A big problem that many new authors have after signing an option agreement, it is not obvious that they sometimes guarantee the producer or the production company a lot of free overwork…. Doesn`t an option agreement mean that a producer or production company wants to produce the script for a film? And aren`t they encouraged to walk around Hollywood and introduce him to other professionals to earn money? 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. If it happens, it`s great. The author will receive a nice purchase price for all this hard work. If this is not the case during the option period, the author retains the Payment option and all script rights will be restored. The author could then decide to leave the script to another producer. The idea of an option agreement seems great. This is a small risky opportunity where well-connected professionals come on the pitch and promote your scenario and deal with all the intimidating things. Landing your first option agreement is an important step on the way to a real career as a screenwriter. You should be proud to achieve this goal.
But as with all Hollywood deals, they never come « ready to go » and there is never a one-size-fits all boiler. So how much money can a writer expect from a payment option? The amount of an option can vary considerably. It`s really a negotiation process based on many factors, including the author`s record in the industry and the potential budget of the film. Producers will ask themselves a series of questions such as: is this the author`s first screenplay or has the author already sold several scripts to the studios? What would be a fair payment of options if the film`s budget was $1 million versus $50 million? How realistically can we afford to pay the writer? There are some catches and red flags that you need to note before passing on your script to someone. You may think you`re limiting these rights to your specification script, but almost all option agreements will add additional clauses. These are often direct sequels and prequels related to your work, as well as « Nearquels » that span other hypothetical platforms, including stage play adaptations, book adaptations, reboots and more. You need to carefully consider your option agreement, understand what rights you grant and how the agreement works. Talk to a close friend who understands this stuff, or you can always draw the unique services of a lawyer in The Obd Role. Download (Screenplay Option Agreement.docx) and use this checklist when negotiating a scenario option agreement to help you reach agreement on important issues.