This is one I wrote for free short option:
I hate to start this thread as I know I've seen it before but I just can't seem find it.
Does anyone have a 'standard' option agreement that you could share? I've a first-timer interested in optioning a short but he does not have a form.
There is an agreement below. What is means in plain language is that you get to make a film from my script for free. However, I retain ownership of the script unless at some time in the future you decide to pay me for the script and I decide to accept your offer. It is crafted in a way to allow students and new filmmakers a chance to film something at no cost for the written material. Here are the terms:
I, David Lambertson, grant (name of student or producer) permission to use my screenplay (title of script) for purposes of creating a film version of the story. No payment is required for this permission.
This permission is not intended to transfer rights to the script or otherwise create an “option” to own the script. It is simply intended is permission to film the story. This means:
• The script remains the property of David Lambertson.
• David Lambertson at his sole discretion may allow others to use the script.
• David Lambertson may sell the script at any point in the future.
• At any time, David Lambertson may submit this script to contests at his discretion and any and all proceeds from contest awards are 100% his.
Nothing in the above is intended to impede or restrict the filmmaker’s (insert name) ownership of their completed film or infringe on their rights to that product. In other words, if they (insert name) complete a film based on the free permission granted to use the script, any subsequent use, sale or option of the script by David Lambertson to any party does not infringe on (insert filmmaker’s name) use of the script for their film.
Unless otherwise indicated below, (insert name of filmmaker) is entitled to all proceeds and awards from festivals that the completed project is submitted to other than any and all awards that directly relate to writing. Those belong the David Lambertson.
David Lambertson will receive sole and full writing credit for the script and will be recognized in the credits as the sole writer on the filmed version as well as in any future marketing efforts, submittals to film festivals, IMDB profiles and all other public displays of the script or the film.
No changes or modifications to the script will in any way create a co-writer credit. David Lambertson is the sole writer.
The filmmaker (insert name here) agrees to complete the film within (indicate time frame) of receiving this permission and will provide David Lambertson access to the completed project through either a hard copy (DVD) version or a link to a web-site hosting the film.
The filmmaker (insert name) may at any time within (insert timeframe) tender an offer to David Lambertson to option or purchase the rights to this script. Whether to accept such an offer will be at the sole discretion of David Lambertson.
Should the film not be completed within (insert timeframe) the permission to use the script is revoked. AND THIS IS ONE I WROTE FOR PURCHASING A SHORT SCRIPT
AGREEMENT FOR THE SCRIPT: “INSERT TITLE ”
This agreement is between David Lambertson (“Writer”) and INSERT NAME (“Filmmaker”) regarding the script: “INSERT TITLE.”
The effective date of the Agreement is INSERT DATE
The Writer understands that it is the Filmmaker’s intent to produce a film and, if possible, obtain exclusive ownership rights to the script. The Writer is not responsible for any parties that may have used this script without his permission.
Towards that end, upon consummation of this agreement, the Writer agrees not to enter into any options with any other parties from this date forward and further agrees to sell the script on an exclusive basis to the filmmaker.
• David Lambertson will receive sole and full writing credit for the script and will be recognized in the credits as the sole writer on the filmed version as well as in any future marketing efforts, submittals to film festivals, IMDB profiles and all other public displays of the script or the film.
• No changes or modifications to the script will in any way create a co-writer credit. David Lambertson is the sole writer.
FILMAKER’S RIGHTS AND WRITER COMPENSATION
The Filmmaker has permission to produce a film based on the script.
No one else from the date of this agreement forward except for cases of default (see below) will be granted permission to use the script.
The Writer agrees to sell the script for $XXXX to the Filmmaker at which time the Filmmaker will have exclusive rights to the script.
Payment is due to the Writer no later than three months from the date of this agreement. If not received by then, the agreement is void.
The Filmmaker will be entitled to 100% of all awards related to the film, other than awards exclusively for writing.
The Writer will be entitled to 50% of all awards from festivals that are exclusively related to writing. The film maker will receive 50% of any such awards.
The Filmmaker agrees to complete the film within one year of the date of this agreement and will provide The Writer access to the completed project through either a hard copy (DVD) version or a link to a web-site hosting the film.
Unless otherwise extended by the Writer, should the film not be completed by INSERT DATE the permission to use the script is revoked. This may be waived, and the time period extended based on both the approval of the filmmaker and the writer.
A third approach is a paid option for a short - easy to modify either of the above to meet that need.
Hope this helps