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Film Production Knowledge Pool
@olsburger I am always open for scripts but I don't advertise it. Often the production companies that say unsolicited really mean they are too busy with their own slate of films. I have worked for independent production companies that have had on average 8 films in various stages of production and large ones with over 200 films optioned. Having a script optioned is a great way to earn cash. A company will pay you $XXXX to make your movie but if they still haven't made it after 5 years it returns to you and they have the right to either pay you again, make the movie, or walk away.
The best thing you can do is network your socks off. Or become the producer yourself and get the film made as your own production company.
When people ask me about the best option I always try to suggest that they make the thing themselves because you will never sell a script for $1m no matter what all the script readers and advisors will tell you as long as you pay them first. More than often writers are amongst the poorest paid people in the film industry. your script may only be worth $30k if its exceptionally good, most writers get a lot less than that. And then at the long tail when the film has finally paid off its debt and made some money, (normally only when the film goes to dvd), then the producer gets his share of the profit and out of the producers 100% he will then pay the writer and others out of that and the writer normally gets between 3 and 5% of the producers money.
So as you can see its better to be a producer than a writer.
But if producing is not your cup of tea, then I suggest you join the WGGB (Writers Guild of Great Britain), WGoA, WGoAW or whatever your own country does for its screenwriters. These guys will then help you get seen, or enter pitch competitions.
@olsburger Also if your lucky enough to sell your script for $30k and the producer earns $100k from the profit
Your earnings will be $30K for writing the script and any re writes or changes needed during production, (remember it may have taken you 5 years and 10 drafts to get to your hot shooting script, and then all of the changes that you will need to make to fit the budget).
Then your split of 3% of the producers profit will earn you $3K on top, if your lucky your may be entitled to royalties but you may find you pay more for a Royalty Lawyer than you get in return.
so total earning $33K to $35K which is equivalent to $4k salary per year.
However if the producer earns $1m then your pay will be $60K and so on and so on.
@olsburger Yes I have been fortunate enough to have grown up in the industry which has been part of my family since the 1830's.
Really it used to be who you know not what you know that gave you a chance to break in to the industry. It is a Multi Billion dollar industry but it's only just starting to break out of being a cottage industry.
And I don't wish to moan or put anyone off but..... My gripe always used to be, "Why do colleges and Universities market unrealistic dreams"?
The reason I say this is because in the UK alone Universities rake in millions of pounds of student fees, selling Film, TV and media related courses and over 1.5 million students study such courses every year. But....... There are only 250K people working in the Film and TV industry and an awfully lot less jobs available every year, especially now after the pandemic.
Most media related students don't even end up in media related jobs, maybe they enter Marketing, Sales, and online jobs. Really if you want to end up working in the industry and not burning out and turned off after being a low/no paid runner on someones indie production team, then there are only certain colleges and universities you should apply to.
When I am asked for advice I point people to 3 colleges in the UK and only one of those will give you an almost definite chance of getting into a film career. I know because I've done it.
Just checked with a friend. There is a 76% attrition rate in film industry jobs every year, that means over 3/4 of people who start working in the industry have left by the end of the year. I know that's a strange figure to come to because you have to take into consideration that most jobs are short term contracts and most workers are freelance, its still staggering!
Those are some crazy statistics, Rich. I never knew that many people in the UK studied media related courses. I understand your gripe with the university system. I studied Fine Art at university and they taught us everything except the business of the art industry and made no effort to connect us to the industry. So out of about 30 people on my course, I know that over 90% of us are not working artists, myself included. Universities in the UK have just become cash machines with less and less investment in the students.
And having worked in freelance video production for several years and I find it has become an unmanageable situation where experienced freelancers are being sought for less and less money to a point where there is no point applying for jobs anymore. Perhaps I am just not connected enough, but the only way I’ll stay in this industry is by taking a full-time salaried job. I have very little motivation to be freelance anymore, to be honest.
I’ll stop before it sounds like I’m just bitter 😂
Hi everyone I hope your all well and looking forward to the events this weekend. I certainly am and I have been very busy getting ready to see all your amazing work.