Working with a producer but I'm sure there are potential drawbacks to how I'm proceeding, being new at this. He wanted me to adapt a novel he had the rights to - and then he wanted me to expand what I'd done and give it more oomph. But I asked about compensation at that point and he said I'd be attached to the show as a writer if we get that far with it. So now I'm waiting to see if he liked the expansion. Am I proceeding properly? I also came up with storylines for Season 2, and ideas for Season 3. But no scripts have been written yet. I offered to write the pilot. At what point do I need a contract? I submitted one completed TV pilot to a screenwriting competition recently, this one is my own. I was told 65 pages for an hour-long.
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You need a contract right now, and looking at your post this action should've taken place back in the beginning with the novel adaptation.
Thanks, Lindberg, you're probably right. I do have copies of everything he said, in writing. But I won't lift another finger without one. I do want to write the pilot script, but I'll need to have that promise in the form of a contract. What do you think? He'll take what I gave him and I'll never hear from him again? I'm not the kind who would take that kind of thing lightly, of course.
But really, when you're new in the biz, sometimes you take chances, and you have to establish your own credibility. I don't think I'd do anything different up to to this point. I do think I need something more firmly in hand if I do anything further, and I will keep an eye on this to see where he goes with it.
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Take it from someone who's been badly burned by guys like this... GET A CONTRACT!
Thanks, guys, yeah, agents are just crawling out of the woodwork at me. No seriously, I knew what I was doing. The guy had the rights to this book and wanted to see what I could do with it. I did it on spec. It's a usual procedure. I won't do any further work without something in writing, of course. But he has the right to the book's adaptation, not me. Honestly don't know if it'll go anywhere, but if it does, I'll cover myself. Haven't you guys ever written anything on spec? I appreciate your comments, but at this stage, there's really nothing to be done.
I think you can keep it causal until you are asked to create something and give it over. At that point you need a contract.
I agree - if I'm asked to write the pilot script, for instance. And I've created an outline for Season 2, but that won't be released without something in writing. Thanks!
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Personally, I'm not very paranoid about contracts... That said, I would ask how long he has the rights to this book. If he only has the rights for a short time, does that give him enough time to try to sell your adaptation before the rights revert? And I might also ask for a shopping agreement between you two. But if you trust this producer and have a strong relationship with him, you might let the relationship be the handshake deal that it is.
Nah, we're not friends or anything. Thanks for your comments, but I knew full well what I was getting into. I do know that at some point in this relationship, I need something in writing, which is why I'm hanging on to my Season 2 ideas. But in order to prove myself, I had to give him what he asked for, without restrictions. He does respond when I email him, and I see that as a positive. He seems like a nice guy, has two PhDs and all. Originally queried him about a Heinlein property he has the rights for - wish he'd let me help with that!
Wow, what I wouldn't give to be in your position right now. Best of luck. :)
I second what everyone else is saying--get something in writing--now.
Thanks, G.R. - I owe the contact to IMDPro and my stubbornness. And I do have a confirmation in writing - in email. It'll have to do. For now. But I won't do (or give) anything more without something more.
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Get an attorney or agent immediately.