Friday, December 3, 2010

Getting the Option

Finding a great novel that hasn't been made into a film -- yet --  seems like child's play for two screenwriters. Negotiating the twist and turns of making that deal can be intimidating.

Nothing ever goes smoothly. It's Murphy's Law and I think he hated writers--female writers especially! Keep that in mind. If you prepare for something, it's guaranteed not to happen, right? Well, maybe... But it's usually something completely unexpected that makes you wonder how you'd displeased the gods.

Our first agreed upon (and celebrated) price turned out to be too little.

We counter-offered. Here's where it gets tricky. How much should we offer? I wanted to make a much higher offer, but Marla was the voice of reason. She argued that we should offer just a bit less than what we thought we could afford. They came back with a slightly bunped-up figure, so we quickly agreed. We asked for an extrar 6 months and a later starting date, which would give us time to finish off pending projects. They were very amenable. It may have been to our advantage that we were working with the estate of the author and that there had been previous negotiations for the book.

By the way, most of this was accomplished by e-mail, with the exception of the contract which was mailed to me. I signed it and mailed it on to Marla who mailed  the money order and signed contract off to the publisher.

Remember what I said about things never going smoothly? Dear Mr. Murphy, he came back for round two! We had a short period of hair-pulling to go before the money order cleared! It was a typical case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand was doing!

I hope that Murphy character is done with us--oops--dare I even write that??

Stay tuned...

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