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scriptwriter salary range?

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Elijah Levine
scriptwriter salary range?
on Jan 16, 2008 at 2:16:22 pm

I have recently applied for a PT job as a scriptwriter for a marketing/branding company making corporate videos and ads.

Paraphrasing the ad, it states that "the salary is commensurate with international rates".

I would appreciate any advice or guidance from the folk here who are able to give me an idea of a salary range for scriptwriter positions within corporate video companies, PT, FT and contract, if such exists?

Otherwise, are you able to recommend some sites to examine for such information?


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Mark Suszko
Re: scriptwriter salary range?
on Jan 17, 2008 at 3:30:10 pm

"Commensurate with international rates" sounds like corporate-speak for: "third-world peasant labor pricing".:-)

The writing never gets proper respect, and yet without it, all the other money and time spent on the project is usually a total waste. When the corporate guy complains that this is too much money for scribblings on paper, ask them what the final result of the project is supposed to be. Is it to increase sales by three million dollars? If that's so, what percentage of that number are they willing to invest to OBTAIN that result? Would you spend one percent of that three mil to bring it in? Two percent?

You could try the Writer's Guild web sites East or West, depending which side of the Mississippi River you live on as one resource for information on current rates.

I also suggest you get to and order a used copy of John Morley's " Scriptwriting for High-Impact Videos" right away, this will be an invaluable resource for you. It is for corporate scriptwriters what MacKee and Syd Field are for Screenwriters.

Much of this kind of work in corporate is work-for-hire, so you can bill on a basis of time and materials, i.e. an hourly rate for the meetings and research you have to do, plus a rate for the actual writing time, and your markup, boils down to a final package price, which usually but not always includes some plus like "Includes one free re-write upon review of first draft".

I would see if I could bill in thirds or at least halves, the break point being getting to the creative treatment stage. If your writing process survives to an approval of the treatment, the hardest work is done and the rest is really pretty easy and nearly foolproof. So I would put my emphasis on getting to that point.

"Oh, you wanted to RECORD that?"

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