Test Your Screenwriting I.Q. (Pt. 3)

True or False

1. Entertainment attorneys work only on an hourly basis.
False. You can negotiate with them to take 5% to 10% of the deal.

2. Writers who sue a studio or production company for theft of their material generally win their lawsuits.
False. It’s a costly uphill battle that writers almost always lose.

3. It’s unethical for a production company or studio executive to ask a Writers Guild member to make changes to a script without payment.
True. That violates the Writers Guild agreement.

4. The length of spec screenplays should be around 120 pages.
False. Spec screenplays are now 90 to 100 pages in length.

5. It’s unethical to send out your material to multiple production companies and agents at the same time.
False. Multiple submissions are necessary for writers to try and get their material read. If asked, you can mention that your material has been sent to a few places.

6. Scripts can only be sold to signatory companies of the Writers Guild in order to qualify for membership.
True. You cannot sell your screenplay to a friend to gain admittance into the Writers Guild. Contact the Writers Guild to verify who is a signatory.

7. If you register your script with the Writers Guild and claim theft of material, the Guild will represent you in court.
True. You’ll have to get an entertainment attorney to verify your claim and the Guild will then back you up in your case.

8. Your logline should be a summary of what happens in Acts One, Two and Three.
False. Your logline is the premise or the setup of your story, not what what happens in your three acts.

9. It’s harder to sell ideas now, than it was ten years ago.
True. There is much less development money now than in the past. Producers and studios prefer screenplays to ideas and treatments.

10. A hook is a detail that’s added to a logline that makes an over-pitched subject original.
True.

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4 thoughts on “Test Your Screenwriting I.Q. (Pt. 3)

  1. Ginger Sugar Blymyer

    Thanks for your column. We are developing a pilot presentation. It is an exciting way to be able to present an idea along with the outline. I wonder when it is a proper time to present this to an actor I would love to have in the series. I think it would be easier to sell if an actor is associated with the story.

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