Friday, October 28, 2011

A Producer Writes:

Re: the previous post, 'Paul' says:

Just wanted to say that not all producers are alike. On the last three projects I've developed, the writer has been paid more than the producer. FAR more. I'd say I've made 10% of what I've paid writers over the past couple of years. Now that one of those projects is complete and going out to market, I expect to make some back end - but that's after three years of keeping a business open by hook and by crook. So, yeah, some producers skin writers alive, some producers don't. Try to work with the ones who don't, is my advice.

Which is a valid point, of course, and I should say that most of the producers I've worked with have been lovely, and generous, and all that - I certainly wouldn't want to suggest all producers are out to get as much work out of writers as they can for as little as possible, although arguable that is kind of their job. Some just work in big enough companies that they're pretty much divorced from the contracts/finance side, so don't have much influence over that side of things any way.

Today, for example, I've worked on two different outlines for no money, mainly because a) I like the projects, and b) they have a good enough chance of getting made that I'm betting on it paying off. But there's a limit on how far I'm prepared to go with that. The problem is, if you had a very strict 'never work for a producer who doesn't pay you every step of the way' policy, you'd be out of work pretty quickly, I'm afraid.

6 comments:

Paul said...

'Paul'? My name really is Paul!

drettworlb said...

Some well made points here Paul on the writer/producer relationship. I agree, being a writer is tough work and you have to really want it but being a producer can be insanely tough slog that only the most passionate can endure. I salute all the good hard-working producers out there.

james henry said...

P: Cuh, a likely story - 'Paul' doesn't even SOUND like a real name.

D. Remember, once you're finished saluting, CHECK YO WALLET.

the devolutionary said...

Two things. Thing one: Do TV writers issue invoices with 28-day terms and a reasonable rate of interest for late payments (as is done by commercial writers - it doesn't work but it makes you feel vaguely empowered)? Thing two: Has an extended day ever been explored by SF writers or is there an assumption that all habitable planets operate on the 24-hour system? Thing two could be two things.

james henry said...

Devolutionary: film writing contracts often have penalties for late payments built in. These are NEVER honoured. Thing two: pretty sure Helliconia Spring (Brian Aldiss) has something along those lines, or maybe it's the seasons that last for hundreds of years, can't remember.

marce - mortal kombat said...

tiene toda la razon el escritor de merecer mas porcion de la torta ya que es el que expresa sus ideas, sentimientos y pensamientos etc....saludos.