Remake rights....

Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 3/18/2012 5:28 PM

What does this mean? I was talking to a filmmaker about a short they were interested in producing and included in the contract they wanted the remake rights. This sounds weird to me. They would have the right to allow someone else to film the story? Not sure I like that but they said it was standard. So if I were to give this person the exclusive option to film my short and then I'd take it off the market so no one else could ever shoot it...which is what they want because their intention is to enter it into film festivals so they don't want it reproduced (I get that)...but they would have the right to allow someone to remake it in the future??? Really??

Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 3/18/2012 5:42 PM

If someone wanted to remake one of my films, I'd say yes in a second. But I'd get the cash in return (as the producer).

But remake rights essentially means that as the writer you'd be left out of the deal if they let someone else remake the film. That's part of exclusive rights. And unfortunately, it is standard -- but honestly, I really don't see the point with shorts.

You can try and negotiate the point, maybe get a percentage if they do find someone to remake the film. Or ask for more $$$ upfront.

It could also mean they might turn the short into a feature -- that is, remake the film. That might be something to ask about. Seems only right that if you're the original writer you should get a chance to rewrite it as a feature.

I hope some of that makes sense -- I'm pretty out there right now with my pain killers and not really sure if I got out the stuff that's relevant.

William Bienes (Mod Emeritus) ~ 3/18/2012 6:01 PM

I only give filmmakers single use rights, retaining all rights, including but not limited to material, characters and story.

While it may sound cynical - it may be their standard, not "the" standard to retain remake rights.

I'm guessing here - but they could want that right based on the festival entry. If the film turns out well, they could be hoping for an extension of the story, funding, etc... to go bigger and better. And if that's the case, they would have that right.

For them, exclusivity is a must and they should expect that... but remake rights? No, I wouldn't sign that. It has that feel of the cart before the horse. Let's work with the horse.

Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 3/18/2012 6:04 PM

I prefer you just keeping your screenplay exclusive for one producer and one producer only, especially if your screenplay is feature length. But as for a short, if the producer offers you money for the short, I would still keep the screenplay exclusive, since they are offering you money in return, and you don't want to screw that up. If they are not offering you any money, then why bother allowing that producer to be the only one who can produce that script?

Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 3/18/2012 6:58 PM

Chris Keaton sent me a standard contract that I thought would work out fine. But she wanted me to add that she gets the remake rights. And she really said that if someone liked her film but thought they could do a better job on it she could give them permission to remake it. And this particular short doesn't have feature potential. It may have the potential to be done better than she can do it on her budget but shouldn't I be the one someone contacts about the remake?? I'm giving her the exclusive option for one year and I added to the contract if she enters it into film festivals I wouldn't ever give anyone else permission to shoot it. I just want to make sure that if her project gets scrapped or if she doesn't like how it turns out and ends up not submitting it elsewhere, I can allow someone else the opportunity to shoot it. But yeah...not wrapping my noggin around her idea of remake rights. :-/

William Bienes (Mod Emeritus) ~ 3/18/2012 7:18 PM

I would not give her remake rights. If someone can do a better job with a bigger budget, they should contact you, not the other filmmaker.

Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 3/18/2012 7:48 PM

yeah...that's what I said. I'm sticking to my guns on that point.

Thanks everyone. :)

Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 3/18/2012 10:06 PM

We just agreed on a final contract which did NOT include remake rights. It looks like I've finally broken the seal here. Getting something filmed! She found a great location and sent me some pics. She'll start shooting in a few weeks. YAY!!! It's about freakin time!! :))))))

Debra Johnson (Level 3) ~ 3/18/2012 10:16 PM

Congrats Marnie! Well deserved! Keep us posted.

Khamanna Iskandarova (Level 5) ~ 3/18/2012 10:44 PM

That's great news, Marnie!!! Congrats! Something from here?

Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 3/18/2012 10:50 PM

Thanks! Not something from here. It was my 2nd round entry of the last NYCMM that bombed out. LOL. It's a rom/com called The Mating Dance. Below is a link to it if anyone wants to give it a read. I'm really excited!! :)))

KP Mackie (Level 5) ~ 3/18/2012 11:50 PM

"It's a rom/com called The Mating Dance."

Way to go MML.
A rom-com!

On my way over to read...

KP Mackie (Level 5) ~ 3/19/2012 12:56 AM

@MML --
Great job!
Love the originality and funny post-ending.
Best of luck.

Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 3/19/2012 12:55 PM

Congrats, Marnie! Did I not tell you this was THE year?

Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 3/19/2012 1:25 PM

Thanks KP...figured you'd appreciate it. :)

Thanks Rick....and actually you also said last year was gonna be THE year but I figured if you kep saying it, it would have to happen sooner or later. :P

My Mom was asking about the woman who's filming it...what's her experience, blah blah blah...I said I don't care if she shoots it in her back yard with her camera phone, it's just the fact that someone is actually shooting one of my pieces.

Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 3/19/2012 1:53 PM

It's great feeling, Marnie. You write and write and write, hoping that something you come up with is something someone else falls for.

No matter how many times it happens, it's always nice.

JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 3/20/2012 4:29 AM

Marnie, I absolutely LOVED this script! Great job! would've gave it an excellent. :}