It is important to understand that an option agreement does not guarantee that your script will be adapted to a feature film. Assuming the project is well accepted, it could be completely reviewed in a series, pilot, short or other radically different from your ideas. And that assumes that a project will one day be adapted to your work… If your option contract expires and no film is produced from your work, you should always ensure that all these continuation, prequel and Nearquel rights are restored before reapplying your returned script. There has already been a time when the original property has returned to a writer, but the sequel, Prequel and Nearquel rights remain at a production company. Research the book or scenario you`re trying to choose. If you are trying to use a book, you should receive a “quitclaim” from the publishing house that confirms that it is not against your project. Get a lawyer to verify your resignation. If you try to use a script, the author may want to publish it later as a book. It doesn`t matter – just talk to your lawyer about the writer`s plans, because the option agreement “reserves” these rights to the screenwriter.
Remember, this is only the first phase… There are always these positive scenarios, which happens after your Spec script is produced, lit green or sold to another party. Admittedly, this could be good problems, but on most neophyte writers do not think completely before signing on the dot line. There are some catches and red flags that you need to note before passing on your script to someone. If no film adapted by your script is produced during the duration of your option contract, the contract expires and the rights will be returned to you. This is the real selling point that most producers and production companies use to reject an “option” on you rather than on a purchase. So if tomorrow the phone rings and someone wants to choose your scenario, it`s normal to be excited, because now you`ll know what to do. Just download the scriptwriter contract template as an example of expectations. The rights holder is also entitled to a percentage of the film`s net profit.
This varies from deal to deal and can be used as a bargaining point. You can negotiate a lower option fee if you offer them a higher net shareholding. Of course. That could mean that. However, option agreements are sometimes signed so that a producer or production company can only present your work to one or two target parties. And if these parts are in place, your script is in a folder cabinet until the duration of your option expires (and this can range from one year to five… or more). These two scenarios allow producers and production companies to stretch their own budgets to acquire more scripts, which gives them more opportunities to hold something… It`s great for their quintessence, but it doesn`t guarantee you much of everything. It is understandable that some authors and screenwriters are reluctant to part with the audio-visual adaptation rights to their project.
One possibility is to soften the agreement by offering an advisory role to the author. If that makes them happier, it could also be presented as an executive producer position. I would not offer it in advance, but only if the author is about to leave. When negotiating this role, make sure that the author is not able to interfere with your project: you are there for consultations and you should not need your consent for anything that lets you go beyond the option itself.