Animation : Let's talk money by Hagop Kane Boughazian

Hagop Kane Boughazian

Let's talk money

Hello all,

I'm sure this topic has come up before, but I would love to explore it further. I've been creating 3D animations for 20 years, but I'm new to writing and IP, and feature animation. I would love to start a discussion to bring to light what kind of potential there is here to...make money!

Here are the types of questions I'm pondering:

(I understand all cases are different, but even getting some examples would be amazing)

1: What can a writer expect to receive for a feature animation screenplay?

2: Would you get paid more if you directed what you wrote? How much more?

3: Would a writer get a one-time fee for their screenplay, or would there be any follow up payments / royalties?

4: What can a creator of an IP expect to receive for their IP? For example, I've written a children's chapter book, and I'm wondering what kinds of payment there would be from that IP. Would it be a one-time payment for the IP? Would there be royalties in the future? Would I keep the rights for merchandising?


Hoping for an enlightening conversation.



Simon Turnbull
  1. Depends on where it is produced and what the outcome will be. You negotiate what you are worth, based on your industry.

    2. Of course. Negotiate.

    3. Work for hire means one time fee, above the line means you get royalties. Negotiate.

    4. Royalties if you own the copyright, one time payment if you sell them the copyright. Negotiate. Merchandising rights are a separate item.

    I haven't done any deals like this, so I cant help you with price points.

Nate Wubu

Most big studios like Pixar, Bluesky, sony create their own IP inhouse so they don't buy scripts. Most animators at big studios are part of the animation guild so they get health 401k but no residuals usually. The good news is that there are so many distributers nowadays like hulu, Netflix, amazonPrime, iTunes etc. You can create a good feature film and make money if you market it right. You could team up with a crew at artella and distribute it yourself if you want. It is however much harder to make money with a short movie <60 min so I'd be sure to make it a feature if you want ROI. And for the love of Lisa please read a couple of books on story so your movie isn't crap. One star reviews last forever!

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