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View Full Version : Option agreement, need opinions



Patrick Wiley
03-28-2013, 07:14 PM
I just got offered this option agreement. It's my first so I wanted to see if the contract looks alright and if I should ask for any changes.

I, _____________________[WRITER], on ___________________[DATE], do agree to sell to Lees
Productions LLC [PRODUCER] the option to my writing, “Blood Trench” [SCRIPT], for production into a
motion picture film. [WRITER] further certifies that he/she has not entered into any other such agreement
with any other party that will infringe upon the rights hereto granted to [PRODUCER] by the terms of this
agreement. [WRITER] also acknowledges as fact that, until setting his/her pen to this agreement, that he/
she controls the full rights to [SCRIPT] and does not share control or obligation with any other party. The title
credit that will appear in the film shall read "Screenplay by [WRITER]

[PRODUCER] agrees to pay $[1,200.00] for [3] months for this option as a deferred payment and
$[3,000.00] after principal photography is completed as a salary for the scripting. If the final budget for the
film exceeds $[100,000], then [PRODUCER] agrees to pay [WRITER] 5% of the total budget up to
a total of $[10,000] for his writing and scripting.

[PRODUCER], with his/her signature below, also agrees to pay [WRITER] 5% of the profits above expenses
for his services of writing and scripting of the film, an amount not to exceed $[100,000]. [PRODUCER] and
[WRITER] acknowledge that if the film does not generate a profit above expenses within five years from the
close of production that [PRODUCER] is relieved of any financial obligation to [WRITER]

It is further understood that with the signatures below, [PRODUCER] has purchased the right to direct, film,
edit, produce, and promote the film tentatively entitled [“Blood Trench”] without any restriction whatsoever as
long as [PRODUCER] fulfills the contractual obligations agreed hereto.

_________________________
[WRITER]

_________________________
[DATE]

_________________________
[FULLNAME]

_________________________
[DATE]

_________________________
[WITNESS]

_________________________
[DATE]

Nick Soares
03-28-2013, 07:43 PM
Ok read it. Its legally fine, but are you fine with not getting paid?

Patrick Wiley
03-28-2013, 07:47 PM
For three months? Yeah I'm ok with that. Or do you mean there's a loophole by which they can not ever pay me regardless of what happens with the production?

If so what change would close the loophole? These guys are pretty new to the business so I think its much more likely that they made an error then that they are trying to screw me. I'd rather just renegotiate to reflect certain changes.

Nick Soares
03-28-2013, 08:01 PM
Deferred payment means after profits come in from the film. Let me try and revise this for you

Patrick Wiley
03-28-2013, 08:05 PM
Technically the definition can also mean its delayed a certain period which is what we meant when we were negotiating this. They claim they'll have the initial money within a few weeks so maybe I should just have the contract read that the deferment must be paid before the start of principle photography.

Is the 3k paid at the completion of principle also somehow suspect? It seems to me the only way they'd get out of that one is if the production goes belly up.

Nick Soares
03-28-2013, 08:10 PM
Ok, well if you want to get paid for SURE after the 3 months, then I suggest writing that in and removing the word deferred. Trust me when I say I am very experienced with this stuff.

Patrick Wiley
03-28-2013, 08:23 PM
Any particular way I should word that?

Nick Soares
03-28-2013, 08:30 PM
Any particular way I should word that?

Well would you rather do the job and get paid, or do the job and possibly get paid and possibly get your work produced?

I have to watch some films for DiGi tonight, so I will check on this tomorrow but I will help you get this right

Patrick Wiley
03-28-2013, 08:44 PM
Knowing my script, my feelings on the matter are if they come up with the money to produce it they should definitely have the money to pay me the $1,200. The script is not something you can do on a $20,000 shoe string budget. I definitely want the contract to guarantee that if they start principle I at least get the $1,200.

Here's a revision I worked out:

I, _____________________[WRITER], on ___________________[DATE], do agree to sell to Lees Productions LLC [PRODUCER] the option to my writing, “Blood Trench” [SCRIPT], for production into a motion picture film. [WRITER] further certifies that he/she has not entered into any other such agreement with any other party that will infringe upon the rights hereto granted to [PRODUCER] by the terms of this agreement. [WRITER] also acknowledges as fact that, until setting his/her pen to this agreement, that he/she controls the full rights to [SCRIPT] and does not share control or obligation with any other party. The title credit that will appear in the film shall read "Screenplay by [WRITER]

Section 1

[PRODUCER] agrees to pay [WRITER] $[1,200.00] for [3] months for this option as a delayed payment to be issued no later then the start of principle photography. Upon the receipt of [WRITER]’s initial option fee the option period will be extended to 6 months. The amount of $[3,000.00] will be paid after principal photography is completed as a salary for the scripting. If the final budget for the film exceeds $[100,000], then [PRODUCER] agrees to pay [WRITER] 5% of the total budget up to a total of $[10,000] for his writing and scripting. In the event that financing cannot be secured within 3 months [PRODUCER] shall have no financial obligations and all rights to “Blood Trench” will revert to [WRITER].

Section 2

[PRODUCER], with his/her signature below, also agrees to pay [WRITER] 5% of the profits above expenses for his services of writing and scripting of the film, an amount not to exceed $[100,000]. [PRODUCER] and [WRITER] acknowledge that if the film does not generate a profit above expenses within five years from the close of production that [PRODUCER] is relieved of any financial obligation to [WRITER] listed in section 2.

It is further understood that with the signatures below, [PRODUCER] has purchased the right to direct, film, edit, produce, and promote the film tentatively entitled [“Blood Trench”] without any restriction whatsoever as long as [PRODUCER] fulfills the contractual obligations agreed hereto.


_________________________
[WRITER]

_________________________
[DATE]

_________________________
[FULLNAME]

_________________________
[DATE]

_________________________
[WITNESS]

_________________________
[DATE]




I really appreciate the advice by the way.