Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Taking A Risk

I went self-employed in May this year and although things have been tight on the money front work opportunities have started to come through the door, to the point where I get at least one email every second day enquiring about the availability of my short film scripts, or my help in some way.

While I was trying to establish myself as a self-employed writer, I was happy to let directors have my scripts for a writing credit and a DVD copy of the finished film, but work has been piling up to such an extent I felt I could no longer afford to do this. I have a pregnant wife, a dog and a three-year-old boy to support, as well as a bad Xbox habit....I can handle it....honest!

I had an email this morning from a director asking if I had any new short scripts, ones that weren't on my website. I didn't so I wrote back to the lady concerned and said I was happy to write one for her on spec, but that I would have to charge her for it. If there was a script on my site she was interested in then I might have been inclined to let her have it for nothing, but as writing a new one would involve some work from me, I decided that now was the time to start charging for my services. I fully expect never to hear from the director again, but it's a chance I have to take if I am to be a success as a freelance writer. I don't want to have to go back to full-time would kill me....seriously!

So right now I'm wondering if I've done the right thing? Should I relent and start doing work again for free? But I know I can't really, it would be a backward step, one I am not prepared to take. Scary times.

Wish me luck.


potdoll said...

Hi Dom,

I'm interested to hear why you say 'female' director. If it had been a male director would you have said 'male director' or just director?

Good luck with the freelancing - stressful on the pocket but you can't put a price on following your dreams.

Dominic Carver said...

Yes, if it had been a male director I would have written it the same. Did I sound like I was charging her just because she was female? I hope not, it wasn't my intention to be sexist, I was just adding additional information.

potdoll said...

no doll it didn't sound like anything - just wondering why you said female director rather than director.

Dominic Carver said...

Changed it now anyway ;-)

potdoll said...

ok lol. i didn't mean to make you paranoid! :)

T.M. Curzon-Manners said...

You cannot keep writing for free, you must know your worth and stick to it. Failing that, a part time job perhaps to establish a modicum of security?

Very best of luck to you, either way it's a brave decision.


Hey dom,

Firstly i must say what your doing is absolutely the best thing to do. Its admirable that youve taken this step, though tough initially I am certain it will give great results, There is a shortage of great scripts and your right in charging for them. The world is full of people who want free lunches, dont get sucked back into that. Having said that I am genunely interested in "buying" a good script idea to make a short film. Would sure like to discuss this further and also a rough idea of what you would charge.


Dominic Carver said...

Hi Trish, if you go to the top right of my blog you'll see my website address, on there you'll find a page called WRITING on which you can look at samples. My email address is also the webpage for you to contact me directly.