The answer to another question frequently asked by neophyte TV and screenwriters. Yes, there’s a bit of the dreaded overthink here, but what better way to be informed than to learn even more than you expected?
from Script Reader Pro
The goal of any aspiring screenwriter is to get paid for, well, writing. But what exactly does it take to be compensated for your work? What do you do once you’re offered money for a script? Is there even such a thing as a “screenwriter salary” in the first place?
The answer to these queries—as with most things in the entertainment world—can be rather complicated, but this post aims to shed some light on all these screenwriting money matters and more.
In this article you will learn:
- Whether there’s such a thing as a screenwriter salary
- All about your screenwriter salary as a non-WGA member
- All about your screenwriter salary as a WGA member
- What happens after a sale
- If it’s ever okay to write for free
- When you can quit your day job to just focus on writing
Without further delay, let’s dive on in.
Is there such a thing as a screenwriter salary?
We’ll be using terms like “screenwriter salary” and “TV writer salary” throughout this post but, in all honesty, they’re rather nebulous. The truth is, there’s no such thing as a fixed screenwriter salary—the kind you might expect to find in a more traditional industry such as, say, the medical or hospitality industry.
This is because rather than the fixed yearly salaries workers receive in traditional industries, screenwriters are paid on a freelance, ad-hoc basiscommon to most creative industries.
Whether a screenwriter has zero credits or a hundred, they’re essentially in the same position: looking for the next paycheck. Granted, established screenwriters—whether they be A-list writers, such as Christopher Nolan, or successful independent writers, like Mike White—have a distinct advantage in the form of a track record….