jeffsoesbe (jeffsoesbe) wrote,

need some HELP from writers on rights and story adaptations

[This is a question for the LJ writerly-hive-mind about rights-related things for stories.]

A while back, I blogged about how a couple filmmakers in San Francisco wanted to do a short film based on my story "Apologies All Around". In summary, we talked about it on the phone, agreed that the direction they were going in their script was more of a "Based On" or "Adapted From" situation. They said they'd send me some things to sign but never did.

Now, I recently got an email from a student filmmaker at Columbia College in Chicago. She would like to option the story ("Apologies") and adapt it into a script as part of a pool of scripts for the filmmaking class. The class would then choose which scripts to film.

The interesting part of this situation is that Columbia College would "own the rights" (to the script adaptation, I assume, but I should clarify this) for two cycles which is 24 months.

So I'm not too sure what to do in this situation, as in theory there is a verbal agreement with the first set of filmmakers to do an adaptation, yet there is not a written agreement. The second set of filmmakers is also looking for some agreement to do an adaptation. And I want to do the right and honest thing and not mess with anyone or anything.

Of course, many works of fiction have been adapted into films/shows/plays multiple times so am I just fine with allowing both groups to do an adaptation? Or should I let one group have exclusivity?

Any help or thoughts or references anyone can give with respect to the whole situation would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance.
Tags: apologies all around, writing

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