STAR TREK: a series treatment starring APRIL and COLT

Discussion in 'Future of Trek' started by zekkie, Jun 1, 2013.

  1. SeerSGB

    SeerSGB Admiral Admiral

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    Here's a question posed to me many a moon ago: Do you have the legal right to file a treatment/concept with the WGA using CBS's intellectual properties? The argument being that since you used their intellectual properties in a registered work that you are laying copyright claim too, that you are in a roundabout fashion, claiming to have a stake in their copyright. Which could be viewed as a violation of their copyright; seeing as your were not employed to create the work.

    Same sort of legal gray area as fanfilm and fanfiction.

    Yeppers. Some of the same claims to, IRC.
     
  2. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

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    I appreciate that. But I think you should address the criticisms rather than get on the defensive. Assume that the criticisms have value.
     
  3. zekkie

    zekkie Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    though i'm not produced, i'm not a novice, re: 1 & 2.
    i'm not gonna offer any more of my personal resume, per your request, but i'm quite prepared in the 'sections about business'. believe it or don't believe it, but i have plenty of industry friends at every stage of the cinematic heirachy, and strong advisors (and representation lined up and ready)

    i have never pitched a script, but i have yet to try. but i've been a lobbyist, and i can study an path and find my way to my goals...and it's been a 'new years goal' of mine to get back to fiction writing, and elaborate upon ideas i've had in the hopper over the past 15-20 years.

    i'm making the effort to publish my stories (non-Trek and Trek) and story ideas that i've written in the past, by covering some of the allegorical essay material written, and knowledge i've accumulated awareness of in my travels.

    i know the traditional approach, and i scoff it, in some respect.

    i'm working with a skillset that has shown me other avenues, and as long as i'm legally protected, i'm gonna give it a shot.

    if CBS doesn't give me the time of day, thanks for showing concern. maybe i shoulda tried it your way.

    good point about TOS/EUA. that's a key reason why i posted just the treatment. i'm not gonna scatter a script to the wind.
     
  4. SeerSGB

    SeerSGB Admiral Admiral

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    If he thinks this is bad, imagine what he'd think of the stuff viewers and professional critics would say. We might be blunt, but we're not as bad as bad can get--especially towards an a failing Star Trek show. See the crap JJ Abrams gets? That's nothing compared to what Braga and Berman went through in their tenure.
     
  5. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, I think I can unknot some of that... Registering with the WGA is not registering copyright.

    Copyright can only be registered with the Copyright office. And I don't think they would give you a copyright on a treatment for Star Trek, as CBS/Paramount control all of that.

    Registering with the WGA is basically saying this draft was done at this point in time. There's no claim of copyright.

    ALSO: when you sell something to a network or a studio, they buy the copyright. It's their property totally. They pay you lots of cash for it, but, it's theirs to do as they see fit. So, then they could register THAT at the copyright office.
     
  6. zekkie

    zekkie Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    they do, and that's a great point,
    but it's about the tone of some responses.

    (realizing this is the same microcosm that exhibits itself in other fora)
     
  7. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Here's a bit of advice you can use: whoever told you it was a good idea to put this on the internet, fire them.
     
  8. zekkie

    zekkie Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    i'm not scared lol
    i'm asking for it.
     
  9. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, and see how you reacted in this thread...
     
  10. zekkie

    zekkie Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    nah. i think it's good advice. in fact, i think i have far less leverage in a traditional approach.
     
  11. zekkie

    zekkie Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    i've got no shame in my reactions, either.
     
  12. zekkie

    zekkie Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    quality post
     
  13. SeerSGB

    SeerSGB Admiral Admiral

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    That's what I thought. But I've heard a lot of back and forth opinion on the matter.

    Dude, even what you posted is enough for someone to lay claim to the work. Even a log in could be enough.

    The formats exist for more reasons than tradition. The formats are actually important. A mark of a professional is using the required formats for his/her market. A lot of editors or studio readers will just chuck a manuscript/script that isn't up to spec on formatting--fuck the story; if you can be assed to follow the rules of the game, you don't get to play

    At some point you're not going to be dealing with friends. In this business you will and do deal with people that couldn't be bothered to piss on you if you were on fire. You're some snot nose nobody writer trying to talk them into giving you money with promises to make them more money. You've gotta prove that you can deliver.
     
  14. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    You've created a legal minefield that CBS simply won't touch. If someone here gives you advice that you incorporate into your "series", they can sue both you and CBS for creator credits and cash.

    You doomed yourself the moment you clicked 'Submit New Thread'.
     
  15. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not saying you should. But what I and others have said, not particularly professional either. If you pitch, in the room, if they are interested, you're going to get questions, you're going to get criticisms. If you can't handle it, they aren't going to be interested in working with you.
     
  16. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Many many years ago I had a lengthy chat with the late-great Carl Sautter, a lovely man , who was nominated for several Emmys and won two Writer's Guild Awards for episodes of Moonlighting he co-wrote (the sublime The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice, and It's a Wonderful Job), and he gave me a lot of really practical advice on scriptwriting and the business side of it for which I remain thankful for to this day.

    A screenplay I was hired to rewrite was briefly attached to Alexander Witt as director and Ridley Scott as a producing partner before moving to another director (it might still happen), so I'm not unfamiliar with some aspects of the biz. The criticism I've seen here is mild compared to some of the stuff I've seen and the notes I've given/gotten.

    Frankly, I LIKE criticism because it makes me look at the work from a different perspective, often to the work's improvement. For instance, I told a producer I know about a TV series pitch I was working up, and he cut to the chase by asking, "Where's the sexy?" which may sound glib, but he was asking where the excitement is in the show. Immensely valuable.
     
  17. zekkie

    zekkie Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    my teleplays are formatted using Movie Magic 6.

    (as was this treatment, but cut and paste can be unkind to indentations, italicizations, and bold typeface)

    i never said anything about abandoning any of the pitch structure.

    i'm mentioned a couple times already, that i have multiple cover letters, synopses, a bible, etc... all in strict format.
     
  18. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's my take, just on what I know about copyright. There are a LOT of myths out there about copyright and what you need to do, etc.
     
  19. zekkie

    zekkie Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    i disagree, and feel that every approach of mine can be managed/mitigated.
     
  20. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

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    CBS legal might say otherwise.