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  • Originally posted by Northbank View Post

    Studios don't cap the writing budget, at least not really. The Flash had fifteen different writers over many years, that will be literally millions of dollars.

    It's about quotes. Chiarellli had credits, including sole credit on a very successful romcom, as well as having worked on a number of other studio projects prior to writing CRA so would have had a pretty high quote. Adele was an experienced TV writer but doesn't seem to have been in features prior to CRA so had no feature quote. Let's be clear that I'm not defending the disparity but the explanation is that Warners (and you can be sure every studio is watching closely) doesn't want to set a precedent where an inexperienced writer can ask for multiple times their quote. The town needs a better formula for crossing over from TV to features with regards to quotes and another formula for what happens when the same two writers with disparate quotes work again together on a sequel (though this is very rare).
    Thanks for the 411, Northbank.

    IDK, it's a pretty shitty system. If you're a co-writer you should be paid equally. In any other writer "partnership" the writers split the fee. And after writing on CRA she wasn't inexperienced any longer. They both worked on the CRA, right?

    It's bad enough that in many industries, including film, women and people of color have to work twice as hard as white men do and we still aren't paid the same. We have fought this our entire lives.

    And, sure, TV is different than features, but the point is she had already proved herself on CRA. She should have been elevated immediately on the success of that film alone. I mean, how can anyone be so tone deaf as to what's going on in the country about disparity that they didn't see this as an issue? Some executive wasn't doing their job well.

    Kudos to her for standing up for herself and refusing to be reduced to a "soy sauce," writer. That was the reference in the article. She just made a stand for every other woman, and all women and men of color.

    Now we just need a studio to stand up and do what's right.
    "Reserving rights to comment and make changes."
    Hollywood producer

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    • It's bullshit! It's the sequel. Her quote should go up then! How do you get it up? Movie 10? No how about the 2 sequels to Global hits? I don't get why they would cheap out now when they used to spend (maybe still do) millions to develop movies they never made... so they fix that and still won't pay the writers on movies that are HITS before they are even made. It's depressing in every way.

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      • I'd say that some projects do have caps when it comes to writing budget - obviously superhero movies don't, but if you're making a 30 million dollar movie, they're not going to spend 5 million on scripts.

        Her quote would have gone up. And it's the agent's job to get it up there. In the fog of war, it's tough to tell what was an initial offer, which are often insulting, and where they would have actually landed.

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        • Originally posted by JeffLowell View Post
          I'd say that some projects do have caps when it comes to writing budget - obviously superhero movies don't, but if you're making a 30 million dollar movie, they're not going to spend 5 million on scripts.

          Her quote would have gone up. And it's the agent's job to get it up there. In the fog of war, it's tough to tell what was an initial offer, which are often insulting, and where they would have actually landed.
          Although this is an awful situation for any writer, it does give me solace, because I have been insulted by initial offers I've received; good to know I am not alone.
          "Reserving rights to comment and make changes."
          Hollywood producer

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          • I think the issue is for 95% of writers the initial offer is the ONLY offer. I'd be lucky to get offered 1 dollar at this point. And I may take it if the movie gets made.

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            • That's the spirit!

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              • having issues with double posting. Anyone else?
                "Reserving rights to comment and make changes."
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                • double post
                  "Reserving rights to comment and make changes."
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                  • Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
                    Giving your work away for $1 and taking it off the market for potentially years at a time (you can't even use it as a sample if it's optioned)
                    I've never heard of that.

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                    • Which part? Optioning your work for $1 or that an option takes your work off the market?

                      It was my understanding that when you sign an option/purchase agreement that is in effect that they temporarily hold the rights (until it expires or they exercise the option) and you cannot continue to send it about, even as a sample, without their consent.

                      Why would any producer allow you to send an optioned project that they're developing to anyone outside their own partners in the project-- even as a sample?

                      That was one of the arguments my manager and lawyer used for the length of time a production company wanted to option (and extend) my spec. And I will say that my lawyer was a one that represented a high profile A-List writer-- so he wasn't an outlier.
                      "Reserving rights to comment and make changes."
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                      • I have never been told - or heard of anyone being told - not to send out a script that had been optioned or purchased as a sample.

                        The only time I've heard of scripts being kept under wraps is if they're sequels in franchises, or from a director like Shyamalan whose selling point is the surprise twist. (Those aren't specs.)

                        By the time a script gets optioned, it's been all over town. Anyone in Hollywood can get a copy with a phone call or two. And the producers will be constantly sending out the script themselves, to try to get actors/directors/financiers, etc. They don't option scripts to keep them secret. They option them so no one else can make them.

                        I have no idea why a lawyer would make that argument. My advice to someone who wants to use an optioned script as a sample is feel free - that's the script people are going to want to see.

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                        • I landed my first real reps off an optioned spec. The producer never paid me but his name surely helped get me reads. So I got option from producer and kept querying reps using that info to help get reads.

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                          • Originally posted by JeffLowell View Post

                            By the time a script gets optioned, it's been all over town. Anyone in Hollywood can get a copy with a phone call or two. And the producers will be constantly sending out the script themselves, to try to get actors/directors/financiers, etc. They don't option scripts to keep them secret. They option them so no one else can make them.
                            This simply isn't true in all cases that the script has been all over town by the time it's been optioned. Maybe for you, but that hasn't been my experience (probably because I'm a nobody). In two of the three spec options, I was offered options before it was sent out to anyone. I still haven't queried them. One was sent to ,maybe one to two dozen who could handle the budget. I don't know that I was making the best decisions-- I was going off of what I was told. I don't think everything was clearly explained to me and I didn't know what questions I should ask. I understood what the contract said very clearly, but I didn't know what I didn't know about the industry itself. I'm still at a disadvantage.

                            Maybe my recollection is faulty or I made an assumption at the time? I remember having a conversation about not being able to use the original spec as a sample for other work opportunities. I completely acknowledge that I may be in error-- maybe there was something specific to this production company I can't be sure as the original documents were on a laptop that was stolen .

                            I have no idea why a lawyer would make that argument. My advice to someone who wants to use an optioned script as a sample is feel free - that's the script people are going to want to see.
                            Good to know.
                            finalact4
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                            Last edited by finalact4; 04-09-2022, 01:14 PM.
                            "Reserving rights to comment and make changes."
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