How Much Can You Make Behind The Scenes in Hollywood?

By on October 8, 2015 in ArticlesEntertainment

We know that actors and actresses can get paid lots and lots of money just to film one movie or television series, but there are also lots of other people involved in the shooting of a film or TV show. There is plenty of money to be made behind the scenes in a number of off-camera roles. If you don't have your acting chops down, perhaps you could make some good money as a writer, producer, or maybe even a stunt person. Here is a look at what some folks in Hollywood make for keeping the masses entertained.

Television Actor

A new actor will typically make about $15,000 to $20,000 for each episode; while more experienced actors can make up to $150,000 for just one episode. James Spader from The Blacklist made $160,000 per episode of the second season. Jeff Garlin of the sitcom The Goldbergs earned $84,000 per episode. At the high end, actors like Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki of The Big Bang Theory now make $1 million per episode.

Film Writers

Film writers may go through a lot of scripts before they get one right, but an established writer can easily earn $1 million for a movie and that doesn't include a bonus if they end up getting credited on the film. James Vanderbilt was paid $3 million from Sony for the movie White House Down. If editing is more of your thing, you can make up to $500,000 just to re-write or touch-up a script!

Television Writers

There is actually a scale for TV writers which is $25,048 for a half hour script or $37,368 for an hour long episode. Another way TV writers can be paid is from producing fees which can be $20,000 or $30,000 for an episode.

Film Producer

An established producer can make about $2 million up front and oftentimes a lot more on the backend. For producing Annie, Will Smith and James Lassiter's Overbook Entertainment made $2 million.

PIERRE ANDRIEU/AFP/Getty Images

PIERRE ANDRIEU/AFP/Getty Images

TV Series Creator

Creating a hit show can really pay off and most of that money comes from producing fees. Jon Bokencamp made $37,500 for each episode of The Blacklist season two, while Vince Gilligan made $50,000 per episode of Better Call Saul.

Craft Services – $1,200 per week.

Gaffer – $45 per hour.

First Assistant Director – $8,000 per week or $120,000 to $160,000 per movie.

Script Supervisor – $40 per hour or about $7,000 per episode.

Studio Chief – Base salary of $3 million to $5 million, not counting bonuses.

Director of Photography – $10 thousand to $20 thousand per week.

Makeup Artist – $60 per hour.

TV Cameraman – $75 per hour or $8,000 for an hour long drama episode.

Stunt Person – $889 a day or about $50,000 per film (insurance not provided).

Second Unit Director – $20,000 per week.

Extras – $150 to $200 per day.

Articles Written by B. George Young
B. George Young is a freelance writer who was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. He graduated from the University of Northern Arizona with a degree in humanities. George is an amateur DJ who spends lots of time watching sports. Follow him on Twitter.
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