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Old 06-01-2016, 01:44 PM   #1
PhilaeMb
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Join Date: Jun 2015
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Default Negotiating Option On My Own

Hi all,

I have a spec for which I've managed to garner a fair amount of interest on my own (not repped).

I'm speaking with a well-known producer soon and they are looking to either option or purchase the script (likely the former but their language has been vague in this respect -- intentionally, I suspect). I'm not sure how to approach this meeting as it's the first "real" bite. As I'm unrepped, I don't feel I'm in a place to negotiate this or delay any decisions. That said, the same project is being considered by several other prodcos and I wouldn't want to close any doors until I know what all my options are.

All thoughts on strategy are welcome. I also realize I'm fortunate to have gotten interest at all. Not intending to come off as ungrateful.
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Old 06-01-2016, 03:08 PM   #2
mixj
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Default Re: Negotiating Option On My Own

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Originally Posted by PhilaeMb View Post
Hi all,

I have a spec for which I've managed to garner a fair amount of interest on my own (not repped).

I'm speaking with a well-known producer soon and they are looking to either option or purchase the script (likely the former but their language has been vague in this respect -- intentionally, I suspect). I'm not sure how to approach this meeting as it's the first "real" bite. As I'm unrepped, I don't feel I'm in a place to negotiate this or delay any decisions. That said, the same project is being considered by several other prodcos and I wouldn't want to close any doors until I know what all my options are.

All thoughts on strategy are welcome. I also realize I'm fortunate to have gotten interest at all. Not intending to come off as ungrateful.
Call a lawyer. They will rep you on spec. Call one of the best/biggest firms and just straight up ask and drop the name. If they rep you cool, and if not they will recommend you someone.
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Old 06-02-2016, 08:32 AM   #3
PhilaeMb
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Default Re: Negotiating Option On My Own

Cool, thanks mixj
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Old 06-02-2016, 11:41 AM   #4
JeffLowell
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Default Re: Negotiating Option On My Own

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Originally Posted by mixj View Post
Call a lawyer. They will rep you on spec. Call one of the best/biggest firms and just straight up ask and drop the name. If they rep you cool, and if not they will recommend you someone.
I find this very hard to believe. First, I doubt they'd do anything on spec. And even if they were willing to take a new writer on as a client, they charge 5%. So they're going to spend hours working for 5% of a thousand buck option?

MAYBE you could find a lawyer who would take you on as an hourly client, but not a top lawyer. Odds are you'll spend many times what you'd make.

My advice would be to ask for a referral to an agent or manager.
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Old 06-03-2016, 01:27 PM   #5
slupo
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Default Re: Negotiating Option On My Own

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Originally Posted by JeffLowell View Post
I find this very hard to believe. First, I doubt they'd do anything on spec. And even if they were willing to take a new writer on as a client, they charge 5%. So they're going to spend hours working for 5% of a thousand buck option?

MAYBE you could find a lawyer who would take you on as an hourly client, but not a top lawyer. Odds are you'll spend many times what you'd make.

My advice would be to ask for a referral to an agent or manager.
This is true. The only lawyers you'll be able to get will charge you hourly. Expect to pay 500-1500 depending on how much work you want them to do and how long the option is. This will probably include just redlining and little to no actual negotiating on their end.

It sucks. I had to go through this myself.
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Old 06-06-2016, 03:58 PM   #6
PhilaeMb
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Default Re: Negotiating Option On My Own

Thanks all!
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Old 07-11-2016, 02:17 PM   #7
mixj
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Default Re: Negotiating Option On My Own

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Originally Posted by slupo View Post
This is true. The only lawyers you'll be able to get will charge you hourly. Expect to pay 500-1500 depending on how much work you want them to do and how long the option is. This will probably include just redlining and little to no actual negotiating on their end.

It sucks. I had to go through this myself.

This isn't true at all. I'm telling you from my own experience. A shopping agreement/option agreement is pretty easy for them to work out, and if you get one of the guys in the office who is working his way up and has some aspirations, and he thinks you show potential, he will do it for you.

This is how I was able to get my shopping agreement done and eventually get a manager. It's really easy to make a call to some lawyers offices and ask. They don't blow you off like they do at the talent agencies.
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