ver seven months later and the agreement to option my screenplay is finally, irrefutably complete! About three months ago, this document had officially taken longer to write than the script itself. Negotiation, haggling over deal points, arguing over language… Seven months.
Lawyer sent me the documents this week. Finally. In my hands. The dotted line begging for my throbbing John Hancock.
For many, this tantric act of anticipation may have led to a premature eruption of ink across the page.
But I’ve always had the irritating habit of thoroughly reading through anything I’m asked to sign. Even after waiting the better part of a year for it. I’m the guy who holds up the line anywhere you’re issued a liability waiver.
And of all the legal docs I’ve read, let me just say, this one’s a fun read. Like a horoscope written in legalese.
A proper option to purchase agreement and writer’s deal memo cover everything. Every what-if possibility should my script get turned in a film. There are clauses in this thing for my hotel accommodations for the premiere. Dollar amounts for what I’ll receive on a per episode basis if a television series is ever based on the film.
An excuse, if ever there was, for little day dreaming.
Of course, until about a thousand more things go just right, it’s all just fantasy.
Still, fun read.
Until I got to the part where they misspelled my name.
The next thought to cross my mind was: Seven months.
It took these legal eagles seven months to get these pages into my hands… How long was it going to take them to fix this?
How important is getting my name right in this thing, really?
Yeah… It’s probably pretty important.
I emailed Lawyer. Joked that if it’s gonna take another month to fix it then maybe I should just scratch out the error and initial it. Ha!
You know what he told me to do? Do to this immaculate document that took longer to write than my glorious script itself? To this contingency bible of what-if possibilities that will guide the course of this project for years, if not decades to come?
Scratch out the error and initial it. That’s what he told me to do.
I signed that bitch and put it in the mail.
Now I’m waiting on Producer’s signature. Full execution of the agreement. And only then comes payday. A token sum at this stage, but still; evidence that this is real.
After this long a process it’s kind of an anticlimactic resolution. Just more little steps really. Probably indicative of how things will continue to rock from here. Little steps.
But hey, beats the hell out of standing still.