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As a sometime producer myself I can simpathize with both sides.  Being a
conlanger I know what it takes to do the stuff you did, as a producer I
know the value of an understandable language for the actors to speak.
They could if they want create jibberish and put subtitles to it and the
vast majority of people won't know any better.  The creative consultants
you talked to seem to highly paid people.  Most of the graphic's type
I've worked with, depending on the project, charge about a 1000 a day
for a full 10-12 hours work.  As a comparison SAG actors, none name
actors, get about 2000 for a week of work.  And films have 12 hour
days.  So think of  how many actual hours did you put in on this and
what your contribution actually does for the whole project.  Basicly I
think 2000 would have been a little better.  Less if you were going to
have to teach the actors who to speak it properly, but charge for the
multiple days.

Mario

J Matthew Pearson wrote:

> Well, this is just to announce that my association with "Blade
> II" (the sequel to the Wesley Snipes movie of a couple years
> back) has ended.  As you may recall, I was being tapped by the
> makers of the sequel to revive the Vampire language from the
> first "Blade" movie, which was originally designed by Vicki
> Fromkin, a professor emerita in my department, now deceased.  As
> it turns out, the producer and I were unable to come to an
> agreement on the price, and so I suggested they find someone
> else.
>
> The whole thing has left me feeling very ambivalent.  I'll tell
> you guys how I decided to proceed, and you can tell me if you
> think I did the right thing or not:
>
> Faced with the daunting task of putting a monetary price on a
> conlanging project, I consulted some of my friends who are
> self-employed in various arts- and entertainment-related
> industries (e.g., graphic design), and who are thus used to
> negotiating fees for creative work.  They advised me to treat
> myself as a full-fledged professional/creative consultant, and to
> charge accordingly.  After all, they reasoned, creating an
> internally consistent language from scratch--and in such a way
> that it matches the vampire dialogue from the original "Blade"
> movie--is a highly developed skill, requiring considerable
> expertise.  The fact that I have a PhD in Linguistics and years
> of conlanging experience should count for *something*, they said.
>
> So I thought long and hard about how much time and effort the
> whole project would take, and what I what I considered the
> 'value' of the end product to be.  After much debate, I arrived
> at a lump sum of $3,000.  I quoted my price to the producer and
> she was, to say the least, dumbfounded--even outraged--at my
> audacity:  She was expecting to pay no more than $500 for what
> she assumed would be just a couple hours' work.  We haggled for a
> bit, but once I realised that she was only prepared to go as high
> as $1,000, I said no thank you.  And that was that.
>
> Now I don't know what to think.  On the one hand, I'm proud of
> myself for having stood my ground, and for having the
> self-respect (as a linguist *and* as a conlang artist) to charge
> what I thought my product was really worth, rather than what the
> market would bear.  But on the other hand, I'm disappointed at
> having thrown away the opportunity to see "Vampire dialogue
> created by Dr. Matthew Pearson" in the closing credits of a major
> Hollywood movie.  I'm also wondering if I wasn't being a wee bit
> arrogant in asking quite so much for what was really only a few
> hours of work (and very entertaining work at that).
>
> So what do you guys think?  We all agree that conlanging is an
> art, but was I right to charge as much as a portrait painter or
> graphic artist might charge for a comparable amount of labour?
> How do you put a price on conlangs, anyway?
>
> Matt.