Specifically, when a scenario is optional, the producer has not really acquired the right to use the scenario; The producer has simply acquired the “exclusive right” to purchase the script at some point in the future, if the producer succeeds in entering into a contract to actually make a script-based film. It is customary to allow the producer, when exercising the option and purchasing the film and television rights for the first book, a first right of negotiation/matching, to acquire the same rights on your prequel/sequel author if you wish to sell them. But you shouldn`t have to do it if you don`t like your offer. It is understandable that some authors and screenwriters are reluctant to part with the audio-visual adaptation rights to their project. One possibility is to soften the agreement by offering an advisory role to the author. If that makes them happier, it could also be presented as an executive producer position. I would not offer it in advance, but only if the author is about to leave. When negotiating this role, make sure that the author is not able to interfere with your project: you are there for consultations and you should not need your consent for anything that lets you go beyond the option itself. Another essential term in an option agreement is the “purchase price,” that is, the amount of money the author receives if the script is turned into a feature film or television project.
The purchase price is often calculated on a slippery scale as a percentage of the budget, so that as the film budget increases, the purchase price, although, as with all negotiated terms, can also vary considerably. If you are negotiating a supporting role for the author or screenwriter – in addition to the one that gives you the option – you can include it in the option agreement itself, but personally I prefer to define additional roles in a separate agreement. Indeed, two agreements clearly show that these are two distinct roles and negotiations – the option agreements are already quite complex and the inclusion of the author`s supporting role could make things more complicated. Before starting negotiations, I would like to ask your lawyer their preference and how and if the author`s supporting role affects the fees you pay for the development of the option agreement. The amount of option payments depends on the negotiation process and other factors, such as the author.B in the industry`s balance sheet and the potential budget of the film project or DEEH.