Friday, July 24, 2009

A thin line between cash-strapped and low-balling...

Sometimes independent film business skirts some serious legal issues. Indies are the "Wild Wild West" of legitimate art, and often an indie is lovechild of anti-Hollywood sentiment and cinephiliac passion. However, one of the biggest mistakes any filmmaker can make is a failure to cover one's ass. That's where legal advice comes in.
On Film Independent's column, Legal Ease, attorneys Matt Galsor and Jesse Saivar tackle legal issues that make plague the average indie filmmaker. One issue being, of course, compensation.
This particular question has to deal with screenwriter compensation (which are usually set by WGA, mind you). Now, many filmmakers just write their own projects, but there are some among us who prefer to have someone write while we manage.
Filmmakers do not have much cash to work with, but they have to be careful not to short-change anyone working on their project. After all, such things can ruin potential business relationships. Filmmaking is still a small world.
Part of the question:
How much does the screenwriter get once the screenwriter agrees and starts working with the creator? Is there a percentage range I should consider before the screenwriter signs a non-disclosure agreement?
Happy Filmmaking!

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