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Old 09-16-2018, 02:41 PM   #2
Done Deal Pro
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Join Date: Apr 2005
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Default Re: WGA Option minimum

As always, I'm sure some others will jump in, but working from the general rule of thumb and the WGA minimums, it generally breaks down to this...

A writer should be paid somewhere around 3% of the film's budget for their script. The WGA is saying if that if script is optioned then the option paid out is at least 10% of the full purchase price (the 3%).

$1 million dollar movie. $30,000 to buy script. Thus, $3,000 to option it for say 12 months.

And anyway to protect yourself? Absolutely. I've noted this before in other threads, but you put in the contract, which you both sign, that there is a floor/minimum price and a ceiling/maximum price. The floor is to protect to you mostly. It's is the least/lowest amount you will be paid no matter what. Thus, if they suddenly lost half their budget, they'd still have to pay you $30K, for example. Or simply walk away. The ceiling is to protect them for having to pay you millions for your script simply because Tom Cruise and Julia Roberts sign on. Granted you could note, well the budget is bigger so I should get paid lots more. But your script isn't suddenly worth $1.2 million. It's just not. Maybe for the next deal, but one (writer, director, actor) generally has a quote based on their last project and unless you've been selling stuff for that much previously you have to work your way up to those big payouts, in the vast majority cases. It can suck, but that's (generally) how it goes.

If the film is budgeted at $5 million, then the purchase price should be around $150k. Thus a year option would be roughly, $15K. I'd be a little surprised if one gets that without being a WGA member, having an agent and/or real track record. But ask, if you want. Give it a try. (Pardon me for not recalling if you are in the WGA or not.)

I think it might be easier to think of it this way vs. some the charts and breakdowns. Or at least I hope it is in this situation.
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Last edited by Done Deal Pro : 09-16-2018 at 02:52 PM.
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