Considering adapting something for the stage? Make sure you do this first.

In the last 30 years, 82% of all musicals were adaptations.

And as we discovered here, adaptations run an average of twice as long as totally original ideas, making them a lot less risky than their original counterparts (something those of you out there considering investing in Broadway should know).

The reasons they are less risky is twofold . . . there’s a pre-existing brand, of course, as well as a pre-existing dramatic structure.  (When there’s a foundation already in the ground, it’s easier to build a house on top of it than it is to start from scratch.)

So if you’re looking to write a show for the stage, then I’d suggest you start with an adaptation.

But there’s one essential thing you need if you’re going to embark down the road of adapting anything into a play or a musical . . .

The rights!

Without those rights, you’re gonna be staring at the wrong side of a cease and desist letter PDQ.  And let me tell you, once you get on the radar of the underlying rights holders in the bad way, you’ll never get back in their good graces.

That’s why it’s essential that you navigate the process of obtaining the rights to a book, a movie, a catalog of music, a postcard, newspaper article or anything with the utmost care.

Because if you don’t, you can kiss those rights, and your great idea for the next big show, buh-bye.

I’ve seen too many clients make missteps when trying to obtain rights, which is why I’m teaching a webinar to help you avoid the same mistakes.

During the webinar, entitled simply, “How Do I Get The Rights To A Book, Movie, Music or Anything?”, I’ll walk you through the nitty gritty details of acquiring rights including tips and tricks of how I’ve done it, as well as . . .

  • When you need rights and when you don’t.
  • Who do you talk to to get rights?  And how the heck do you find them?
  • What do you pay for the rights?
  • Strategies I’ve used for convincing right holders to take a chance on me.
  • And more . . .

The webinar will also include a Q&A session so I can answer questions on your specific rights situation.

The webinar will take place next Wednesday, May 11th at 7 PM ET.

But don’t worry if you can’t make that night, because when you register today, we’ll make sure we send you the complete webinar files 24 hours later for your review at any time (isn’t technology great?).

The cost of the webinar is $149 (about 10% of what a lawyer would charge . . . for less info and no strategy) . . . buuuuuuuut, if you want a FREE way, sign up for TheProducersPerspectivePRO and get this webinar as part of your free 7 day trial.  And, in addition to the webinar, you’ll get all the other benefits of PRO, including marketing tool kits, an exclusive newsletter (which is all the stuff I can’t say on the blog), and more.  You can sign up for that trial here.  You can cancel anytime, but the webinar is still yours to attend for free.

So you’ve got two options.  Your choice:

1.  Sign up for the webinar a la carte and pay $149.  Do that here.

2.  Join Pro and get the webinar for free in your 7 day free trial.  Do that here.

Oh wait.  I guess there’s a third option.  Do nothing.  But then you’ll end up saying, “What if . . . ” or worse, someone else will end up doing your idea.

Avoid that.  Sign up for the webinar and let’s get those rights today.


(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)

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  • Dan Radakovich says:

    Dear All:
    I cannot make the webinar, so am responding here. On my experience:

    When you need rights and when you don’t.
    You need them when the material is still under copyright and not in the public domain. But even if it is in the public domain it is wise to contact any heirs etc.[After all they might invest].

    Who do you talk to to get rights?
    If still in print the easiest route is through the publisher. if the author is agent-represented, that is equally valid. If under copyright the Copyright Office willhaveonr ecord the last holder and address as of the time when registered or renewed. If the work is out of print, and the holder moved, it can be very VERY hard to locate the rights holder.

    And how the heck do you find them? Rhw wasiest way is if the writer is prominent in his llocal community, people there in the community shold know what happened. obituaries can also be helpful, either through the name of the funeral home, etc.especially if the demise was recent. Alternately voting records, livraries, basically anywhere records are kept.
    What do you pay for the rights?
    Depends on whether one is talking about the adaptation or the produced play/musical. For just the adaptation then the relationship you have with the rights holder can be be from nothing to whatever a good agent can get them. Once produced there are industry standards for productions, which form the basis for negotiations

    Strategies I’ve used for convincing right holders to take a chance on me.
    The key is showing interest, especially if you are contacting the rights holder directly and they are the original author, spouse or scion, as pride of creation/interest in spreading the reputation/influence is a strong motivation.

    Best, Dan I. Rad.

  • Rick says:

    Love what …Dan Radakovich said above…I will definitely be on the webinar…Great advice Ken and the comments from Dan were helpful…All good!!!

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