New Mexico 2011:09

The Official E-Newsletter of the New Mexico Branch
The Official E-Newsletter of the New Mexico Branch
September 2011

ABOUT THE NATIONAL SPANISH LANGUAGE MEDIA TASK FORCE

The Screen Actors Guild National Spanish Language Media Task Force is made up of a group of professional actors — SAG members who dedicate their efforts to the Spanish-speaking acting community in the United States and Puerto Rico. They understand the challenges and realities our members and Spanish-speaking performers face daily throughout their careers. The members work to find possible solutions, promote new work opportunities and improve our working conditions.

Today, 30 members nationwide from Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Diego, Chicago, Houston, Dallas and Puerto Rico work together with staff to strengthen our organizing and outreach mission: to keep their voices heard in their own language.

To achieve this goal, they need the support and participation of all our members. Together, you can continue to cultivate this ever-expanding industry and continue to develop and promote new work opportunities for our very talented actors who work in Spanish language in the United States, and that benefits all SAG members.

For more information on the work of the task force or how you can get involved, please contact Carlina Rodríguez, director of Spanish Language Organizing and NSLMTF staff liaison by email or by phone at (305) 670-7677 ext. 7076, or Marlena Fitzpatrick-García, manager, organizing by email or (212) 827-1505.

CONTRACT CORNER

When should my payment for my work be issued?

For work as a day performer on a theatrical or television film, you must be paid within five business days after services are rendered. For work as a weekly performer on a theatrical or television film, performers must be paid no later than the Friday of the week following the week in which services are rendered. For work on a television commercial, you must be paid within 12 business days of your date of employment.

Where will my payment be mailed?

You must indicate on your employment contract where you want your payment mailed. You may have the payment sent to your talent agent or to your home address. If you receive your payment directly, you are responsible for timely payment of commission to your agent.

How do I qualify for an upgrade if I work as a background actor on a theatrical or television film?

In most cases, you must be directed to speak dialogue which is recorded, and the direction must come from an authorized member of the production staff. Dialogue you are not directed to speak does not qualify you for an upgrade. You may also be upgraded for performing a stunt, performing professional or exhibition-level dancing or professional singing.

To determine if you may be due an upgrade, please contact the SAG office as soon as possible. There is a limited time frame in which a claim can be filed, so it is imperative that you contact the office immediately if you think you are due an upgrade on a theatrical or television production.

If I am asked to translate the script at a session or audition, or another performer’s dialogue, do I get paid?

On commercials, an additional 50 percent of the session is paid to any performer asked to provide translation services. On television and theatrical productions, a performer cannot be required to translate another performer’s dialogue into any language other than that in which a script is written. However, performers may bargain separately for such noncovered services.

Are SAG members allowed to work on telenovelas or webnovelas?

If you are offered employment on a telenovela or webnovela or any work for Spanish-language television, please contact Carlina Rodriguez, director of Spanish-language organizing, via email or at (800) 724-0767, option 5, ext. 7076, to discuss the particulars.

Can I go to a non-union audition?

Yes. SAG members are allowed to go to non-union auditions, but you cannot accept the work unless the production signs a SAG agreement.

Have additional questions? Call SAG West Region Executive Tamara Decker at (505) 268-2127 or send her an email.

Vince Pulli

NEW MEXICO FILM INDUSTRY MOURNS LOSS OF FRANCHISED AGENT VINCE PULLI

We are sad to report that G. Vincent Pulli, Director of A&M Talent Agency in Santa Fe passed away September 12, following a valiant three-year battle with cancer. Pulli was a stalwart champion for performers, and an integral part of the New Mexico film and entertainment industry. He will be sorely missed.

Pulli was born August 18, 1944 and raised in suburban Philadelphia. He served in the army during the Vietnam War and ran several businesses in Pennsylvania and Florida during the 1970s and 1980s.

As the Florida film industry boomed, Vince became a franchised agent for Screen Actors Guild in 1992. After moving to Santa Fe in 2002, he joined the Santa Fe Association of Realtors and worked at RE/MAX, but was soon drawn back to working with actors, and built A&M into one of the largest SAG agencies in the state.
 
Vince is survived by his wife and co-director, Elizabeth; son David of Denver, Colo.; and sisters Cindy Godshall and Pamela Wenger of Souderton, Penn.

Memorial donations may be made to Wounded Warrior Project.

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS

Austin Paul Bunge, Rick Vargas, Lava Buckley, Mark Brooks, Kaija Roze, Vincent E McDaniel, Byron Wilkerson, Jill Scott Momaday, Michelle Griego, Jack Nation, Suzenne-Marie Seradwyn, Ellen Heuer, Glenn Foster, Sarah Minnich, Darrian G Chavez, Ashley Kajiki, Lonnie Paul Garcia, Bob Kaye, Hal Ralston, Arthur Perry, Kevin Owen, Tony J Ford, Irene Estrada, Jason E Hill, Kenneth Anthony Miller, Katie Anne Mitchell, William Severs, Susan Stafford, John H Lawlor, Kat Sawyer, James Louis Cady, Mitchell Bock, Kathleen Morrison, Gregg Stern, Keith Blair, Price Hall, Andrew Macnaughton, Loren Haynes, Art Tedesco, Mark Vasconcellos, Hank Rogerson, Elizabeth DeCicco, Nadine Brown, Luke Higgins, Eric Steinig, Jack Justice, Michael Graves, James A. Swan, Joe Alexander, Zenobia, Billy Ray Johnson, Alma F Sisneros, Kristin Hansen, Casey Messer, Bree Myers, Ian Posada, Jaret Salas, Kyle T Cowan, Jeri La Shay, Lauren Myers, Joe Manuel Gallegos, Lauren Petzke, Brandon Barnes, Skyler Denk, Brett Dean Cole, Scott Sharot, Lucas Leggio

SAVE THE DATE

New Mexico SAG Business of Acting Conference, November 4 – 6, Nativo Lodge, Albuquerque, N.M.

Bill Sterchi

Branch President’s Message

To quote Bob Dylan, “The times, they are a-changin’.” Your Screen Actors Guild and the New Mexico Branch Council are here to help you navigate through some of those changes.

Unfortunately, our successful state film incentives have taken a hit with the new legislative changes, but we are still in the game. The base credit rate of 25 percent was preserved, but there is now imposed a rolling “float” of $50 million maximum payout per year, with any credits above that rolling over into the next fiscal year. The loan programs have also been changed to be more restrictive, but this could possibly help develop more local independent low-budget films. The details of the new laws can be found here

We’re currently experiencing a slow-down in production. This was expected after the turmoil of the legislative session and subsequent legal wrangling. However, with the fallout from changes in other states’ rebate packages and a new New Mexico Film Office director, we’re hoping things pick up later this year.

I’m pleased that Nick Maniatis has been appointed director of the New Mexico Film Office. I’ve worked with Nick and consider him a friend, and am confident that he will do all he can to continue the success of the film office. It is important that we all stay informed and continue to support our industry’s efforts to keep film working for New Mexico.

In other news of change, the proposed creation of one union is making exciting progress. In August, the second formal meeting between the SAG Merger Task Force and the AFTRA New Union Committee took place despite Hurricane Irene’s attempt to derail. The unions’ commitment to the cause was never more apparent when, with very little notice, the unions transformed a face-to-face meeting in New York City into a videoconference between New York and Los Angeles to accommodate those members who were unable to attend in person due to the storm. The leaders and workgroups will continue to meet throughout the year as the Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA Group for One Union (G1).

I attended a Listening Tour event at the May RBD meeting in Orlando, Fla. and am truly impressed with the dedication, vision and solidarity of the staff and leaders of both unions. The goal is to have a merger agreement and national constitution presented to each union’s national boards in January 2012, and a referendum sent to members in the spring of 2012.

SAG is certainly not idle during this transition, and is constantly working to better serve our members and our employers. A prime example of this is the new Production Center, which includes an online signatory process. It is the first such tool of its kind in the industry, making it easier and faster for producers to gain access to SAG talent, ensuring that actors get to work faster. The response has been overwhelmingly positive — more than 1,800 producers have already signed online. It’s also a helpful tool for performers to learn more about SAG contracts, and an educational opportunity for those who want to branch out into creating their own work.

The local New Mexico Council is also changing. Cynthia Straus and Robyn Reede did not seek re-election to the Council. Their past service is sincerely appreciated and they will be missed. In addition to her duties as treasurer, Robyn has done an outstanding job as chair of the Conservatory Committee, providing dozens of opportunities for us to learn from top industry professionals. We need someone to take on this important role. Please contact me if you are interested in chairing or participating in the Conservatory Committee.

Speaking of learning from top industry professionals, look for our second annual Business of Acting conference, being planned for later this year. Although the timing was changed to the fall to allow for concentrated legislative efforts this last spring, we are looking forward to presenting another great conference that will again be the biggest event of the year for actors, with the involvement of our local industry’s top professionals.

Although times are a-changin’, it is always a good time to remain focused, prepared, professional and in solidarity with our union brothers and sisters. As always, I welcome your ideas, comments and concerns, and can be reached at NewMexicoPresident@sag.org

Sincerely,
Bill Sterchi

Mel MacKaron

Vice President’s Report

Mel MacKaron
New Mexico SAG Vice President

As New Mexico SAG vice president and chair of the Agency Relations Committee, I often hear from actors about their agents. The thread of the conversation usually goes like this:

Q.: “Why isn’t my agent getting me more work?" 
A.: “Your agent can’t get you work. It is up to you to nail the audition.” 
Q.: “My agent doesn’t call me often enough.” 
A.: “That is probably because your agent is busy trying to line up auditions and manage callbacks or contracts for you and all his or her other clients.”

It goes on and on. Actors want work and expect their agents to perform magic, so they complain when their careers seem to be stuck in idle. But SAG talent agents spend a lot of time trying to capture opportunities for their clients. Most do not call you unless you have an audition. Time is money, and this is a money business. Rest assured, however, that they care about you and your career; otherwise, they would not have you in their talent pool.

SAG-franchised talent agents rarely get the recognition they deserve for their behind-the-scenes work. But the Screen Actors Guild has recently given us the opportunity to show our agents how important they are to us. We can now give recognition by nominating them for SAG’s Agent of the Month.

Recently, one of New Mexico’s own, Lynette O’Connor of the O’Agency, received the coveted award. Lynette represents the professionalism that defines New Mexico’s film industry. Casting directors know they can rely on her to get the job done. That comfort level brings them back to New Mexico, and has helped our industry grow.

There are few ways, aside from making sure they get their commission checks, to properly thank agents for a valuable job well done, but the Screen Actors Guild gave me this opportunity, and I took it.

Lynette O’Connor (the O’Agency) is really special. We don’t “do coffee” or talk on the phone much; she is too busy seeing to those facets of my career that I cannot manage for myself — making sure that I get opportunities to nail down acting gigs. But when those audition, callbacks and contracts surface, her pleasure is as tangible as my own.

And she is not satisfied to merely sit back and do the management work. She is out there fighting for all of us, all the time. This last legislative session, Lynette worked tirelessly to save the film industry and its incentive program. Our success would have been considerably less without her up-to-the-minute emails, updates and encouragement.

I am thrilled that Lynette O’Connor was selected as SAG’s Agent of the Month for July 2011. No one is more deserving.

Lynette O'Connor 

Lynette O’Connor

Talent Agency Updates

We’ve had a few changes in our SAG-franchised agency line-up. To get the latest contact information for our New Mexico agents, visit our Branch page.

If you have any questions about your relationship with your agent, you might want to check out the Agency Relations Web page. It’s a valuable resource for answers about everything from what is commissionable to how to update your agency contact information with Screen Actors Guild.

Member Benefits

Screen Actors Guild protects and serves its members. Benefits include:

Contracts/Collective Bargaining. SAG negotiates wages and working conditions in order to maintain minimum standards for its members. Learn more about contracts.
Pension & Health. SAG members earn credits toward retirement and health care each time they work. Visit the SAG P&H website.
The SAG Foundation is an educational, humanitarian and philanthropic 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that serves members of Screen Actors Guild, their families and the greater community. Visit the Foundation website and sign up to receive email announcements.
iActor, SAG’s free, members-only online casting directory. Please log in as a member to access iActor.
Deals & Discounts. SAG members are eligible for outstanding deals on entertainment, car rentals, insurance, medical visits, prescriptions, real estate, legal services and more. Just log in as a member and click on Member Perks under Branches.
Resources to Organize Non-Union Work. SAG members and staff can organize non-union productions and sign them to SAG contracts. Visit our Organizing section for more information.
Contracts to Cover You When Working in a Low-Budget/Student Film. If you are approached about appearing in a non-union student film, low-budget, ultra low-budget or short film, there is a SAG contract to cover it. Check out SAGIndie.
Publications for Guild Members. Read Screen Actor magazine, SAG’s quarterly members-only publication, filled with useful information for members. Also, make sure SAG has your email address, and look out for regular Branch newsletters and eblasts. We want to help you stay informed about your union and industry.
Involvement in the Decision-Making Process at SAG. SAG is a representative democracy run by members for the benefit of members. We encourage members to actively participate in SAG governance by voting on referenda, joining committees or serving on the National or Division Board of Directors or Branch Council.
SAG Awards Voting Privileges. Only active, paid-up Guild members are given the opportunity to vote for the recipients of the Screen Actors Guild Awards’ coveted bronze Actor statuette. Also, For Your Consideration and nomination screenings are only available to active, paid-up Screen Actors Guild members. Click here for more information and to sign up for email announcements.
Check Online If You Are Signing a SAG Contract. Use SAG's convenient online signatory database to check the signatory status of any project at any time. Verifying this information makes it easier for members to comply with Global Rule One. 

Go Paperless!

Screen Actors Guild now offers free, paperless billing of your membership dues via your preferred email account. Once you enroll in Paperless Billing:

•    You receive an email notification immediately when a dues statement is ready.
•    View your entire detailed statement (an exact electronic copy of what you would receive by mail).
•    View your entire dues bill from anywhere with Internet access.
•    Print a hard copy of your bill, if you wish. 
•    Access previous billing and payment history up to the three most recent bills.

It’s yet another way we’re more efficiently serving you — cutting costs, making your billing instantaneous, and, as part of our ongoing green initiative, doing our small part to save the environment.

Once you sign up, you don’t have to mark your calendar or otherwise give it another thought. Your email will tell you when your bill is available for viewing.

You can revert back to U.S. Mail at any time. But as an ongoing benefit for paperless billing subscribers, each new bill (up to the most recent three) will be stored in our system to reference at your convenience. Sign up here.