...I took on this deal?
Here's the scoop. A production house has been offered a deal by a prominent station to produce a series on 3o minute twisted tales, pretty much like The Twilight Zone
or Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories.
They came up with a lot of their own story concepts for episodes. Then they ran out of ideas and stumbled upon Dark City, which is perfect fodder for episode material.
So I'm called to negotiate.
The working title of the series is 'Dark City', but it appears the TV station would like something more Malay. They're taking 3 episodes from the book. And this is the deal they're offering me:
1. No money for rights. I'd be credited. The reason being is they said they're working on a very tight budget, and intellectual property in Malaysia is very hard to argue anyway.
2. They're asking me to write the scripts for the 3 episodes for RM 1100 each.
3. If I refuse, they'd drop these 3 episodes and go ahead with their own ideas.
I've been talking to several people. There appears to be 2 camps of thought.
Advice from the First camp (consisting of book writers, some editors, some scriptwriters) - "It's good exposure for you. Take it. You can put it in your resume and brand your book with it.
Imagine your book (and the sequels) being printed with 'Now on TV' on the front cover. Wouldn't it be wonderful branding?"
Advice from the Second camp (consisting of some scriptwriters, some CEOs of production houses)
- "Be careful. We've got stung before. They (meaning the industry) took our concepts and gave us very little for it. Then they sold the series all around the world, and we profited nothing from it. They even took our ideas and rehashed them a little, so we cannot claim intellectual property being stolen. We understand that you want branding. It's your first time. But we can help you get in touch with other production houses we've worked with, those we are sure of. We can help you pitch to them. If you want to be a scriptwriter, they're always looking for more too.
"People in the film industry have a lot of respect for published book authors, esepcially those with bestsellers. "
So, my deadline to reply is Monday. What should I do? Should I give up this opportunity and wait till other production houses get contacted and market the Dark City series in its own right? (This affects anyone who has contributed to the 2nd book as well. You may see your works on celluloid, and you would certainly want me to get a better deal for you.)
Or should I go with this opportunity, because I (and we) may never get another one again. And the other production houses might not be interested?
Friday, April 06, 2007
...I took on this deal?