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Old 05-09-2016, 04:19 PM   #1
glrobert
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Default Newbie Seeking Sage Advice

Hey everybody--

Newbie writer here, hoping to get some sage advice from all you veterans...

I had a script perform really well in a couple contests last year. It also had a good run on the Black List site. As a result, somebody passed it along to a producer who read it and liked it. We've been working together over the past few months to get the script in tip-top shape. I just got off the phone with him and have a few minor tweaks to take care of before it's ready to go.

Our recent dialogue has been more about the script itself than the details of his strategy, but that conversation is right around the corner. I do know that the next step is to try to get an actress attached, then go from there. But anything beyond that has yet to be discussed and I'd like to be prepared as possible when the time comes.

A few more details about me, my script and my situation:

-- I have no representation.
-- We have no formal agreement, contract, option, etc.
-- It's an indie thriller
-- He's legit. The last thing he produced was nominated for a golden globe and he has several projects set up around town with other very legit folks attached.

All that being said, I was hoping some of you could steer me in the right direction. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 05-09-2016, 04:51 PM   #2
DangoForth
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Default Re: Newbie Seeking Sage Advice

He knows what he's supposed to do then. Honestly, I'd wait for him to make the first real overture. But DON'T sign anything without an entertainment attorney. He can't make any deals without your say-so. If you get to that point, THEN engage an attorney (not someone of his choosing).
Go ahead and get to work on your next script.

Goes without saying that it would have been better to nail everything down in writing before you started rewriting for him...
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Old 05-09-2016, 11:23 PM   #3
finalact4
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Default Re: Newbie Seeking Sage Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by glrobert View Post
Hey everybody--

Newbie writer here, hoping to get some sage advice from all you veterans...

I had a script perform really well in a couple contests last year. It also had a good run on the Black List site. As a result, somebody passed it along to a producer who read it and liked it. We've been working together over the past few months to get the script in tip-top shape. I just got off the phone with him and have a few minor tweaks to take care of before it's ready to go.

Our recent dialogue has been more about the script itself than the details of his strategy, but that conversation is right around the corner. I do know that the next step is to try to get an actress attached, then go from there. But anything beyond that has yet to be discussed and I'd like to be prepared as possible when the time comes.

A few more details about me, my script and my situation:

-- I have no representation.
-- We have no formal agreement, contract, option, etc.
-- It's an indie thriller
-- He's legit. The last thing he produced was nominated for a golden globe and he has several projects set up around town with other very legit folks attached.

All that being said, I was hoping some of you could steer me in the right direction. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
It sounds like you have a good working relationship, and since that's the case, just ask him. He certainly understands that you're new to the game, and it makes sense you'd have questions. Do you talk on the phone regularly? Or do you communicate through email? Hopefully, it's on the phone as much as texting, emailing.

I have a manager who has explicitly said that he wants to produce everything I write. Personally, I don't have a problem with that because he gets me read and I'm writing big budget franchise kind of pieces.

I have questions all the time and I mention them whenever I see an opportunity to ask.

I am a nobody. No sale. No option. Just getting into the game, so take it all with a grain of salt. But what I do get is that there's a lot less to fear when you're working well with someone. Just ask the question when he says, "okay I think it's ready to send out."

Congratulations, and good fortune to you.
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:17 AM   #4
EdFury
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Default Re: Newbie Seeking Sage Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by glrobert View Post
Hey everybody--

Newbie writer here, hoping to get some sage advice from all you veterans...

I had a script perform really well in a couple contests last year. It also had a good run on the Black List site. As a result, somebody passed it along to a producer who read it and liked it. We've been working together over the past few months to get the script in tip-top shape. I just got off the phone with him and have a few minor tweaks to take care of before it's ready to go.

Our recent dialogue has been more about the script itself than the details of his strategy, but that conversation is right around the corner. I do know that the next step is to try to get an actress attached, then go from there. But anything beyond that has yet to be discussed and I'd like to be prepared as possible when the time comes.

A few more details about me, my script and my situation:

-- I have no representation.
-- We have no formal agreement, contract, option, etc.
-- It's an indie thriller
-- He's legit. The last thing he produced was nominated for a golden globe and he has several projects set up around town with other very legit folks attached.

All that being said, I was hoping some of you could steer me in the right direction. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
I'm a little surprised that if he's that experienced he hasn't put your relationship with him and the script in writing. Even if it's a shopping agreement. You need to have some kind of contract with him, whether you think you have a good relationship or not. I've seen these kinds of things lead to all kinds of problems without a legal agreement of some kind in place.
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:38 AM   #5
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Default Re: Newbie Seeking Sage Advice

You have already attached the producer regardless of paper-- they are shopping it, and you are incorporating their notes into the script. If they forward the progress and any notes are incorporated that will constitute a legal attachment. Electronic transmissions would substantiate their right to the attachment. In this case you have a de facto shopping agreement in place.

Sounds like it's worth it, but you will need a rep/lawyer to make sure that the purchase agreement is fair... ie WGA minimum floor or 2-2.5% of the budget with a reasonable ceiling.

Good luck!
Mark

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Old 05-11-2016, 11:41 AM   #6
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Default Re: Newbie Seeking Sage Advice

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Originally Posted by finalact4 View Post

I have a manager who has explicitly said that he wants to produce everything I write.
Just remember that a manager "wanting" to produce everything you write doesn't make it so. I've been very clear with each manager I've had that the producer credit on any project will be earned, not assumed. They've all been cool with that. Getting your script out there is the job of a manager, for which they get 10%. A producer credit means going above and beyond that - getting an actor, director, coming up with financing, etc.
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Old 05-11-2016, 11:49 AM   #7
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Default Re: Newbie Seeking Sage Advice

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Originally Posted by ProfessorChomp View Post
Just remember that a manager "wanting" to produce everything you write doesn't make it so. I've been very clear with each manager I've had that the producer credit on any project will be earned, not assumed. They've all been cool with that. Getting your script out there is the job of a manager, for which they get 10%. A producer credit means going above and beyond that - getting an actor, director, coming up with financing, etc.
Thanks for the distinction, it's an important one.
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Old 05-11-2016, 03:07 PM   #8
glrobert
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Default Re: Newbie Seeking Sage Advice

Thanks for the input guys. Greatly appreciated!
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Old 05-11-2016, 04:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: Newbie Seeking Sage Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProfessorChomp View Post
Just remember that a manager "wanting" to produce everything you write doesn't make it so. I've been very clear with each manager I've had that the producer credit on any project will be earned, not assumed. They've all been cool with that. Getting your script out there is the job of a manager, for which they get 10%. A producer credit means going above and beyond that - getting an actor, director, coming up with financing, etc.

^^^THAT!!! x1000.

Yea, whoa! Do not let your manager glom onto every project UNLESS your manager is also a huge producer with cred [meaning they already have SEVERAL ***RECENT*** produced films that you respect. Even so, maybe there's a better producer out there. The fact that your manager wants to "glom on" [the industry term for it] is not something to be proud of. It's actually an albatross around the neck of your script.

The deal is this: Every [EVERY!] manager wants to glom onto our work, as they are not bound by the same regulations as agents [otherwise agents would too]. Be carful with your material. Like ProfessorChomp said, make them EARN the right to attach. You're within your right to tell them "no thanks, don't want you attached."

Truuuuuuuuuuust me. I've been on the flip side, and yeah, you want to attach to everything because something is bound to get made -- from there you will bank roll for not doing a whole lot [not like they're a line producer, producer in name only]. That's what they're thinking [easy mark/easy money].

Tell your manager you merely want them to rep your script. Problem is, you don't want a hanger-on mucking up your project. Studios/Big-legit/made producers are looking for clean material. They don't want to have to figure out how to get rid of some dip-shiz manager who's never produced a single film.

Good luck!
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Old 05-11-2016, 04:17 PM   #10
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Default Re: Newbie Seeking Sage Advice

ps… NO WAY IN FVCKING HELL is my manager attaching to anything I write. EVER!!!

(unless they become a huge/legit producer)
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