How did you get co-producer credit on GO? I know it was an original spec. Is that enough to ask for producer credit, too? Alan Ball got it for AMERICAN BEAUTY, another original.
I ask because I’ve acquired the rights to a comic book & I plan on writing the script. The manager I was pitching it to said I’ll "never" get producer credit because it’ll "set a bad precedent."
I got my co-producer credit on GO for three reasons. First, I asked for it. No one is going to offer it to you out of the blue. Second, I sold my script to a tiny company that couldn’t afford to pay me much, so they were much more inclined to offer me something that didn’t cost them anything – and they didn’t have any "precedents" to break. It’s extremely unlikely I could have gotten that credit at a major studio, particularly on my first feature.
The third and most important reason I got the credit was that I did the work. I was there for every casting session, every budget crisis and pretty much every frame of film shot. I went through a dozen or more different cuts of the movie, along with the trailer and the commercials. Being a co-producer gave me enough authority to be involved in these decisions, but it came with a load of responsibilities.
Does everyone with a co-producer credit do this much work? Unfortunately, no. Producer credits are all too frequently handed out.
You’re right in assuming a spec script is a stronger position to be in when negotiating for credit. As long as you have the option to walk away, a buyer is more likely to give you what you want. (That’s also how Jessica Bendinger got her co-producer credit for BRING IT ON.)