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Price breakdown between writer and producer

I'm in the process of drawing up a price breakdown for a producer. I'm writing a TV series in which I will write the pilot, along with the pitch bible. I want to breakdown the fees into milestones. Does anybody know of any template that I could use online? Do you have any advice on how I should tackle this?


  • Julian Friedmann's excellent book "How to Make Money Scriptwriting" has useful templates for this sort of thing. It's a bit out of date (2nd edition, 2000) but has a UK focus, and gives a framework which could be extrapolated to the present, particularly the step breakdown ( eg 25% for treatment, 25% on commission of fiorst draft , 25% on its delivery, final 25% on acceptance of secoidn draft) . The Writers' Guild of Great Britain has an up-to-date set of minimum payments on line:, where you're looking at £200/minute. Non WGGB writers are likely to be be pais less than this - often MUCH less, but it sets a level of aspiration from which to negotiate. So as a very rough guide - £10000 for a one hour pilot, broken down as above is not unreasonable.

    2 months ago
  • There was a course on FutureLearn that broke down development costs. It was five years old, so you'd need to adjust it for inflation, but these are the numbers they gave:

    First option payment: £10,000
    Writer's fee for first draft revisions: £20,000
    Writer's fee for second draft revisions: £10,000
    Director's retainer: £5,000
    Option renewal: £5,000
    Writers fee for polish under the Director's supervision: £5,000
    Line producer's fee for budget: £5,000
    Financing trip to Cannes Film Festival: £2,000
    Travel costs to scout locations: £1,000
    Hire of location manager: £2,000
    Producer's supervision fee: £2,000

    Normally the production company pays all this, and writers almost never hire producers. The producer is normally the one who does the price breakdown.

    It could cost much more if you're using an experienced writer. Non-guild writers can get paid more than guild minimum, it's a floor, not a ceiling. Tarantino got above guild money for his first script, so do many others.

    Saying that a non-guild writer should aspire to guild minimum is like encouraging immigrants to work for less than minimum wage. If someone is making a youtube show or a student film, that's one thing, but there is so much money in TV that you should not undercut guild writers to break in. Lowballing is not the way to impress professionals.

    1 month ago
  • Hi Vasco, I think you are over-reading my comment: I am certainly not suggesting non-guild writers should set out to undercut or "lowball" WGGB members (such as myself) - but I suspect that average rates of writers' pay offered on SP projects are way less than WGGB minima, never mind the figures you quote. Matthew requested a template: I suggested one. If he can negotiate a WGGB level deal or better then fair play to him.

    1 month ago
  • Depends on which prverbial planet one is on. I'm always suggesting it's not at all surreal to start at the top if one can pull it off; many won't be able to.

    There are no rules, policies, statutes or laws governing the matter at issue. It's a capitalism and market forces thing.

    1 month ago