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					development agreements

       Therese Oppermann
  introduction entertainment law
    METKA, University of Oulu
           what is development
• from the idea
      to the first day of pre-production

•   obtaining the rights in the underlying work
•   creating a treatment
•   preparing a first draft of the script
•   preparing a budget
•   investigating locations
•   discussions with agents
•   preliminary screen tests
              (c) Therese Oppermann   METKA, University of Oulu
      who funds development
• studios
• production companies
• government development agencies

and also
• the writer
• the producer
you aren’t taking a director to lunch
you are developing – keep the receipt

           (c) Therese Oppermann   METKA, University of Oulu
  what are the financier’s risks
• the film is never made
• the budget is not big enough to reimburse
  development expenses
• the film is made with a huge budget…but
  no-one bothered to tell the financier
• the money is spent on a few expensive
  screen tests
• the money is spent on the producer’s
  holiday
          (c) Therese Oppermann   METKA, University of Oulu
     development is very risky
• a contract to try and manage the risk

• a copyright interest to secure the investment
like a mortgage over your house
to make sure you pay the home loan

• a risk premium
  – 50% premium on development investment
  – above market interest on development investment
            (c) Therese Oppermann   METKA, University of Oulu
                 who are you?
• financier will require producer to be a party

financier funds the producer, not the writer

the financier will only be repaid if the film is made
the producer is the one who does the deals
the producer is the one who make sure the film
  gets made

             (c) Therese Oppermann   METKA, University of Oulu
                who are you?
• financier may require approval writer
• financier may require approval script editor

• financier may require experienced executive
  producer
• financier may require experienced script editor

just to make sure you know what you’re doing

            (c) Therese Oppermann   METKA, University of Oulu
          keep to the script!
• producer must submit a development plan
  including budget and timeline

• financier has right to approve development
  plan and any changes

• financier must comply with the
  development plan
          (c) Therese Oppermann   METKA, University of Oulu
       keep to the script! - why
• money is spent on development
    not on a holiday

• money is spent wisely
    not on a first class airticket to LA

• shows you know what you are doing
  if you can’t prepare a development plan,
       should we trust you with 20,000€?

            (c) Therese Oppermann   METKA, University of Oulu
   give us a call, drop us a line
• producer must submit regular reports

• reports must explain progress relative to the
  development plan budget and timeline

• producer must submit draft scripts

• if financier requests, producer must meet with
  financier to explain progress
            (c) Therese Oppermann   METKA, University of Oulu
          give us a call - why
• ensure producer complies with agreement

• delay the next instalment until producer has
  made some progress

• warn financier that need to assist producer

• terminate agreement – its a mess

• something to put in financier’s annual report
            (c) Therese Oppermann   METKA, University of Oulu
         show me the money
  financier is repaid

• if agreement terminated because producer
  has wasted the money

• If producer sells rights to someone else

• If film is made, or similar film is made
           (c) Therese Oppermann   METKA, University of Oulu
          show me the money
financier is repaid development investment
• when terminate the contract
• when producer sells the rights
• on first drawdown
• on first day of principal photography
• from returns in accordance with the recoupment
   schedule

financier is entitled to a profit share

             (c) Therese Oppermann   METKA, University of Oulu
            copyright interest

• producer obtain rights from writer

• producer obtain rights from other contributors

• producer assign copyright share to financier

• financier will assign back when financier repaid

            (c) Therese Oppermann   METKA, University of Oulu
copyright interest – the big stick
  producer cannot do anything
  unless owns or controls all of the rights

• can’t sell project to someone else

• can’t make the film

• can’t distribute film or grant rights in film
           (c) Therese Oppermann   METKA, University of Oulu
copyright interest – the big stick

• producer must repay the financier

• producer must consult with the financier
  before it agrees to make the film




          (c) Therese Oppermann   METKA, University of Oulu
             what else do i get
• first look at financing the film

• copy of the film, posters and EPK

• tickets to premiere

• right to use excerpts in show reels

• credit on film, posters and paid ads

             (c) Therese Oppermann   METKA, University of Oulu
         what else do i get
• government development agencies
     may not need to be repaid

• may require local cast and crew used
    in development and in production
• may require local trainees used
    in development and in production

          (c) Therese Oppermann   METKA, University of Oulu

				
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posted:5/6/2012
language:English
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