Feature script for educational purposes

Alex Whitmer

New member
A few things, including trust no one, ever, and that IMDB credits can be misleading, if not flat-out false.


Shall I PM the sordid details?


Share the script, link it, repost it, smear it across Facebook, translate it, use it line shoe closets. If time allows, pour some wine and break out the gorganzola, and have a read. Not my best work, but I do like it. And I gave it 1000%.

Alex Whitmer

New member
I was 'hired' in late 2008 to write a feature based on a few specific historical facts that took place in 1860's Europe. I finished the bulk of the writing after a year, and spent the next two fine-tuning, double-checking historical events, doing a ton of research about what was being read in that time, who was the talked-about painter, how they bathed - if at all - what they wore, how they spoke. Where did they buy their cigarettes, what were common insults, how were messages delivered over long and short distances, and on and on and on. To make sure the story had an authentic backdrop took more time than writing the 'story' itself. But I enjoyed it. A lot. I actually like writing historical drama.

Anyways, the deal was I would be paid when funding was locked. Funding did come at the end of 2011, but I was not paid. And I waited and waited and waited. My last words with my 'employer' were 'Thanks for the script, we'll make sure you are credited so you can get more work'. Months went by in hopes I would be paid, and I finally threatened to shop the script to recoup my investment. Up pops an IMDB listing with no credit. They stole the script.

I contacted the producers and was able to prove I was the writer (and they have a contract that states I am the writer) so I was added as first writer. A bit later I was bumped to second, and yes it does matter. Would the first PA or DA want to listed as second? Or the costume designer listed as asst.? Of course not. We are credited for what we do. Supposedly. And these credits are gold. They are our calling card.

Well, seems things got ugly and the production was canceled in post. This is such a fricken' shame. All that work by all those people tossed in the trash with nary a blink. Word on the street was that the performance were world class.

Anyways, several months later I got curious and went looking for any new tidbits about the film - just in case and holding out hope things would gear up again. I found a new listing on FB with new writers listed. New director, new producer, same film name and premise. That was abandoned a few months later for a new listing on FB under a new name and a familiar participant attached. In other words, it would appear the same screenplay has been stolen twice. I could be wrong. Could be they are writing it from scratch, using the same few bits of historical info I started with, and not using a single word or comma of my work.

Sure. Could be.

This is just such a shitty situation. I really trusted them, had a good relationship, gave 1000% percent to the project - to the point I was eating out of a dumpster because I passed on all other work because I so believed in this project, and trusted the payoff was there. It would be worth every rotting apple and piece of slimy ham. I'm not joking.

Lessons? Save everything!! Every email, record every phone call, keep every draft, list any names or refs they mention. DO NOT rely on a contract or a promise or any kind of agreement. A good attack lawyer will make quick work of it. It means next to nothing on its own. Registered or not. Back it up with EVERYTHING!! Even if its your own spec. Keep EVERYTHING!!

It's unfotunate, but the scum are just waiting for you to make a mistake. To expose even the smallest weakness, and move in for the kill. Why? I have no idea, really? My guess? They come from the land of 'It's how the game is played. You win some and you lose some, and nice guys finish last'. And I will add, they won't give a rat if you're dying of cancer. It's how the game is played.

So, yeah, pass the script around. Post it, share it, link it, print it and make origami, film a scene, line your cat box.


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