The ‘low’ salary of Hollywood writers and the real reason for the strike
The ink is still not flowing on movie sets in America. Several large productions have been stopped for more than a week. But why the Writers Guild Association? And how much salary do these Hollywood writers actually earn?
The last time screenwriters and screenwriters put down their pen en masse, in 2007, the world of cinema was still in the cradle of an industrial revolution. But now the streaming services are calling the shots in Hollywood; traditional movie studios have lost momentum. And the union members of the writers’ association have felt it in their wallets.
This is why Hollywood writers went on strike
The main thorn in the side of the Writers Guild Association it is, of course, income, although the complaint is not only about salary. Naturally, writers have lost purchasing power due to rising inflation. And of course they want to equate this with an increase in the minimum wage. But the fiercest protest is being waged to ensure fair wages for the so-called residual copyright.
TO residual It is the fee that scriptwriters receive for the broadcast of films or series whose proper name appears in the script and/or screenplay. A bit like the money musicians earn when a radio station plays their song again. However, with the rise of streaming platforms, broadcasting has changed its shape.
The series and movies remain on a platform for a certain time, after which they disappear or are sold. Traditional channels also prefer to sell shows to Netflix, for example, rather than continue to pay scriptwriters large sums for rebroadcasts. Writers and screenwriters still get a fee for selling to a streaming service. But those amounts are ridiculously low compared to the money they would get for classic rebroadcasts; that is, $700 instead of $12,500.
If a streaming service orders or finances a production itself, the writers pick up on this call residual copyright on an annual basis. But only while the series or movie remains on the platform. In other words, streaming services can decide at the end of each year to sell the movie or series to another service. In this way, Netflix and other streaming services not only avoid fees, but the writers themselves suddenly receive much less money from the platform on which their brainchild appears. So now we not only know why Western world was cancelled, but also why the hit series had to disappear from HBO Max as soon as possible. Stinginess.
The salary of Hollywood writers
Hollywood writers are broadly classified into three categories based on the medium they work for; film, television or streaming services. There are much more extensive shards on this, but to keep the overview, we’ve taken the most common roles as a standard example. All rates and salaries are expressed gross.
Let’s first take a closer look at the amounts writers receive per screenplay for movies.
An ‘unoriginal’ script is entirely written by one person, but is based on a book or other source, eg. The fee is a one-time fee.
|It’s not original||$71,061||$132,149|
Then there is also the possibility of being employed in a production as a Hollywood writer. These wages depend on how long he has been employed in production in total.
|number of weeks
|week by week||$6,610|
These scriptwriters also receive 1.2 percent of the gross amount if the motion picture is resold through distributors (for example, to linear television channels).
Television script fees depend on the length of the episode, as well as whether the writer has written both the script and the dialogue or story.
With these rates you should assume a high budget fiction show that airs in prime time (since there are differences as well).
|Script Type||15 minutes||30 minutes||60 minutes||90 minutes||120 minutes|
|Dialogue / Story||$5,166||$9,470||$16,669||$22,269||$29,737|
If a Hollywood writer is employed on a television show without additional positions, they will receive the following gross weekly salary.
|number of weeks
|week by week||$5,302|
If one of the episodes is broadcast for the first time, the writer receives a subsequent amount, based on his participation in the script.
A series of distinctions are also made with respect to the collective bargaining agreement for editors of streaming services. But here we assume the highest possible salaries. In other words, these are the amounts you earn as a writer for a big-budget production, for streaming platforms with 20 million subscribers or more, like Netflix.
|Script Type||20-35 minutes||36-65min||66-95min||96min +||Movie|
|Dialogue / Story||$9,470||$16,669||$22,269||$29,737||$32,455|
If a Hollywood writer is employed by a streaming service program without additional positions, they will receive the following gross weekly salary.
|number of weeks
|week by week||$5,302|
As mentioned above, the residual copyright for Hollywood writers of shows that appear on streaming platforms. They receive a fee for each year their work is available to subscribers. This amount is the result of a mathematical formula that is calculated based on three factors; a basic amount, how many years has the work been streaming and how many subscribers did the platform have at the time of its premiere. Below are the basic quantities.
|Script Type||20-35 minutes||36-65min||66-95min||96min +|
|Dialogue / Story||$6,528||$11,862||$17,827||$23,362|
Let’s assume the highest rate possible. Suppose, as a writer, he has written the entire script for a 100-minute episode for Netflix; a streaming platform with more than 45 million subscribers. In the second year after the release date, he would receive $65,707 if the work is still on the platform. However, as the years go by, the residual copyright firmly down.
Hollywood Writers Strike
Also read what impact the Hollywood Writers Strike can have on you as a viewer. Or take the complete collective agreement by the Writers Guild Association.
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The ‘poor’ salary of Hollywood writers and the real reason for the strike