Monday, May 15, 2006

Screenwriting Contract Time Again

It’s always fun when one of your points gets included in the contract. There’s some language in standard studio contracts that I found truly frightening. It basically gave them the right to schedule you for things. Assurances that they would never do so, did nothing for me. Freedom is a feeling and I don’t want to rely on some third party to decide how they’ll treat me. What if they used this clause to break the contract? “We asked him to go to the Falkland Islands and he refused, therefore we’re not paying him.” Here’s how it ended up sounding: “In the event Producer exercises the Option, Owner grants to Producer the perpetual, non-exclusive right to use and license others to use Owner’s name, likeness and/or biography (approved or submitted by Owner) in connection with the advertising and publicity. Producer acknowledges that Owner will have no obligation to honor publicity requests (interviews, talk show appearances, etc.) which may be made by Producer or Producer’s assigns to help promote the picture, but Owner agrees to consider such requests, if any, on a case-by-case basis.” I’m in way over my head on the financial stuff, but I’m a real stickler for personal obligations: To sum up, I don't want any.

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