Understanding Option Agreements: Everything You Need to Know to Protect Yourself

Hosted by Lane Shefter Bishop, Emmy-Award Winner

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Lane Shefter Bishop

Webinar hosted by: Lane Shefter Bishop, Emmy-Award Winner

CEO at Vast Entertainment

Lane Shefter Bishop, author of Sell Your Story in a Single Sentence, is a multi-award winning producer and director whose many accolades include an EMMY. She is the CEO of Vast Entertainment, a book-to-screen company with numerous projects at both studios and networks, including feature films for Fox 2000, Silver Pictures, CBS Films & Lionsgate, and TV films for Lifetime, as well as TV series with Phoenix Pictures, Atlas Entertainment, The Donner Company, Storyline Entertainment and Universal Cable Productions. She is known for THE DUFF [CBS Films/Lionsgate] and THE CHOKING GAME [Lifetime], which Ms. Bishop also directed. CNN has dubbed her “The Book Whisperer” due to the sheer number of book properties she has set up to be adapted to TV and Film.   Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Whether you're controlling some valuable intellectual property, looking to secure IP, or simply have a valuable property in the form of a spec script, TV pilot, webseries, digital series, or other filmed material, you are likely going to be confronted with signing or distributing an option agreement. It is imperative that you understand the various types of option agreements and what information should be included to assure that you are not only protecting your material, but yourself legally as well.

As the content gold rush grows, option agreements have become more and more commonplace. It is the vital piece of the paper trail that will ensure you are exercising and getting all your rights as your project gets made. These agreements are designed to protect both sides of a given deal, but can be complicated and sometimes include unnecessary language or clauses that could serve to hold up your content or payment. before you sign on the dotted line, you need to understand what exactly is an option agreement, who has creative control, how much money can be made and what you need to include to protect your rights up front.

Lane Shefter Bishop is an Emmy award winning filmmaker and producer who has set up over two dozen book properties - many of them only on book proposals and early partials - with studios, networks and production companies throughout the entertainment industry. She is the CEO of Vast Entertainment, a book-to-screen company with numerous projects at both studios and networks, including feature films for Fox 2000, Silver Pictures, CBS Films & Lionsgate, and TV films for Lifetime, as well as TV series with Phoenix Pictures, Atlas Entertainment, The Donner Company, Storyline Entertainment and Universal Cable ProductionsShe has been on both sides of option agreements and knows the ins and outs of what you need to take into account for your own option agreement.

Lane will provide you essential practical knowledge on the ins and outs of option agreements and break them down step-by-step and section-by-section. You will know what is included in a typical option, what purchase price can be expected, what royalties can be expected, what reserved rights are and how to handle publishers releases, notarized addendums and author assignments. This is vital for authors and screenwriters who currently have or expect to have their own material optioned and want to know what monies they can expect to make, when, and how. But it is also highly beneficial for producers, directors, and talent looking to acquire their own underlying material for development- books, short stories, graphic novels, articles, etc.

 

Lane will provide you with a comprehensive, but easy to understand deep dive on option agreements. She will remove the fear and anxiety which will allow you to clearly and decisively protect yourself and ask for the important items that need to be included in all your agreements.

 

 

“Very impressed with Ms. Bishop, both her formal presentation and the Q & A that followed.”

- Steve Weintz

 

“The seminar was informative, insightful, well documented, entertaining, well thought out and delivered with a touch of humor. Wonderful!”

- Katharine Carter

What You'll Learn

  • Understanding Book, Film, and TV Rights
    • What are “performance” rights? Who typically holds those rights? How do you get those rights back or have them revert after a project goes south?
  • What Is An Option Agreement?
    • How do you know how much time is needed for a TV or film property to be set up and what is that time actually worth?
  • How You Know If You Need An Option Or Just A Shopping Agreement
    • There’s a very big difference between an Option and a Shopping agreement – so how do you know what’s right for you and your material? When is one the right choice over another? When is an Option “Assigned” and what happens once that occurs?
  • When Can You Extend An Option?
    • Handling the all-important question of how long to stick with it and when to cut bait? Should this be part of the Option Agreement?
  • The Importance Of “Exercising” The Option
    • Who makes this vital decision and what happens once an Option has been exercised.
  • The “Creative Control” Issue
    • Learning about who really has the control and why. Understanding “meaningful consultation”.
  • How Much Money Can Be Made From A Typical Option?
    • The number one question asked by rights holders…
  • What About The “Dollar” Option- Is It Viable?
    • When is an Agreement considered legal and binding?
  • In What Ways Are Monies Paid Out In Options?
    • Knowing what to expect when – option money, purchase price money, contingent compensation, episode royalties, etc.
  • What Exactly Is Included In And Covered By A Typical Option
    • We’ll be going through an Option Agreement, dissecting it section-by-section, bit-by-bit throughout this webinar.
  • What’s A Purchase Price And How Much Can Be Expected?
    • The difference between an Option Fee and a Purchase Price and the potential numbers, depending upon who is paying.
  • What’s Contingent Compensation And How Much Can Be Expected
    • Negotiating “backend”…
  • What Are Passive Royalties?
    • Understanding prequels, sequels and remakes and what percentage of your previous fees can be expected.
  • What Are Episode Royalties And How Much Can Be Expected?
    • Network versus non-network and primetime versus non-primetime.
  • New Media Rights In Today’s Option Agreements
    • Dealing with the digital world, websites and tie-ins - what can you expect…
  • What Are Reserved Rights And Why Are They Held Back
    • Navigating the “grey” areas of non-dramatic readings, radio, stage, etc.
  • Handling The Publishers Release, Notarized Addendums And Author Assignments
    • Exploring the final paperwork needed to close a deal, aside from just signing the Option Agreement.

About Your Instructor

Lane Shefter Bishop, author of Sell Your Story in a Single Sentence, is a multi-award winning producer and director whose many accolades include an EMMY. She is the CEO of Vast Entertainment, a book-to-screen company with numerous projects at both studios and networks, including feature films for Fox 2000, Silver Pictures, CBS Films & Lionsgate, and TV films for Lifetime, as well as TV series with Phoenix Pictures, Atlas Entertainment, The Donner Company, Storyline Entertainment and Universal Cable Productions. She is known for THE DUFF [CBS Films/Lionsgate] and THE CHOKING GAME [Lifetime], which Ms. Bishop also directed. CNN has dubbed her “The Book Whisperer” due to the sheer number of book properties she has set up to be adapted to TV and Film.

 

FAQs

Q: What is the format of a webinar? 
A: Stage 32 Next Level Webinars are typically 90-minute broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32.

Q: Do I have to be located in a specific location?
A: No, you can participate from the comfort of your own home using your personal computer! If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar.

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A: You will need to meet the following system requirements in order to run the webinar software: Windows 7 or later Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
If you have Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion): The webinar software does not support these operating systems. If you are running one of those operating systems, please upgrade now in order to be able to view a live webinar. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer 

Q: What if I cannot attend the live webinar?
A: If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar. If you cannot attend a live webinar and purchase an On-Demand webinar, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A. 

Q: Will I have access to the webinar afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of a live or On-Demand webinar, you will have on-demand access to the audio recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year! 

Testimonials

“She was thorough. Great webinar!” - Marni Troop

“Lane was so focused. She was totally prepared.” - Karisa Wiseman Ewinger

“Content: Outstanding!” - Doug McLeod

“Loved it. Very informative.” - GR Case

“Very impressed with Ms. Bishop, both her formal presentation and the Q & A that followed.” - Steve Weintz

“The seminar was informative, insightful, well documented, entertaining, well thought out and delivered with a touch of humor. Wonderful!” - Katharine Carter

Questions?

If you have a generic question about Stage 32 education you can take a look at our frequently asked questions section on our help page, or feel free to contact support with any other inquiries you might have.
 

Reviews Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5

  • THANKS.
  • She was very informative. Her explanation of each topic was thorough and understandable. Great presentation. Very pleasant demeanor.
  • Very, very enjoyable and informative! I would highly recommend.
  • Really great. Thorough, clear, informative. Used what I learned right away.

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