Question by Please_help: I wrote a screenplay — and an independent filmmaker is interested.?
This is all a little overwhelming because I have never been in this situation before. And what makes it even more confusing is that I’m only a teenager and I’m still in high school. I’m not a paid screenwriter, I just write screenplays for fun, and posted it online, and an independent filmmaker is interested. Yes, I am a little excited, but even more confused. He says he works for himself, not a film company, and this is his first (yes first) try at a major feature film. If he makes it, he says it will go into the independent film market for film festivals, etc. I asked him how he expected to finance it, and he says he doesn’t have lots of money, but he has equipment. I know there also is a lot of legal stuff involved too, since I’m not 18 yet. Do my parents have to get involved? He’s already asking me outright if he has permission to use it. I have no idea, should I just let him? Is there any stuff I have to think about before? Legal stuff? Copyright stuff? I don’t even know him enough to have confidence that he will go through with this. What do I do??
If you are a professional screenwriter, I would REALLY appreciate advice and information on this because honestly I have no idea how this works. Please give any and all information regarding this subject because I need to know everything about this. Thank you so much!
He says he plans on giving me all the credit. I’ve exchanged several emails with him already, and he genuinely seems interested. It doesn’t sound fake to me. I’m just wondering how he plans to finance this. He never asked me for money, he says he’d pay for it himself. There’s also legal stuff that worries me too.
He’s 40, and says he knows what he’s doing
Answer by Josh
First of all, congratulations! That’s amazing that someone is interested.
Well, I’m only 15 but If i was in your situtation, this is what I would do.
I would discuss it with my parents. It would be good to have them involved. They will understand the legal system more than yourself, i expect, and will be able to offer support and advice to you.
Don’t just give him permission. You need to sit down with your parents and discuss it with them and then discuss it with him (with your parents).
As with copyright, anything you create yourself is automatically copyrighted but you have to be careful. If you give him permission, he could go ahead and change it to suit him and completely warp your work and not give you any due credit.
What do you think? Answer below!