Producer’s Guide to Working with SAG-AFTRA on a Commercial Production
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The Commercials Contract covers advertising programs generally under three minutes in length and intended for use on television, foreign, theatrical, Internet and new media.
SAG-AFTRA Signatory Producers have access to the world’s most talented and professional performers for their projects, but becoming signatory does require completing a small amount of paperwork. We understand that dealing with paperwork isn’t as much fun as shooting your project, so to ease this burden we’ve created this simple guide to completing the signatory process.
The Signatory Package Zip Files that are posted on the Production Center at SAGAFTRA.org are provided so that producers may review and consider them before beginning the signatory process. They are for demonstration purposes only---documents with signature lines are watermarked “SAMPLE” and cannot be executed.
For your reference, the Signatory Package Zip Files are divided into 2 folders: Signatory Documents and Production Documents. You will use the Signatory Documents to sign with the Guild, and the Production Documents to manage the production and post-production phases of your project.
Once you have decided to begin the signatory process, start by following the steps outlined in the Pre-Production section below.
Prior to auditions, casting or production, in order to use a SAG-AFTRA member in a commercial, there must be a SAG-AFTRA signatory attached to the project. The signatory may be an advertising agency or an advertiser. If a signatory is not already attached and you would like your company to become a signatory, complete and return a Preliminary Information Sheet Commercials 4.20 (attached at the end of this Guide).
In New York (and east of the Mississippi), e-mail the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to (212) 944-6774. In Los Angeles (and west of the Mississippi), e-mail completed form to email@example.com or fax to (323) 549-6860.
A SAG-AFTRA Business Representative will contact you within two business days to discuss your interest in becoming a signatory and send you a packet of information and documents, including all the materials you will need to become a signatory. The documents in that packet are not samples and can be fully executed.
Complete and return the following five forms from your packet:
Important Notice Regarding Signatory Documents
Who may sign? Signatory documents must be executed by an authorized person or persons.
Once your SAG-AFTRA Business Representative has reviewed those documents and approved your signatory status, you may begin the audition and hiring process. At auditions, an Audition Sign-In Sheet Exhibit E Commercials 5.4 must be made available for the performers to fill-in and initial. The completed form must be returned to the Commercials Department within 15 business days of the audition date.
You must clear your cast with SAG-AFTRA to verify that the performers you have hired are in good standing. This is referred to as the Station 12 clearance process. If you are hiring a principal or extra who is not a SAG-AFTRA member, you will need to complete a Taft-Hartley Report Commercials Infomercials Corporate Educational 6.3, for each such performer, and submit it to the Guild, along with a head shot and resume, within 15 days of the employment date.
On the actual shoot day(s), an on or off-camera principal performer is given a Principal Performer Contract Exhibit A-1 Commercials 6.36 and an extra is given a Background Actor Contract Exhibit A-2 Commercials 6.37. These employment contracts contain information on hours of work, hours for fitting, pay rate, overtime, use type (seasonal, non-air demo, cable-only, etc.), and any special provisions that apply. Performers must be provided a copy of their completed and signed employment contract.
Payment must be made to the performer within 12 business days of the session. The Pension & Health payment is made directly to SAG-Producers Pension & Health in Burbank, CA. Specific information regarding this payment can be found on the Pension And Health Report Of Contributions Exhibit B Commercials 6.9.
And that’s it!
Remember, at any point in your production process, please feel free to contact the Commercials Department with any questions. We have extended hours in both the Los Angeles and New York offices to better assist you in ensuring that your experience with producing a commercial with SAG-AFTRA is a smooth and easy process.
We may be reached at (323) 549-6858 in Los Angeles and (212) 827-1454 in New York.
Thank you for working with SAG-AFTRA.