September 9, 2008
By Marcia Fishman
Philadelphia Branch Executive Director
The long-desired Philadelphia Branch staff person will soon be on the ground. That person will be named North Region executive and will report to me in my capacity as the Philadelphia Branch executive director.
Generally speaking, this staff person’s main objectives will be to provide member and industry outreach, to enforce the contracts and to assist with organizing campaigns. More specifically, the new staff person will visit sets and monitor production practices on a regular basis, represent the Guild before the legislative bodies in Pennsylvania and Delaware, act as a liaison with industry labor unions and assist with member and non-member outreach. Also included will be efforts to work with the Philadelphia Branch Council, work with local talent agents and casting directors, provide communications to the membership and represent the Guild at film festivals.
When the North Region executive is hired, an announcement will go out to the entire Philadelphia membership. And, when we schedule meetings and events during this next year, it is my hope that you will attend and meet your new staff person. Take such opportunities to voice your opinions on issues relating to the future of your Branch.
Members of the Philadelphia Branch definitely know how to produce a celebration. Over a three-day period, Philly residents were made aware that SAG is now 75 years old. On June 19, Philly council members and National Secretary/Treasurer Connie Stevens heralded in the events by ringing the opening bell at the Philadelphia Stock Exchange. They then joined other SAG members at the Philadelphia City Council meeting at City Hall, where Councilman William K. Greenlee presented a special commemoration from the city. This commemoration, in the form of a resolution, was presented to Philadelphia Branch President Tom McCarthy.
Panel members at the symposium
Following this meeting was a reception in the Caucus Room at City Hall, where a representative of Mayor Michael A. Nutter presented a proclamation in recognition of the 75th anniversary. Members of SAG, city council and the local film community were in attendance. Later that day, the PECO Building lit up the Philadelphia skyline with a shining “congratulations” to SAG.
Concluding the festivities of the Philadelphia Branch was the symposium, “The Anatomy of a Motion Picture,” held at the free Library of Philadelphia on June 21, 2008. More than 250 people attended this event that featured such film community professionals as John Rusk, first AD of The Happening, Mark Rosenthal, screenwriter of Mona Lisa Smile and special effects person Jeffrey Cox of Unbreakable. The symposium was designed with the assistance of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office and moderated by Philadelphia Council Vice President Sylvia Kauders.
Jo Edna Boldin, C.S.A., recently shared the following iActor success story from New Mexico. Please read, believe and sign up with iActor if you have not done so.
I wanted to share an iActor success story with you. A few weeks ago I was looking hard to find an actor for a role on a TV series I was casting. The actor portrays a big, powerful, intimidating, crooked Mexican cop. The part required the performer be totally fluent in Spanish with no American accent. Not a small order for New Mexico or even L.A.
After looking at all of the submissions I still had no solid leads, then I thought of iActor. I put in the appropriate criteria and there he was – Mike Moroff Burciaga. Mile lives in a very small New Mexico town which I hadn’t even heard of and he had no agency representation. I would never have found him without iActor.
Not only did he book the role, but the director, who also happened to be one of the show’s executive producers, told Mike that because of his brilliant performance, the crew would wrap an hour early.
Thank you, iActor!
Jo Edna Boldin, C.S.A.
Have you checked out SAG Talk yet? It's the new blog that takes on some of the timely issues facing Screen Actors Guild and its members. Its goal is simple: to set the record straight. One of the recent blogs was titled, not surprisingly, “Fact Checking the Blogs.”
SAG Talk is just one of the new beneficial features of the constantly improving SAG.org.
Tremble & Spark – Short – Philadelphia
God’s Country – Ultra Low Budget – Philadelphia
The Nail – Modified Low Budget – Philadelphia
Fancy – Short – Sunbury
Jane – Short – Poconos
Hollywood and Wine – Theatrical – Pittsburgh
Shannon’s Rainbow – Theatrical – Pittsburgh
Fleas – Theatrical – Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania Lottery Campaign – Commercial – Pittsburgh
By Leslie Krensky
South Region Director
Joining Screen Actors Guild means more than just proudly carrying the card. It means you have the strength of a union with more than 120,000 actors behind you. Each performer who joins the Guild is making a statement that he or she is a professional actor entitled to the wages and working conditions of a professional, and one who refuses to settle for less than a union contract. Every individual who joins the Guild agrees to abide by the code of rules and regulations governing membership. Primary among these is the regulation known as Rule One. It is what makes a union strong.
Rule One of the Screen Actors Guild Constitution and By-Laws states the following:
“No member shall work as a performer or make an agreement to work as a performer for any producer who has not executed a basic minimum agreement with the Guild which is in full force and effect.”
This rule means that when performers join the union, they are agreeing to only render services under a Screen Actors Guild contract when employed for a production that falls within the Guild’s jurisdiction. The Guild’s jurisdiction includes, but is not limited to:
Television Commercials – including commercials made for local, regional and national broadcast or cable use, and commercials made for use in foreign countries. There are also contracts that cover commercials made for Internet and new media.
Industrial Programs – including sales and training programs made for local exhibition and for the Internet.
Low Budget Films
Feature Films – films exhibited in movie theaters, including productions made to attract financing for feature film production.
Television Productions – including pilots, series and movies for broadcast, cable and pay television, promos for television programs and networks and productions made to attract financing for television production.
New Media Productions – including webisodes, mobisodes, and podcasts.
Interactive Productions – including video games.
Music Video Productions
Animated Productions – whether produced for theatrical release, television exhibition or use in any other medium.
Abiding by Rule One is essential for your protection as well as to keep the union strong. Working under a SAG contract is the only way to make sure you receive professional wages and working conditions for each production and to ensure that you are protected against unauthorized use and reuse of your performance.
Rule One enforcement is essential to the Guild’s ability to enforce its contracts and organize new employers. Producers sign contracts with the Guild and obligate themselves to standard rates, working conditions, pension and health contributions and residuals because they know they must get the best performers. If members are willing to work non-union, there is no reason for producers to sign contracts.
Because of the vital importance of Rule One, a violation can subject a member to disciplinary proceedings that can result in a variety of penalties – ranging from a reprimand to a fine to suspension or expulsion from membership.
Protect yourself and the union by upholding SAG Rule One. If you have any questions about Rule One, please contact Philadelphia Branch Executive Director Marcia Fishman at (800) SAG-0767, (248) 351-2578 or email@example.com.
If you haven’t done so already, please pay your dues today. If you are not an active, paid-up member in good standing, you may not be able to vote in Guild elections or be eligible to serve on the council or committees. You also must be paid to date to register on iActor, the Guild’s online casting program, which is now being used by casting directors nationwide. If you have any questions regarding your dues, please contact the Membership Department at (800) SAG-0767, prompt 2 or (212) 944-6243.
Contact Philadelphia Branch Executive Director Marcia Fishman at: (800) SAG-0767, (248) 351-2679 or firstname.lastname@example.org.