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rights to a script?

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Gina Willis
rights to a script?
on Aug 1, 2012 at 9:04:18 pm

Hello,
Today, I'm writing with an entirely new look on life, in regards to filmmaking.
I'm a current student in film school, working on my thesis film. I "hired" a director, fellow student, to work with me on a script that was given to me.

To clarify, "given" to me means, I met a girl who knew of a script that she thought would be good.
Said girl was introduced to me by my friend (who later became the director of said script)

We've had a falling out, and have had to scrap the project. Unfortunately, he also has a copy of all the footage and has informed me he will continue to make this film, with or without me.

I've paid for every prop, wardrobe or craft service and have obtained all the crew, locations and anything else you could think of. I feel like this script is technically mine, or at least, the footage we shot is.
but, Here's where my dumb a$$ery comes into play. I never had him sign a contract that says if he walks off my set, he no longer has rights to the footage.

His arguement is since he introduced me to the person who introduced the script to me, then the footage is technically as much his as it is mine.

As I type this, it all sounds like childs play to me.
does he have the right do this? Am I basically chaulking this one up to Experience, lessons learned, and have to let him continue on with what I think is an unethical practice?

Thanks for the advice, Gina


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Mark Suszko
Re: rights to a script?
on Aug 1, 2012 at 9:15:34 pm

This experience will make a great story for your next script, Gina.

As for the current script, wave good-bye, turn away, don't look back.

Without any contracts, you have less than nothing here. As you said, look at it as tuition in the school of life. You might want to check out the Writer's Guild of America website for some pointers on protecting your work. Lots of good infp there, even for non members.


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Richard Herd
Re: rights to a script?
on Aug 2, 2012 at 9:19:02 pm

You could also register the copyright in your name, quickly!, with copyright.gov.


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Todd Terry
Re: rights to a script?
on Aug 2, 2012 at 10:26:37 pm

[Gina Willis] " Am I basically chaulking this one up to Experience, lessons learned, and have to let him continue on...?"


Yep. Sorry.

Most valuable lesson... always get everything in writing... whether it be a $100 short, or a $100,000,000 feature.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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