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Old 01-21-2013, 06:36 AM   #1
Hugokeijzer
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Post Developing a story as director

Currently I'm developing a screenplay together with a screenwriter. Once we're done with the outlines he will start on the first draft and I will review and contribute from the sideline.

He does most of the work, but still, once it's finished, I'll have a lot of time invested in the whole process.

How do I make sure my rights are protected? Should I ask for a co-writer credit even though I didn't actually do any of the writing? How can I make sure I'll stay attached to the script as director?
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: Developing a story as director

As far as I know, if you didn't do any actual writing, you aren't entitled to a co-writing credit. Perhaps a "story by" co-credit might be appropriate, but only if you contributed to the story.

As for staying attached to direct, well, the only way to guarantee that is to produce it yourself...
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:06 PM   #3
Geoff Alexander
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Default Re: Developing a story as director

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugokeijzer View Post
Currently I'm developing a screenplay together with a screenwriter. Once we're done with the outlines he will start on the first draft and I will review and contribute from the sideline.

He does most of the work, but still, once it's finished, I'll have a lot of time invested in the whole process.

How do I make sure my rights are protected? Should I ask for a co-writer credit even though I didn't actually do any of the writing? How can I make sure I'll stay attached to the script as director?
Was it your idea? If so, share story by. If not, no credit.

To protect your rights, i.e., investment of time and energy, either option the material or create a shopping agreement with the writer.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: Developing a story as director

Option or buy the script, or pay the writer as a work for hire.

In either case, you need a contract and to pay the writer consideration.
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:24 AM   #5
Craig Mazin
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Default Re: Developing a story as director

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugokeijzer View Post
Currently I'm developing a screenplay together with a screenwriter. Once we're done with the outlines he will start on the first draft and I will review and contribute from the sideline.

He does most of the work, but still, once it's finished, I'll have a lot of time invested in the whole process.

How do I make sure my rights are protected? Should I ask for a co-writer credit even though I didn't actually do any of the writing? How can I make sure I'll stay attached to the script as director?
If you ask for a co-writer credit even though you didn't actually do any of the writer, please offer a co-directing credit to the screenwriter in return, even though he won't actually do any of the directing.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: Developing a story as director

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Originally Posted by Craig Mazin View Post
If you ask for a co-writer credit even though you didn't actually do any of the writer, please offer a co-directing credit to the screenwriter in return, even though he won't actually do any of the directing.
I wish DD had a "like" button.
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: Developing a story as director

ZING!

lol
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:55 AM   #8
Hugokeijzer
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Default Re: Developing a story as director

Alright, this is clearly a controversial subject.

Let me ask you this;

Two guys get locked into a room. To kill time they decide to write a screenplay.

They come up with a story and together they develop every step of it. The idea originated out of their combined creativity, the outlines were shaped and structured together, the characters brought to life, giving them backstory, depth and dimension, all as a combined effort.

Because this room has only one computer they decide one of them will use it to start typing the first draft. Though every word, line and paragraph are discussed, created and reviewed together. While one types, the other one studies and does research for the story.

Then the first draft is done. Both read, examine, review and comment. They discuss the story, think of ways of improving it and 'one' uses the computer to execute their choices, while 'the other one' looks over his shoulder every step of the way.

Finally they're rescued. One of the firemen, who also happens to be the nephew of a famous producer, reads the screenplay, loves it, wants to plug it and then asks the two men:

"who is the writer?"
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:03 AM   #9
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Default Re: Developing a story as director

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"who is the writer?"
I dunno -- but that's a helluva pitch for a movie.

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Old 01-23-2013, 08:21 AM   #10
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Default Re: Developing a story as director

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugokeijzer View Post
]
"who is the writer?"
Both -- they're a writing team. Provided that actual sentences and actual dialog came from both of them. If one of them just provided his "vision" and "great ideas" the writer is the one who put those into sentences and words. Because this is actual work. Everyone has vision and ideas.

Edit:
You said "Once we're done with the outlines he will start on the first draft and I will review and contribute from the sideline" -- if so, he is the writer, you are not.
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