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Old 10-04-2011, 01:52 PM   #61
joe9alt
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Default Re: Beware of Development Interns stealing your ideas

Yeah but a slight dose of paranoia can't hurt in terms of protecting your idea.

Remember this...

http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment..._mall_cop.html
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Old 10-04-2011, 02:08 PM   #62
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Default Re: Beware of Development Interns stealing your ideas

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Originally Posted by scripto80 View Post
If you're amused by it, that's kinda sad because it sounds like you were blatantly ripped off. It's one thing to come up with an idea that you send out unsolicited or ask friends to read, and then you see a film or tv episode that is strikingly similar to your concept. THAT you can chalk up to "nothing is original" and similar thoughts. Heck, a year ago I came up with a concept, started writing it, and a few months later Stand freakin Lee announced his plans for a project that sounded like he literally read my mind. I just laughed, and if anything felt flattered to share a brain wave with a genius like him. But when you submit material to specific companies for specific projects and they consider it, and discuss it with you and everything and then months later find a near scene by scene carbon copy of what you pitched them on the ariwaves or the big screen....that's something more.
The chances that anyone on either of those shows actually read my material is pretty slim. I think you misread my post. I'm basically saying what you're saying re: your idea and Stan Lee.
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Old 10-04-2011, 05:13 PM   #63
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Default Re: Beware of Development Interns stealing your ideas

Yeah but I never sent a treatment to Stan. In any effect it just sounds sketchy as heck. But kudos to you for being so easy going and taking the positive/high road...even if there's a chance others didn't.

By the way, just a good read for this thread:

http://www.filmschoolrejects.com/fea...bout.php/all/1

Of particular interest, some more examples of what's being discussed:

Quote:
Remember Art Buchwald from earlier? The guy who almost got screwed by Paramount before a judge stepped in and told them to cut that **** out? Well, there’s a little more to that story. A few years before the big court case, Buchwald was already a successful humor writer and satirist, even winning himself a Pulitzer for his work. Then he set his sights on Hollywood, and he pitched Paramount an idea for a movie about an African prince who moves to America to find a bride. He suggested Eddie Murphy as a lead actor. (That’s right, kids. People used to want Eddie Murphy in their movies.)

Paramount took the pitch, but then had trouble getting it off the ground. Eventually, the rights returned to Buchwald and he pitched it to Warner Bros. Shortly after they began work on it, though, Warner Bros. killed the project. Turns out, there was a similar film going into production at Paramount. It was a movie about an African prince who moves to America to find a bride. Oh, and it starred Eddie Murphy, who was also given writing credit. That movie, of course, was Coming to America. Buchwald was furious and immediately took Paramount to court, which instigated the events discussed back in the Hollywood Accounting entry. So Buchwald didn’t just get screwed, he almost got double-screwed. But he’s not the only one.

Turns out, some of those crazy people who constantly crop up and say Hollywood producers ripped off their scripts aren’t so crazy. In fact, it turns out that it’s a dirty little secret of Hollywood’s that stealing scripts is almost commonplace. Jeff Grosso wrote a script about his life as a professional Texas Hold ‘Em player and had it turned down by Miramax, only for them to turn around and begin production on an identical project that became the Matt Damon film Rounders. Another writer, Reed Martin, pitched his idea and, like Buchwald, even recommended the perfect actor for his script– Bill Murray. Months later, an exceptionally similar movie, Broken Flowers (starring Bill Murray, of course), went into production without Martin. Although Martin’s claim survived many attempts at dismissal, it saw a trial in which a jury sided with the studio. Due to the high cost of the appeals process (an approximated $800,000), he has not filed an appeal.

The problem is that while scripts can be copyrighted, ideas cannot. So, if Hollywood gets pitched an idea and likes it, but doesn’t want to deal with the whole “paying for the script” thing, they can just hire someone to write another script based on “their” idea. Since they have much bigger, meaner lawyers than your average spec script writer, the writer kinda gets boned. So even the mythical “original idea” in Hollywood? Yeah, it may not be so original after all.
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:37 AM   #64
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Default Re: Beware of Development Interns stealing your ideas

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And this is me excusing myself from this thread...

There's no emoticon for disappearing.
No need to pull a Houdini. Thicker skin... come on!
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:45 AM   #65
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Cool Re: Beware of Development Interns stealing your ideas

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Originally Posted by Patra View Post
Recently one of my fellow screenwriters told me about producers who will re-write your high concept into their own with the help of staff writers. Anybody have any experiences? Copyright may protect you, but it also may not.

There's an interesting film on screenwriting on Netflix. I truly forget the name, but I did enjoy it. One girl said she pitched a story, they flew her in and flew her out and then gave her story to someone else to write.
I'm going to think positively in re: rip offs and theft, until I'm proven wrong. A positive thought is more powerful than a negative 1
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:37 AM   #66
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Default Re: Beware of Development Interns stealing your ideas

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Originally Posted by scripto80 View Post
Yeah but I never sent a treatment to Stan. In any effect it just sounds sketchy as heck. But kudos to you for being so easy going and taking the positive/high road...even if there's a chance others didn't.

By the way, just a good read for this thread:

http://www.filmschoolrejects.com/fea...bout.php/all/1

Of particular interest, some more examples of what's being discussed:

...Jeff Grosso wrote a script about his life as a professional Texas Hold ‘Em player and had it turned down by Miramax, only for them to turn around and begin production on an identical project that became the Matt Damon film Rounders. ....

Brian Koppleman -- who posts here on Done Deal -- wrote Rounders with David Levien. I believe it was an original spec. (Brian K can correct me if I'm wrong).

What the article quoted in regard to Rounders is a clear example of jumping to conclusions about idea theft. I'm certain there are any number of poker player scripts floating around the industry in any given year. It doesn't mean they all ripped off Jeff Grosso. Heck -- my neighbor, an eldery lady with lots of moxie, was telling me how she made a tidy living playing poker at "home games" when young. I was thinking of writing a story about her experiences.
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Old 10-05-2011, 11:37 AM   #67
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Default Re: Beware of Development Interns stealing your ideas

Yeah, that Grosso story is complete bullsht.
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Old 10-06-2011, 06:56 PM   #68
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Default Re: Beware of Development Interns stealing your ideas

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Heck -- my neighbor, an eldery lady with lots of moxie, was telling me how she made a tidy living playing poker at "home games" when young. I was thinking of writing a story about her experiences.
Did you have to say 'lots of moxie? ' Now I can't get that image of an ol' granny pulling on fishnet stockings out of my head hahaha
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Old 10-12-2011, 05:33 PM   #69
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Default Re: Beware of Development Interns stealing your ideas

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Brian Koppleman -- who posts here on Done Deal -- wrote Rounders with David Levien. I believe it was an original spec. (Brian K can correct me if I'm wrong).

What the article quoted in regard to Rounders is a clear example of jumping to conclusions about idea theft. I'm certain there are any number of poker player scripts floating around the industry in any given year.
Also, I suspect that the writers were partly inspired (in a perfectly legitimate, non-plagiarist way) by Al Alvarez's non-fiction book THE BIGGEST GAME IN TOWN, an account of the 1981 World Series of Poker. The "alligator blood" line, for instance, seems to have been taken from this book, where it was used in reference to Stu Ungar. I doubt that they had to resort to stealing some random guy's script.
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