View Full Version : How much?

07 July 2005, 10:13 AM
How much would be the cheapest rate for someone to flesh out an individuals film idea/and maybe script it? I don't know what to charge this individual too much but I also don't either of us to get ripped off. Please help?

08 August 2005, 02:50 AM
Scripts regularly get sold in the ballpark of $300k

08 August 2005, 01:24 AM
It can actually be in the ballpark of $600,000 to $800,000. But that's if you're a pro selling to a major studio, and only if the project is greenlit for production.

A script can be optioned for $50,000. That's basically paying the writer not to sell it to anyone else. This is usually the first step, with a contract that pays the full purchase price IF the project actually goes into production.

These numbers are probably not what you need, however. I'm assuming you're not a professional, credited screenwriter, or you'd already know this. So here what you want to think about:

Depending on how much story develpment has already happened, it could take you anywhere from 6 months to a year to create a really good finished script. Maybe not full time, but not squeezing it into your weekends either. So you need to figure out how much you need to get paid to support yourself for half a year. Or, you need to make it a labor of love and be prepared to work some very long days for awhile. Either way, it's up to you to decide how much incentive you need to take on this project. If screenwriting is something you really want to get into, it may be worthwhile to do it for next to nothing, just to get the experience and screen credit.

Another aspect of this equation is the production itself. Is this some home project that a fledgling film producer wants to do just for fun, or is it a serious project with a significant budget?

I know I haven't really answered your question very well, but these are definitely things you need to consider in this decision.

That being said, based on what I'm assuming just by reading between the lines, I would reccommend quoting somewhere in the range of $10,000 to $20,000, depending on what you think the client has in mind. Any less and you're underselling yourself, any more and there's a good chance you'll scare the client away.

That's just my opinion. Pricing is one of the most difficult issues to talk about in this industry, because the creative process is so subjective.


08 August 2005, 10:16 AM
Woah...that's big money. I was talking about a short film, maybe...20 minutes long. Thanx for the replies guys...I'll read them more in depth now. The guy was screwing me around anyway (and definitely did not have 30k ;)) so, I'll just work on developing my own script I guess! I have a short story idea I will try to flesh out.

08 August 2005, 03:09 PM
I would recommend you try to find someone who would do it for free. If you convince a young writer you're project is realy going to be made, he'll be happy to see his script put to screen. You can ask on a scriptwriter forum for instance.
Actualy, I could write something for you if it's sci-fi or fantasy (I only write those genre) but I don't have much free time so if you aim at 20 minutes, I would only slow you down. If you're interested anyway, PM me some the details on the project. I might be interested.
Good luck with your project.

08 August 2005, 05:21 PM
Oh sorry, i didn't realise it was for a short... you're lucky to get paid at all.

Shorts are never profitable.

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