Tim Powers Question #13

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Tim Powers Question #13

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue May 17, 2011 9:57 am

ONBC: When OST was “optioned for adaptation” were you happy, shocked? Would love to know the details of the whole undertaking. Who came to you? How does optioning work? I get the sense an author whose work is optioned is paid to pass an idea forward without retaining any rights whatsoever about what happens to his storyline, his characters. What does that feel like?


TIM: Disney approached my agent after the first movie was released, and said that if they were to do a fourth, they'd like to buy the rights to my book for it. So they bought the option on it, which means that for a certain period of time they've got dibs on it -- they might not buy it, but I can't sell it to anybody else. The details about how much participation the original writer will have is negotiable -- in my case, I had none, but I'm a book writer, not a screenwriter, so that was okay with me. In this case, the movie can't have much to do with my book, since the movie is working with already-established characters who can't really be overlapped with mine. But even if somebody were to make a movie about one of my books directly, I don't think I'd fret about what they did with the story and characters. The book is still out there, after all.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
Wow! What a ride!

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Buster
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Re: Tim Powers Question #13

Unread postby Buster » Tue May 17, 2011 10:16 am

Let me get this straight - they optioned it, which means no one else can play with it except them, for which they give you money, right? Then what happens? If they make a movie using any part of your ideas, does that change anything? Do you get a percentage, or is your part in it done? Do you still have sovereignty over your characters for another book? Or do they get to rule their little fictional lives? Obviously these are treacherous waters, and I sincerely doubt Blackbeard would be too compliant, anyway.

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TimPowers
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Re: Tim Powers Question #13

Unread postby TimPowers » Tue May 17, 2011 7:58 pm

Hi, Buster -- Right, they give you money so that they can buy it for a stated price if they decide to, and in the meantime you can't sell it to anybody else. An option is usually for a year. If they actually buy the rights (as opposed to just optioning them), and make the movie, presumably they will use some elements from your book, or else why did they bother buying the option? I am due a small percentage of the net profits, but of course few movies ever actually make any net profits -- though I'm cautiously optimistic about "the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie, with Johnny Depp!" It may be that some option and purchase contracts include giving away the rights to your characters, but this one certainly didn't. I'm free to write another book about Blackbeard and/or the Fountain of Youth, if I should decide to!

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Theresa
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Re: Tim Powers Question #13

Unread postby Theresa » Tue May 17, 2011 11:49 pm

I am due a small percentage of the net profits, but of course few movies ever actually make any net profits

We'll do our level best to make sure you get some of those net profits, Tim! :bigwink:

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Re: Tim Powers Question #13

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed May 18, 2011 9:21 am

Thanks for the explanation, Tim. I think we just might be able to help, eh? :biggrin:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!


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