I am considering a JV with a fellow filmmaker, and his attorney wants us to sign a non-disclosure statement before they read my script. Anyone have a generic non-disclosure statement I can use as a template?
05-24-2006, 06:08 PM
05-24-2006, 08:25 PM
Well, that was a bust. It has nothing to do with being an employee for a company and a company idea.
05-24-2006, 09:55 PM
you're a writer, change the wording.. use it as a guide line
use this as a guideline:
you should never use anything canned.. you should always customize documents for your situation.
05-24-2006, 10:02 PM
just a quick google. I didn't go much deeper.
05-24-2006, 10:32 PM
I did the google first, but found nothing worth using. Fortunately I had another filmmaker send a good template.
I am a writer, but not a lawyer.
05-24-2006, 11:55 PM
good, glad you found something that worked for you.
05-25-2006, 08:33 AM
Funny thing about the SonnyBoo example; It's in pdf form, which cannot be changed due to the lack of the writing software for Adobe Acrobat.
The SonnyBoo example is a good one, but it also is used for a "writer to producer" contract, not a joint venture, so we went to his lawyer for a mutual non-disclosure statement. He had a boilerplate one we could adapt easily.
I didn't mean to sound ungrateful. I knew that any too generic statement would be just as worthless as signing nothing. When it comes to adapting or changing something not really very close to legalese, you ask for trouble.
The funny thing about this is that the other filmmaker/producer (Keith) and I don't feel the need to sign anything; just a Texas handshake between us is more binding. But since his attorney insisted, we are signing it just for the lawyer's sake and to keep the peace. No sense starting off on the wrong foot.
Producing is paperwork heavy, so this is just the start of a long paper trail.
Thank you all for your help.
05-25-2006, 10:29 AM
Actually, you SHOULD have a contract with your partner. You can ask SonnyBoo about that one. You never know what the future may hold and if you and your partner part ways, he could take the film, or at least stop you from using/showing/anything it.
And yes, when you're making a deal with the lawyer it has to be all spelled out. I'm making a proposal to one now.. every i dotted and t crossed.
05-25-2006, 12:20 PM
If Keith and I do JV, we will sign a contract as such. This particular non-disclosure statement is so he can read my two scripts and protects both him and me about copyright issues. If he likes the scripts and agrees to do a joint venture with me, he will be one of the producers and bring in his investors to fund the project. He also has plans to expand his production company in the future to attract writer/directors like me and we will then entertain the next step in partnerships, which will again require more paperwork.
As much as I hate paperwork, it is a necessary requirement for business communications and must be fair to all up front to eliminate any misunderstandings in the future.
05-25-2006, 07:51 PM
wouldn't a writer's guild registration cover that?
05-25-2006, 10:36 PM
Not really. In the past, some studios would read a script and call in the writer to a discussion of "we are already in development for a project like that...what else have you got?" Sometimes they are fishing and sometimes they see if they can get away with a good idea and them hire their staff writers with a concenpt "the producer came upwith." Yeah. Right.
In order for the producers to protect themselves from writers who might file lawsuits and screw up distribution, thier attorneys make everyone sign non-disclosure statements. Theft doesn't occur as much as it used to, but there is still the possiblity.
I don't bother with the Writer's Guild registration anymore. Just a check off to the Copyright Office so I can put the "Copyright by the U.S.Copyright Office" on the title page.