When: 1-2 p.m. “Conversations” with President Alan Rosenberg
(Free and open to the public)
2-4 p.m. membership meeting (SAG members only)
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Where: The Tropicana Hotel and Casino
3801 Las Vegas Boulevard South
South Pacific Room
(702) 739-2222 (Tropicana phone# for directions)
Please join your fellow branch members, branch council, executive director and SAG National President Alan Rosenberg for an informative afternoon and camaraderie.
Only SAG Nevada members will be permitted to attend-except a parent may accompany a child member. In order to gain entrance to the meeting, you must present your paid-up SAG membership card.
If you have any questions, please contact the office at 5757 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036 or call toll-free at (800) SAG-0767, prompt #7, or email Nevada Executive Hrair Messerlian at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have any friends who are eligible to join SAG but are holding out? They may be getting incorrect information about the Guild. Or they may even think they look good with just "SAG eligible" on their resume.
The fact is, if they continue to compete with you for SAG work without joining, you pay their way. That's serious. And if they take jobs at below scale without the benefits that only SAG contracts provide, they help depress the profession standards of the whole market, hurting every serious actor in the process. And that's really serious.
What does SAG do for its members?
SAG negotiates and enforces contracts for approximately 120,000 professional performers working in film, television, commercials, interactive and music videos. As a SAG member you have the collective strength and power of the entire professional acting community on your side. The Guild enhances actors' working conditions, compensation and benefits - and is a powerful unified voice on behalf of artists' rights. We are proud to fight for all working actors, and we are proud to fight for you.
Not only is working non-union a violation of Rule One, when it comes to commercials, it can threaten the career of an actor. Non-union commercials can be aired anytime anywhere, and they can play for years. Non-union commercials generally pay little or nothing for use, which generally means the only payment is a "buy-out" with unlimited use rights extended to the producer.
SAG commercials, however, require the producer to pay the performer holding fees for the right to use the spot. Generally speaking, when holding fees stop, the right for the producer to continue to use the commercial does too.
What are holding fees?
Holding fees are paid to a performer in "fixed" cycles, every 13 weeks from the session date, if the producer wishes to retain the rights to air the commercial and wants to hold a performer exclusive to the product. During this 13-week period, a performer cannot accept work in a commercial for a competitive product. For example, if a performer has received a holding fee for a Pepsi commercial, he/she may not accept work for a commercial advertising Coca-Cola during that period of time.
What if a performer does not receive a holding fee?
If the producer has not paid a holding fee to a performer by the first day of the new holding fee cycle, he/she is released from exclusivity and may audition for, and accept employment in a commercial for a competing product.
Is the producer obligated to send a notice releasing a performer from the commercial?
The producer is not obligated to send a notice releasing a performer from the commercial. If a performer does not receive a holding fee for a new 13-week cycle, the performer has been released from the commercial.
What if the holding fee payment has been postmarked late?
Holding fees are due (and must be postmarked) no later than the first day of the holding fee cycle. There are several choices if the holding fee is not paid on time. The performer may ask for late payment damages and accept the holding fee. Or the performer may reject the holding fee payment and consider him/herself released from exclusivity. Or the performer may reject the holding fee payment and renegotiate the terms of his/her contract pertaining to the commercial if the producer wishes to continue to use it.
How long is a performer "held" to a commercial?
The "maximum period of use" of a commercial is 21 months (a total of seven 13-week holding fee cycles). Provided the producer continues to make timely holding fee payments, the performer is held exclusive to the product for the 21-month period. If the performer (or his/her representative) does not send a timely renegotiation letter, the producer can extend the maximum period of use for an additional 21 months at the same rates as for the original 21 months.
When must a re-negotiation notice be sent to the producer (or advertising agency)?
A renegotiation letter must be sent 60 to 120 days (two to four months) prior to the end of the maximum period of use. Check your pay stub to find the end date of the maximum period of use (MPU), and count back 60 to 120 days to establish when you or your agent must send the notice. The letter should be sent to the producer (ad agency) listed on your employment contract. Sending the letter gives the performer the right to renegotiate new rates or to say he/she does not grant the right to continued use of the commercial. It is advisable to send a copy of the letter to the Guild at the same time.
If your agent does not send a renegotiation letter, and the commercial is renewed for an additional 21 months at the same rate, he/she may not take a commission.
Please check the Contracts page of the SAG Web site at www.SAG.org for a greater description of the FAQ sheet, and for the latest 2003-2006 SAG Commercials Contract and Digest.
By Kim Renee, SAG Nevada Council Treasurer
Women In Film Las Vegas hosted their 2nd Annual Stunt Training Clinic from August 26-28, 2005 at Dreamvision International Studios. This year the event was sponsored by companies such as General Motors, Red Bull, Budweiser and Gellatos. The clinic kicked off with a Friday night gala event featuring exhibitors such as Screen Actors Guild, The Nevada Film Commission, 48-Hour Film Project, and other local producers and industry groups. There was a fantastic turnout for this gala event. The night peaked with the cast of Tony and Tina's Wedding (a popular Las Vegas stage show) surprising the guests with an action stunt coordinated by Tara Clark and ending in a high fall, performed by stunt doubles Bodo Kaiser and Melody Emel.
Many Nevada SAG members and staffers were present at this event. Nevada SAG Council Member Kim Renee was in charge of enrolling members for the Stunt Clinic and demonstrated the fire burn session. Nevada Executive Director Hrair Messerlian and Conservatory Chair Barbara Grant manned the SAG exhibit as Council Member Arttours Weeden worked the crowd.
This year's stunt clinic featured air ram with Dennis Madalone, high falls with Chuck Borden, fights and falls with Spice Williams-Crosby and fire burns with Sasanne Rampe. You can go to the web site of Women In Film at www.wiflasvegas.org to see all of the Las Vegas events and programs it has to offer.
Safety is always a number one concern. If you are on a set and you are asked to do something that you feel is dangerous and considered a stunt, call (800) 205-7716 or (323) 549-0767. Screen Actors Guild will assist you with any questions or concerns.
Adrienne Garcia Mann
Ethnic Employment Opportunities:
Right To Work Task Force:
Adrienne Mann Garcia
Stunt & Safety:
Two new low budget contracts took effect as of July 1, 2005. These contracts are the Short Film Agreement (which actually replaced the previous Experimental Agreement) and the Ultra Low Agreement (which replaced the Limited Exhibition Agreement).
The following is a partial summary of the present low budget contracts:
Student Film Agreement
The contract is for students enrolled in film school. Performer may defer 100% of their salaries.
NEW Short Film Agreement
The total budget is less than $50,000, film is 35 minutes or less, salaries are deferred and the contract allows the use of both professional and non-professional performers.
NEW Ultra-Low Budget Agreement
The total budget is less than $200,000, day rate is $100 and the contract allows the use of both professional and non-professional performers.
Modified Low Budget Agreement
The total budget is less that $625,000, day rate is $268, weekly rate is $933, reduced overtime rate and only professional performers may be used.
Low Budget Agreement
The total budget is less than $2,500,000, day rate is $504, weekly rate is $1,752, reduced overtime rate and only professional performers may be used.
For full details of each of these contracts, visit www.sagindie.org.
By Henry "Harry" Kana
national board member/Houston branch vice president
I have always heard my fellow actors say, "I don't get any auditions," or, "My agent just doesn't get me enough auditions."
I have had two national commercial auditions in the last three weeks with a Texas regional commercial audition in between. If you are asking yourself, "How did he do that," here are simple steps to getting more auditions:
1. Stay in touch weekly or bi-weekly with your agent. Do this by personally going by their office and checking on the status or number of your headshots and resumes in the file, update headshots and resumes, and provide them leads about commercials or films that are being cast (believe it or not, agents don't always get everything to come across their desk). Now, if you don't feel like you should visit the office, at least telephone. But remember the old saying, "Out of sight, out of mind." Also, don't be afraid to ask them, "Have you submitted my picture for any commercials and films lately?" or more politely, "Are there any current or future projects that you plan to submit me for?"
2. Stay in contact with local casting directors. They love to get updates on actors that they have used in the past. I do this by post cards, greeting cards, or email if I know they don't mind. Keep your message simple and short. Remind them what you worked on for them, tell them what you just completed (role-star, supporting, character, etc., the name of the film, commercial or play) and then tell them you are looking forward to auditioning for them in the future.
3. Get your headshot and resume on one or more online casting directories. Network with other actors to find the most reputable and widely used directories for marketing yourself.
So, there you have it, some simple tips that will increase your chances of getting auditions.