Imagine Impact X Netflix

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  • Imagine Impact X Netflix

    I'm not sure if anyone else has taken a look at this deal, but there are some questions I have and maybe someone can offer some insight.

    Typically, a writer could expect 2.5% of the budget. I know there is a limit and it's more challenging for a new writer to get a big spec deal, but mid-six figures does happen. And if your spec hits the $50-$100 million mark, it seems it could garner mid-six in a deal.

    There are differences to this Imagine Impact accelerator than previous ones.

    The previous deal was...
    • $40,000 stipend to move to LA for 8 weeks and work with the Imagine Impact team to get a pitchable/produceable draft ready for pitch day.
    • The writer pitched their project directly to buyers in the industry.
    • The writer negotiated their own deal with the buyers at play.
    • The writer had the potential for a bidding war. Tunga is an example.
    • The writer could negotiate their way onto the project permanently. As actor, director, producer, writer, etc...


    So an example is TUNGA writer Godwin Jabangwe who was paid $40,000 for 8 weeks of writing a draft. He pitched his own project then went into a 4-day bidding war that resulted in a mid-six figure guaranteed deal. That is fair. He has an IP that industry wanted. That NETFLIX wanted.

    The new parameters...
    • Writers are not allowed to be in the room for the pitch or participate in the presentation of their script/idea/world.
    • Imagine Impact team pitches the project to Netflix. This is great for Imagine Impact, but doesn't allow for a writer to make a connection at Netflix.
    • You don't have to move to LA
    • You do not get a stipend.
    • You do not have an accelerator team that helps you work through issues in your draft. You are teamed up with a SHAPER, but only for non-writing consultation.

    It's interesting, yesterday when I was reading the release and guidelines the Artist had to acknowledge that the Artist would not be attached in any capacity, ie... director, actor, producer and a few others I can't remember. That's seems to have been edited out.

    Can someone help me understand this provision below?
    Artist shall be entitled to the then-current minimum scale set forth in Article 13.A.1.a of the Writers Guild of America ("WGA-) Basic Agreement ("Guild Agreement-) for the delivery of an original screenplay and set of revisions (i.e., a first draft and revised screenplay). Such amount shall comprise the total fixed and contingent compensation payable to Artist, inclusive of any credit bonus or other form of remuneration other than as required under the Guild Agreement. Artist's credit, if any, shall be determined pursuant to the terms of the Guild Agreement. All other terms of the writer agreement between Artist and Netflix (if applicable) shall be in accordance with Netflix's customary terms and conditions for such writing agreements.
    And why do the WGA mins identify high budget as $5 million? When many films are much higher than that?schedule Yikes, def not writer friendly. Seems they should have a schedule for the $10-$30 range, the $50-$100 range... maybe that's just me on the outside looking in.

    It seems to say that the ONLY compensation the writer is entitled to is the scale payments for delivery of the first draft and revised draft? Is this correct? Or does this allow for provision "D" under the guild mins or article 13.A.1.a that provides/allows them to exclude option/purchase price?

    What I'm trying to determine is whether there is an opportunity to negotiate the option/purchase price of a large scale franchise submission or if they only compensation is the first draft and a revision? And I'm not at all assuming my project would be selected, I want to understand what I'm signing.

    Can someone help me out here?
    "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

  • #2
    Re: Imagine Impact X Netflix

    WGA minimum doesn't sound like a lot of money. It seemed like the other Impact program paid a lot more.

    What are they looking for in the 30 second video? It sounds very vague.

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    • #3
      Re: Imagine Impact X Netflix

      Based on previous submissions it seems the video is you pitching yourself. I don't know, I think, if I do it, this time I'm going to pitch the project.

      Thirty seconds is both a lot of time and not a lot of time.
      "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

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      • #4
        Re: Imagine Impact X Netflix

        I've never heard of the terms accelerator and shaper before - can someone explain?

        And this deal sucks. It's not just the slashing of the money that's an insult but the shutting out of the writer thereafter. That tells me all I need to know about how this company values writers.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Imagine Impact X Netflix

          Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
          Based on previous submissions it seems the video is you pitching yourself. I don't know, I think, if I do it, this time I'm going to pitch the project.

          Thirty seconds is both a lot of time and not a lot of time.

          The instructions look a little different. It seems more vague than the original Imagine Impact where they actually told you to answer a specific question in the video.

          I wonder how much actual take home the writer gets after taxes and other things are taken out.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Imagine Impact X Netflix

            Originally posted by SundownInRetreat View Post
            And this deal sucks. It's not just the slashing of the money that's an insult but the shutting out of the writer thereafter. That tells me all I need to know about how this company values writers.
            I think it's because of the Coronavirus -- they can't have writers moving to LA and meeting to work because everyone is supposed to be social-distancing.

            If no one has to re-locate to LA, then they also don't need the 40k stipend which was provided, in large part, in order to move to LA for two months.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Imagine Impact X Netflix

              Originally posted by figment View Post
              I think it's because of the Coronavirus -- they can't have writers moving to LA and meeting to work because everyone is supposed to be social-distancing.
              If social distancing is being observed, how are they able to pitch to Netflix and how does being attached/not being attached to the project affect social distancing when others are happily-attached as actors and producers?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Imagine Impact X Netflix

                Originally posted by SundownInRetreat View Post
                I've never heard of the terms accelerator and shaper before - can someone explain?

                And this deal sucks. It's not just the slashing of the money that's an insult but the shutting out of the writer thereafter. That tells me all I need to know about how this company values writers.
                These are Imagine Impact terms that describe their program. The "accelerator" program is an 8 week intensive where you write a draft that is market ready. IOW, you write ****ing fast. The stipend allowed you to move to LA for 8 weeks and concentrate solely on your project. But I recall reading where some LA writers were still working their day jobs. Might have been a Reddit thread.

                During the II1,2,3, they had you teamed with "Shapers" who are industry showrunners and other industry professionals to help you break your draft down and rewrite it by the deadline. They gave writing advice, too. You had meetings and panels where you actually we able to network and build relationships with people in the industry. You also had to create pitch and pitch it in front of industry professionals. This time the shapers will only give "non-writing" consultation, I don't know what that means.

                SundowninRetreat,

                I had a line producer interested in my epic to pitch it to Netflix because Netflix wanted to have their own IPs so they can compete with Marvel and the likes with their own IPs. This was a couple of years ago, so it seems II has struck the right deal for them to potentially achieve this.

                I mean, if they're going to give Shonda $150 million for five years and Ryan $300 million, what have they got to lose with spending a measly $140k on a couple of specs, right?

                This ask is for large-scale action adventures which means they want IP properties and they're expensive to make and are big draws and money makers. Imagine if they had a Pirates of the Caribbean original? Then offered it later to other streamers or even had a theatrical release, right? This might look like an inexpensive way to obtain them. I don't know.

                It also sounds like when you deliver the two drafts, Imagine Impact parts ways with you and at this point Netflix owns your material and the is still no guarantee that they will develop it further, or at all, AND they'll own it.

                I can't tell if you can negotiate a purchase price for the IP or if all they're offering is the scale payment. If that's the case, I don't want to submit, because I still can write the novels. I don't want to give up all those rights for a $140 K payday, you know? I can hold it back, which is what I've been doing. Working on smaller (not low budget) budget thrillers and a rom-com. I'm not opposed to waiting.

                I found the stipulation that you cannot be attached in any other way other than writing...

                ...the project is entirely owned by you without encumbrances and there are no attachments to the project, including yourself in any non-writing capacity (e.g. as a director, star, etc.)
                figment:
                It says this about the 30 sec video...
                Please upload a 30-second video telling us why this world and story need to be made into a movie.
                "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Imagine Impact X Netflix

                  Originally posted by SundownInRetreat View Post
                  If social distancing is being observed, how are they able to pitch to Netflix and how does being attached/not being attached to the project affect social distancing when others are happily-attached as actors and producers?
                  You're asking two different questions.

                  I'm assuming pitching to Netflix (one company) is better for social-distancing than pitching to a hundred different companies, all crammed into one room, listening all day to writers pitch, and then meeting with all those writers. Writers who live in all different areas of the country and in other countries. Not safe for anyone.


                  Attachments:
                  I assume they don't want writers thinking they are going to DIRECT THEIR OWN FILM when they have no experience in directing, or, likewise, produce their own film when they've no experience in producing, and by stating as such they are trying to protect themselves and Netflix from being sued by a crazy writer, who, after having a project selected and vetted then decides they're Fincher all the sudden.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Imagine Impact X Netflix

                    How much did the previous Imagine Impact winners who received deals get?

                    The previous program sounded like you had a lot more opportunity to network and build relationships.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Imagine Impact X Netflix

                      Originally posted by Friday View Post
                      How much did the previous Imagine Impact winners who received deals get?

                      The previous program sounded like you had a lot more opportunity to network and build relationships.
                      Not only that, your work was going to a lot of different executives to consider. That's why there was a 4-way bidding war for TUNGA, which Netflix ultimately won. It seems that's what they're trying to avoid this time. That's a fair market value based on industry demand.

                      This opportunity is going to ONE PLACE with a preset fee for your services, and little or no negotiations. I still am not certain about the last part-- can anyone chime in on the language? I might have to just ask them outright if that is the only fee or is there an opportunity to negotiate a purchase price for the the IP you are selling. It's not like it's an assignment where they GIVE you the story. This is your hard earned IP.
                      "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Imagine Impact X Netflix

                        Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
                        Not only that, your work was going to a lot of different executives to consider. That's why there was a 4-way bidding war for TUNGA, which Netflix ultimately won. It seems that's what they're trying to avoid this time. That's a fair market value based on industry demand.

                        This opportunity is going to ONE PLACE with a preset fee for your services, and little or no negotiations. I still am not certain about the last part-- can anyone chime in on the language? I might have to just ask them outright if that is the only fee or is there an opportunity to negotiate a purchase price for the the IP you are selling. It's not like it's an assignment where they GIVE you the story. This is your hard earned IP.

                        It sounds closer to the way Amazon had it set up a while back. That's assuming the budget is over 5 million. If not, it's closer to 70 grand...not sure how much after taxes. I guess it's ok if the project doesn't go anywhere or is not widely viewed. But, then again if it turns out to be the Lion King, the writer would feel pretty stupid. Most likely, it won't. The original impact attendees seem a lot more lucky. They got to go the plush Imagine offices, get catered food and mingle with the whos who of writing and directing.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Imagine Impact X Netflix

                          I can only chime in about what I understand the language to mean. You will be paid the WGA minimum for the writing portion of the work (story, screenplay, one round of revisions, name credit, etc.). You will not be paid anything else for writing it.

                          The other general terms are under Netflix's standard contract - probably things like term (time), territory, usage, ownership, etc.

                          This blurb doesn't mention anything if you manage to become attached as director, producer, etc. I suppose you negotiate a separate fee.

                          So - to summarize, and only looking at this one clause - if you enter, you are bound to agree to the WGA minimum payment for all writing for your story and screenplay.

                          It does leave out a looooot of info though like. What if they ask you to do a second round of revisions? More money? Or same fee? Do they own your IP and can make spinoffs, sequels, etc. without you attached?

                          This, amongst loads of other missing clauses in this "agreement," is why I wouldn't pre-negotiate my sales price by submitting to something that locks you into terms from the get go.

                          I know writers are hungry, but let's not be desperate. My two cents.

                          * Not a lawyer, just commenting informally on what I understand the clause (and its implications) to mean.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Imagine Impact X Netflix

                            Ask yourself this? If you sell a spec via a manager or agent -- what do you think you'll get paid? I bet the numbers are close to minimum for first time writer unless there's a bidding war -- which is rare.

                            What is the value in getting a movie made? I'd be a whole lot more interested if my name was on the finished movie vs the amount of money I got.

                            My first impression is it was like Project Greenlight -- not designed to get the writer rich -- but to give them a career. It works out well for the writers of FEAST who are top horror writers now.

                            So that's my quick understand of the opportunity. Pay writer little to get a movie made from their script. Or at least to develop movie with Netflix and have a chance at that right?

                            For the PR side -- they want to sell that they help out a newbie writer -- so I think that's a good thing for writer getting credit.

                            Someone mentioned video -- they want to pick a good script and someone that will look good on a red carpet and in PR photos in a magazine.

                            I mean you got to realize it's not about helping writers. It's about helping the company. It always is. But if a writer gets a career out of it -- awesome.

                            I see this as I would see the Disney Fellowship or other programs -- you are 100% underpaid for your work -- but the opportunity is huge to help you break out of the pack.

                            Is that not what this is?

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                            • #15
                              Re: Imagine Impact X Netflix

                              Originally posted by Bono View Post
                              Ask yourself this? If you sell a spec via a manager or agent -- what do you think you'll get paid? I bet the numbers are close to minimum for first time writer unless there's a bidding war -- which is rare.
                              This is true.

                              I think the pushback and confusion is that the category they are asking for is "Large scale family action-adventure" along the lines of Pirates of the Caribbean.

                              Pirates of the Caribbean made 654,264,015 million dollars worldwide. So, over half a billion dollars, and it spawned 4 sequels.

                              Fair market value doesn't sound like it should be "scale" in this regard. And will the original writer get money if sequels get made as is the norm for successful movies in a category like this?

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