View Full Version : OPTIONED, Baby!

10-14-2013, 10:49 AM
A lady from Universal Studios emailed me last week saying they wanted to option a screenplay I've had at Simply Scripts for a few years. I thought it was a joke at first, but she checks out. She emailed me again over the weekend to tell me she was working on the option contract all weekend and after the lawyers look it over Monday she'll email it to me probably Tuesday.

I plan to document everything that happens after that.

Stay tuned.

Gary Lloyd

Klay M Abele
10-14-2013, 10:53 AM
Sweet! Can't wait to hear. Hope it goes smooth!

Anonymous Filmmaker
10-14-2013, 10:54 AM
Wow, good luck!

10-14-2013, 10:57 AM
The irony is my script didn't even make the first round of the Nichols. In fact, when I complained and posted my script in the forum afterwards everyone told me it sucked.

More later ...

10-14-2013, 11:40 AM
congrats! And I hope a nice check comes with the contract :)

Nick Soares
10-14-2013, 12:03 PM

Just looking out for you:

What was the extension of the email? Was it [at]universalstudios.com or something like that?

10-14-2013, 12:19 PM
Here's the first email. I've blocked out the relevant stuff:

Good Afternoon Mr. xxxxxxx,
I ran across your script, "XXXXXXXXXX" on Simply scripts.
I'm an executive producer in Los Angeles, and I'm looking for interesting projects.
This one caught my eye.
Please let me know, is the script for sale? Have you alreaady sold it, is it in production?
If it's available, I'd like to begin with discussing an option.
Please feel free to contact me any time at: 232-xxx-xxxx.
Executive Producer
FreeFall Entertainment LLC UNIVERSAL STUDIOS 10 Universal City Plaza Tower 20th FloorUniversal City, California 91608

================================================== ========

I emailed her my telephone and she called me Friday. We were on the phone for about 30 minutes. I asked her how much money should I expect, she said $200,000. I'm not sure if she meant the sale price or option -- dumb of me I know, but I was real excited. I asked her when I would see the $200,000, she said early January.

I told her I was thinking about changing the name of the script and she told me, no -- her team loved the name. She then said she thought my script was more witty than "Shakespeare in Love" which won four Oscars. She said I have a real talent for "light comedy."

I've since done some checking and there are photos of her at Universal productions. On another site she's listed as being associated with about six big movies, two of which are Disney Productions.

Proof of the pudding will be tomorrow. She said she'd email me the option contract by then.

We'll see.

Klay M Abele
10-14-2013, 12:30 PM
Always remain skeptical until that money is in your account

Nick Soares
10-14-2013, 12:32 PM
Gotcha, well the good news is typically only legit companies are allowed into the tower and on the lot, which helps filter out the bad ones. I wouldn't call it bad new, but the bad news is that is not any affiliation with Universal Studios it is just a company that is renting the office space.

For example, my LA office is located at

100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City. You actually have to drive into the backlot to our offices, but we are not affiliated with Universal Studios, as a matter of fact if we were to say that we were then we would get kicked off the property.

Find out the company name and do your "do diligence" in research and press forward :)

10-14-2013, 12:40 PM
I hear you, brother, and I've been trying to find a flaw in this thing somewhere, but can't.

First off, I know the script is exceptionally good. It's a romantic comedy that's endlessly witty. And then it's a tremendous story, one that harkens back to the great stories like "Gone with the Wind" and something by Dickens. It's not hard for me to visualize what went down when her people read it: They'd have thought "Wow -- this is one in a million!

I'm 60 years old. I've masted all the screenwriting crap. I read all the books 20 years ago. I know Lindga Seger's book by heart. I've read 100 screenplays -- all the romantic comedies out there, and none comes close to the magic I create.

So forth and so on...

10-14-2013, 12:43 PM
Yeah, that's pretty much what I concluded -- that whoever they are, they rent space in the Tower and use "Universal Studio" in their name because of it.

10-14-2013, 12:51 PM
You want "due diligence" you got it...

She's a Executive Producer at Mednick Productions --

Who's Mednick Productions? -- take a gander:



10-14-2013, 12:59 PM

If I get the option contract tomorrow as promised, sign it, and email it back, how soon do I get a check?

Mick Scarborough
10-14-2013, 01:02 PM
Wow I hope this is legit. Congrats Gary.

Klay M Abele
10-14-2013, 01:09 PM
I'd suggest having a lawyer take a look at the contract for your wellbeing.

10-14-2013, 01:35 PM
I hate to write this but it sounds like a scam. First, there is no 232 area code. It's 323 or 213 for Universal. Options are a small percentage of the final sale price. If the sale price is 200k, then the option would be 10k or so. It's hard to imagine they would offer 200k at first instead of WGA minimum unless this was negotiated by agent. I hope I'm wrong. Whatever you do, don't send money for any reason.

10-14-2013, 01:37 PM
Mednick apparently only touches clean, family-oriented films. There's not a cuss word in mine.

Here's a photo of him with Richard Branson the billionaire.

My movie would be very expensive to produce -- it would need a billionaire to finance it.


10-14-2013, 01:48 PM
She's since called me so I have her right number. If it were a scam, why would she give a wrong number?

And I have a theory on why they would offer $200,000 instead of the minimum option money. It's crazy, but hear me out.

It's about financing. My script would take $75 -- $150 million to produce. Ok, so these people go to a billionaire known for financing movies and tell him they've got a kick-ass script. The first thing he asks is "How much did you pay for the option?" Now if you were in their shoes, what would your rather tell him, you paid $10,000 for it or $200,000?

Nick Soares
10-14-2013, 02:40 PM
Well just keep going forward with it and keep us updated on the situation. If it is real then make sure you don't mess this up!!!

How did they find the script?

Mick Scarborough
10-14-2013, 02:46 PM
For those of us who have never tried to sell a screenplay, what is an option and how does it differ from selling a script?

10-14-2013, 03:05 PM
Here's the company she's either working for or is associated with:

As I say, I write very witty stuff -- no one around seems to be able to do the kind of writing I do. Here's an excerpt from the script:

Excuse the formatting -- it got wrecked in the excerpt.

10-14-2013, 03:25 PM
For those of us who have never tried to sell a screenplay, what is an option and how does it differ from selling a script?
An option is basically a downpayment with the right to purchase the screenplay within the time length of the option contract. Producers
pay options so that they can look for funds and tell investors that they have taken the screenplay off the market. If the producer doesn't
get the funds, he/ she is only out the option not the full price of the screenplay. The full price of the screenplay is usually paid once principle photography starts.

10-14-2013, 04:10 PM
Here's the company she's either working for or is associated with:

As I say, I write very witty stuff -- no one around seems to be able to do the kind of writing I do. Here's an excerpt from the script:

Excuse the formatting -- it got wrecked in the excerpt.

Do you have a version anywhere online with the right formatting?

I would be very interested in reading your work, but like you mentioned, the formatting on that is all over the place and it's very hard to read.

10-14-2013, 04:36 PM
Wait a couple of days, and if I get the green light, I'll post the entire script.

Nick Soares
10-14-2013, 04:38 PM
Wait a couple of days, and if I get the green light, I'll post the entire script.

If you get green lit then I would recommend not uploading the entire script, just thinking out load.

10-15-2013, 05:45 AM
^ I think he means if he gets permission to upload some of the script, not gets the film greenlit.

10-15-2013, 06:38 AM
I'm going to jump in and say what I think, even though you'll probably hate me for it:

I think someone's pulling your leg.

10-15-2013, 07:30 AM
I'd agree with you weren't it for the English angle, which is to say, were it contingent on domestic financing, I'd think it a scam. The wealthy English have to invest abroad or they loss piles of money. There's no quicker way to turn a profit than an American movie. Also, Hollywood producers know how to protect foreign investment money from the tax man. My movie, incidentally, is about the Brit Royal family.

If Brit investors are desperate to back an American-made movie, this would be a perfect vehicle. The script is endlessly witty -- far more so than all the other movies about Brit Royalty of the past 30 or 40 years.

Finally, a track record is what gets you in the producer's door -- but a track record without a kick-ass script goes nowhere once inside. My script is the Mother of All scripts on Brit Royalty -- it's wittier than anything the Brits have done themselves. In addition, it takes an old Brit rumor about the Royal Family and unravels it, something that's never been done before.

They won't have to sell this one to the investors, just tell 'em, "Here-- here's the script you wanted to save you from the Tax man."

10-15-2013, 05:37 PM


AKA Gary Lloyd

Atlanta, Georgia 30312

Re: "THE WEDDING” by AKA Gary Lloyd

Dear Gary,

The following will confirm the agreement between XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
(sometimes called "Producer"), and you (sometimes called "Writer" once Page One is referred to,
“Writers”), regarding the screenplay written by you entitled "THE WEDDING” ("the Screenplay").
The first feature length motion picture based on the Screenplay is called the

1. Option: In consideration of Producer’s efforts to produce the Picture, and other good and valuable
consideration, receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, Writer hereby grants to Producer the
exclusive option ("Option") to purchase all rights in and to the Screenplay, worldwide, in all media, in
perpetuity, including but not limited to motion picture, television, home video, ancillary, subsidiary,
underlying and merchandising rights to the Screenplay, as such rights are more fully set forth in this

2. Option Period: The length of the Option shall be for 6 months from the date of this Agreement.

2A. Option May Only Be Exercised by a WGA Signatory: Only a signatory to the WGA Basic
Agreement may exercise the Option; any purported exercise of the Option by a non-signatory shall be
ineffective, and shall be deemed null and void, and no rights to the Screenplay shall be granted or
otherwise pass to such non-signatory.

3. Purchase Price:
(a) If Producer exercises the Option, Producer agrees to purchase the Screenplay for a purchase
price (“Purchase Price”) of a sum equal to approximately 1-2% of the final approved budget for the
Picture, which budget shall exclude the contingency, bond fee and any financing charges (“Final
Approved Budget”), but not less than the sum of $110,000, and not more than the sum of $200,000 in
the aggregate. The purchase price is not to include any sums paid to Page One Author for rewrites of
the Screenplay. Any expenses incurred by the writer, then paid by the producers will be deducted from
the purchase price.
(b) The Purchase Price shall be paid to you upon our written notice to you that funding has
been secured and the film has been ”Green Lite” by producers, but not later than the first day of
principal photography of the Picture. However, if Producer has unconditional control over the entire
budget for the Picture at an earlier time, as determined by Producer in its sole but reasonable
discretion, the Purchase Price will be paid within 10 business days after the Producer has unconditional
control over the budget.
(c) In addition to the above, you shall be paid, regardless of credit, a sum equal to 1% of 100%
of the Net Profits, if any, derived from the Picture (plus an additional share of Net Profits for your
producing services set forth in Paragraph 3 below). Net Profits shall be defined, computed, accounted
to and paid to Writer as they are defined, computed, accounted for and paid to Producer. Producer shall
use its best efforts to have Writer’s share of Net Profits accounted to and paid directly to Writer, but if
this cannot be arranged, Writer agrees to look only to Producer for his cash and contingent
compensation payable hereunder.

3. Producer Services, Producer Credit and Contingent Compensation: Any and all of the Writer’s
producing services on the Picture is the sole discretion of the Picture’s executive producers.
4. Rights Granted: In consideration of the above Purchase Price, and on condition that the Option is
timely exercised and the Purchase Price is paid to Writer, Writer hereby grants and assigns to
Producer all rights (including but not limited to motion picture, television, home video, ancillary,
subsidiary, underlying and merchandising rights, and Rental and Lending Rights. Worldwide, in all
media, in perpetuity in and to all writings by Writer concerning the Screenplay, including but not
limited to the story, all treatments, and all drafts of the Screenplay, and any other drafts or page one
rewrites written to date or in the future (herein collectively called the "Writings"), which Producer
shall own in its entirety.
Page one Author, (Screen writer) will also be given credit and compensation for their
contribution to the story.
Such compensation will not exceed $50,000, fifty thousand dollars, and will be issued in addition to
the original purchase price. Grant specifically includes all publishing rights (except for 7,500 word
synopsis publication rights) and live stage rights, radio rights, and legitimate stage rights, which are
reserved by “Writers”, subject to Producer’s first negotiation/last refusal and holdback rights set fort
and incorporated into this Agreement by this reference.
Producer shall have a first negotiation/last refusal right for the live stage rights, radio rights and
legitimate stage rights to the Screenplay, and shall also have a first negotiation, last refusal right for
the motion picture, television, allied and underlying rights to any author’s written sequel (herein
called “Reserved Rights”), except publication rights to any novel or author written sequel that stems 3
from the Final Draft. Which would include the page one rewrite. For avoidance of doubt, (Writers)
shall have the right to write and publish a novel and author’s written sequels based on the Final Draft
Screenplay without any negotiation obligations with Producer, and without any holdback obligations,
but Writer’s right to exploit the motion picture, television, allied and underlying rights to any such
novel and author written sequels shall be subject to the first negotiation/last refusal and a holdback
rights of Producer set forth above. Writers will not exercise or dispose of, or permit the exercise or
disposition of such Reserved Rights for a period of ten (10) years after release of the Picture, or ten
(10) years from the date on which Producer exercises its Option, whichever first occurs.

5. Writing Credits: The Writers Guild will determine all writing credits on the Picture. The writing
credits shall be given on screen and in paid ads and in the billing block of the Picture as required by the
WGA Basic Agreement.

All other aspects of such credit shall be determined by Producer in its sole discretion. Producer shall
contractually require all distributors it enters into Agreements with to honor all credit obligations to
Writers, but no casual, inadvertent or third party breach of the credit provisions of this Agreement shall
constitute a breach of this Agreement. In the event of failure to give credit, Producer shall use its best
efforts, on a prospective basis, to require such distributors to correct any omission or failure to give
Writers their credits.

6. Representations and Warranties. Writers represents and warrants that Writers has the right to enter
into this Agreement and to grant the rights being granted hereunder; and that the Writings are and shall
be totally original with Writers, do not infringe upon the copyright of any third party, and to the best of
Writer’s knowledge, do not invade the privacy of any third party, defame any third party or in any
other way violate the rights of any third party. Writers agrees to indemnify Producer, its assigns,
officers, employees and associates, and hold Producer and its assigns, officers, employees and
associates and its assigns harmless from all claims and costs, including attorney’s fees, arising out of
any breach or alleged breach of Writer’s representations and warranties. Producer similarly
indemnifies Writers with respect to any material Producer or its assigns furnish to Writers or add to the
Screenplay, and holds Writers harmless from all claims and costs, including attorney’s fees, arising out
of the use in the Screenplay or Picture of any material furnished by Producer or its assigns.

7. Notices: All notices to be given under this Agreement shall be in writing, and shall be personally
delivered, mailed with delivery confirmation, sent by ground or air freight with delivery confirmation,
faxed by confirmed fax (by a printout confirming delivery of the fax), or given by confirmed email (by
a printout of the email) to the parties at their respective addresses set forth above.
Producer’s fax is 818-778-7788; email: XXXXXXXXXXX

Writer’s emails: XXXXXXXXXXXXX

Any party can change their address under this Agreement by notifying the other parties of the new
address by a notice satisfying this paragraph.

All notices to Writer/Producer shall be courtesy copied to its home address, XXXXXXX, name, address, fax and email.

All notices to Original Screen Writer shall be courtesy copied to his home, Gary Lloyd

8. Additional Provisions. 4
(a) Writers shall be named in all Producer’s (and its assigns’) errors and omissions and liability
insurance policies concerning the Picture, if and when such insurance policies are secured.

(b) Writers shall be provided with 5 DVDs of the Picture if and when it becomes commercially
(c) If Writers receives sole written by or screenplay credit on the Picture, if any feature length
sequels or prequels of the Picture are produced, Writers shall be paid, for each such sequel or prequel
produced, 50% of the cash compensation paid to Writers for the Picture, which shall be paid to Writers
on the first day of production of each prequel or sequel, plus a sum equal to 2% of 100% of the net
profits, if any, derived from each prequel or sequel. If writers receives sole written by or screenplay
credit on the Picture, Writers shall be paid, for each remake of the Picture produced, one- third of the
cash compensation paid to Writers for the Picture, which shall be paid to Writers on the first day of
production of each remake, plus a sum equal to 1.67% of 100% of the Net Profits, if any, derived from
each Subsequent Production.
(c) If there is a domestic premiere of the Picture, Writers and up to three of Writer’s guests
shall be furnished with tickets in the V.I.P section for the first domestic premiere of the Picture. If
there is one or more domestic film festivals for the Picture, Writers and up to three of Writer’s guests
shall be furnished with tickets in the V.I.P section to each such domestic film festival.
(d) If Writers are required to travel in connection with the development and production of
the Picture, they shall be furnished round trip air transportation, ground transportation and location
amenities and a per diem.
(e) For any television series produced, based on the Screenplay, Producer will pay or cause to
be paid to Writers the following royalties per initial production upon completion of production of each
program: programs up to 30 minutes–$1,500; over thirty (30) minutes but not more than sixty (60)
minutes–$1,750; over sixty (60) minutes but not more than ninety (90) minutes–$2,000; over ninety
(90) minutes–$2,500; and in addition to the foregoing, as a buyout of all royalty obligations, one
hundred percent (100%) in equal installments over five (5) reruns, payable within thirty (30 ) days after
each such rerun, or subject to the WGA minimum, whichever is greater. All compensation set forth
in this Paragraph 9(e) shall not be less than then applicable WGA minimum compensation.

9. Notice and Cure: In the event Producer is in breach or alleged breach of this Agreement, Writers
shall give Producer written notice describing such alleged breach, and Producer shall have 5 business
days after receipt of such notice to cure any such alleged breach. If Producer cures such alleged breach
within such 5 business day period, it shall not be deemed to be in breach of this Agreement.

10. Arbitration: Any dispute between the parties shall be settled by binding expedited arbitration, using
one arbitrator, in accordance with the rules of the rules of JAMS (Judicial Arbitration and Mediation
Services), with hearings to take place in Los Angeles County. Any judgment rendered by the
Arbitrator shall be non-appealable, and may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof. The
prevailing party may be awarded attorney’s fees and other costs, damages and expenses to be
determined by the Arbitrator.

11. Miscellaneous: This Agreement contains the entire Agreement between the parties, and cannot be
changed except by a written document signed by the parties. California law shall govern this
Agreement, which shall be binding on and inure to the benefit of the parties’ respective heirs,
successors and assigns. Producer has the right to assign this Agreement, or any part of this Agreement,
to one or more third parties, but Producer shall remain secondarily liable under this Agreement unless
the Agreement is assigned to, and the obligations are assumed in writing by, a major studio. Producer
shall have the right, during the Option Periods as they may be extended, at its expense, to enter into 5

development, pre-production and production activities with respect to the Screenplay and the Picture.
The Option Period shall automatically be suspended (to be followed by written notice from Producer to
Writer) in the event of any material interruption or delay in Producer’s ability to pre-produce or
produce the Picture (an event of “Force Majeure”) due to epidemic, walk-out, labor dispute, strike,
governmental order, court order, order of any other legally constituted authority, act of God or public
enemy, war, riot, civil commotion or any other cause beyond Producer’s control, whether of the same
or any other nature. Such suspension shall continue for as long as an event of Force Majeure is
occurring, unless terminated by written notice by Producer, if such event of Force Majeure continues
for more than 8 weeks consecutively. In such event, Writers shall also have the right, by written notice,
to terminate this Agreement, but the Agreement shall not terminate if within one week after Writer’s
notice, Producer gives Writers notice that it is going forward with the Agreement, and will not be
entitled to use the same event of force majeure to once again suspend the term of the Option Period. In
the event of an alleged breach or breach by Producer, or in the event of a failure to give Writers credit

on the Picture pursuant to the Credits paragraph above, Writer’s sole remedy shall be an arbitration for
monetary damages, and in no event shall Writers be entitled to terminate or rescind this Agreement or
seek equitable relief, including but not limited to seeking to enjoin or restrain the distribution or
exploitation of the Picture. This Agreement may be signed in counterparts, and may be signed by fax
or by scanned email attachment.

Our signatures below will confirm our Agreement set forth above.




AKA Gary Lloyd