Get BackComplications Ensue
Complications Ensue:
The Crafty Game, TV, and Screenwriting Blog

Baby Name Voyager graphs baby name frequency by decade.

Social Security Administration: Most popular names by year.

Name Trends: Uniquely popular names by year.

Reverse Dictionary Search: "What's that word that means....?"

Facebook Name Trees Match first names with last names.


April 2004

May 2004

June 2004

July 2004

August 2004

September 2004

October 2004

November 2004

December 2004

January 2005

February 2005

March 2005

April 2005

May 2005

June 2005

July 2005

August 2005

September 2005

October 2005

November 2005

December 2005

January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010

April 2010

May 2010

June 2010

July 2010

August 2010

September 2010

October 2010

November 2010

December 2010

January 2011

February 2011

March 2011

April 2011

May 2011

June 2011

July 2011

August 2011

September 2011

October 2011

November 2011

December 2011

January 2012

February 2012

March 2012

April 2012

May 2012

June 2012

July 2012

August 2012

September 2012

October 2012

November 2012

December 2012

January 2013

February 2013

March 2013

April 2013

May 2013

June 2013

July 2013

August 2013

September 2013

October 2013

November 2013

December 2013

January 2014

February 2014

March 2014

April 2014

May 2014

June 2014

July 2014

August 2014

September 2014

October 2014

November 2014

December 2014

January 2015

February 2015

March 2015

April 2015

May 2015

June 2015

August 2015

September 2015

October 2015

November 2015

December 2015

January 2016

February 2016

March 2016

April 2016

May 2016

June 2016

July 2016

August 2016

September 2016

October 2016

November 2016

December 2016

January 2017

February 2017

March 2017

May 2017

June 2017

July 2017

August 2017

September 2017

October 2017

November 2017

December 2017

January 2018

March 2018

April 2018

June 2018


Monday, April 16, 2007

Here's cheery news: I just got back the rights to a script I wrote on commission in 2002. Should the script be produced, I have to pay the original producers what they paid me, and certain costs, but essentially I have a brand new old script to sell.


The script needs a rewrite -- it was only a second draft comedy script, and I'm a much better writer five years later. But perhaps I can persuade a producer to find funding to hire me to rewrite it. People are always looking for romantic comedies, because they can feel big budget on a low budget, and everyone likes to work on them.

When you agree to write a script for money, try to get a reversion clause. The WGC contract mandates an automatic reversion after 7 years, but the WGA contract does not, so far as I know. A typical reversion clause would say that if the producer fails to produce a film based on the script within X years, the rights revert to you, subject to repayment of any script fees you were paid, plus "direct, out-of-pocket development costs," payable "on the first day of principal photography." You won't have to pay these yourself; they'll go into your option contract should you option the script, and then into the budget of any film based on the script.

Producers may balk at a reversion clause. Studios will rarely give you one. Their shelves are full of scripts they won't let anyone touch short of paying the full "turnaround" costs. These are all script fees plus any kind of overhead or marketing costs they can conceivably associate with the project. I can add up to millions of dollars. One of my old scripts is tied up at Disney; the full turnaround, which includes scripts by much fancier writers, and the cost of a pre-production office, plus visits to Cannes, etc., adds up to $2.6 mil. Turnaround usually kills the script, unless there's a mondo director who can convince another studio to pay the full turnaround. No exec wants to let a project go even if they don't like it any more. What if they're wrong, and it becomes a hit film for someone else? That would be embarrassing.

However, a decent producer will often give you a reversion clause, especially if they'll get their money back. I like to ask for a 5 year reversion. In this particular case, the producers were gracious enough to acknowledge that they had no intentions of doing anything with the project, and simply let me have it back before it reverted. Thank you!



This great advice, nobody ever really talks about this. What if the Producer has the project setup at a studio and the studio has it in turn-a-around, can the studio give the rights back to the producer or do the rights go back to the writer? What is the typical scenario on that. I would think they would give it back to the producer and he would try to shop around again or give it back to you if he/she is not interested. And if so, does the producer have to pay you, the writer fees?

By Blogger Angie, at 2:45 AM  


By Blogger Angie, at 3:15 AM  

Angie: I answered this on August 21, 2008:

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 8:23 AM  

Post a Comment

Back to Complications Ensue main blog page.

This page is powered by Blogger.