Composing for indie projects – How much to charge?

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This topic contains 33 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  Kubed 10 months, 4 weeks ago.

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  • #27557 Reply


    Yeah, I sort of gave up on “indie horror”….

    A decade ago (and about 25 movies ago) the movies actually had “crews”, now everything is done in a slipshod way with no real story or “polish” to them.

    It seems that just like with music, people are able to put together a finished “release” (ever look at the flood of cheap indie horror on amazon prime?) without the benefit of years of private mistakes!

    I’m sort of glad I’m old! Back when I started music, there was no way to get signed unless you convinced others that you were good enough.

    I wasn’t good enough, and I didn’t get signed!… Thankfully!

    There’s a lot of music of mine on cassette that will NEVER see the light of day! (Thank God!!!!)

    I sometimes wish there was a built in “cooling off period” for newbie composers AND filmmakers!

    Now everyone has an outlet….. there is a lot of good about that.

    This is the bad part!

    #28888 Reply


    Hey guys,i would love to have some tips for a,kind of,WFH project.
    A fellow composer had an offer from a new company and wants to know how much he should charge the company for the use of his music.
    They picked one of his tracks as the main theme of a new cartoon series.
    I know this is quite subjective but any rough estimations would help a lot!

    Here are the facts;

    1) They want to buyout the track and use it exclusively in perpetuity as the main theme of the series.
    2) They aim to shop it in some american tv network (big or small,no idea yet).
    3) They have 6 episodes ready so far and when/if it is greenlighted they’ll do more.

    As i said,this is a new company and this is going to be their first project.Still,since they want to use the track as the main theme of the series and want to buyout the copyright,he shouldn’t do it for a few hundreds of dollars i guess…

    Any suggestions,rough estimations etc are very welcome.

    #28889 Reply

    Michael Nickolas

    I will throw out a rough estimate of $3,000 if it’s a national cable theme song, and $10,000 if it’s a national network theme song. Composer keeps writer’s share of broadcast royalties.

    #28894 Reply


    Thank you Michael,i appreciate your help!

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