Of course. That could mean that. However, option agreements are sometimes signed so that a producer or production company can only present your work to one or two target parties. And if these parts are in place, your script is in a folder cabinet until the duration of your option expires (and this can range from one year to five… or more). 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. It is impossible to talk about anything in the film industry without mentioning the credits! Typically, an author receives a “story based on” credit, and screenwriters receive a “written” credit. If you have agreed on a advisory function for the author, the credit you will get must also be agreed upon. In order to avoid the following complications, the credit must always be agreed in advance with the commercial terms of the agreement.
If you have the option to choose, be sure to slow down and think about the long-term development of your project. Ask yourself (and the interested party) a few “What if” questions. And always make sure you have transparency about how these entities handle your work. If you are not satisfied with the answers, signing an option contract may not be the right thing to do yet. So if tomorrow the phone rings and someone wants to choose your scenario, it`s normal to be excited, because now you`ll know what to do. Just download the scriptwriter contract template as an example of expectations. You also need to remember the secondary rights that we talked about earlier. If you create a spin-off of your project, the author also wants a share of these gains.
The net participation of these ancillary projects is generally less than the net share of the original`s profits. It is essential to agree on this point at the beginning. The same applies to all other secondary rights that you acquire, as most authors will insist that they participate in all related projects. If your option contract expires and no film is produced from your work, you should always ensure that all these continuation, prequel and Nearquel rights are restored before reapplying your returned script. There has already been a time when the original property has returned to a writer, but the sequel, Prequel and Nearquel rights remain at a production company. As a general rule, there are two option rights and periods, i.e. the first option is the amount of X for Y months, with the option to extend additional Y months for the amount of X. These are generally referred to as “second option commissions” for the “second option period.” You have until the end of the last option period to “exercise” the option. In general, this happens when you have all the funding together and everyone is ready to shoot. 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. It is understandable that some authors and screenwriters are reluctant to part with the audio-visual adaptation rights to their project. One possibility is to soften the agreement by offering an advisory role to the author. If that makes them happier, it could also be presented as an executive producer position. I would not offer it in advance, but only if the author is about to leave. When negotiating this role, make sure that the author is not able to interfere with your project: you are there for consultations and you should not need your consent for anything that lets you go beyond the option itself.