If you want to know how to get paid for movie ideas, this article is going to be very interesting.
It reveals the different ways you can get paid for your movie ideas and some of the best companies that either pay you directly or help you get paid.
Can You Really Get Paid for Movie Ideas?
Of course you can get paid for movie ideas!
We’ve seen hundreds, if not thousands of movies in our lives, and as far as entertainment goes, movie production is not stopping any time soon.
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There are many stages involved in movie production, and it all starts with an idea.
Granted though, getting paid for movie ideas is not one of the most straightforward jobs out there but it can be done.
You can imagine if everyone who wakes up with a movie idea waltz into a movie production company and gets paid just like that; I bet there’ll be a hundred times more fancy cars and mansions littered all over the country.
However, with the proper guidance and knowledge, you have a good chance of getting paid for your movie ideas, as we will be going into detail shortly.
So, yes, you can definitely get paid just by sharing your movie ideas with companies. Keep reading to learn more about getting paid for movie ideas and best companies or programs that help you get paid.
How Much Money Should You Expect to Sell Your Movie Ideas?
You can expect to get up to $5,000 on the front end when you sell an idea or storyline and up to $20,000 on the backend when the production is complete.
If you’re selling out screenplay treatments, you can expect to get roughly $40,000 upon closure of the deal and up to $75,000 when the movie gets produced.
However, other qualities measure how much money you should expect based on the idea you’re bringing to the table.
Note that these are only estimates of what to expect and not what to charge to buyers.
Yes, selling your movie ideas is one of the ways to make money even while sleeping!
How to Get Paid for Movie Ideas (7 Helpful Ways)
At one point or the other, we’ve all had movie ideas flash through our minds; even though it seems like a great idea, it takes more than your figment of imagination to put out a movie.
Communication is an important skill even in movie production. Your ability to communicate your movie ideas to investors or producers goes a long way to determine how well you get paid.
The list below contains some practical ways to guide you on the path of getting paid for your movie ideas:
- Develop a movie idea
- Write a short synopsis of the story
- Write a detailed synopsis of the story
- Improve your script-writing skills
- Pitch your script to companies
- Hire an agent
1. Develop a Movie Idea
It all starts with an idea. Every successful venture you see today was birthed in the mind of a person or a mastermind of individuals.
Concepts such as these don’t come just once; it’s a gradual process.
Take enough time to develop a substantial movie idea that will at the very least sound appealing to one or two persons you’re trying to sell it to.
2. Write a Short Synopsis of the Story
A synopsis shouldn’t be more than two pages long. The idea of a synopsis is to outline the basics of the story you’re trying to sell.
The synopsis should contain the central plot of the movie and the notable characters as well.
Your synopsis doesn’t necessarily need to include many dialogues between characters; anyone who takes a look at your synopsis should have a rough idea of what the movie is all about.
3. Write a Detailed Synopsis of the Movie
The short synopsis should serve as bullet points for the detailed synopsis.
However, the detailed synopsis (which should be around six to ten pages long) should serve as barebones for the script to give the writer better insight when they start working on the script.
The detailed synopsis can include all the scenes for the movie, more conversations, and other necessary details about the film.
4. Improve Your Script-writing Skills
Learn to write a script if you have little or no idea about script-writing.
Your ability to write movie scripts in a relatable and easy-to-understand format is an essential factor that’ll help you negotiate a reasonable price for your idea.
Script-writing is one of the meat and potatoes of the many works that happen behind the scenes, which is why you need to master this skill as a creative.
It doesn’t take much to dismiss a script written by an amateur; you can tell from its cumbersome nature and lack of cohesion.
5. Pitch Your Script to Companies
This probably has to be the most challenging of the steps involved in getting paid for your movie ideas.
Pitching scripts to movie production companies is not as easy as walking into a store and asking them if they’re interested in selling what you have to offer.
These bullet points below should give you an idea of how to pitch your script to companies:
- Your script should have a cover letter that gives a peek of what general overview of the movie
- It should also contain any relevant experience(s) you’ve had.
- Find a list of movie production companies. An excellent resource to get started is by visiting movie directory sites such as IMDB.
6. Hire an Agent
Well, in some cases, you might not require the services of an agent, but having a manager or agent will help open more doors and help get your project to a broader reach.
If you have the funds to hire an agent, go for it; otherwise, you should have enough confidence that your project is good enough to give you an audience.
If you are going to venture that will get companies to pay you for your movie ideas, the least you could do on your part is to be in places where you can meet and get familiar with people whom you potentially see as clients.
Go to movie awards, hang out in places and events where you can meet movie producers, build a rapport and tell them you have a project that you think is worth looking into.
Sell them on your thoughts just enough to get them interested in what you have to offer; business-minded people are always open to ways to make more money, so make that move!
11 Best Companies That Pay or Help You Get Paid for Your Movie Ideas
Now that you have an idea of how to monetize your creativity in bringing movie ideas to life, you’re stuck with the challenge of having connections with programs or places that show your skill.
There’s no need to worry; the list below contains unique platforms that help get your materials to the right audience.
- IMDB Pro
- BBC Writers Room
- Nicholl Fellowship
- Script Reader Pro
- Stage 32
- The Black List
- Virtual Pitch Fest
- Warner Bros. Writing Program
1. IMDB Pro
Although these lists come in no respective order, IMDB still makes the top of this list; this is the best place to meet agents, production companies, and movie management teams worldwide.
IMDB Pro is a premium package and does cost a fee, but if you’re serious about selling your ideas to make money, paying for this service shouldn’t be a big deal.
Don’t be scared away by the site’s appearance, thinking it was made only for actors.
If you’re looking for agents and a team to back your plan, BackStage will come in helpful for you.
3. BBC Writers Room
This is an excellent platform for you to sell your movie ideas in writing.
All you have to do is send your material on the site, and it is entirely free.
Note that BBC Writers room entertain only ideas related to TV scripts, Drama and Comedy.
Also See: Best Stock Market Movies to Help You.
It works similarly to the BlackList but with the differences of you uploading your synopsis and a newsletter.
This newsletter gives you details on what producers in the movie industry need for their screenplay.
5. Nicholl Fellowship
This is a platform that provides amateur screenwriters to showcase their materials.
The winner of this competition goes home with a cash price of $35,000.
As the winner, you get assigned an agent and production team to bring your idea to life.
6. Script Reader Pro
This is a special kind of platform where professional screenwriters review the scripts of other screenwriters.
If they find your writing interesting, they reach out to you, seeking your permission to submit your script to their agent.
7. Stage 32
If you are looking for a platform where you can find producers to pitch your scripts face-to-face, Stage32 can help.
If they find your script interesting, they reach out to you to send them your screenplay.
Simple as that!
8. The Black List
BlackList is a platform where you can host your scripts on a database for Hollywood professionals to access and read.
If they find the idea behind the script interesting, then you got yourself a deal.
The rating on The BlackList is on a scale of one to ten.
You have a higher chance of getting a deal when you score eight and above.
9. Virtual Pitch Fest
If you’re looking for a site where you can contact professionals in the movie industry, then you should take a look at Virtual Pitch Fest.
Their platform contains over 470 professionals to bring your ideas to life; they include a list of producers, managers, and agents.
You can rest assured knowing that you’ll get a response based on what you submit.
10. Warner Bros. Writing Program
Out of thousands of scripts submitted, Warner Bros awards eight screenwriters’ access to managers, agents, and executives every year.
The application is free.
If you think you’ve got those ideas building up in you, feel free to apply.
If your content is excellent, you’ll get signed to the company.
Note that the scripts you write have to be from one of their current shows running on their network.
Also See: Tips for Making Money As a Movie Extra.
It is vital to note you have to be a member of the Writer’s Guild if you want to get paid for your ideas based on the Guild minimums.
If you are not a member of the Writer’s Guild, you’re more or less at the mercy of whatever the company is willing to pay for your ideas.
Click here to join WGA today.
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Sell Movie Ideas FAQs
Can I Sell My Movie Ideas to Make Money?
Yes, you can.
Writing scripts for movie production companies is very competitive and challenging, but getting paid by selling movie ideas is possible. The list above contains more details about how to get paid for movie ideas.
Can I Get Paid to Give Movie Ideas?
Yes, you can.
When you sign up as a member of The Writers Guild of America, you are offered a guideline for minimum payment you can earn for giving movie ideas to production companies.
You can make more if the company decides to turn your idea into a screenplay.
Can I Get a Copyright for My Movie Idea?
No, you cannot get copyright based on an idea, but you can get ownership rights for your scripts.
This is why it is crucial to have a short and detailed synopsis of your idea after coming up with a plan and get the necessary legal requirements to claim ownership of your work.
Can I Sell a Movie Idea to Netflix?
Of course you can, but it’s certainly better to develop your idea into something much more detailed that will interest Netflix.
The more detailed your idea and script is, the more likely you will sell it to Netflix or any other company.
As this article has shown, it’s indeed possible to make money selling your movie ideas and there are genuine companies that help you get paid.
But of course, one key factor essential for all the steps listed above to make sense is patience.
Anything worth doing at all is worth doing well, and good plans take time to come to fruition.
Also, very importantly, you should have a positive mindset, and be open to kinds of responses, including rejection.
It’s not uncommon to see many creatives whose potential clients have rejected work and ideas; jobs like this require you to develop a thick skin to criticism, outright rejection.
People get paid for movie ideas, but it shouldn’t be seen as a scheme to earn quick money.
If you think it’s worth giving a shot, be consistent in the steps listed above, and you’ll be smiling to the bank when the time is right.