“The Player” was a negotiation between the newly appointed Vice-President of National Artists Productions (NA) and a successful Hollywood director. This negotiation could have resulted in the first major motion picture deal that the producer would have worked on after his promotion to VP. In this negotiation I played the role of the Vice-President. My goal was to reach what I felt was the most satisfactory agreement possible with the Director. There were 11 issues to negotiate, and each had points associated with them to show the importance of each issue. The 11 issues included the following: director’s base salary, pre-production budget, post production schedule, director’s bonus percentage, child star, male and female lead, location, personal budget, production designer, and editorial control. Planning
My first planning step, with “The Player” negotiation, was to set a goal and a desired outcome for the negotiation. I assessed the importance of both the substantive and relational outcome. I realized that I wanted this to be a win-win situation. The importance of staying in budget with the film was just as important as the continuing relationship that I would have with the director; thus, I was aiming for the overall negotiation to be collaborative. My goal in the negotiation was to come to an agreement on all 11 issues described above, within my resistance point of 4,000 points. My next planning step was to gather the facts. I created an excel file (see below) to help me have a quick point of reference during the negotiation process. I color coded my target choices with yellow and my resistance point with red. The spreadsheet helped me analyze where I stood on my overall negotiation outcome in real time. My resistance point (total points) was 4,000. Creating the excel file helped me with the negotiation, by assisting with the changing values when multiple issues were being negotiated. I also identified which issues were most important. I came up with my priorities based on their point values. I coupled my fact finding with assessing the possible best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA) for both parties. The BATNA’s for the Vice-President were the following: go with another director, not produce the movie, or wait and see how well the director’s next movie did and adjust our budget accordingly. The BATNA’s for the director were: to produce another movie, not produce a movie, or produce something other than movies (i.e. music video). My assessment of both BATNA’s suggested that it was in the best interest of both parties to come to an agreement. My final step in my planning was to come up with my negotiation strategy. My strategy was to negotiate the issues that were least important to me at the beginning. I wanted to do this to show the director I was willing to compromise and share information. I wanted to build trust, so when it came time to negotiate the issues that were top priority on my list, the director would be willing to compromise with me. I also mentally prepared to not fall into the anchoring trap. I wanted to learn from previous mistakes, and be prepared to act. After I had set a goal, gathered facts and set a negotiation strategy I felt prepared to enter the negotiation. (My Excel planning file) Analysis of Negotiation
I began the negotiation by asking the Director, “What does your vision of this film look like?” I let the director talk about his recommendations for leads, locations, and personal budget. This approach created an environment of free flowing information and helped identify the issues where our proposed offer was the same. We started negotiating the lead roles, and were able to come to an agreement on all three leads relatively quickly. We were able to identify the common stance on the child star and the producer immediately because of the free flow of information in...
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