No, no, no. They pay you. - Complications Ensue
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Monday, August 04, 2008

Q. A producer is interested in optioning my material, but asked me for a thousand bucks in order to [snip]
Gonna stop you right there.

A producer should NEVER, EVER ask you for money for ANYTHING. You bring the intellectual property. They bring the money.

An agent should NEVER, EVER ask you for money for ANYTHING. (Years ago, they sometimes wanted a newbie client to pay for copies and postage, but who mails scripts any more?)

Any producer who wants any money from you is, at best, not a real producer, and much more likely a scammer.

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This is something I have been wondering for a while. As a screenwriter, what sort of costs are you expected to pay for? Not just in regards to agents and production companies, but in general. What are the costs involved in setting yourself up as a screenwriter? I hear alot about newbies being skinned alive by those sharks in Hollywood, and I would like to avoid that if possible.

By Blogger Scott, at 11:54 PM  

Alex, as this is obviously a scam, is there something we can do if encountering something like this? I've given free options before, and do it gladly if I feel there is an opportunity there, but asking a screenwriter for money, especially a thousand dollars, in order to option the work is unconscionable.

By Blogger Tim W., at 3:07 AM  

I'm not sure there's anything you can *do*.

Scott -- the cost of setting yourself up as a screenwriter is the price of a laptop. (And in LA, a car.) There shouldn't be anything else. I can't think what else you would pay for. Producers are supposed to pay for lunch, though development people don't always do this. Agents are supposed to pay for lunch, too.

Most screenwriters us a screenplay formatting program, but there are several free ones; see the relevant posts in this blog.

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 8:07 AM  

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