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Old 03-28-2018, 01:35 PM   #1
ComicBent
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Default "Option" vs "Producer Agreement"

Hey, you know that situation where someone poses a question "for a friend" ... but we all know that there is no friend, and that the question is really about the person who is asking?

Well, in this case, the question really is for a friend. He asked me, and I did not know the answer.

Suppose that a producer tells me, "Hey, I kind of like your script. Let me either option it, or you can sign a producer agreement."

What the heck is a producer agreement? My supposition is that it is an agreement to let the producer be attached to the script.

But if anyone can elucidate this matter, please do so. My friend did not ask me to post the question, but I would like to know the answer from some of you guys who have dealt with this.
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Last edited by ComicBent : 03-29-2018 at 08:06 AM. Reason: Typo.
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Old 03-28-2018, 02:48 PM   #2
Northbank
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Default Re: "Option" vs "Producer Agreement"

Sounds like a "shopping agreement" which is basically a limited term, free option - it's far more basic than an option, like a two page doc, so preferred by reps/lawyers.
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Old 03-28-2018, 04:53 PM   #3
docgonzo
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Default Re: "Option" vs "Producer Agreement"

I find it confusing they're offering either one, like it's up to the writer to take their pick. Usually the producer would just make an offer for an option, or say they don't have money, but they'd like to shop it around.
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Old 03-29-2018, 08:04 AM   #4
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Default Re: "Option" vs "Producer Agreement"

My online friend will probably follow up on this with the producer in question. If he does not chime in here about what he finds out, I will send a message to him after a while to see if he learned anything.
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Old 03-29-2018, 04:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: "Option" vs "Producer Agreement"

So I assume it just means that he's attached for a specified period of time as a producer, and may take actions - like attaching directors and talent - in order to package the script to try to sell it.

The advantage of an option is that you get paid up front.

The advantage of a producer agreement is that you don't negotiate the final sale price until the producer has a sold package, which maximizes your leverage. If you've got an director and two stars attached, and it's a go project the moment you sign on the dotted line, you have tremendous leverage.

My understanding is that this, for example, how Max Landis was able to sell Bright for such a ridiculous amount of money. (Not the only reason, but one of them). They weren't buying a script, they were buying a go project.

You're contractually obligated to negotiate in good faith, but you're negotiating to get paid out of a production budget, not a development one.

I've signed both. To date, I've been able to take advantage of the benefits of options. I haven't been able to take advantage of the benefits of producer attachment agreements.
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Old 04-01-2018, 08:23 AM   #6
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Default Re: "Option" vs "Producer Agreement"

Thanks, Ronald ... That is kind of what I thought. I think that my online pal, who is a member here, is watching this thread.
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