Shopping agreements also give the screenwriter more participation in their project. The authors have contributions to fix on talent, production companies and distributors and the financing conditions to accept. However, make sure you have too many tools on board, as they may not contribute to the production of your project. In some cases, they can also stand in the way if your investments are not sufficiently bankable. Shopping agreements give writers more control over their rights. In the option agreement, the producer is given an exclusive option to acquire the drama rights to the book (i.e. film and film rights) during the option period. This means that the manufacturer has exclusive control over these rights and cannot be circumvented during the option period (by anyone). However, a purchase agreement allows the author to retain full control and ownership of the dramatic rights.
The manufacturer can only purchase the project from selected buyers. As discussed above, there are drawbacks and benefits for both purchase contracts and option agreements for each party. There is no one-time answer to the type of agreements that are preferable. While a purchase agreement often seems attractive because of its simplicity and the desire of the parties to “receive something in writing,” it can cause significant and unforeseen inconvenience to an owner or producer if the differences between the agreements are not properly taken into account. However, a purchase agreement may be more advantageous for an owner if the property gains heat and generates interest after being purchased. In the absence of a pre-negotiated purchase price related to the property, as in the case of an option contract, an owner is free, as part of a purchase agreement, to negotiate a purchase price directly with the buyer and take advantage of the upward trend, including possible bidding wars. But the opposite also applies. For example, a screenwriter could enter into a purchase agreement for a well-written screenplay with commercial potential, but a film with a similar premise will be released shortly after and become a cash register bomb. Film and television trends are hesitant, the script can suddenly become dead in the water, without interested buyers re-breeding because of the risk of the same failure. The owner would be missing all the revenue he would otherwise have received if he had entered into an option contract. Unlike an option contract, the shopping contract does not confer exclusive rights to a copyright and is only a service contract.
Therefore, it can be verbal or written. For this reason, some producers and authors are tempted to enter into an oral purchase agreement to keep things “friendly” and simple between them and avoid legal fees. It`s almost always a mistake. The fugitiveity of an oral agreement has never been better expressed than in Samuel Goldwyn`s famous statement: “An oral contract is not worth the paper on which it is written.” As friendships can cool and memories may fail, the purchase agreement should always be written and signed by both parties. Under a purchase agreement, an owner generally has more control over the property and a possible sale to a buyer than on an option agreement.