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Old January 9th, 2008, 11:17 AM   #1
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Optioning Rights

My group has decided to option the rights to adapt a book to the screen. This will be the first time any of us has written this way. I have spoken to the author as well as his agent. We need to compensate the Author for the period of time that we will have exclusivity of the work.

So here is the question... How much do we offer to stroke the check for? We are certain we do not want to insult the author, who cares about the agent really. I have establised that there is no standard for this type of thing.

So there it is. Any advise or practical experience would be great!

Thanks a million.
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Old January 9th, 2008, 04:45 PM   #2
 
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The author and/or his agent is the one who sets the price. Not you.

Usually, it's 10% of the buyout fee.
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Old January 9th, 2008, 04:57 PM   #3
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The agents words were "...you make an offer..." They have done this before as the author has had othe work made into a movie. Should I just shoot them a number and see what happens?
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Old January 10th, 2008, 06:40 AM   #4
 
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Sounds like the agent doesn't know how these things work. If he did, he'd have a price for you. Also, it appears, based on your information, that neither the author nor the book are hot items.

Ask yourself, how much are you willing to spend? Then offer him half and allow him to "negotiate" you up to your price.

Chances are you'll have to write the contract, too. Do you have one?
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Old January 10th, 2008, 09:04 AM   #5
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I do not. I did some research and it appears as if they do not present me with something then it is like the wild west. Jot it down and go sort of thing. Have you seen a contract for this type of thing? Is it similar to an exclusivity contract?
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Old January 10th, 2008, 10:04 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Bradley D Barber View Post
I do not. I did some research and it appears as if they do not present me with something then it is like the wild west. Jot it down and go sort of thing. Have you seen a contract for this type of thing? Is it similar to an exclusivity contract?
Not a good idea to 'roll your own' without advice of a lawyer. You absolutely need an attorney versed in entertainment law to help you here.
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Old January 10th, 2008, 10:07 AM   #7
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We do have that in our corner. It doesen't seem as if this should be this difficult. Could just be me. I will keep you posted on what happens.

Thanks all
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Old January 10th, 2008, 11:01 AM   #8
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So here is the question... How much do we offer to stroke the check for? We are certain we do not want to insult the author, who cares about the agent really. I have establised that there is no standard for this type of thing.

.
That totally depends on the book and how many copies in print. If the book was published by a real publisher and not self published, this could cost a truckload of money. What his previous work produced in to a feature with a real budget? Or with some guy and a DVX?
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Old January 10th, 2008, 12:10 PM   #9
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The first movie was studio produced with a real budget. HE co-wrote the screenplay with the Director of the film. His books are not self published but rather big time. There is the opportunity we have found out to arrange the deal similar to the first movie. We are meeting in teh coming month to discuss.

What would your opinion be on this.
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