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Writing Right: The Blog

SHARING NEW FILM SCRIPT WITH OTHERS

Someone recently asked if he could share the first ten pages of his new script with me. My answer was a resounding absolutely not!

 

Nor, by the way, should a screenwriter ever ask to do so.

 

There's a good reason that all film and television producers refuse to accept unsolicited scripts. If one arrives in the morning mail, the production company returns it unopened. If a producer accepts an unsolicited manuscript for review and turns it down, he's exposed himself to legal action should he happen to make a film whose "idea" the author claims the producer stole from him.

 

Claims of property theft are more of a problem in filmmaking than in publishing because books are finished products while scripts are little more than malleable, evolving ideas or concepts. In any given year, probably twenty or more similar ideas are accepted for production. It wouldn't take much for a writer whose script was read by one of those producers to file a legal claim of property theft against him. That would halt all work on the film, pending the outcome of the litigation, which would most likely be a settlement of a considerable amount of money on the "agrieved author."

 

Because of that, any writer even attempting Read More 

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