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-   -   What's Hallmark, Lifetime Paying? (http://messageboard.donedealpro.com/boards/showthread.php?t=82505)

socalwriter1 04-21-2017 12:26 PM

What's Hallmark, Lifetime Paying?
 
Can anyone give me an idea how much orgs like Hallmark/Lifetime/their prodcos are paying -- range or averages -- for holiday scripts? Does the 2 1/2% of budget rule-of-thumb for features apply here?

Many thanks.

CthulhuRises 04-21-2017 01:45 PM

Re: What's Hallmark, Lifetime Paying?
 
Not sure, but Lifetime is supposedly re-branding and going away from the MOW format. My Manager sent them a really gritty Crime/Thriller (female-led) that I would have laughed in their face at sending to Lifetime 10 years ago.

JoeBanks 04-21-2017 02:05 PM

Re: What's Hallmark, Lifetime Paying?
 
based on my recent conversations with Bill Martell, not much! (like, a fraction of what they did pre-DVD crash)

socalwriter1 04-22-2017 10:16 AM

Re: What's Hallmark, Lifetime Paying?
 
This sounds even lower than what I thought... anyone have any numbers? Thx.

sppeterson 04-22-2017 04:45 PM

Re: What's Hallmark, Lifetime Paying?
 
For originals that they make themselves they're held to WGA minimums since they're a signatory, which are very good, especially when you add in residuals for repeat runs.

But many of their MOWs are acquisitions from other companies which are non-signatories, and their payscales can be 10k or less for full script. This still might be about 2-3% of budget since total budgets on these can be under 300k.

socalwriter1 04-22-2017 09:17 PM

Re: What's Hallmark, Lifetime Paying?
 
Thanks SPP.

Many of their Christmas movies are made from two companies in Canada that I'm guessing are not WGA signatories.

But this is one of those situations where for a newbie trying to break in with no rep -- you probably have to accept whatever is offered. Even with a rep, it doesn't sound like they can do much. Oh well...

swayway 04-27-2017 07:20 PM

Re: What's Hallmark, Lifetime Paying?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sppeterson (Post 948757)
For originals that they make themselves they're held to WGA minimums since they're a signatory, which are very good, especially when you add in residuals for repeat runs.

But many of their MOWs are acquisitions from other companies which are non-signatories, and their payscales can be 10k or less for full script. This still might be about 2-3% of budget since total budgets on these can be under 300k.


Bingo to this^ I sold a script to one of there non signatory production companies and I got a 15K check pre taxes for a 400K budgeted movie. I'm not union so it is what it is but overall felt pretty shafted for a years worth of writing work. :(

socalwriter1 04-30-2017 11:08 AM

Re: What's Hallmark, Lifetime Paying?
 
Re: ... $15,000 check...

The low dollars involved is why getting an agent is impossible. I'm familiar with a couple of holiday script writing specialists and they don't have reps. But they've been writing for a few years now so it must be somewhat lucrative.

Still, I already know now I'm not going to say "no" when it happens.

AnyOtherName 05-01-2017 05:41 PM

Re: What's Hallmark, Lifetime Paying?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by socalwriter1 (Post 949080)
Re: ... $15,000 check...

The low dollars involved is why getting an agent is impossible. I'm familiar with a couple of holiday script writing specialists and they don't have reps. But they've been writing for a few years now so it must be somewhat lucrative.

Still, I already know now I'm not going to say "no" when it happens.

I almost got involved in a Hallmark holiday movie that would have paid ~$30k for three steps (over four or five months). I know that some pay more and some pay less. I was advised by basically everyone that these things do nothing to advance your career-- but of course, if you're broke, money is money.

socalwriter1 05-02-2017 11:38 AM

Re: What's Hallmark, Lifetime Paying?
 
If you don't have a rep, how did you first get in touch with Hallmark? I'm using a prodco that makes some of the movies for them.

AnyOtherName 05-02-2017 01:13 PM

Re: What's Hallmark, Lifetime Paying?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by socalwriter1 (Post 949158)
If you don't have a rep, how did you first get in touch with Hallmark? I'm using a prodco that makes some of the movies for them.

Well, I do have reps, but this didn't come in through them (they, in fact, advised against it); it came in via the CE of a prodco.

ProfessorChomp 05-04-2017 11:00 AM

Re: What's Hallmark, Lifetime Paying?
 
About five years ago I did a production polish on a Lifetime movie. If I recall, they paid WGA scale minimum. Check out the Schedule of Minimums on the WGA site, look for basic cable.

MAWriter 07-17-2017 08:33 AM

Re: What's Hallmark, Lifetime Paying?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by socalwriter1 (Post 948761)
Thanks SPP.

Many of their Christmas movies are made from two companies in Canada that I'm guessing are not WGA signatories.

But this is one of those situations where for a newbie trying to break in with no rep -- you probably have to accept whatever is offered. Even with a rep, it doesn't sound like they can do much. Oh well...

I wasn't sure about Hallmark accepting newbies. I had my eye on trying them because I have a good bit of features completed, and I'm now starting to get my work out there. I have one script that is very much Hallmark but I was under the impression that you have to know someone to get in.

The money isn't that much of a bother to me because I may be close to getting a literary agent (as I also do other writing).

Splendor 07-19-2017 04:15 PM

Re: What's Hallmark, Lifetime Paying?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MAWriter (Post 950692)
I wasn't sure about Hallmark accepting newbies. I had my eye on trying them because I have a good bit of features completed, and I'm now starting to get my work out there. I have one script that is very much Hallmark but I was under the impression that you have to know someone to get in.

The money isn't that much of a bother to me because I may be close to getting a literary agent (as I also do other writing).

I sent something to a production company that works with them and am still waiting (year later) on feedback. For me it's not about the money because I genuinely enjoy writing this feel good stuff.

MAWriter 07-20-2017 05:23 AM

Re: What's Hallmark, Lifetime Paying?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Splendor (Post 950758)
I sent something to a production company that works with them and am still waiting (year later) on feedback. For me it's not about the money because I genuinely enjoy writing this feel good stuff.

Would that be Chesler Perlmutter? They accept stuff for a lot of cable and regular network channels too. Would think that they needed new fresh talent. So maybe I am right -- it is nepotism or having close contacts?

socalwriter1 07-20-2017 01:41 PM

Re: What's Hallmark, Lifetime Paying?
 
The top exec at Hallmark cable said in an interview either earlier this year or last that the Christmas/Family themed movies were very successful for them and will be expanding their offerings.

So it would make sense they would want additional "fresh" writers but I couldn't find (on google) where or whom within Hallmark to pitch to. MAWriter, hope you have better luck.

EvilRbt 07-22-2017 11:00 AM

Re: What's Hallmark, Lifetime Paying?
 
I made around $50-60k for a $2m Lifetime project, but that included purchase, rewrite, and polish. It was also a few years ago.

socalwriter1 07-23-2017 09:06 PM

Re: What's Hallmark, Lifetime Paying?
 
That's close to the 2 1/2% of budget rule-of-thumb I've heard of for payment. But did this include residuals? Are residuals automatically part of the package or do you have to negotiate for it?

jimjimgrande 07-24-2017 05:52 PM

Re: What's Hallmark, Lifetime Paying?
 
so long as you're working for a WGA signatory company, you don't have to negotiate residuals.

MAWriter 07-26-2017 12:11 PM

Re: What's Hallmark, Lifetime Paying?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by socalwriter1 (Post 950777)
The top exec at Hallmark cable said in an interview either earlier this year or last that the Christmas/Family themed movies were very successful for them and will be expanding their offerings.

So it would make sense they would want additional "fresh" writers but I couldn't find (on google) where or whom within Hallmark to pitch to. MAWriter, hope you have better luck.

Thanks. Yes I heard the same; Christmas movies bring in decent ratings. I actually haven't tried yet. I have something so I was wondering if it would be worth it to engage them.

I don't believe you can pitch directly to Hallmark. Production companies (usually in Canada) are the ones to contact. I mentioned Chesler Perlmutter on a thread I started about SyFy. CP is listed here but not with much info on updated projects. They're cater to Lifetime and Hallmark crowd. Think I will look for a couple more companies like them and try anyway.

socalwriter1 07-26-2017 12:24 PM

Re: What's Hallmark, Lifetime Paying?
 
MAWriter, your response:

"I don't believe you can pitch directly to Hallmark. Production companies (usually in Canada) are the ones to contact."

had me thinking...

EvilRbt - You didn't work with Lifetime directly right? You worked (sold script) to a production company that sold projects to Lifetime, correct?

jimjimgrande - if the studio is a WGA signatory company but the screenwriter is not a member of the guild, is he or she still included in the benefits?

Thanks guys.

NancyDrew2 07-26-2017 03:06 PM

Re: What's Hallmark, Lifetime Paying?
 
Are you talking about Hallmark paying you directly? I've only gone in through production companies and the pay per script has varied from $25,000 to $50,000.

jimjimgrande 07-28-2017 05:56 PM

Re: What's Hallmark, Lifetime Paying?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by socalwriter1 (Post 950903)

jimjimgrande - if the studio is a WGA signatory company but the screenwriter is not a member of the guild, is he or she still included in the benefits?

Thanks guys.

when the sig hires the writer, the writer essentially joins. There's a point system actually, but whether one tv movie gets you in or not, the deal is WGA so the writer gets all the benefits.


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