I am writing a screenplay based on an autobiography of a woman who has died over 10 years ago. Furthermore the publisher went bankrupt 10 years ago. So what now? Do I need consent from someone to continue my screenplay or when I try to sell it?
This is going to be a challenge. You do need permission to base a
screenplay on an autobiography. Finding out who currently owns
the rights is not going to be easy. But right now someone owns the
rights to the woman's story and book.
Under other circumstances I would not give you this advice, but
in this case your best option might be to write the screenplay and
deal with the rights after you get some interest in it. Even if you
can't get the needed permission the experience will be worth the
Thanks, yeah pretty famous, also if I would not start the script with: "The following story is based on true events" nobody would believe this story, as its that crazy. So I def need permission. Hmm I guess I could track down the family or the owner of the published book. But yeah it might be better just trying to sell this story first, I could always do the effort when I can get this thing sold.
By the way there is something called a Life's Rights Agreement. This grants you the rights to someone's life story. You need a layer involved because this gets tricky. There is a book. So how do you tell the story of someone's life without that publisher saying you turned their book into a movie? I don't know. Also in New York those rights are only reserved for the living, and in California, you still need to secure them. It's very involved.
Updated: May 24, 2022 You are a creative person who has found out about someone with a compelling story and you’d like to develop a book, TV show or film based on his or her life. But in the middle of your excitement and creative rush, it hits you: “Maybe I need to get permission