15 PM   #14
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Default Re: Entertainment Lawyer Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by GucciGhostXXX View Post
OOPS! I think I totally misunderstood your question. I was thinking YOU were trying to option a book or article etc.

Yeah, now this situation makes no sense to me. Ignore my shopping agreement advice!
if they can't come to an agreement on the option terms, a shopping agreement can still save the deal and move forward. i don't think it was bad advice necessarily.

that's what my lawyer and manager/producer offered to counter an option that did not satisfy my requirements.
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Old 07-03-2019, 01:18 PM   #15
CthulhuRises
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Default Re: Entertainment Lawyer Recommendations

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Originally Posted by finalact4 View Post
if they can't come to an agreement on the option terms, a shopping agreement can still save the deal and move forward. i don't think it was bad advice necessarily.

that's what my lawyer and manager/producer offered to counter an option that did not satisfy my requirements.

Yeah, you should never, ever do a free option. Free shopping agreements are fine. I'm a professional writer and I still do shopping agreements. Often times they are in fact better than even low payment options (say sub 5K), because you aren't locked into terms and can negotiate directly with the buyer.
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Old 07-03-2019, 02:07 PM   #16
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Default Re: Entertainment Lawyer Recommendations

I guess my question at this point is: Who is this person [rhetorical], and what's their juice? We talking major player or some dude off the street? I think that part matters... A LOT!

IDK, I feel like 6 months is plenty of time to know if anything's gonna happen with it. Easy enough to stretch that if there's *real* traction. Personally, I'll never do an 18 month option. Frick that!

I feel like if it's not a straight sale... death sentence. Anyone here got something made off an option? I'm trying to think, when I was a pretend manager (My W2 just said "manager" but I felt like a fake one) the only things we sold that got made were straight sales. Everything we optioned never got made. We had many option renews, but they never got made. We had 3 films get made in one year, just say'n, none were options (2 of them up for oscars/globes... man those were the days... now I'm a looser again. Ha!)
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