"I'll make sure you're taken care of..."
Why does this remind me of that famous phrase... "I'll pull out, I promise."?
Perhaps it because both are uttered as promises prior to getting screwed? Hmmm. Well, I'm not about to do that. The title of this post is what the director keeps mumbling when it's time to talk abut paying me. At this point, I have pitched the story to him, leaving him with nothing but a vague memory of the story. (I took the advice of Craig Mazin, et al, and did NOT leave him with anything written.) Now, however, he is asking for a written treatment... which he will then use to "sell" the story to the investors that he has lined up. Good deal for him. Not so good for me, as he's asking for "free" work.
He knows that I have never dealt with this kind of thing before, I've been honest with him about it. What he doesn't know is that one of my former remodeling clients is an entertainment attorney, based here in Atlanta. He also doesn't know that I am calling my former client tomorrow and asking him to either recommend an attorney to me in regards to this or represent me. I want an option for the treatment, along with a guarantee that I will write the screenplay if the treatment sells, specific dollar numbers for the treatment, (part of it can be paid upon securing financing, I'm not unreasonable) and a specific percentage of the budget for the script and the dollar amounts for ONE re-write. I have printed out the guideline for "indie" films from the WGA's site and will ask my attorney (whomever they may be) to see that my agreement with this producer/director is in line with those guidelines.
I may be inexperienced when it comes to this kind of stuff, but I'm NOT stupid. Nor am I willing to work for free. If any of you know of an attorney who can handle this for me, feel free to drop me a line. I'm not married to my former client as my attorney, I don't even know if he reps writers... but I'm damn sure gonna ask! Thanks!