Thursday, May 27, 2010

I dislike you, Fine Print

You upset me, Fine Print. You teeny tiny consider-yourself-lucky-that-we're-even-reading-your-spec-when-you're-just-some-schmuck-from-Canada font that I have to squint and sweat over just to get a clue. You really put me in my place, don't you? You let me know who's got the power. But it's not like I could ever forget.

I've been trudging through you all morning, Fine Print, courtesy NBC's Writers on the Verge program. As you know, Fine Print, this is a program that I want to get into very badly. Almost as badly as I want that agent to call or e-mail me back. While I understand the chances of getting into this particular screenwriting development program are slim to nil, somehow, what with my bad math and all, that equals half a chance.

So, Fine Print, as you may have deduced from all the swearing, I just finished cobbling together and sending off my e-application. Of course, I had to re-send a page upon noticing that I forgot to write my name in one section of the contract so I am probably f*%ked, but sent off it is. Great. Good. Maybe?

Screw up aside, it's you, Fine Print, that has me worried. Here's the line that has me wondering: "NBC Universal may use all or any part of the Submitted Material, as well as my name, voice and likeness, in any and all media now known or hereafter devised, throughout the universe and in perpetuity... NBC Universal may use any part of the Submitted Material that any member of the public freely could use without liability to me..."

Yes, the "throughout the universe" part is undeniably awesome but the rest? It feels like a lawyer just found a pretty way to tell me to take it up the ying yang and thank him for it. And then after all that, you, Fine Print, you asked me if I registered my spec with the Writers Guild of America, which makes me wonder... if I didn't (I did), what would you have done?

So, Fine Print, I don't like you but I signed the line beneath you because what other choice do I have? Aside from that one ever weakening link to that L.A. agent and another sort of shot through the WB's Writer's Workshop, I can't seem to find another way in.

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