What do you charge for a freelance scriptwriting gig?
October 23, 2009 12:03 PM   Subscribe

I've been asked to write a series of scripts for online videos and I have no idea what to charge. Do you know the going rate for this type of service?

I was approached by a university to write a series of scripts accompanying online videos they plan to place on their website. The videos are between 5-7 minutes long. I would have no hand in the editing/production part of the videos -- they're looking for a scriptwriter.

I am a seasoned comedy writer with many years in radio and print, but I've never had to set my own price. (I've always worked as part of a production team.) I just started freelancing and would like to obtain more work through this university, so I want to make sure the price I set is something they'll work with in the future.

Any thoughts?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
You're worth as much as you say you are and as much as they think you are. If they're "legit," as in, they've got actual money to make something professional and understand how the internet works, and you're equally legit in your own way, shoot for a 250 day rate as a writer/editor, and don't pick up a pencil for less than 175. 100(ish) for a minute of writing is another way to do it, depending on how you write, but this sucks if they're the kind of client that'll insist on multiple changes/rounds of notes/etc.
posted by Damn That Television at 12:09 PM on October 23, 2009

I'm with a group that gets hired sometimes to do online ads. We've never charged more than $6000 for one but we undersell ourselves. That's for something under a minute and includes production costs. I'd say if it's 5-7 minutes and is meant to be seen by anyone in the country total charge should be about $10K. I'd aim for $2000 for writing, but that's just a deduction based on limited experience so take that with a large grain of salt.
posted by Idiot Mittens at 12:12 PM on October 23, 2009

Have you looked at the latest edition of The Writer's Market? It's got a section that outlines a range of rates for projects. It's a good place to start.
posted by dortmunder at 12:14 PM on October 23, 2009

This might be helpful too. mediabistro.com
posted by Idiot Mittens at 12:17 PM on October 23, 2009

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