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Old 04-13-2017, 02:20 PM   #1
CthulhuRises
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Default What would you do?

So I'm in a bit of a quandary. A production company wants to option my script, and they want an answer by Friday before they leave for Tribeca. Candidly, they've been a bit pushy about it (calling me directly, and re-cc'ing me on e-mails after my Manager removed me so they could negotiate). That said, they have a very good track record of films getting great buzz at festivals and getting picked up by great distributors/sales agents, etc. The scripts they take on get made, and get good directors/cast for their budgets. The producer already has interest in it at the major agencies. The problem is, other places are still reading the script, and even with a push to read, we aren't going to know by tomorrow. So do I take the deal with this place or gamble hoping one of the bigger places reading will take it on?

Pros of taking it:

Film almost certainly will get made.
Will likely get an agent out of it.
Could be a good career intro (I've optioned stuff, big generals, had a small film made, but nothing major).
They work closely with CAA, WME, Preferred Content, etc.

Cons of taking it:

They see it as 500K-1M...A., I don't think the film can optimally be made for that. I think it needs at least 3M...B., obviously we're talking a low purchase price for the script...you do the math...
Someone bigger could want it and get back after I say yes. This script has gotten the most buzz of any of mine yet. It's a unique Horror, which is very in (but also it's very dark which rules out most Studios). Several places have been interested already, but the better places (Good Universe, Amazon, Lionsgate, etc. are still reading).
If I do it with the interested company, we're likely looking at the Festival/Limited Release route, vs. a Wide Release if a big company is interested.

My Manager thinks we should hold out, but understands if I want to move forward. What would you do? Feel free to PM.
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Old 04-13-2017, 03:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: What would you do?

correct me if i'm wrong but i'm not sure a manager should/can be negotiating a deal (at least in CA)
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Old 04-13-2017, 03:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: What would you do?

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Originally Posted by JoeBanks View Post
correct me if i'm wrong but i'm not sure a manager should/can be negotiating a deal (at least in CA)
It's semantical in my experience...point is my Manager and Attorney are speaking with them.
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Old 04-13-2017, 04:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: What would you do?

Is there a reasonable amount of option money on the table?

I would wait unless there's $ that you need.
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Old 04-13-2017, 04:11 PM   #5
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Default Re: What would you do?

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Originally Posted by ducky1288 View Post
Is there a reasonable amount of option money on the table?

I would wait unless there's $ that you need.
It's a small paid option (nothing to move the meter one way or the other).
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Old 04-13-2017, 05:52 PM   #6
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Default Re: What would you do?

I'd hold out like your manager says. If he really wants it that bad, he'll wait.

Why does he want an answer before Tribeca? Did he give a specific reason? That feels like an arbitrary deadline to pressure you to say "yes."

You have every right to see if there are better offers on the table.
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Old 04-13-2017, 06:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: What would you do?

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Originally Posted by UpandComing View Post
I'd hold out like your manager says. If he really wants it that bad, he'll wait.

Why does he want an answer before Tribeca? Did he give a specific reason? That feels like an arbitrary deadline to pressure you to say "yes."

You have every right to see if there are better offers on the table.
His reason is his slate has been filling up quickly since Sundance and he can't hold a spot for it any longer. It could be partly that and partly a tactic of trying to force my hand (playing on writers desperation) and lock it up since he knows we're waiting to hear back from others.
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Old 04-13-2017, 06:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: What would you do?

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Originally Posted by CthulhuRises View Post
His reason is his slate has been filling up quickly since Sundance and he can't hold a spot for it any longer. It could be partly that and partly a tactic of trying to force my hand (playing on writers desperation) and lock it up since he knows we're waiting to hear back from others.
I see. I still think it's unfair of him to issue an ultimatum when it's still under consideration.

I'd still hold out. Genuinely believe you should go with who's most passionate about it, and if he's not willing to wait a week or so for a decision, he may not truly be as passionate as he seems.

Then again, what do I know?
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Old 04-13-2017, 08:50 PM   #9
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Default Re: What would you do?

I would ask for more option money if they want to rush you into a deal when you're waiting to hear back from others, so as to at least extract a concession for imposing an arbitrary deadline.

If they don't up their offer, I'd sit tight and trust that they'll still be interested if no one else steps up (and especially if someone else steps up).
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Old 04-13-2017, 10:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: What would you do?

Do they have notes and expect rewrites for their small option fee?

And if they have notes, do you agree with them? Does it feel like this would be a fulfilling collaborative experience? You already seem on the fence about the budget, so maybe there are deeper creative differences as well.

In addition to money and opportunity, your own personal time is a factor to consider before marrying a project to one company.
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