We are now in what is known as Hiatus Season in the entertainment industry. This is when businesses slow down and creators have the opportunity to dust off passion projects or work on that script they keep meaning to get to.
Want to use your downtime wisely? Morin Legal has some ideas for you. We’re currently focusing on idea submission and script development. More importantly, we discuss how to use an attorney to help you with these things.
If you missed it, we recently talked about idea submissions and how you can use an attorney to legally protect them.
If you’re further along than the idea, you can also use an attorney for script development.
First, let’s answer the question: What is script development?
It’s the period when the script is reviewed for the chain of title, ownership, authorship, and its expressive elements vs. generic ones, etc.
In a nutshell, script development is the embryonic stage of storytelling.
During this phase, an attorney can help you assert copyright, ownership, and authorship of your script. In addition, an attorney can also offer the writer/creator support in options and/or purchase agreement offers made by a buyer.
Morin Legal offers the All Access® Plan Incubator to help take projects to the finish line. This includes potential project representation by a literary agent who might pitch the script to a prospective buyer. It is a 3-step process.
Step One: We will review the chain of title and provide the writer/ creator with access to script coverage. We work with trusted vendors who consistently receive results from the writers and creators, whom we represent.
Not everybody’s script is ready to be presented to an agent when they come to us. Coverage is an important phase because the writer will receive objective criticism from an industry expert. This criticism is designed to help shape the script so it is ready for prospective representation. It’s helpful to get many opinions in this phase.
Step Two: Once the script is pitch-ready, we provide the writer/ creator with access to marketing materials. We work with trusted vendors who make marketing materials from scripts, including a one sheet. Our goal is to keep barriers low for clients. A one sheet keeps matters simple, clear, and concise.
Other projects may already have or require additional materials, such as a pitch deck, budget(s) including top sheet, logline, synopsis, and story bible or rewrites as may be expected or requested during the pitching process. We will work with you to ensure that you have the marketing materials for your script.
Step Three: We finally introduce clients to Smith Young Talent Agency, our trusted vendor, for prospective project representation. Not every project is accepted because acceptance depends on 2 things: bandwidth and mandates. Mandates are controlled by studios and networks that request specific content, and bandwidth is always under review to ensure packaged projects are pitched first. Therefore, more fully packaged projects will more likely be offered representation.
If your script is (1) pitch-ready, (2) has adequate marketing materials, and (3) meets the criterion for acceptance, then a best-case scenario is for the writer/creator to receive a 12-month non-exclusive agreement for representation. These steps, along with our team’s knowledge and relationships, will get your script to the finish line.
If you’re interested in obtaining the flat-fee menu and a list of services we offer around script development, let us know here and we will send it to you.