Distribution The studio will have worldwide distribution in all media if it finances 100% of the picture’s production and distribution. The studio will own the picture, its copyright, the screenplay, and the motion picture rights to the underlying literary property upon which it is based (if any) and, therefore, it will have the right to…

Whether you get to be a “producer” hinges on your ability to raise the monies you need in order to produce your pictures. You can acquire financing via a studio, private investors, production incentives, the pre-sale of all or a portion of your picture’s foreign territories, and by securing bank financing. Some of the aforementioned…

Producing is a daunting task that requires collaboration among producers. You may have an idea for a screenplay but may want to join forces with a producer that has access to talent, a director, an agency, or money. You may align yourself with another producer in a variety of ways including the following. Partnerships A…

You can hire a writer on a work-for-hire basis, to write a screenplay based on your idea, other material assigned by you, or to write the screenplay the writer pitched to you. “Work-for-hire” means that you are paying the writer and, as a consequence thereof, own the screenplay and its copyright outright. You must enter…

You will need to enter into an “Option / Purchase Agreement” prior to developing, shopping, and producing a screenplay based upon a pre-existing literary property whose copyright you do not own and which is not in the public domain. During the term of the Option/Purchase Agreement, you will have the exclusive right, the “option,” to…

While original screenplays require no legal counsel, there are many instances where you will need to acquire rights prior to developing the idea into a screenplay. In addition to the examples mentioned in the previous screenplay post, here are some additional common types of screenplays that would require legal agreements. “Private Persons” You cannot develop…

The producing process starts with the seed of an idea: a concept borne of the producer’s mind, pitched to the producer by a third party, or triggered by an outside stimulus, such as a writer’s pitch, pre-existing literary property (novel, play, news story, etc.), or life story. Whether you need legal counsel and/or must stop…

You may develop a screenplay based on a public domain work, such as a play by Shakespeare. A public domain work may be used by anyone in any way without the need for permission or payment to the author or the author’s estate. A work is in the public domain when the work lacks copyright…

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Other Publications

The lessons to be learned from this helpful guide show aspiring screenwriters, television writers, and novelists how to catch an agent’s eye and develop a successful scriptwriting career. Step-by-step instructions reveal how to get around the “Catch 22” of the trade—that you can’t get an agent until you’ve sold a script. Interviews with prominent agents…

This book tackles the hard truths that other screenwriting books are afraid to confront. Film and TV writing is the most competitive literary field in the world and if an aspiring does not get the work done properly, he or she will fail.