Are you a novice composer, with a lot of personal works but few professional ones? Try$100/min of music. So if you’re asked to write a 15 minute long short film score, it would amount to $1500. Name this as your price then! Are you satisfied with it? Do you think you deserve it? All about what you think yourself. You get paid what you ask for. Never more (99 times out of a 100).
Maybe you’ve never scored anything professionally, but just love to write music and want to become an awesome film composer. If an indie director comes along and gets interested in you scoring his short film, then perhaps strike up a good friendship and do it for free, or ask for something small – like a few hundred bucks for everything. It’ll give you some beginning experience, some friendships and learn how things can be in a project.
Doing work for free, or very little, in the beginning is OK. First collaborating project or two can be fun and free. A learning experience for all with no money involved.
… perhaps you’ve been in the game for a while, doing some short films, writing some music on projects that actually have some budget – what then should you be charging? You’ve gained some decent experience, you’re in the business now. Try charging a minimum of$300/min! If you write 2 minutes of music per day, that’s 600 bucks a day. Pretty decent salary!
But again, the most important aspect is to not sell yourself short, or become the “cheap guy/girl”. Charge what you need to charge, and don’t be afraid to ask for a lot – you can always go down in price for them (and they will see it as a discount), but you can never go up in price (they will see it as a bad deal).
Stay productive, awesome folks.
Until next time!