Hi- I'm new here. I am a published children's book author/illustrator with over 40 books published. I retained my performance/play rights to my recently published book and it''s sequel. I am writing a musical based on these books. I have connected with a producer and a music team (lyricist & composer). I plan on joining the Dramatist Guild, but I have 2 questions:
1. I'm wondering if anyone knows of the standard royality splits for the playwright/music team/ producer (who is also consulting on this project and is well connected in NYC)
I should mention that we plan on handling the distribution to this play ourselves. It's debut will be at a local theater with a split of the house. This producer runs the community theater. The play will have about 20 musical numbers. After the debut- we will be trying to see it to other theaters.
2. I will own the copyright to the Play. Will the music team hold a separate copyright to the music & lyrics? (I am the creator and currently own the copyright to the book version which is published by a major publisher.)
Don't just PLAN on joining the Dramatists Guild; JOIN the Dramatists GuiId. They can give advice on much of what you ask. They also have standardized contracts available that can be used as is or as a model.
If you have a literary agent for your books, they should know someone who could answer these questions for you.
No matter how nice of a person a producer is - even if it is your mother - always remember your producer does NOT represent you or your interests! You need someone who represents YOUR interests.
Get everything in writing is al I can advise.
Remember: "The shakiest ship that ever sailed the seven seas is a partnership." You need a contract that spells out everything for everybody. Assume nothing.
Hi- Thanks so much. Yes- WILL join the Dramatist guild.
No- I do not have an agent for my books and I act as my own agent. I am very familiar with Publishers contracts, but this play is a bit different from books as there are more people involved and new to me.
I plan on using the contracts from DG. Thanks for your advice. I still need lots of answers regarding the copyright / trademark issues and who owns what when it comes to Play & music. If anyone has any comments- that would be great.
After music was written for a children's play of mine (the play was produced with music added) I got in touch with the DG and requested a collaboration agreement between playwright and composer so we could work on future projects together.