Jump to content


Photo

Hiring for a day or two


  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 william everett

william everett
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 25 posts
  • Director

Posted 20 June 2006 - 11:12 AM

Say I want to make my first film, ten or twenty minutes long. I want to hire actors and an actress for a day or two, tops.

Suppose I want to hire SAG actors, maybe even a A.S.C. member, for credibility.

It is far fetched to appraoch SAG or ASC with such a proposal - hiring someone for day or two's shoot and that's it?
  • 0

#2 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19759 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 20 June 2006 - 11:38 AM

Since most professional actors are in SAG, it's almost unavoidable. There are categories in the SAG agreement for experimental, non-commercial projects, probably short films, etc. (i.e. you don't have to pay them as much.) I'm sure many tiny not-for-profit short projects, even though using SAG actors, end up not dealing with SAG itself, just go under their radar. Something to talk to your actors about.

And a project this small does not need to be a union shoot as far as the technical crew goes.

The process for hiring crew and casting of a short film is pretty much the same for a feature, just on a smaller scale. If you've never done it before, I suggest you either keep it really simple, or hire someone to help you produce it who has done it before. You don't really contact SAG, or the ASC (and the equivalent to SAG -- the actor's union -- is the camera union, which is IATSE Local 600, not the ASC...) first, you place a notice in some trade paper or internet site announcing production and telling people where to send their resumes. For actors, often one places a notice in Dramalogue, for example. Maybe people are using Craig's List these days too for this sort of stuff.

I wouldn't worry about windowdressing the movie by hiring someone with ASC next to their name - just hire someone who's work you like from looking at their reel, and checking their resume. There are plenty of talented younger DP's out there who would do a great job for you given the opportunity (assuming your project provides them with a good opportunity for doing decent photography.)

What city are you in?
  • 0

#3 Chris Keth

Chris Keth
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4427 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • Los Angeles

Posted 20 June 2006 - 12:18 PM

Say I want to make my first film, ten or twenty minutes long. I want to hire actors and an actress for a day or two, tops.

Suppose I want to hire SAG actors, maybe even a A.S.C. member, for credibility.

It is far fetched to appraoch SAG or ASC with such a proposal - hiring someone for day or two's shoot and that's it?



Where are you? We might be able to suggest a good DP for you if we knew your location.
  • 0

#4 william everett

william everett
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 25 posts
  • Director

Posted 20 June 2006 - 02:34 PM

And a project this small does not need to be a union shoot as far as the technical crew goes.

You don't really contact SAG, or the ASC (and the equivalent to SAG -- the actor's union -- is the camera union, which is IATSE Local 600, not the ASC...)


What city are you in?




I am twenty miles from Philadelphia. I want to shoot in October when the leaves are orange and yellow, etc.

The phrase "A project this small doesn't need to be a union shoot" is a bit intimidating. I mean the word "need" is intimidating. Is there an unwritten cutoff between union and non-union gigs?

Also, your reply seems to say I would approach IATSE for a camera operator instead of ASC, is that right? Of course I want to save money, but I also want to "do the right thing" professionally and not piss off important people. If I made some short films and then wanted to do a feature, I would need to be in people's good graces.

Edited by williameverett, 20 June 2006 - 02:35 PM.

  • 0

#5 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19759 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 20 June 2006 - 08:47 PM

I don't know what the situation there is in Philly, though I shot a feature there and know it's a hardcore pro-union city, but generally IATSE is not going to bother you on a small non-commercial short film project -- there's no money in it, and members are allowed to work on non-union shows anyway, there's no restrictions against them from doing that.

So most likely your little shoot will be SAG but not IATSE. You don't need to contact them (IATSE) on a project with such a tiny budget, and if a IATSE rep bothered you, just tell them the truth about your budget and they'll leave you alone. I mean, if you really are worried, you can talk to them first about the project, just as a heads up. Generally you plant an add for hiring somewhere, you get resumes, some of those people will happen to be in IATSE, that's all.

You should contact SAG though and find out if there are any specific rules for a project such as yours. Emphasize to them that it's not for profit, it will probably only go to film festivals, and it's a short with a tiny budget. There's some SAG category for that.

Can't say for sure if the Teamsters Union (set drivers) will leave you alone, but I doubt you'll have big trucks anyway to peak their interest...

But honestly, if your shoot is really tiny, it may be better just to keep a low profile rather than give people the impression that it's bigger than it really is (i.e. don't let them smell money.)

IATSE is the union for most technical jobs on a production, from sound to camera to grip. Local 600 is the specific branch that covers camera people.

ASC (American Society of Cinematographers) is not a union, it's an honorary society by invitation only for cinematographers specifically, not operators, etc. There are other honorary societies for other trades, like ACE for editors. Has nothing to do with the unions or getting jobs, although many ASC members are also IATSE members.

In terms of hiring, start from the top down -- hire the cinematographer first so that together you can put together a camera crew. Hire a sound recordist before you hire a boom operator, etc. -- hire the department heads first basically; until then, just collect resumes of the other positions.
  • 0

#6 william everett

william everett
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 25 posts
  • Director

Posted 21 June 2006 - 01:13 PM

very informative. thanks
  • 0

#7 Chris Keth

Chris Keth
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4427 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • Los Angeles

Posted 21 June 2006 - 07:49 PM

I have a friend in NYC that might consider it. He's just starting out there. His website is www.kevinkilcher.com. He has a reel and contact info there, but not much else as he's moving to NYC right now.
  • 0

#8 timHealy

timHealy
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1252 posts
  • Other
  • New York

Posted 21 June 2006 - 08:21 PM

I would consider it. I am in Northern NJ just outside NYC. Send me a email through this site and I'll send a resume and demo reel.

Best

Tim
  • 0

#9 ChrisConnelly

ChrisConnelly
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 29 posts
  • Grip
  • Philly

Posted 25 June 2006 - 12:19 AM

Philly is indeed very pro-union, but there is a substantial nonunion work force in the local film industry here. A small two day shoot could easily be done here. As Mr. Mullen stated you'll probably have SAG actors, but you'd need to be doing something fairly large scale for more than two days to pique the interest of IA or the Teamsters.

If you are still looking for a DP, etc. I would recommend checking out the Philadelphia Production Guide, you can see it online or get a copy of it at www.film.org.

Edited by ChrisConnelly, 25 June 2006 - 12:22 AM.

  • 0

#10 shootist

shootist
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 41 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 26 June 2006 - 01:33 PM

With your apperent lack of knowledge of how the business works, I would suggest you interview and hire a producer or production manager to help you sort through the minefield of production.
  • 0


Abel Cine

Tai Audio

Visual Products

rebotnix Technologies

Rig Wheels Passport

Opal

Technodolly

Wooden Camera

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Willys Widgets

Paralinx LLC

Ritter Battery

Glidecam

FJS International, LLC

Aerial Filmworks

CineLab

The Slider

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineTape

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Metropolis Post

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Willys Widgets

rebotnix Technologies

Glidecam

Paralinx LLC

Abel Cine

CineLab

Opal

Aerial Filmworks

Metropolis Post

Visual Products

Wooden Camera

Technodolly

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineTape

The Slider

Rig Wheels Passport

FJS International, LLC

Tai Audio

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Ritter Battery