Author Topic: Wondered about Film Plays  (Read 7966 times)

Offline ed

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Wondered about Film Plays
« on: July 09, 2008, 01:03:19 AM »
I was chatting to a guy in Hollywood  this year who writes screenplays and he says that one of the biggest things that tends to happens is peoples screenplays are turned down but then stolen ( meaning the idea/story is taken )
by the very people who it was submitted too. This way they end up with a killer movie and dont have to pay the screenplay writer

Anyone come across that happening?

Offline robertmblevins

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Re: Wondered about Film Plays
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2008, 02:08:13 AM »
Copyright infringement is a serious matter, and is easily taken to court. Most film production companies won't go near a script they suspect is plagiarized. Same with publishing companies, if they think a book is 'not kosher'.

REALITY CHECK: If someone steals your script, makes a film out of it, and you can prove you wrote it first, you are going to get a big payday in court. If in doubt, register the screenplay with the Copyright Office.

midnightcandle

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Re: Wondered about Film Plays
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2008, 02:14:37 AM »
Yes. My mate submitted a synopsis about six years ago and the film came out 2 months ago - CLEANER starring Ed Harris. He submitted the synopsis on a forum for feedback. Thats why I am not going to put any more of my scripts on any forum.

Offline ma100

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Re: Wondered about Film Plays
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2008, 03:23:46 AM »
 Scary stuff, but what happens to people like me,  who need advice on script writing?

midnightcandle

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Re: Wondered about Film Plays
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2008, 04:07:31 AM »
I would pm someone mairi. Me or Paulw. I'm always willing to help as far as i can. Keep reading scripts as well and see how great films were tackled. www.sfy has about 500 screenplays to read.

Offline robertmblevins

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Re: Wondered about Film Plays
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2008, 01:22:41 AM »
Midnight Candle says, in part:

Quote
'Yes. My mate submitted a synopsis about six years ago and the film came out 2 months ago - CLEANER starring Ed Harris. He submitted the synopsis on a forum for feedback.'

The big film websites all have disclaimers about this if you look. NEVER NEVER submit your ideas to a forum run by a film production company or a studio's website! The disclaimer says if you do, they can take your idea without further compensation. Only amateurs do this.

Finish writing the script or screenplay, and then either submit it yourself, or find an agent. This way your idea is protected!

midnightcandle

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Re: Wondered about Film Plays
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2008, 02:13:37 AM »
Midnight Candle says, in part:

The big film websites all have disclaimers about this if you look. NEVER NEVER submit your ideas to a forum run by a film production company or a studio's website! The disclaimer says if you do, they can take your idea without further compensation. Only amateurs do this.

Finish writing the script or screenplay, and then either submit it yourself, or find an agent. This way your idea is protected!
Listen to this. Good advice

Offline lildragon

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Re: Wondered about Film Plays
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2008, 11:19:24 AM »
ONE of the best things YOU can do when you get set to submit your screenplay. Is submit to both WGA East or West the price is like 10 - 30 dollars. And THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS which is a guaranteed 30 dollar out of pocket expense per screenplay. So when you do it MAKE SURE IT IS YOUR FINAL PRODUCT that you are most happy with.

It is guaranteed sure fire way to protect your scripts from copyright infringement.  :)

Offline CoreyBlake

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Re: Wondered about Film Plays
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2008, 05:19:23 PM »
I have a bit of a differing opinion here.  I have worked in Hollywood. The typical script takes about ten years to bring to the screen. Who really wants to spend ten years of their life on something built on a stolen premise. Professionals do not steal ideas. What you have to understand is that there are 6 billion people ont he planet and nearly all of them have an idea for a screenplay. Most ideas are not one person's.  The come about through what we are all being fed in the media and through advertising. We are bombarded by all of the same info and so ideas are bound to be repeated. You cannot allow your fear of being stolen from to hijack opportunities.

That being said...register your script with the WGA.  That protects it in LA and in NY.  Also register it with www.copyright.gov.  ONLY if you register it for copyright will you be eligible to claim damages.  So this is important. At the same time, I would not post your material online, however, i would not be afraid to send it to people one on one.

So be careful, but not crazy to the point of shooting yourself in the foot.

Please consider that I am not an attorney, so none of the above should be misconstrued as advice, it is merely opinion. Research your options further and then make choices you feel are best for you and your material.
Best of luck,
Corey 
Corey Blake
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Writers of the Round Table Inc.
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Offline Neo2008

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Re: Wondered about Film Plays
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2008, 01:03:47 PM »
You can't copyright an idea.  If you have written a great script it would be silly for someone to steal it, since great scripts are rare.  They would just pay you for it.  Now, people online or writer groups may steal your ideas or scenes, but if they can't write it does not matter, because no one will buy it anyway.  I think if you want training the best thing to do is take a few courses.  People on here know that I think John Truby's classes are the best.  If you want advice then maybe join a one on one workshop.  John Truby has such a workshop and Michael Hauge does as well.  You may also want to enroll in the Hollywood Scriptwriting Ins.  It is a home study course. 

Offline Stinger

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Re: Wondered about Film Plays
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2008, 08:21:46 AM »
Great stuff I have seen here and as a matter of fact I have in the past submitted a story synop. to an agency and well I got this reading request but the contract was written in such a way that the agency,(you know that legal stuff is really confusing unless you take your time to read the thing over and over), actually suggests that they have a right to use your work without any obligation should: your work not be new or novel or should bits of it be in a public domain etc etc. But again Ed, hollywood insiders say its useless to even worry about copyright theft because should the really big producers steal your idea there's nothing you can do about it. So best thing to do is: copyright the work submit it and quit worrying.

Offline checksixproductions

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Re: Wondered about Film Plays
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2009, 07:58:43 AM »
Copyright is the cure to paranoia.  Either with the Library of Congress which I do, or the Writer's Guild of America www.wga.org.  Even if you alter your screenplay no one can derive from it without your permission.

That being said.  If you have a novel idea and a lousy screenplay, yes, someone could take that idea and write a really good screenplay around it.  Unfortunately, ideas can not be copyrighted, like dinosaurs come back to life from genetic advances, Jurassic Park stole from Land of the Lost by Jules Verne dated, what 1800's?.  Or the hero wins the girl after defeating the villian, any movie, any story, notably pre-Bible, the Odyssey. 

As a screenplay writer, your job is to tell the story.  A cool idea does not make a movie.  Free exchange of your ideas in forums like this will make you into a better screenplay writer and open you to collaboration from everyone in the forum. 

As an indie producer/director/director of photography/screenplay writer/editor/special effects editor/musician/ASCAP composer/musical engineer, when I encounter a novel idea, I give credit for the story idea.  Fleshing out the story idea is the majority of the work, but you always give credit where it is due, why wouldn't you?  The concept idea guy doesn't get much, I work for free doing my own movies so maybe I am not a good reference, but I still give credit and free food if you work on my movie.

Write and share, that is the way to greatness or at least to being at peace with your art.

A novel idea is great, but it is just an idea.  I'm sure there are idea think tanks if all you do are ideas and not stories.  Look into.  However, if your bag is storytelling, work on the both the craft and the ideas.  Leave the paranoia behind.

Most will give you credit for the idea, based on a story by {you}.  However the real work is in the finished writing, then the herculean effort to produce the movie--"All movies are result of hard work and a few miracles."  Claude LeLouche "A Man and A Woman" Academy Award Best Foreign Film, Academy Award Best Foreign Actress Anouk Aimee, Gran Prix Catholic Film Commission 1966. 

Hope it helps, heals, Check.
Visit my youtube channel:  www.youtube.com/user/checksixproductions
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Offline Lin Robinson

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Re: Wondered about Film Plays
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2009, 12:02:36 AM »
The statement that this is "the biggest thing that happens" is a gross exaggeration.
The chances are slim that anybody will steal your script.