I wanted to share an experience I just went through, as a cautionary tale for all screenwriters. I recently responded to a job posting through the International Screenwriting Association website. It was for a spec writing gig on a genre project that I felt was right up my alley. I sent over a writing sample, and quickly heard back from the producer who posted the gig. Following a short phone interview, he asked me to participate in a "bake-off" - after signing an NDA, I'd write the first 10 pages of the script based on the basic story concept he'd share with me. I agreed and did so, and to my excitement, he selected me to move forward with the project, based on this 10-page sample. Here's where it gets sticky. He sent over a 4-page Writers Agreement to sign so we could get going on the script. I looked it over and didn't see any major red flags (I have a lot of experience reading contracts), but after having been burned in the past, I felt it was in my best interests to have my attorney read over the agreement. The producer agreed to this. Things got a little delayed due to the Thanksgiving holiday, but I finally got the agreement back to the producer with some additions and changes my attorney made. I personally felt they were minor, and mostly to add clarification to certain terms of the deal. Nothing regarding the basic deal was changed, except for an addition to the compensation clause that the producer had already agreed to. Well, no sooner did I send it over than the producer dropped me from the project, saying that my attorney had substantially changed the agreement (not true) and the whole process was taking too long. Now, I figure I probably dodged a bullet here. But the moral I want to share is that we as writers CANNOT be too desperate to work with producers like this. I am a produced screenwriter with valid credits and lots of industry contacts. I was already willing to work with this guy for no upfront money (which is unfortunately becoming more and more common these days), but to assume I would just blindly sign his agreement without having my attorney make a few changes to protect my rights is, in my opinion, ridiculous. I realize we all want to get our names out there and get some movies or TV shows made. But be very wary of the sharks who just want to use and abuse our talents. If a producer balks at letting you have an attorney look over or slightly change an agreement, that probably means they're not very legitimate, and you're likely to get screwed down the road. Bottom line - be careful out there!