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Old 05-28-2013, 02:40 PM   #1
themovienerd
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Default Help! Newbie's Script Requested as Part of Slate?

Have been emailing a gentleman back and forth for the past couple days who requested a non-exclusive deal to shop my script AFTER he made some "changes" to it. Instead of rejecting it out of hand I've been going back and forth and opened a dialogue that lead to this email today...

"[Me],

Let me be perfectly frank with you in saying that [your script] can be presented in a package as a one-off or as part of a multi-film slate we are putting together. In reading numerous works from established writers over the years I can honestly say that you're right at 95% of what will push this through for consideration from either a studio or an established independent. On the low end I can see this being produced for $3.5 - $5MM and on the higher end, $10 - $15MM. The advantage you have in this work is that a gripping western mystery thriller is very timely given all the tentpole projects in the Hollywood pipeline.

I realize the traditional approach is for the producer to offer an option fee and agreement, then shop the project. The difference here is that we want to infuse a few cosmetic tweaks, which you certainly can sign off on, then present the work, as we are already in talks with a film fund manager for our current proposed slate. We would simply swap out projects and include this one with your blessing." ***

I have no idea what the four corners of this agreement should look like, or if this is fairly common. Or what I should be worried about and questions I should be asking. I am GREEN to the business side. Any advice or thoughts the more experienced among us have would be welcome. THANKS!!
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Old 05-28-2013, 05:59 PM   #2
8bit Llama
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Default Re: Help! Newbie's Script Requested as Part of Slate?

Get a lawyer, etc.

If he's forgoing an official option or monetary compensation, which it seems like he is, you want to make sure that he only has the right to shop it around for a set amount of time before you get back the chance to give it to other people. Also, you want to make sure that any work you put into it (even ideas he offers) remain 100% yours if/once you part ways, otherwise you run the risk that he can always claim some small percentage of ownership to your script (even if it's not true).

Again though, just get a lawyer. They'll give you better advice than most people on here will.
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:21 PM   #3
joe9alt
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Default Re: Help! Newbie's Script Requested as Part of Slate?

I would ask for clarification on the below...

Quote:
Originally Posted by themovienerd View Post
I realize the traditional approach is for the producer to offer an option fee and agreement, then shop the project. The difference here is that we want to infuse a few cosmetic tweaks, which you certainly can sign off on, then present the work, as we are already in talks with a film fund manager for our current proposed slate. We would simply swap out projects and include this one with your blessing.
What does that even mean? What is he saying the "difference" even is? So he's saying he can't go the traditional route and option the script because...he wants changes made to it? And who exactly is making the changes? And why is that a valid reason to not option the script? Optioning the script would only make any proposed slate of films appear all the more sturdy in my opinion.

Who is the dude? Just PM me. I've been wrong before but this cat sounds like a nut that's trying a little razzle dazzle with pie in the sky budget talk in order to get you hand over the rights to your script for free. If that's the case. Pass.
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:59 PM   #4
robertcc
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Default Re: Help! Newbie's Script Requested as Part of Slate?

Yeah, it does sound fishy. The line that makes me suspicious is "The advantage you have in this work is that a gripping western mystery thriller is very timely given all the tentpole projects in the Hollywood pipeline."

How is a "western mystery thriller" timely within the context of tentpole projects? The sentence reads like a Mad Lib, with any genre inserted into the blank line for genre.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:49 PM   #5
EdFury
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Default Re: Help! Newbie's Script Requested as Part of Slate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by themovienerd View Post
Have been emailing a gentleman back and forth for the past couple days who requested a non-exclusive deal to shop my script AFTER he made some "changes" to it. Instead of rejecting it out of hand I've been going back and forth and opened a dialogue that lead to this email today...

"[Me],

Let me be perfectly frank with you in saying that [your script] can be presented in a package as a one-off or as part of a multi-film slate we are putting together. In reading numerous works from established writers over the years I can honestly say that you're right at 95% of what will push this through for consideration from either a studio or an established independent. On the low end I can see this being produced for $3.5 - $5MM and on the higher end, $10 - $15MM. The advantage you have in this work is that a gripping western mystery thriller is very timely given all the tentpole projects in the Hollywood pipeline.

I realize the traditional approach is for the producer to offer an option fee and agreement, then shop the project. The difference here is that we want to infuse a few cosmetic tweaks, which you certainly can sign off on, then present the work, as we are already in talks with a film fund manager for our current proposed slate. We would simply swap out projects and include this one with your blessing." ***

I have no idea what the four corners of this agreement should look like, or if this is fairly common. Or what I should be worried about and questions I should be asking. I am GREEN to the business side. Any advice or thoughts the more experienced among us have would be welcome. THANKS!!
Wow... the amount of Hollywood speak and misdirection and gobbledygook in his note is stunning.

Did he really say he'd be happy to include your script in a slate... with only your blessing? So he's going to tie your script up indefinitely with a verbal, "Ok."? Writing.... get everything in writing.... that means contracts, including the rights, as a previous poster said.... to any "tweaks".

Yeah. I can't make heads or tails of this. My advice.... same the others... Lawyer Up and sign nothing until you have an legal expert read it. And don't believe anyone who just wants a verbal agreement.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:30 PM   #6
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Default Re: Help! Newbie's Script Requested as Part of Slate?

Get a lawyer is good advice, but the language sounds like a talker, not a doer.

Even with good legal advice, you need to get some data together about this guy to be able to make some kind of judgment of how likely this guy will actually accomplish anything.

Saying, "I realize the traditional...." is a certain preparation for proposing something not traditional; in this case meaning no option money or agreement.

Shady or not, his speech pattern is that of a talker, not a walker.
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:55 AM   #7
themovienerd
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Default Re: Help! Newbie's Script Requested as Part of Slate?

Appreciate the advice guys and gals! I've emailed him back to ask for what he wants in writing to be reviewed by my lawyer (which I do have!).

We'll see.

I do agree, this guy sounds like a talker. Totally. So I'll keep talking to him until I make my decision.

Thanks folks!
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:33 AM   #8
BurOak
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Default Re: Help! Newbie's Script Requested as Part of Slate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by themovienerd View Post
Appreciate the advice guys and gals! I've emailed him back to ask for what he wants in writing to be reviewed by my lawyer (which I do have!).

We'll see.

I do agree, this guy sounds like a talker. Totally. So I'll keep talking to him until I make my decision.

Thanks folks!
The quality of English in his correspondence also suggests a 419 scammer.
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:50 AM   #9
Geoff Alexander
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Default Re: Help! Newbie's Script Requested as Part of Slate?

I agree with the other feedback on this, it sounds like bullshit.

Feel free to PM the name/company and I can see who they are.

Don't tie your material up with this guy without some serious due dilligence.



Quote:
Originally Posted by themovienerd View Post
Have been emailing a gentleman back and forth for the past couple days who requested a non-exclusive deal to shop my script AFTER he made some "changes" to it. Instead of rejecting it out of hand I've been going back and forth and opened a dialogue that lead to this email today...

"[Me],

Let me be perfectly frank with you in saying that [your script] can be presented in a package as a one-off or as part of a multi-film slate we are putting together. In reading numerous works from established writers over the years I can honestly say that you're right at 95% of what will push this through for consideration from either a studio or an established independent. On the low end I can see this being produced for $3.5 - $5MM and on the higher end, $10 - $15MM. The advantage you have in this work is that a gripping western mystery thriller is very timely given all the tentpole projects in the Hollywood pipeline.

I realize the traditional approach is for the producer to offer an option fee and agreement, then shop the project. The difference here is that we want to infuse a few cosmetic tweaks, which you certainly can sign off on, then present the work, as we are already in talks with a film fund manager for our current proposed slate. We would simply swap out projects and include this one with your blessing." ***

I have no idea what the four corners of this agreement should look like, or if this is fairly common. Or what I should be worried about and questions I should be asking. I am GREEN to the business side. Any advice or thoughts the more experienced among us have would be welcome. THANKS!!
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