I am just wondering generally how concept illustrators on films are compensated. I know they work either project to project, or on staff at a production company art dept. I also know that their employer usually then owns all the copyrights to the work. I come from a freelance editorial background, where the thought of giving away total copyrights is absurd. So are they paid really, really well in exchange?

Right now I am in a position of starting to do preproduction finished illustrations of panoramas and environments for a (potentially big) sci-fi film, in London. The Ralph McQuarrie type, to help push the vision, the funding forward. It is partially funded right now, and I want to be fairly compensated, or use my copyrights as a bargaining chip - meaning keep them. It is freelance, and I just have no idea what to request to be paid. I'll start out doing 5-6 hi-res, full color scenes.

Any informed opinions would be most helpful!!