- The orchestra list. What instruments, and how many of each, including which instruments are doubling, and what instruments they are doubling on.
- How much music. How many pieces of music, and how many measures long is each? Or alternatively, how many minutes of music will there be, and approximately how many cues or pieces will there be? If there are 2 or 3 different sized ensembles, know about how much music each ensemble will be playing.
- Density. What meter is the music mostly in? Are there lots of meter changes? What is the average tempo? Is is mostly chase scenes, or lush love themes? Are the violins divisi? How divisi--one player on a part, a la Penderecki? How many parts will need chord symbols, if any?
- Part considerations. Do you prefer all violins on one part (this is the usual for film scores), or separate Violin 1/Violin 2 parts? Same issue for horns; separate parts, or all on one multi-stave part? How many parts will need chord symbols, if any?
- Venue. Is this for a film, a live performance, a commercial or a recording? Union or non-Union?
- Speed. When do you need it? Generally this won't impact cost much, but if you need an hour's worth of music on Wednesday, and the score won't be get to me until Tuesday, that'll be a little more, as you can imagine.
- The session. Do you want a copyist present for your recording session, in case additional parts are needed? A cohort? Someone to run clicks?