You've Just Sold a Screenplay -- Now Wait.By Myfilmproject09
One of the great misconceptions about selling screenplays is that everyone asks you when it'll be filmed... a week, a month?
The truth is it can be years.
What happens first is an option; a fee paid to the writer from the producer or production company of approximately 10% of the total price. Taking Writer's Guild minimums that would be 10% of $42,000 for a movie that will cost under $3 million, and $72,000 for bigger budgets.
A lot of new writers hear about hundreds of thousands of dollars for screenplays, even millions of dollars. That does happen, but just to a handful of writers. For the rest of us, it's basic scale, as mentioned above.
So how soon does your movie film so you can get the 90% owed to you. Well, my Christmas screenplay that Hallmark had read and liked took nearly 6 years. And this was a script that they liked! It sat around their offices for about 3 years and before that I was sending it around to companies who liked it but weren't sure if it could get made.
Hallmark held it for the last three years, not paying me anything, because they were still "looking at it". And then at the end of 6 years from the date I wrote it as a spec, I got a call from a woman who worked for a Canadian production company. They wanted to make it for Hallmark. And more importantly Hallmark wanted them to make the film.
In only 6 years.
Emperor of Mars was my first really good screenplay and I wrote it in 1989. Since then it's been optioned at least 7 times and actually almost made around 4 or 5 times. I never remember how many times exactly.
That's 24 years.
But wait longer;
I've heard of screenplays that have been hanging around even longer.
Last September, 2012, I optioned a screenplay called Chaser to a French film company in Paris. As of now, they might be making it next spring. But I'm not holding my breath.
And unfortunately, this is more common than not. So what's the reason? What's always the reason. No money. That was certainly the case in the 5 times Emperor was almost made. The deals fell through.
And there's another reason; the producers might want to work on it somemore. Or maybe they can't find the right director, or the network or studio wants someone else to rewrite it. And then the director doesn't like it and leaves. Or the lead actor has a better offer on another movie.
So selling a screenplay isn't exactly like selling your car; it's only the beginning of something that might not even sell. I've had a dozen options on a dozen screenplays that eventually just went away.
So why do I continue to stay in this crazy business.
Because it can and has happened to me at least 10 times.
And also because nobody told me that I should do something else with my life.
These articles might interest you :
Every great story, every hero, every inspiring moment is born out of adversity and perseverance. Conflict and battles are the stuff of myth and legend, and we... Read moreThe 29 April 2013 by Shrinkingthecamel
SELF EXPRESSION, SPIRITUALITY
I reckon everyone at some point has thought about what they’d do if they won the lottery. Am I wrong? Many of us have clutched hold of our tickets eagerly... Read moreThe 08 August 2013 by Annamoss84
This is a sticky topic and you'd better have a good reason for getting out of a contract after you've signed. If there's a real family emergency, that's one... Read moreThe 17 July 2013 by Naturegirl321
LANGUAGES, SCHOOLING, TRAVEL
I wonder if just by the title of my blog post today, there are other people who have the same thought as I do. February 2nd will always bring “I’ve Got You... Read moreThe 02 February 2014 by Juliezaz1
There’s been a lot in the news about the disgraceful tweets sent to the super-talented Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle during a Sky Sports Q A this week, confirmin... Read moreThe 22 January 2014 by Girlontheriver
FITNESS, SELF EXPRESSION
People (knowing I love art shows) are forever asking "Have you seen the Dali, the Hopper, the Titian, ah, you name it?" and at my age I feel like... Read moreThe 20 February 2013 by Johntalbott
DESTINATIONS, DINING OUT, FOOD & DRINK, TRAVEL
Last week I had some difficulties with a client. And I didn’t now how to solve them. So I decided to go for a run. You know: get some fresh air, clear the head. Read moreThe 30 October 2013 by Nicoleao
ATHLETICS, DIARIES, FITNESS, SELF EXPRESSION
MOST POPULAR FROM SELF EXPRESSION
- Pre-Marital Sex Is Not Immoral Says Ancient India by Deepti135
- Day 49: Tuff spot mix by Sjay235
- Five Fail-Safe Ways to Save Money (after Christmas)! by Mint Mocha Musings
- Day 50: Felt Busy Book by Sjay235
Hurricane Sandy North Korea China Lady Gaga Rick Perry Thanksgiving John Galliano Michelle Rodriguez Climate Change True Blood Academy Awards Apps Apple World Cup 2014 Russia Mali The Box Office Turkey Economy Harry Potter Barack Obama Christmas X-Factor European Union Samsung Egypt Rupert Murdoch Halloween Nuclear Energy News Corp
MOST RECOMMENDED IN SELF EXPRESSION
- Mourning for Pakistan by Marilyngardner5
- You Know You Married a TCK When….. by Marilyngardner5
- Black Tuesday by Sarusinghal
- Baby #2: The Moment I Told Adam He Would Be Becoming a Dad for The Second Time by Alex_bumptobaby