An option/sale contract is most often used by two parties to sell/acquire film and television rights to existing scenarios. But this kind of agreement is also used to acquire film and television rights on things like comics, novels, plays (plays and musicals) or even film salvage rights. I mention this because it is becoming more and more common for screenwriters to take the initiative to acquire this kind of pre-existing intellectual property as the basis of the scripts they write. If you`ve been to the movies in the last 10-15 years or watched TV, the reason is obvious. I take a deep look at this topic in my book BASED ON, for those who are interested. The advantage for the screenwriter (in addition to a possible payment of options) is that someone tries to create his script there, and if someone fails, the screenwriter will get his rights back and could sell his script to someone else at a later date. That`s cool. The Writers Guild of America has a good type agreement (albeit a bit basic) on its website. Sometimes a Writer agreement is part of an option/sale contract when additional paid services are required. A writer`s agreement will also include a «work for rent.» I mention it only because it is a fundamental provision that allows the entity that makes you to own what they pay to write. And you can drop the phrase at cocktail parties to impress your friends.
That is to say, here are my six main legal agreements: most screenwriters will face different types of legal agreements in their careers, but here are my top six. Of course, I know that reading this article is not the same as law school or hiring an entertainment lawyer, but if you work in showbiz, you will probably meet most of them. Do you really want this to be a surprise? When the time comes, I would like readers to take active action to protect their interests. A purchase contract is a simpler alternative to a more complex option/sale contract. While an option/purchase agreement can be 8 to 12 pages, a purchase agreement can only be one or two pages. And this brevity can also rationalize the time and cost of negotiating such an agreement. Over the past 7 years, Stage has helped 32 thousand writers improve their profession and enter the industry by associating them with more than 500 executives who work directly with us. Click here to see all of our scripting services, including pitch reviews, reports, direct advice interviews with executives and more! Generally initiated by a producer, the advantage of a purchase contract is that the producer can buy the author`s script for free, with the certainty that he will be «added» to the project if he is «set up» with a financier under a more formal agreement. Option agreements can be a win-win situation for both the author and the producer. The author is paid to pay for his scripts for a limited time, while the producer tries to get the green light for the project.