Great guest article by entertainment attorney Jesse Rosenblatt over on Stephen Hoover's blog on how much you should expect to earn on your first script sale. Go over there and check it out now.
Here's an excerpt:
A burning question on any first time writer’s mind is – “How much will I get paid for my feature film screenplay sale?”
It’s a valid question, though a difficult one to answer. You’ve spent months, maybe even years, writing your script. You want to get paid! And you need to make sure you’re protected and don’t sell yourself short. Often times, writers are willing to forego monetary compensation in exchange for the hope they’ll receive credit on a completed film to help launch their writing career.
While I certainly understand that perspective, and in some cases it’s a valid point of view, please remember – if others are getting paid well for their contributions to the project, you should too. Every great film starts with a great script.
I want to make clear that the typical structure of a screenplay deal is not an outright purchase but rather an option/purchase agreement. Let me briefly explain what this is for those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept: an option/ purchase agreement is one where the prospective buyer (a producer, production company, studio, etc.) agrees to pay you some money (generally 10% of the potential purchase price or less) in exchange for a period of time (typically called the “option period”) where your script is off the market and the producer can develop it...
Rest of the article.