Let’s say, for example, two of your friends are sitting in a bar. One’s a producer, the other’s a director and you’ve worked with both of them before. They’re talking to the director’s sister, who happens to be something like, say, head of production at a fairly major production company.
Just as a random example.
Now, imagine the sister mentions her production company is looking to do more comedy and the director recommends she talk to you. She asks a few questions and the producer, who might be the kind of guy with very good people skills and pretty much talks for a living, pitches one of your sitcoms – something you’ve almost forgotten you wrote.
This isn’t the question by the way, this is just a hypothetical example to set the scene.
So let’s say the sister likes the idea (probably because of the way it was pitched) and asks a very interesting question:
“Would he be interested in a meeting with the head of development?”
Again, not the question I’m building up to, just a hypothetical situation which could possibly happen given the right conditions – feel free to make up your own example.
So the director confirms you would probably sacrifice all the first born of Eastbourne (or any small coastal town, it doesn’t matter) for the opportunity for a one to one meeting. The sister asks the director to ask you to send in a CV.
Everyone with me so far?
The question’s coming – honest.
Let’s say you send in your CV and the head of production gives you a shit load of really, really useful advice about presenting your CV in a better light and asks you to send in some script samples.
Now, to the point: Is it ethical to send in a sample which is in production by a third party? You’ve signed a contract, they have the rights and are currently making the film/TV show/whatever; assuming they’re not available to ask permission, would you send that sample, which I believe morally (if not legally) belongs to someone else?
I’ve always thought no, but then other writers I’ve spoken to don’t seem to have a problem with it.
What do you think?