11 more things to think about when negotiating your screenplay option

Got an offer to option your screenplay? Here are eleven terms you should know when talking to your attorney.

[See PART I – 10 things to think about when optioning your screenplay]

Okay, so you’ve gotten an option offer, you’ve thought about the 10 things, and you still want to do it. Now it’s time to talk to your attorney, and make some decisions about the negotiation points. Your attorney is going to toss some notes back to you for consideration, and chances are these things are going to be included. (There’ll be lots more than this… from simple typos to wholesale rewrites. But these are the top contenders for “things I think you should know”.)

Ask your attorney to spend some time with you to explain what they mean in the context of your deal… but here’s my take, based on my experience.

DISCLAIMER: I shouldn’t have to say this, but: I Am Not A Lawyer, I am not offering legal advice, and none of the numbers used as examples here should be considered recommendations or as examples of my personal previous contracts (which are none of your beeswax 😉 ). They are provided as  hypothetical examples only. Talk to your own attorney about your particular deal. […]

no nicholl for you!

Did I mention? Both scripts were turned down by the Nicholl. I was heartbroken. Well, no, not really. But a little disappointed. It does feel good to be in the majority, though. From the Nicholl: With a record number of entries and a readily apparent increase in quality, this year’s Nicholl Fellowships was more competitive[…]

diary of a studio reader

Liz Maccie, studio reader, has a nice list of professional insights over at the BOSI site… About two and a half years ago, I got the wonderful opportunity to become a “reader” for a studio, think mouse house. I continue to work for them under a freelance status and absolutely love my job. Being a[…]

making the short list in the john august scene writing challenge

scene_challengeA few days ago, John August announced his latest scene writing challenge. It’s kind of like one of those 24-hour filmmaking challenges, except you don’t have to actually make a movie… just write one. And not even a whole movie… just a scene or sequence. Simple, right?

John has done these a few times before. Each one garners more and more responses, from more and more good writers.

There were 145 entries for the Superheroic Scene Challenge, and some of them were looooong. Printed out, they totaled 406 pages. Going side-by-side shrunk it to a still-ridiculous 203. […]

tweet the meat

Yup, the Tweet The Meat submission I sold ran today. I promised I’d let ya know. It’s right here. Or here: The kettle screamed. “Tea time,” she chirped, steaming pot in gloved hand. “Sugar?” He couldn’t answer with the funnel taped in his mouth. Lemme know what ya think.

sold a twitter story to "tweet the meat"

Twitter is giving rise to all kinds of creative applications, including a few ‘zines. Along with PicFic and escarp, there’s the horror focused ‘zine Tweet The Meat, which states: “No serials. No unfinished stories. You must scare us in 140 characters or less. Are you up to the challenge?” Each week the theme is different…[…]

how do you get an agent?

This is a great read, particularly as I’m just undertaking this next step myself (trying to find an agent or manager). Part of the question I’m struggling with is whether it’s better at this point in my (nascent) career to go for agency or management… I haven’t quite decided on that yet. But nevertheless, good[…]

on strong women characters

strong_womanGiven the positive response to the female characters in Faeries, I’ve been giving some thought to the issue of writing strong women characters. As a man, I’m often told that it’s not possible for me to do so.

It is true that Lacey, the young girl in Rocket Summer, is probably the least complex character in the script (and that has been pointed out by some readers). But it’s also true that she is the glue for that group of dysfunctional friends… a caretaker, a realist, and a “person of interest” for a pair of boys with very fucked up home lives, one of whom lost his mother at a young age.

Unfortunately, to some, that makes her “stereotypical”… a character whose only job it is to fulfill the traditional “female” roles of mother, lover, nurturer. Me, I take exception to the word “only”. It’s important stuff. And she’s conflicted about it in the process, and seems to be setting aside some of her own desires to take on that role. For me, that’s a strong, flawed, and thus interesting female character.

Some people are never satisfied. […]

grampa: prodco request

Yup, it’s true. We’ve already got one script being considered by a reputable production company. Now we”ve got two irons in the fire. Grampa Was A Superhero is being looked at by a production company in the Midwest… East… Southeast… Hell, I don’t know. Where’s Tennessee? Anyway, the producer has a string of recognizable titles[…]

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