Does anyone know of any screenplay competitions that allow adaptations the writer does not own the rights to?
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Hi Luke, there was one once. It was a short writing contest under Adi Shankar who produced a bootleg Punisher short called DIRTY LAUNDRY bringing Thomas Jane back as The Punisher and also a gritty POWER RANGERS short that's just... awesome. Not sure if anything ever came of that. That was about two years ago. Only competition I'm aware of to ever do something like that.
Reason is because if you don't own the rights, nothing is ever going to happen with that script (unless Adi puts it for free on YouTube). The most it does is showoff your writing ability. Specs on TV shows are necessary for a lot of writing programs, but writing a Star Wars or Marvel feature is highly unlikely to do anything for you unless it happens to go viral online.
Thanks for the info Nick Assunto - Stage32 Script Services . I remember both of those shorts they were very good. (As a punisher fan I was especially a fan of Dirty Laundry). Obviously I have written one lol and I was hoping to use it to do as you said and show off any talent i may have. Guess I'll just edit it for funsies.
Yeah I mean look, it's never a bad idea to be writing anyway. When I was teaching myself I wrote a full on remake of Critters. It helped so much, and I still love the general idea. It's not bad to have samples. It's just not the most proactive to have those scripts for the sake of contests and submissions because you can't do much with them, but you're still getting work done and showcasing that work so that pays off in its own way. So if it's helping you hone your voice, so be it, just can't do much with them right now. I think it's smart to always have backpocket pitches for reboots or studio-owned ideas these days. You ever land a gig and get those jobs and get into a meeting, it could pay off.
Don't know about contests but the Author of "Fifty Shades of Grey" wrote "Twilight" fan fiction.
Writing adaptions for material with unsecured rights is generally frowned upon by script contests and film festivals. Have you thought about adapting public domain works? A lot of them out there.
Nick Assunto - Stage32 Script Services Thanks Nick. That's a good way to look at it. At least my portfolio will have diverse samples. Dan MaxXx This was more so like a adaptation of a comic book run to a script. Nina Berlin I haven't really done anything with public domain characters yet. The story i did was just one that really made an impression on me when I read it. Thanks everyone!
If the author is still alive and you have not secured permission to adapt the work, you could be looking at a lawsuit. Always secure the rights before you even consider writing FADE IN.
Dawn Greenfield Ireland the particular author on this work unfortunately passed away.
Luke, that's a different story. Try to contact his estate. If you know when he passed you can look up the obit online. That may lead you to relatives, an attorney, or someone who might be willing to discuss the book with you.
Thanks Dawn Greenfield Ireland ! I've been doing some digging but I haven't been able to come up with the info yet. But I'm sure something will turn up if i stay at it.
Dead author = contact and negotiate with the publisher.
Copyright doesn't end with death.
No they all say you have to own the rights. Haven't seen one that hasn't mentioned it they all do.
It is not recommended to write something you do not own the rights to. You cannot screen it, distribute it. You would be wasting your time. See if you can get the rights is my suggestion. If not, why spend the time?
Luke- For years i fought w/ the estate of a famous person I had written a script on... So- i got clever. I changed all the names and set it BEFORE this famous person was even born!!
That is correct, William Martell. However, the deceased author's estate/family can grant permission if the publisher isn't cooperative.
Alex Moreno i like the way you think lol.
Jack Binder because i already wrote it lol.
I checked the copyright registry and could not find the work registered there. I've found that the gentleman did have a co-author so I'm going to contact him. My idea is that if i edit the script and create a show bible. It will show that i truly care about the work and maybe he'll oblige some permission. IF not it's all good practice, so it's a win-win for me.