Q. Can you give me an idea of what money to expect for a rewrite in ratio to other money for the project. My agent is good and knows who's who in Hollywood, but is he trying to get the most he can for me or just enough? That's my question.
Your agent is trying to get as much money as he can for you (and therefore, himself) without making the producer so unhappy he doesn't want to work with you (or your agent) again. You milk the cow, but when blood starts coming out, you stop.
If you are not a member of the Writers Guild, there is no set amount of money for a rewrite or for the original script. I address how much a non-professional should ask for writing work in my book, Crafty Screenwriting
. Basically you take the amount of time you think you'll need to do the work. Triple it. That's how long you'll really spend. Then figure out how much that amount of time will cost
you, i.e. what it costs to live for that amount of time. Your "nut," if you will. Double that, to pay for the time you're waiting for someone to hire you. That's how much you should charge.
I did rewrites for $5,000-$15,000 before I was in the Guild, depending on for whom and how likely the project was to result in a credit.
The basic deal I always proposed as a development exec for non-Guild writers, which I thought was fair, was: minimum $50K against a bonus (if sole credit) of 2% of budget, or (if shared credit) 1% of budget, either way capped at $250,000. This is a purchase price, and only kicks in on the first day of principal photography; up till then we'd option for as little as we thought we could get away with. Which was sometimes nothing. (See "free options" in my book.)