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screenplay pitch

Discussion in 'Copyright, Trademark, Patent Law' started by mingus, Apr 25, 2003.

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  1. mingus

    mingus Law Topic Starter New Member

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    an agent asked my friend , john, to come up with a pitch for a producer. the producer wanted BLUE CRUSH, but on a ritzy ski slope like colorado springs. john called me and said, "Let's come up with a pitch together." After about seven days we had our pitch. conservatively speaking, i was responsible for 75% of the story. john pitched the story to the producer and the producer loved it. at no time did the producer know i existed, so he entered into a contract negotiation with john only. the pay was $100.000. i assumed i was going to get half and that we were going to write it together. i didn't really care whether i got credit for the script or not because despite the producers enthusiasm, the chances of the script actually becoming a distributed film are almost zero. well, john turned to be and said thanks for your time and is now writing it on his own and keeping ALL the cash.

    what can i do?
     
  2. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    That's a difficult question. Unless you can prove, in some fashion, that John agreed to pay you for part of the story and that you contributed, it's a tough sell. Was the agent aware of your relationship? It might not be a bad idea to be cool about things and e-mail John about your relationship so that you can have some proof that the relationship existed. Perhaps he'll open up somewhat and admit the truth. Is he getting paid any royalties for the story or is it a flat fee to write and sell all rights to the story? If you get involved, it is also possible that you could "blow" the deal for him once you threaten suit over the rights to the script... there might be some leverage, but do it in the right order and carefully. When money is involved, people's brains turn off... and their consciences.
     

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