Unfortunately, most book-film projects never see the light of the world. So if a writer has signed a purchase contract, the author has zero certainties that a project is done and has zero leverage to buy the book from other producers during the period of the shopping agreement. The writer`s hands are tied. An option contract puts at least money in the writer`s pocket. Silvia Schmidt is a media lawyer and advises content creators and producers in England and Wales. She has a passion for independent films, and if she doesn`t give advice, she works on her own documentary projects. You can find them on their website or on LinkedIn. Download (Screenplay Option Agreement.docx) and use this checklist when negotiating a scenario option agreement to help you reach agreement on important issues. Flip this Word document with the details to make it easier to write your agreements. Should this prevent us from dreaming? Heck no! So for you big dreamers in the crowd, there are two chords used in movies or TV chords that a writer should understand: the option and the shopping deal. The cost for the films will be higher than the television, which is between $25,000 and $50,000.
When the project becomes a series, payment is usually made per episode (fortunately). Option fees are usually charged on the purchase price. However, annual taxes are generally not. An option agreement sets an « option period » or deadline for the start of production of the project. It can vary from six months to two years or more, depending on the length of the negotiations. These agreements often involve additional time for the manufacturer to extend the duration of the agreement, given the additional payments made to the author. As a general rule, the sales contract is negotiated in parallel with the option contract. Households are the producers` worst nightmare. If producers think a project has potential, they need to be sure of the cost of the project, which involves the cost of the option and the purchase of the history rights. The last thing producers want when they`re shooting a movie is to have big, unforeseen costs that inflate expenses and blow up their budgets.
Purchase agreements do not negotiate the purchase price in advance. If there is interest in the project, the author can order a higher purchase price that will certainly be better than the pre-negotiated option purchase price. Producers want to have as many rights as possible related to the option, that is, not only the right to make the film, but also the right to make sequels, television films, series, and if they can get it, merchandising and advertising rights too. The third element is the amount of money the author receives from the producer or studio if the project is turned into a feature film.