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SAG short film contract


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#1 alfredoparra

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 09:53 AM

Is it worth signing a SAG short film agreement other then you can hire SAG actors? I find that it only benifits SAG as they created these short film agreements to employ there actors through these contracts, another disadvantage is non SAG actors with speaking rolls working along side a SAG actor under a SAG agreement is not eligable to join SAG! also you have to buy workers comp and hire a pay roll company. alot of politics just for a short film. What are your thoughts on this topic??
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#2 Christopher Santucci

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 12:25 PM

If you have a small budget, you can probably find non SAG actors of quality and thus avoid the extra expense involved with being a SAG signator. It's just probably not worth it.

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#3 Jim Keller

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 03:48 PM

Is it worth signing a SAG short film agreement other then you can hire SAG actors? I find that it only benifits SAG as they created these short film agreements to employ there actors through these contracts, another disadvantage is non SAG actors with speaking rolls working along side a SAG actor under a SAG agreement is not eligable to join SAG! also you have to buy workers comp and hire a pay roll company. alot of politics just for a short film. What are your thoughts on this topic??


Having workers comp insurance (or volunteer insurance if you qualify for it) is a good idea whether you're working with SAG or not. If someone is injured on your set and you're not insured, then YOU are liable for the damages personally. So I'd take that one out of the decision-making process. Really, the issue is whether or not you can get the performances you need out of non-union (or union but willing to risk it) actors. If not, then sign the contract. If you can find what you need non-union, then why do the paperwork?
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#4 alfredoparra

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 10:20 PM

so it all comes down to a SAG actor or not right? 80% of SAG actors here in Boston are nothing more then back ground actors that never had a speaking roll and got in the union with voulchers, so there's no real advantage going through SAG is there?? any deep deep information on this would be helpful, theres got to be a little more to it that we dont know other then having the SAG logo in the credits right?
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#5 Andrew McCarrick

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 11:01 PM

so it all comes down to a SAG actor or not right? 80% of SAG actors here in Boston are nothing more then back ground actors that never had a speaking roll and got in the union with voulchers, so there's no real advantage going through SAG is there?? any deep deep information on this would be helpful, theres got to be a little more to it that we dont know other then having the SAG logo in the credits right?


You ready to pay pension and health, residuals, hotels, per diem, meals, mileage, ect. ??? If not then don't go Union. SAG easily adds on 100k to a feature film, so I'd say it would add something like 5-15k for a short.
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#6 Andrew Koch

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 11:22 PM

You ready to pay pension and health, residuals, hotels, per diem, meals, mileage, ect. ??? If not then don't go Union. SAG easily adds on 100k to a feature film, so I'd say it would add something like 5-15k for a short.



This is not necessarily true. SAG has an agreement called "SAG EXPERIMENTAL." I believe it covers productions that are less than 100K (number could be different). With this agreement, all of the things that you would have to pay for cay be deferred. Regardless, mileage and meals should be payed for by any production regardless of whether it is union or not. This is simply common sense and the right thing to do. I don't know what the rules are for mileage where you are, but in LA production is supposed to compensate you if shooting is outside the 30 mile radius of the city. But if your actors are working for free, or for very low pay, they are probably being generous and I think it is only fair to compensate them for gas even if they are relatively close.

If you have actors that you want to work with that are members of SAG, then you need to fill out the necessary paperwork with SAG to become SAG signatory. Otherwise, you would be working with the SAG actors in secret without SAG's permission and the actors can get in big trouble with their union. That is unfair to ask of your actors. Filing the paperwork only takes about a week and it doesn't cost you anything, so why not do it?
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#7 Christopher Santucci

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 09:04 AM

[quote name='Andrew Koch' date='Aug 8 2008, 12:22 AM' post='245738']
This is not necessarily true. SAG has an agreement called "SAG EXPERIMENTAL." I believe it covers productions that are less than 100K (number could be different). With this agreement, all of the things that you would have to pay for cay be deferred.


They did away with the "experimental" contract...

These are the options:

http://www.sagindie....rces/contracts/

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Edited by Christopher Santucci, 08 August 2008 - 09:06 AM.

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#8 Andrew Koch

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 12:22 PM

I guess I was giving outdated information. Sorry for that and thanks for clarifying.
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#9 Jim Keller

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 12:36 PM

so it all comes down to a SAG actor or not right? 80% of SAG actors here in Boston are nothing more then back ground actors that never had a speaking roll and got in the union with voulchers, so there's no real advantage going through SAG is there?? any deep deep information on this would be helpful, theres got to be a little more to it that we dont know other then having the SAG logo in the credits right?


Yeah, in a market like Boston, I wouldn't bother working with SAG until you're at a level where you need to attract celebrity talent. Here in L.A., it can be challenging to get good people non-union.
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#10 Andrew McCarrick

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Posted 09 August 2008 - 03:39 PM

Regardless, mileage and meals should be payed for by any production regardless of whether it is union or not. This is simply common sense and the right thing to do. I don't know what the rules are for mileage where you are, but in LA production is supposed to compensate you if shooting is outside the 30 mile radius of the city.


This makes no sense to me at all actually.... Why then in everyother job in the world does gas and lunch (food) come out of the paychecks of people. People that work in an office or pharmacy (or anything of that sort) don't get compensation for the time and expense it takes for them to get to work. And you know damn well that they don't get compensated for food. So if actors want to say "it's just a job" then they should be paid as such. No meals, no mileage. Not to mention they make about 100 dollars an hour on the Minimum Basic Agreement, which is about 5 times more than what the average worker in this country makes. You would think they would be able to afford their own food and gas, seeing as how everybody else in this country that makes much less can.

Edited by Andrew McCarrick, 09 August 2008 - 03:42 PM.

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#11 Mike Panczenko

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Posted 09 August 2008 - 05:07 PM

Under union contracts, mileage/travel/per diem is only payed when the production office is more than 60 miles (as the crow flies) away from the worker's residence. So, the vast majority of the time, most people in this business are not getting mileage. And, in desk-jobs, when people work out of town, they also are normally reimbursed for mileage, given per diem, and have their travel expenses paid for.

Meals, on the other hand, are supposed to be served every 6 hours, and they need to be hot, catered, sit-down meals. If they are not served on time, or those conditions are not met, then meal penalties start accumulating.

It's true, most other jobs don't provide meals on the job for their employees. It's also true that most other jobs are not nearly as physically demanding, or as long, or as scattered location-wise as our business. People in other lines of work can sit at a desk and not eat, which is not healthy. But when people in our line of work don't eat, safety is a major concern. The body gets tired and sloppy, and when you are hauling hundreds of pounds of gear, or securing a tether for a stunt, you can't afford to not have your mind at full capacity.

Also, meals are not required to be served. You can have walk-away meals as well, which are not as common, for the reason that they last an hour instead of half an hour. Producers would rather pay to have the crews fed a catered meal, than lose an extra half hour of work time. So, no one is forcing producers to feed the crews. They are choosing to so that they can gain an extra half hour of work. If someone has worked with unscrupulous producers, as I'm sure many of us have, then I would bet money that at some point in their careers, they have worked hours and hours without being allowed to eat. Work suffers, and more importantly, health, and peoples' safety suffers.
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#12 Robert Tagliaferri

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Posted 09 August 2008 - 06:37 PM

Also, when on multiple remote/isolated locations that you are unfamiliar with, it would be impossible to provide yourself with a good lunch.

I think construction workers should get catered meals too though. Same sort of situation, though I guess they are generally at one particular job site for a longer period of time than film workers are.
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#13 Andrew McCarrick

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Posted 09 August 2008 - 10:29 PM

The way I see it anything like that should be included in pay. Provide a caterer but each person has to pay seperatley. 759 for an 8 hour day and they can't use 15 bucks of that to pay for food? So I'm not saying don't provide catering but the actual purchase of the food should be the individuals responsiblity not the producers. SAG actors are making almost 100 dollars an hour and apparently can't afford to purchase their own food.

Edited by Andrew McCarrick, 09 August 2008 - 10:31 PM.

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