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These days, authors have a variety of ways to monetize their work. In addition to publishing, optioning your work for adaptation for film or TV production is another way to present your work—and another area where your rights need to be protected.

Our legal staff is seeing more film and TV option agreements these days, and our model contract is intended to educate authors about common terms, their rights, and what they can and should negotiate.  

How to Use the Model Film and TV Option Contract 

The Model Film and TV Option Contract contains samples of the clauses or provisions authors are likely to encounter in an agreement optioning their work for film or TV adaptation, from the property being optioned (which can include the characters and themes contained in the work) to when an author is entitled to receive bonus compensation. Every clause is accompanied by a commentary section that explains what the clause does and how you might improve the language in your own contract.  

We have attempted to be realistic in drafting these provisions, but undoubtedly you will find that some of our recommendations differ from the language in some film and TV option agreements. Our advice is that you identify the provisions that are most important to you and concentrate on them. 

The Model Film and TV Option Contract enables you to negotiate your publishing contract with knowledge and confidence. Remember, the terms you accept will govern your relationship with the producer for years after your contract is signed. 

Please note that while the model contract serves as a sample template, it may not address every situation for every author, nor should it be construed as legal advice. 

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Regular and associate members can request a free review of their publishing agreement by our expert legal staff. Get started today!