The film industry is hypercompetitive to the point that it has become extremely cutthroat. This is why you’ll want to do all you can when it comes to protecting your film. Now, the best way to go about doing this is by effectively using the right contracts and agreements. If you’re creative of any kind, it’s important that you have contracts and agreements in place. Indeed, contracts for creators of all kinds are crucial when it comes to protecting your work. Contracts for films can be tricky, as there are a number of contracts and agreements that you have to know about. To help simplify things, here’s a brief list of essential contracts and agreements that will help you protect your film.
Rights Purchase Agreement
The Rights Purchase Agreement is used when a producer wants to purchase a script or story from a writer. These agreements are known as assignments of rights and will often require you to give up the sole exclusive motion picture, television, photograph record, merchandising and commercial rights, and all allied and ancillary rights, throughout the universe, in perpetuity. What this means is that this agreement hands over all rights associated with a motion picture and not just the script that you produced. The important thing to understand here is that the Rights Purchase Agreement is flexible as it can be used to purchase any story that can then be repurposed according to the desires of the new rights holder.
This is similar to the Rights Purchase Agreement but is used when the story is based on a person’s life. These rights can be purchased from the person themselves or a person that knows the subject well in case that subject has already passed. If the person is deceased, life rights have to be secured from the family or heirs of the individuals. It’s crucial that you obtain these rights as failing to do so opens you up to being sued by the estate of the person.
An Option Agreement is a contractual agreement wherein a producer buys the right to purchase a screenplay from a writer. Unlike the Rights Purchase Agreement, an Option Agreement this agreement won’t let you use the screenplay. Instead, the producer will have the exclusive right to purchase the screenplay at a later date once they are able to secure financing. This agreement is used when a piece of content has to be put on hold.
Lastly, it’s crucial that you understand the importance of writer agreements. A writer agreement is used when a producer wants to turn their story into a screenplay. These agreements are also used when producers want to hire writers for a rewrite of an already existing screenplay.
While there are more contracts and agreements that you have to know about, this information should be enough to cover most of your bases. We implore you to take this seriously as having the right contracts and agreements in place can be the difference-maker when it comes to retaining or losing your film.
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