The rough drafts are done, you’re out of coffee, and you probably never want to stare at a computer again... Sounds like you’ve officially finished a screenplay! Now what?
It might be tempting to get your script out into the world the second it’s done, but there are two crucial AF steps you don’t want to mess up so that you can turn your words into the production of your dreams.
Before we launched our production company, both of us went to law school and are basically #ContractQueens. If you have any questions after reading the below, feel free to give us a shout!
Once your script is completed, don’t waste any time in getting it registered with the US Copyrights Office. It can feel like an eternity to get the certification back (literally six months or more!), but it is a 100% worth it step to protect your work.
And, we’re not going to sugarcoat it, this shit can be confusing! To help you get it right the first time, we recommend checking out this amazing post from Copyrights and Wrongs that breaks down each step in detail.
As your project takes shape and you are starting to sign agreements, make sure that your rights cover every format/medium of the project "throughout the universe.” Obviously you’ve gotta be prepared for when your project is shown on Mars!...
Joking aside, we learned to use this particular language ihis in law school because as technology changes, you still want to retain all rights to your work. For example, any contract that applied exclusively to VHS got into major hot water once DVDs rolled around. Moral of the story, Mars or not, be prepared to protect your baby.
Good luck with your project—we’re rooting for you!