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Posts Tagged ‘getting paid’

I had a most frustrating day yesterday. I typed about a 1000 words three times, only to delete each draft. I couldn’t figure out if chance had a role to play in a detective novel. It’s relatively earlier on in the novel and it’s not as though the protagonist is solving anything major with the help of chance.

Even so, normally I steer clear of the trap of stumbling onto something by sheer luck. (Where are your dicking skills if that’s the case?) But then, given that it is a funny detective story, like its predecessor, Kkrishnaa’s Konfessions, couldn’t one take some liberties? After all we do have a Jacques Clouseau whom people devour with amusement.

Anyway, couldn’t make up my mind so I typed out both scenarios, where the protagonist stumbles upon a clue by chance and where it’s logically thought out. And a third scenario. Wasn’t happy with any so I did what I do in these situations.

I set is aside and put on my running shoes.  The rain had lightened into a light drizzle and running in such weather is always fun, if you overlook squishy shoes.

In any case, I figured a 10K run would clear the mind somewhat.Alas, it wasn’t to be. All I could think about was Kkrishnaa. My baby, all grown up, refuses to let go. Rather, I refuse to let go of my baby.

On a different note and taking up from where I left off yesterday, film is more glamorous than it is lucrative. As a struggling writer, without a ‘produced’ film to your name, you cannot hope to make more than Rs. 2-2.5 lakhs per film script. Rs. 5 lakhs if you’re wildly lucky. And a film script will take at least 2 months (It should take more but we’ll discuss that later) to write.

Why I call it unprofitable is because you may never get to write more than one film. Or you may never get paid anything beyond the initial signing amount. There’s nothing you can do about it. Having said that, there are celebrity writers – Anurag Kashyap, Neeraj Vora, Jaideep Sahni, Abbas Tyrewala who can pretty much command their price. But it takes years of struggle and genuine talent. 

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Television pays well. Really well. And on time. And by time I mean there could be a delay of about 5-10 from the pay day but in the larger scheme of Indian Stretchable Time, it’s fine. You may miss out on a car or a housing payment because your cheque didn’t arrive on time that’s all 🙂

Writing in TV is divided into – Story, Screenplay and Dialogues. A writer may work any one or all three on a particular show. A daily show has at least 3-4 writers.

As a newcomer you can expect to earn Rs. 2000-3000 per episode for the story, Rs. 4000-5000 per episode for screenplay and ditto for dialogues.

You will be paid this money with a lag of 30-60 days from either the date of approval (from the channel) or telecast, depending upon your contract.

All, in all it works out to a tidy sum at the end of the month, once you enter the payment cycle. Plus, as you grow in experience, you can pretty much command your price. I know writers who walk home with Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs (Rs. 4,00,000 – 5,00,000) a month. But then they are good. They know the pulse of the viewers and can guarantee TRPs.

These are the kinds of writers who usually come up with winning pitches – the concept and initial story document for winning shows. And get paid huge amounts of money for the same.

Personally, I’m not a fan of pitches. I prefer to take on shows that are already on air. That’s because the success rate is 1:20, one show in twenty presented gets the nod.  And if yours is one of the shows that has been rejected, as is likely to happen, all you would have ended up doing is wasting a lot of time and money in developing the concept and story, going for narrations etc.

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