THE $136,413 SCRIPT SALE (13 Great Writing Secrets… #1, 7 & 11 Are My Favorites)
by Dov S-S Simens on May 25, 2019
THE $136,413 SCRIPT SALE
Hollywood (aka: Production company that is a signator to the WGA), according to the writer’s union minimum rules, gets paid approx. $100,000 ($72,662 to $136,413), for a Treatment and two Drafts (1st & Final),to write a script, based off an original idea they have.
QUESTION: So what do you think they’ll offer you when you come to them with the finished script that, for whatever reason, is absolutely perfect and they love?
ANSWER: What they would of paid a writer if they developed/wrote it from scratch… Which is $100,000…give or take a little… Duh!
For specific amounts go to the website for the screenwriters union, called Writers Guild of America (www.WGA.org) and view (http://www.wga.org/uploadedFiles/writers_resources/contracts/min2014.pdf) and you’ll discover the exact pay ranges from $72,662 to $136,413…
This is nice.
The $72,662 is for a Low-Budget movie (film under $1,200,000) and High-Budget is (film over $5,000,000) assumed as any movie costing more-than $5,000,000 but marketed as “just-under” $7-10 Million, or $10-12 Million, or $12-15 Million. Yep, all those budgets they market are “just-under”…
Back to facts.
If the project is Low-Budget (under $1.2 Million) the writer gets paid at a minimum…$72,662.
- TREATMENT… $32,922
- 1st DRAFT… $28,613
- 2nd DRAFT… $11,127
If the project is High-Budget (over $5 Million) the writer gets paid at a minimum… $136,413.
- TREATMENT… $54,519
- 1st DRAFT…. $54,519
- 2nd DRAFT… $27,375
The one and only secret to obtaining the $100,000 SALE ($72,662-$136,413) is to write the great script.
Duh…. Obvious and simple to say… yet extremely difficult to do.
But doable if you follow these steps.
Not a big deal.
The key is writing the great script in 1-2 months… and to do so follow these 13 Screenwriting Tips.
13 STEPS TO A GREAT SCRIPT
The big secret overall is to write 90-120 pages in 1-2 months, or 2-3 pages/day, typed in the correct format, that…
- (1st Step) Grabs the Reader on Line 4-6 of Page-1 (Grabs readers attention)
- (2nd Step) Grabs the Reader again on Bottom Line of Page-1 (Hold readers attention)
- (3rd Step) Has the first 8-12 Pages easy-to-read. (Have a lot of white space. Write down-the-page, not left-to-right with exposition)
- (4th Step) Has Characters introduced that are unique. (Make reader either like or hate each character)
- (5th Step) Has a roller coaster 2nd ACT with 5 “UH-OH” & “OH-SHIT” scenes. (Put reader on a roller coaster ride)
- (6th Step) Has the Reader now grabbed, hooked and he/she reads entire script. (Make reader want-to-read)
- (7th Step) Has the 2nd ACT a great roller-coaster ride that makes reader want an ending. (Reader is hooked)
- (8th Step) Has 2nd ACT establish the 3 Sub-Plots. (Reader is fascinated & hooked)
- (9th Step) Has all Characters not 1-dimensional with interesting back stories. (Readers is enthralled with even minor characters)
- (10th Step) Has 3rd ACT start page 70 (90 Page Script) or page 110 (140 Page Script) with a belief that it won’t happen. (Reader is excited)
- (11th Step) Has 3rd ACT bringing the 3 Sub-Plots and Primary Plot all together. (Reader is happy everything has a purpose & is tide together.)
- (12th Step) Has 3rd ACT resolve itself. (Reader wants an ending)
- (13th Step) EPILOGUE, 1 page might be a bonus (Tease the reader)
Now… Get Real.
You keeping hearing Hollywood, all those celebrities and dudes, sitting on those $1,000 “Variety Entertainment Financing Summits” stating “We’re looking for great ideas” and you instantly get excited for you’re sure your-idea-is-great.
Now, a reality check.
HOLLYWOOD DOES NOT WANT GREAT IDEAS.
Don’t get excited. Hollywood is not looking for great ideas… it is looking for Great Scripts. And if your script has “1-13” above then you likely have the Great Script.
You grabbed the reader right away on page-1, you make him/her turn the page and read 9 more pages. The 10 pages are great he/she is now engrossed and then reads the entire script. Plus, you have dimensional characters, with unique dialogue, and 3 sub-plots which each resolve themselves and are all intertwined into the primary story that also resolves itself… You got a Fr*ckin’ Great Script.
Let’s assume the reader gives “good coverage” (two page book report to his/her superior), states “Must Read” and the superior reads the script and agrees “This is a Fr*ckin’ Great Script” you will now likely get an offer for Writers Guild minimum (Low-Budget) of $72,662. What the f*ck round-it-up to $75,000, with a paragraph in the offer that if the budget ever goes over $5 Million you will receive $136,413 or whatever writers guild minimum is at that date… plus, of course an added 10% for your agent.
Voilla…You sold your script for about $100,000… give or take a little.
Hold on, Stop-The-Engines, I’d be remiss if, however, if I did not say that you “ain’t gonna get a check for that $100,000 or $72,662-$136,413″, at one time from a slick Hollywood Buyer (aka: Development Executive), for he/she is not really buying your script he/she is really optioning it (first refusal right) for 2-4 years and you’ll likely only see 10-20% down.
Don’t be bummed!
Stay tuned for in another NO-BULL BLOG I will show you how to negotiate a bigger Purchase Price for your Option Agreement then if you really took that first $136,413 offer with a 20% check for $27,282 down for a 2 year option.
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