Heart-Stopping Excitement

September 24th, 2004 · No Comments
by Booksquare

Seriously, you can take the girl out of the contracts, but you can’t take the contracts out of the girl. No really — earlier this week, we were reviewing a complicated acquisition deal involving several companies (where, if you ran your finger up the org charts, you’d discover there were really only two entities involved), one movie (or two, depending on whose perspective you took), and lots of shadowy figures (we were pleasantly surprised to encounter an old con artist from our past in the correspondence we read). And we were doing this for fun.

Just moments ago, the husband wandered in to ask what we were doing. As it was obvious what we were doing, we rolled our eyes and kept reading. He looked at the monitor and shook his head. We suspect he knows the awful truth: we won’t be getting any other work done for quite some time. We’re all abuzz with contract excitement. The bummer, of course, is that we’re not generating the thrills, we’re doing this vicariously. A few weeks ago, John Scalzi started the conversation with the Real World Book Deal Descriptions developed by a group of (inebriated) writers at Noreascon 4. This homage to the Publisher’s Lunch descriptors quickly took on a life of its own in the blogosphere.

But the fun didn’t stop there, Scalzi has circled back to this concept in other posts, and Michelle Sagara has gone and written an entire post about contractual elements. All those lovely terms and concepts, discussed with the seriousness they deserve. We haven’t had this much fun with such a thing since the day we read the contract for a movie-of-the-week where the lead actress, slated to appear in a historical drama, was contractually obligated to provide her own undergarments.

Sort of makes you wonder what sort of negotiations lead to a clause like that.

We cannot say often enough how important it is to read and understand your contracts. Some very nice people have offered unselfish help. Thank you is not nearly enough, but it will have to do.

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