This is one of the best and most concise articles we've read on how screenwriters actually get paid. What can you expect to earn as a 'baby writer? Once you're produced? What's the difference between selling a spec screenplay and getting hired on an open writing assignment? How much do you get paid at point of script sale or at 'commencement' of your writing services, and how much do you get if your project actually goes into production?
Bear in mind that Hollywood writers frequently get replaced mid project. So your lawyer should always advise you if your contract states that if the very large looking greenlit bonus will actually diminish quite considerably should you share credit with a subsequent writer.... Read on, and then talk about the finer points with your Script E.R mentor next time you stop by for class.