No matter what script development scenario you`re in, you`ll always get grades and always have to rewrite. Download (Scenario Option Agreement.docx) and use this checklist when negotiating a Scenario Option Agreement to help you agree on key elements of the offer. Return this Word document with the details to make it easier to create your agreements. The simple truth is that they are interested in your script because they believe it can be packaged and marketed. They see this as a great business opportunity. It`s not necessarily about you, the writer. An option contract in its most basic form is a contract in which the author grants someone the right to film the author`s script for a certain period of time and in exchange for payment. The three main questions that usually arise when negotiating such a transaction are the length of the option period, the amount of the option payment and the purchase price when the project comes to fruition. How each of these problems is solved depends on the negotiating leverage of the respective parties (i.e. whether the author is a beginner or has already had success in the industry and whether the producer is an experienced player or just a young production company trying to get traction).
Thank you for this excellent article. I finished three scripts this year. I had almost lost my direction to market them, but this article helped me find a way to continue. Or it could lead to an option agreement. As mentioned earlier, this is a dark and scary unknown. Successful script development is all about quality, not speed. The more polished your gemstone is, the more people needed to bring it to the big screen will be attracted to it. At the time, the $1 option prevailed. Independent producers would try to grab as many scripts as possible for a dollar option. Film directors and producers no longer considered it financially viable to spend a lot of money on unproven writers and scripts.
Unfortunately, script purchases these days are usually reserved for proven writers who have written great movies. Over the past 7 years, Stage has helped 32 thousand writers improve their craft and enter the industry by connecting them with over 500 executives who work directly with us. To see all of our scripting services, including presentation comments, reports, direct management consultations, and more, click here! This happens when a beginner`s script is requested by a producer who is initially interested but not yet fully sold. There is no fixed amount – an option agreement can be $100 or $1000. A $1000 option happens, and there`s no reason why you shouldn`t expect that. But most often it`s somewhere in the middle. He takes an example of an option agreement, breaks it down line by line, and explains in detail how they work during the script development process. This may see you offering a “Specification Development Contract”.
Essentially, writing a complete specification script from scratch under the watchful eye of a development manager, creative manager, or both. Each agent or representative will usually negotiate for these three rounds and nothing more. And in fact, three sets of paraphrases are pretty standard in most option agreements. Another essential term in an option contract is the “purchase price”, i.e. the amount of money the screenwriter receives in case the script is turned into a feature film or television project. The purchase price is often calculated on a sliding scale as a percentage of the budget, so that the budget of the film increases, the purchase price also increases, although, as with all negotiated conditions, this can vary greatly. Here`s a typical section describing the duration of an option contract: We recommend doing more research on the somewhat tricky area of navigating script option agreements by reading Scott Kirkpatrick`s book Writing for the Green Light. Again, a producer can imagine the desired product, but is sometimes very undecided on exactly how to get there. But remember that they want the best for the script, just like you. Let`s say you wrote a great script that piqued the interest of some people in the industry.
Congratulations – this is a great achievement. Option agreements can be a win-win situation for both the writer and producer. The writer is paid to rent his scripts for a limited time, while the producer tries to give the green light to the project. If that happens, then so much the better. The author gets a good purchase price for all the hard work. If this does not happen during the option period, the author will retain payment for the option and all rights to the script will be reset. The screenwriter could then decide to hand over the script to another producer. An expression of interest occurs when a leader likes your script, but (and this is a big “but”) wants you to develop a “different version” of it, implemented with their vision. .