Will you read my screenplay for free?

I volunteer my screenplay reading time as a judge for contests like Shriekfest and Cinemar. I do offer story development consults. I hope you find it valuable. (If we’re old friends, don’t let this scare you. Drop me a line.)

I have a film project I’d like you to do for free… will you?

Depends – do I know you? I’ll usually work for free for friends. Otherwise, it would have to represent a unique opportunity (working with someone special, learning something special, etc…). “Copy and credit” aren’t all they’re cracked up to be if me and your Mom are the only people who will ever see it. Tell me more.

I have a project, but no budget. I’d like you to defer your payment till later, or take a percentage… will you?

Depends again – do I know you? Otherwise, I’ll look very closely at the project, its likelihood for success (publication, distribution, etc) and your track record in getting similar projects completed successfully. Tell me more.

How long does it take for you to finish an illustration?

Depends. Different media take longer, but mostly the difference comes in the early brainstorming. Even though the finished drawing might look really simple, and may not even take long, it can take hours of rough sketches to find the right style and composition. But again, I’m pretty good at estimating how long something will take once I know some details.

And I usually estimate high… I’d rather under-promise and over-deliver. In other words, deliver earlier than expected, and for less, than take longer and charge more.

I have a crappy illustration somebody else did, that I’d like you to make better for me. Will you?

Still depends. Do you own it (or the rights to it)? If I’m confident that I’m not helping you rip off somebody else’s work, I’m game.

How much do you charge?

I generally charge by the hour, day, or project. The rate varies depending on the project. The hourly rate varies from $60-$100.

When do I have to pay you?

For an illustration or consult job, I’ll offer an estimate of the total. Then, I’ll ask for 30 – 50 percent of the estimate up front, the balance on delivery. On jobs that will take unusually long (weeks or months – like a series of illustrations for a whole book) I may go to weekly or monthly invoices. You’ll get to see the final product before your final payment, to sign off… then you’ll receive the final product after you make the final payment. Seems fair, right?

For on-set film work, I can work within your planned pay cycles. We’ll just need to sort it out before I start.

What if I don’t like what you deliver?

In the case of illustrations, you’ll get to see roughs, then refinements, before I get to the finished product. Same goes for writing. As long as you’re signing off on these phases, I’ll assume you’re happy. You can stop the project at any point, but you’ll still owe me for the time worked.

In the case of on-set film work, you’re free to ask me to leave any time. You’ll still owe me for time worked. So far, it’s never happened.

Still got questions?