A Brief Introduction About the Shopping Agreement
You must have come across the fact that TV and motion pictures are moving towards becoming formal. The screenplay writers always worry about their work getting misused by someone without paying them. The stories which are written by waking up at night can’t be risked, and that’s why shopping agreement is there in the film industry.
The screenplay writers can sell their story to a producer or studio for a particular time period with the help of a legal contract, which is known as a shopping agreement. In this agreement, the writer is able to get 100% of the ownership of all the rights until he/she enters the development agreement with the producer.
Who Takes a Shopping Agreement?
This agreement is taken by the screenplay writer with the producer or studio who wants to purchase the rights of the screenplay for a particular period without paying money. The producer provides faith to the writer to get developmental work for the screenplay within a short time period, and this will generate financers soon.
This agreement is not something permanent, but it can be flexible as per the needs. It allows a producer to introduce a particular project to the partner and then gain its popularity in the market within a given time period. It has a time period of around six to eight months. The producer can definitely renew it, but the screenplay writer has the right to cancel it when the first term has been ended.
Purpose of the Shopping Agreement
When screenplay writers have to deal with unproven producers, then this agreement can be the best option. If you find an agreement that doesn’t meet your demands, then you have all the right to reject it because you are the provider of screenplay here. This agreement is a must for every writer out there who wants to protect his/her rights. This isn’t an option but a responsibility of every writer. In this agreement, the producer doesn’t have to spend limited funds, but he needs to promise faith efforts to provide a development deal to the writer soon.
Contents of the Shopping Agreement
It is necessary to add a clause that can prevent multiple parties to approach the same talent and funding sources for a similar project. The total agreement reputation depends upon the quality of set up and film reputation.
In this agreement, the producer isn’t bounded to pay the amount if he/she hasn’t a lot of funds, but it is necessary for the producer to provide faith to the writer about assuring development project soon by collecting talent and financers before the given term.
The term is shorter because the payment isn’t added to this agreement. The producer doesn’t have any right to extend the term period in this agreement because there is no payment involved here.
This agreement benefits the writer, but it can be a great pitfall for the studio and producers. That’s why they need to deal with the financers and talent before the time period ends.
[ Also Read: Screenplay Option Agreement ]
How to Draft the Shopping Agreement?
You can check for the best shopping agreement template with which it can be easy for you to draft an agreement without any issues. Although many screenplay writers can do this task on their own, if you love only creative writing, then it will be best to consult your lawyer. If you have a friend who has the legal knowledge, then there won’t be any benefit in wasting fee on a lawyer for this little task. You just need to focus on the time period and factors like the development of screenplay in a particular project. Payment isn’t involved in this agreement, and that’s why one needs to make extra efforts for it.
If you want to do any kind of negotiations about the time period of payment, then it should be done before the agreement has been made. You can try your best to convince the producer or the studio to increase your payment. After signing the agreement, there is no room left for improvements until the first term is over.
Benefits and Drawbacks of the Shopping Agreement
The shopping contract helps the screenwriter to stay involved in his/her project. Make sure that you don’t have many attachments on a board about financing and distributors. If you have too many attachments, it will hinder your own progress. It helps the writer to get a little bit of compensation. The producer should also have a plan of approaching the talent and financiers to avoid any time period issues later.
These agreements are different from option agreements because these can be exclusive and non-exclusive both. The screenwriter is able to maximize the chances of collecting funding for the script of the movie, and he/she doesn’t have to stay bound to a particular studio or producer.
Whenever you are looking forward to preparing a shopping agreement, then you should look for a good shopping agreement template so that it can be possible for you to add all the necessary clauses in it. It is quite important to protect your work from getting into risk, and it can be possible if you will allow the producer to sign the agreement with you.
This agreement is beneficial for both screenplay writers and producers who can’t gather funds instantly for the screenplays. If the producer is allowed to add any material in the property during the term, then the writer can get into an issue. That’s why agreement needs to be signed with full carefulness(1).