It's Not All 50-50 - Complications Ensue
Complications Ensue:
The Crafty 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.


American Amazon:

Canadian Amazon:

Archives

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

 

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Q. Recently, a friend of mine came to me with a draft of her indie feature screenplay. I told her I was gonna rewrite it and she agreed to it. I basically had to re-type the entire thing into final draft because she only had a pdf copy of the screenplay and it was a picture image. Anyway, I retyped the screenplay, edited action lines, and changed a bit of the dialogue to give the characters a better sense of who they are. I basically rewrote the screenplay.

Originally, I was thinking this would be a co-writing 50/50 endeavor. But she's now thinking more like her 70 and me 30. I know we should've laid out a contract before we started. Grant it, she came up with the story, the characters and the concept. But I came in and rewrote it, edited it and punched up dialogue quite a bit.

Basically I just need help in understanding what is the correct percentage on ownership for this sorta situation.
What you've done isn't considered a "rewrite" under WGA or WGC rules. What you've done would be considered a "polish." "Rewrite" and "polish" are both terms of art under the Guild agreements. To do a "rewrite" would entail introducing new characters and new plot elements. You'd have to write completely new scenes or at least move scenes around a lot. Under WGA rules, I believe you could replace every single bit of dialog and not be entitled to an onscreen credit.

I think 70-30 might be appropriate where you're actually doing a rewrite. 50-50 might apply where you're talking about a page one rewrite -- throwing out virtually everything and starting from scratch. But if you're only doing a polish, I think you ought to be happy with 10%. Maybe, maybe 12.5%.

It takes me about a month to come up with a coherent beat sheet for a script and another month to come up with a first draft from that. I can do it a lot faster if I have to, but that's how long I spend on a typical spec. If you brought me a feature and all you wanted was snappier dialog and action lines, I would probably spend about a week on that. (More and it wouldn't be a polish any more.) Suggesting about 10%.

Basically, there is a strong presumption in favor of the original writer. It's easy to come in and tweak dialog and edit action lines. It's hard to come up with something out of nothing. Just ask God.

But next time, definitely specify who's getting what before anyone does any work.

Labels: , ,

1 Comments:

This is so good to know! Great to know the difference between a "re-write" and a "polish" There should be more information on topics like these. Thanks for the clarification!

By Blogger Lelee Blu, at 12:59 PM  

Post a Comment

Back to Complications Ensue main blog page.



This page is powered by Blogger.