Re: [screenwriters-261] Question re: screenwriting credit

From: Kathy
Sent on: Saturday, November 3, 2012 12:17 PM
Would you want someone you didn't know go into your home and live for a couple days, then leave you a Thank you note?   Even if they did all your laundry & dishes & fixed everything broken in your home?
 
The plot, the characters of the story belong to the writer.  They are the writer's property. 
 
If you are going to adapt a living person's work, or one that has a copyright/ownership, you should have permission before proceeding.  
 
If you are just using it as a writing exercise, send it to the writer (obscure or not) and ask what they think of your adaptation of their story. 
 
Maybe the prospect of working with someone to adapt it, or giving you permission to film it, would excite them.   If it does not, or if they have sold the rights to someone else, you learn a lesson many others have had to learn with the added expense of lawyers.
 
Kathryn G. McCarty
kgmccarty.com

Artistic Director, Galatean Players Ensemble Theatre
Contra Costa College, Drama Professor

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"The difference between finding the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and lightning bug" Mark Twain
 
In a message dated 11/3/[masked]:10:25 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, [address removed] writes:
Why would it make a difference?
I have already written it... would I just tell them I haven't?

This short story is so obscure, I don't actually anticipate much of a problem (who knows though, of course)...

Lee


On Sat, Nov 3, 2012 at 12:07 PM, steve hovland <[address removed]> wrote:
You should get the rights before you do it.
 
If you write first and try for rights later you will have problems.
 
I thought about doing adaptations but getting rights is such a pain I decided to learn how to do my own stories.
 
That can be done- Truby, McKee, others.
 
Steve


From: [address removed] [mailto:[address removed]] On Behalf Of Eric
Sent: Friday, November 02,[masked]:45 PM
To: [address removed]
Subject: Re: [screenwriters-261] Question re: screenwriting credit

What do you plan to do with this?

-Make it into a short: to show in festivals?

-Make it into a feature: and try and sell it to a distributor?

It makes a big difference how you intend to show it and if you plan to make money off of it or not.

Lawyers are expensive and not a cost that shows up on the screen.

On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 8:31 PM, Lee <[address removed]> wrote:
I recently finished up writing a short screenplay. The screenplay is an adaption from a short story written by someone I don't know.

Right now, I have the credit as "Written by Lee Stokes, adapted from a Story by Book Writer".

Which if it was a straight forward adaptation, I would move ahead with.
HOWEVER, the truth is that as I wrote the screenplay, I realized that I hated the ending in the book.
I liked the characters, the setup, and most of the story, but when the payoff came, I pretty much hated it.
As the screenplay is now, I'd say like 2/3 or 3/4 of the story is the authors, but the final piece is wholly mine. I mean, my ending is nothing like his, nor based in any way on his original ending.

So two questions:
1. how do I credit the writing?
2. how do I broach the situation to the author when the time comes to try to obtain rights?

Any thoughts, insights or tips appreciated. If whatever I wrote isn't clear, I am willing to try and explain further.

Lee

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*Mattina Presto Luce (2010)*
Full Movie: *http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esm6hzwk1xY*
IMDB Page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1777594/combined
*LooseCharm Offers*






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