Dallas/Ft. Worth: 2009:11

The Official E-Newsletter of the Dallas/Fort Worth Branch
The Official E-Newsletter of the Dallas/Fort Worth Branch
November 2009

CURRENT TEXAS
PRODUCTION ACTIVITY

The Guild has been contacted by the following productions about becoming signatory to one of our collective bargaining agreements. These producers may not have completed the signatory process at this time. It is the responsibility of each member to confirm each producer has signed the applicable contract before making an agreement to render services. Failure to confirm the signatory status before rendering services may lead to disciplinary charges being filed. If you have any questions, please contact the office at (800) SAG-0767, ext. 7, or (972) 361-8185.

Friday Night Lights
NBC Studios Inc
Start Date: 9/2/09
Location: Austin
Casting: Beth Sekpo 
info@bethsepkocasting.com

Abandonded Wells
Full Theatrical
Zalcon Productions LLC
Start Date: 12/1/09
Location:  Dallas, N.Y., London
Casting:  TBD

Cameraman
Low Budget Modified
Dixie Films Alpha Limited Partnership
Start Date: 9/24/09 
Location: Longview, TX
Casting: David Cole
dnc@dixiefilms.com

The Cowgirl Chicks
Low Budget Modified
Rodeo Films LLC
Start Date: 12/25/09
Location: Fort Worth
Casting: TBD

The Dome of Heaven
Ultra Low Budget
LH Films
Start Date: 11/28/09
Location: Vici, Okla.
Casting: Diane Glancy at
glancy@macalester.edu

God SaveThe Red Black & Blonde
Ultra Low Budget
Ordered Productions
Start Date: TBD
Location: Austin
Casting: Dan Jimenez at
daj5757@gmail.com

In the Land of Fireworks
Ultra Low Budget
The Creative Spin Inc.
Start Date: TBD
Location: Dallas/Ft. Worth
Casting: Joey Curry at
joey@thecreativespin.com

Mangus!
Ultra Low Budget
Cranium Entertainment, Inc.
Start Date: TBD
Location: Waxahachie, TX
Casting: mangusllc@gmail.com

Minority Western
Ultra Low Budget
FAD Productions
Start Date: 12/30/09
Locations: AZ & Dallas, TX
Casting: Victoria Joyce Hernandez

Predators
Theatrical
Predator Planet Inc.
Start Date: 9/8/09
Location: Hawaii, Austin

FEELING LEFT OUT?

Projects and last minute production changes are happening 24/7. Knowing what’s happening now or what’s next is critical. Why wait for your agent to let you know about an audition? Sign up for TXSAGNetwork on Twitter and receive updates on the latest casting and production news as it happens. TXSAGNetwork –
it’s the essential tool for the actor-entrepreneur, and it’s a benefit reserved only for Texas Branch members.

ON THE SET

Many people refer to film and commercial sets as “floating factories.” Incredible amounts of equipment and people show up at a location for a short time, only to disappear within a day or two. It’s an amazing process with incredible focus and unlimited detail. A detail that is easily overlooked until it actually happens is injury or illness on the set.

Sets can be dangerous places, and even with safety procedures, a performer needs to know how to respond should an accident happen.  Medical treatment should be provided by your employer, who is required to maintain workers compensation insurance for everyone on the set. A medic and/or first aid must always be present when hazardous actions or hazardous conditions are planned. And the production company must arrange for your injury or illness to be checked out as soon as possible, which could mean a trip to the nearest hospital that can provide readily available emergency services.

The performer who has become ill or been injured on the set should report it to the producer or first assistant director without delay. A written accident report will be made and sent to a responsbile state agency, and a copy will be given to you. The producer is required to send a written report to the Screen Actors Guild Stunt and Safety Department describing the illness or injury.

To avoid potential problems when a hazardous activity or stunt is required, it is important for a performer to carefully determine what is being asked by the director. Can the request be done safely or does it require the skill of a stunt performer? Have you given your consent after being informed of the hazardous action? Has there been a safety meeting with you, the stunt coordinator, the producer and others related to the hazardous action before the rehearsal? You can contact the Guild for assistance if you have safety concerns.

An injury on the set not only costs the performer in pain and suffering, but it costs the production as well. Better to be safe than sorry.

NEW TRENDS IN
COMMERCIAL DELIVERY

Q.: A magazine inserts a video chip into one of its issues.  The video chip, when activated, plays a commercial. How is this paid?

A.: This is paid under the Commercials Contract as new media use.  The concept is the same as a birthday card that plays a song when you open it, except that instead of an embedded tune, there is an embedded commercial with moving footage.

iactor

suzanne burkhead

A New Path for the Guild

By Suzanne Burkhead
National Board Member

The National Board welcomed a new president, secretary-treasurer and national executive director at the National Board plenary meeting October 17-18. Newly elected President Ken Howard addressed the board from New York, via videoconference, because he had a previous commitment. Amy Aquino, the new secretary-treasurer, chaired the meeting in Los Angeles. And on Sunday, the National Board voted to appoint David White to the position of national executive director. David had been serving as the Interim NED since January.

The Regional Branch Division re-elected David Hartley-Margolin, from Colorado, as third vice president. Vice-chairs are Todd Hissong (Chicago), Nancy Duerr (Florida) and Abby Dylan (Seattle). I’m happy to report that communications issues affecting those of us in the Branches are being positively addressed. We want to keep connected with you, our membership. That’s a two-way street – you need to know what’s going on in the Guild, and I need to know what your concerns are so that I can better represent you. And be on the lookout for more local content, including video, on SAG.org.

I’m also happy to report that I was elected to two important positions: I am the RBD Chair of the National Agents Relations Committee, and I am a member of the SAG-AFTRA Relations Task Force. Both of these groups have important work to do, and I am looking forward to tackling the tasks at hand. I also will be continuing on the RBD Executive Committee, the Organizing Task Force, Fi-Core Task Force and Right-to-Work Task Force. These task forces deal with issues concerning us in Dallas/Fort Worth, and I look forward to continuing this important work.

In David White’s address to the board, he stressed the importance of developing and implementing a strategic vision for Screen Actors Guild. President Ken Howard stated that he is committed to doing just that, and promises to move forward, following a path of strength based on reciprocal trust and mutual respect.

I’m looking forward to following the path set by our leaders. As always, I welcome your input as we make our way together.

marissa d'onofrio

The Magic of a Community
of Actors

By Marissa D’Onofrio
Script to Screen Team Member

Three years ago, I made the decision to relocate from Florida to Texas, in the hopes of further developing my career as an actress. With the talk of new, growing tax incentives in Texas, tax incentives already in place in Louisiana, a potential job opportunity with a Austin-based shopping channel and a growing resume, I felt strongly that this move was a step in the right direction.

After taking “the plunge,” I began what I would call the “actor’s acclimation process”—and by that I mean I signed with a Texas-based agency, I attended mixers, I enrolled in a weekly acting workshop and I went on auditions. I did all the things that a smart and dedicated actor does–network and meet others in the business—especially being someone who had moved to a new area. My hard work and dedication did pay off in several bookings, not only in the arena of feature films, but also with a television pilot for MTV, a regional SAG commercial campaign and even a national tour with Dallas-based author Dr. Sandy Gluckman, for whom I performed comedic, improvised scenes during her lectures to corporations around the country. From the outside looking in, I was doing everything right… So why wasn’t I happy? Why didn’t I feel like I was really doing everything I could to be a part of the acting community here in Texas?

When I lived in Florida, I made the decision to pursue a career in acting and became a part of something magical. I didn’t study in a class that met once a week for six or eight weeks, but instead I spent every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. in the same little studio, with the same familiar faces, for FOUR years. It was in this studio that I learned a process of acting that I could take with me anywhere, but it was also in this workshop that I was blessed to have had the privilege to build many solid friendships with others who shared in the same dream. This sense of community, relationships not only built on a common interest, but relationships that developed outside of the studio, is what I felt that I was missing when I moved to The Lone Star State.

It wasn’t until my recent experience with the Austin SAG/AFTRA Conservatory’s “Script to Screen” program, co-founded and chaired by fellow actress Pamela Weaver, that I was finally able to put my finger on the missing piece. Even though I’ve lived in Texas for the last three years, primarily in Austin, (and I say “primarily because we ALL know actors are really gypsies in disguise), and even though I feel like I’ve been putting myself out there both on a professional and a social level, I never felt like “a part of the scene” here when it came to acting and networking. I never felt like a part of a community.

Becoming involved with the recent “Script to Screen” production and getting to know and work with a group of Texas-based actors who are professional, hardworking and also proud members of the esteemed Screen Actor’s Guild was the missing piece that made me feel like a part of something magical again. Yes, it is important to possess self-confidence about what you are passionate about, and to believe in yourself and your talent as an actor, but to have the chance to work with others who share your passion, develop relationships with other actors who can relate to the joys, the frustrations and the pressures of the business, and most importantly to receive praise and respect from fellow actors, that is what generates the most satisfaction and truly helps to fuel my passion.

An Update from TXMPA

By Linda Dowell

The Texas Motion Picture Alliance successfully lobbied the Legislature to pass and fund the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program. As a member of the TXMPA Board, I can report that our hard work, and yours, is paying off. Agents around the state report a spike in the number of auditions and the Texas Film Commission reports that over 56 applications arrived between April 23 and July 20–all good signs of success. Of those applications, commercial producers are really getting into the game with 33 applications followed by video game, feature film and television producers. With Friday Night Lights back in production, ABC committing to six episodes of The Deep End in Dallas, features headed back to the state and at least two networks eyeing Texas for series production, I’m certain Texas actors once again will flourish in the spotlight.

Your SAG leadership has played a big part in TXMPA from day one. Be it the fantastic job Dallas member Hector Garcia did as the organization’s inaugural president, the work Trish Avery does handling membership, the hugely successful Black & White Night event coordinated from the SAG office and my continued involvement on the Board, we have all recognized the importance of fighting for this key legislation.

It will be equally as important to grow TXMPA in size and influence as we prepare for the next legislative session. Without a continuing funding mechanism, any gains we make now will just as quickly dissipate.

If you are not a member of TXMPA, please consider joining today. If you are unable to join at this time, please donate $10 toward our efforts, as every dollar counts and we make wise decisions to focus on our core mission: bringing more business to Texas. I have set a personal goal of generating $1,000 for the organization in the next two months.

Shoot me an e-mail about your contribution if you are able to help me make that goal. It would be great to earmark those monies as a SAG contribution. If we all do our part, we will collectively reap the reward.

Thanks for your ongoing support.

First there was Houston, then Austin...

script to screen - returning champion

Script to Screen is a great way to network and demonstrate talent. The above picture is from the August 30 reading of Returning Champion at Jones Auditorium on the St. Edward's University campus.

...Now Watch for the Inaugural DFW Script to Screen Read!

The successful Script to Screen Series of LIVE film script reads before industry audiences began in Houston not too long ago. Austin members quickly saw the benefit of this “members only” access to potential employers and have now expanded the idea to include their own series of reads.

Now, Dallas/Ft. Worth members are gearing up for their own version of the Script to Screen series and will be announcing their S2S schedule in early 2010.  If you are interested in becoming a part of the DFW Script to Screen Team, contact Trish Avery at tavery@sag.org or (972) 361-8185.

Save the Dates

Industry Holiday Party is scheduled for December 17.  Watch for more details coming soon.

STAGE hosts an all union informational meeting with SAG, AFTRA, AEA, IATSE, AFM, etc. on Monday, January 18.

SAG Awards Show simulcast on TNT and TBS, Saturday, January 23 at 7 p.m. Central Time.

ProACT presents an acting workshop with nationally recognized acting coach Candace Silvers on Monday, January 25.

Professional actors meet at Hector’s on Henderson every Third Thursday at 6:30 p.m. (November 19, December 17, etc.)