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Optioning underlying intellectual property can be a great way to add market appeal to your screenplay, but it can feel intimidating to newer screenwriters. It doesn’t have to be. Granted, if your target is a recent New York Times bestseller, it might not be easy. But short of that, plenty of books, comic books, articles, and so on can be optioned relatively painlessly. The initial hurdle is legal. Unless you’re an attorney, it can be daunting to read a great article or a great book and then try and figure out how to get the rights. Hiring an entertainment attorney...

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