For those of you who might not know my award wining screenplay Faith has been optioned by Starfront Pictures Ltd and Johnny Kevorkian, director of the acclaimed British horror The Disappeared. But what does an option mean exactly?
The 'option' means Johnny has taken out the exclusive right to develop the project for a set period of time. When he's happy with the screenplay and he's secured financing he can exercise the option and take the project into production. However, an option is no guarantee the screenplay will reach the production stage. There are many factors that can contribute to the option being dropped, or simply lapsing. Johnny might not be happy with the results of the rewrites, or the project might fail to secure financing for example.
So the hard work doesn't stop when you get an option. In reality it's only just beginning. In the next few weeks I'll be given notes from Johnny with which to rewrite the screenplay and I'll have to work hard to deliver a draft he wants to take forward. I can't be complacent and I can't be precious about my screenplay. I have to be flexible enough to incorporate Johnny's ideas with my own and produce something we are both happy with.
It's also worth mentioning my screenplay isn't the only one Johnny has optioned. He's a director looking for his next project so it makes good business sense to option at the very least a couple of screenplays that interest him, so if one project falls through he's not left empty handed, with the need to start again from scratch.