You might have heard recently that Guns, Girls & Gambling, currently in production in Utah, has been approved to shoot under the Low Budget Contract with what is termed the Diversity in Casting Incentive. What does that mean? Essentially, it means that in return for hiring a specified percentage of minority performers under contract, this production is permitted to expand its budget beyond what is limited by the regular Low Budget Agreement by 50 percent. This same incentive is also available under the Modified Low Budget Agreement.
Here is what the Diversity in Casting Incentive looks like. The total production cost maximum may be increased to the following amounts: Modified Low Budget Agreement — from $625,000 to $937,500; Low Budget Agreement — from $2.5 million to $3.75 million, if the producer has demonstrated diversity in casting by meeting the following criteria:
A) A minimum of 50 percent of the total speaking roles and 50 percent of the total days of employment are cast with performers who are members of the following four (4) protected groups:
2) Senior Performers (60 or older),
3) Performers with Disabilities, or
4) People of Color (Asian/Pacific Islander, Black, Latino/Hispanic and Native American Indian); and,
B) A minimum of 20 percent of the total days of employment is cast with performers who are people of color.
For more information about SAG’s Diversity in Casting Incentive, Special Skills, and Talent Bank call in Los Angeles: Yuisa Gimeno (323) 549-6644. Or contact Utah Executive Director Don Livesay at (800) 724-0767 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your membership in Screen Actors Guild affords you great opportunities to show your card and save.
Are you hitting the road? You can rent a car through Union Plus and save up to 25 percent on car rentals every day. There are even special weekend-only deals up to 50 percent off. Click here to take advantage of your union discount.
In need of a technology upgrade? Union Plus, in conjunction with Dell, offers a 10-30 percent discount to union members and their families on selected products purchased through Dell. For more information, call (877) 882-3355 and reference member I.D. PS16626766 or click here.
Get $500 for college. With college costs going up every year, it’s never too early to start saving. Open a new 529 college savings or pre-paid tuition account for your student 12 or younger. When the account reaches $1,000, apply for a $500 Union Plus College Savings Grant. Unlike loans, this is $500 you never have to repay! Apply for a $500 grant here.
SAG members now save 15 percent off on a new monthly individual or family wireless plan from AT&T. This offer is available to new and existing AT&T customers with a new two-year contract. To enroll in the program, complete the verification form found here and fax it, along with a copy of your SAG I.D., to (877) 667-0534. Be sure to reference FAN number 3508840. Questions regarding this program should be directed to (877) 290-5451.
Join the millions of Costco members who enjoy low warehouse prices on thousands of high-end, brand-name products and services at more than 500 locations. Costco has a special offer for SAG members – not available in stores. With every new membership
receive coupons for free products and other great savings valued at more than $50. Visit SAG.org member benefits section to download the exclusive SAG membership invitation.
Bring the invitation to your nearest Costco store for processing.
SAG members can save on M•A•C products through the M•A•C PRO membership program. The program offers members a 30 percent discount on M•A•C products at freestanding M•A•C locations in North America, along with other benefits. The annual enrollment fee is $35. For answers to enrollment questions, please visit macpro.com or call (877) 553-5536 or (905) 940-2437.
Working Advantage offers discounted tickets to theme parks, movie theaters, sporting events and more. Click here and enter SAG I.D. 941416381 to take advantage of these discounts.
All perks are administered by entities independent of Screen Actors Guild. Questions about each offer must be handled by the provider. Screen Actors Guild does not endorse any of the services offered. Additional member benefits can be found online at SAG.org. Log in and look for the “Deals and Discounts” section under the Member Services tab.
New Members: Scott Beringer, Kacey Hulse, R. A. Namer, Savannah Ostler, Haylee Roderick, Paul Tan
Transfers-In: Sally Baker, Stan Barrett, Tiffani Brit, Jeffrey Buehl, Olivia Victoria Cardone , Barry Coe, Geronimo Da Vino, Brendan Eads, Allan Groves, Charlotte Rose Hemmings, Diana Holdridge, Mary K Jasionowski, Denise King, Lucy Lin, Ralph Lillig, Alfred Lutter, April Matson, Matthew Robert O'donnally, Laura Rice, Chad Smith, Fred Spencer, Teri Wagner
By Anne Sward
Utah National Board Director
The Regional Branch Division Conference “stand alone” – called that because unlike other meetings, this one is not attached to any other SAG event – is where Branch staff, Branch National Board directors and the Branch presidents gather annually to discuss regional issues and policies and to make recommendations to the National Board. Utah Branch President Paul Mulder and I attended the May event, allowing Paul his first opportunity to meet key leadership from the regions. Our SAG National President Ken Howard and Secretary-Treasurer Amy Aquino were also there, as well as National Executive Director David White, RBD Executive Director Linda Dowell, and Branch executive directors from around the country, including our own Don Livesay. This meeting gives us an opportunity to establish relationships with national staff and with right-to-work branches like Utah and to discuss our issues and future goals. Our guest speaker, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, gave an inspiring speech about labor issues and AFL plans for the future.
President Howard’s report to us was also inspiring. He said, “It is evident that merger is in front of us. This is the opportunity to do it, we will be empowered to do it, and we must get it done. If not, we will have failed both unions . . . .” There is no question about his goals. He has established a productive and good relationship with AFTRA President Roberta Reardon. Upon the recommendation of the President’s Caucus, the Screen Actors Guild Regional Branch Division Board of Directors voted unanimously to endorse the creation of one union to cover all performers.
There were updates from the leadership and staff regarding financial core, communications and organizing. It was particularly exciting to meet the newly appointed Director of Organizing Nayla Wren. She has new and progressive organizing ideas. Also, there were great discussions and strategizing about right to work. We walked away with many potential tactics to investigate.
The main discussion, of course, was about our upcoming TV/Theatrical negotiations. We elected RBD representatives to the Wages & Working Conditions Committee. If you have concerns or suggestions about our contract, please let me know, as this is the time they must be voiced.
The Communications Department report was also interesting. A great many improvements have been made to SAG.org. We will have capabilities to put video, pictures and messaging on our Branch page. We are looking for better ways to communicate in our geographically diverse regions. We also have new social media outlets with Facebook and are looking at ways the Utah Branch can have interactive Web capability.
The highlight of the trip was attending the Howard Keel Award banquet at the National Press Club. This award was established last year for the Regional Branch Division. It awards a regional member for their outstanding work benefitting the membership. This year’s award went to Sheldon Smith from the Washington-Baltimore Branch. It was an amazing night with some of the finest voice-over artists in this country in attendance.
Last, there are two action items for you: 1) It is imperative for local members to be paid up in full by the fall because there is a census. (They only count active, paid-up members.) Our National Board voting, which is weighted is by how many paid-up members are in a Branch. 2) The number of Utah members on the iActor is lower than it should be. If you are not on the site, please log in to SAG.org and click here to access iActor now! It can be a very useful tool for Utah actors.
By Don Livesay
Utah Executive Director
I believe a good definition of the word “represent” is found when you dissect it into RE and PRESENT. To re-present means to “present again.” For instance, actors first “present” their professional qualifications to their agent, and the agent “presents again” those qualifications to producers for available jobs. SAG does much the same thing, but it takes place at the negotiating table and when we approach producers to sign our contracts. Without the high quality of performance that our members present, SAG could never re-present and negotiate the quality of contracts that are admired all over the world, nor could we convince producers to sign them.
Observations:An interesting component of this is that the better the professional credentials of the presenter (in this case our members), the better quality re-presenter required. Excellence demands excellence. Members expect value from the organization that represents them because their value is worth more than their non-members counterparts on the street. SAG attracts the best performers into its ranks and in turn hires the best staff available to do the job. (This point is not lost on me.)
Another observation is what happens when members demand the best and are willing to stand together to achieve it. Members present proposals through the W&W process that leads to proposals re-presented in bargaining. Results vary of course, but generally speaking unity of purpose at the table yields good contracts. Good contracts generate greater rewards, which in turn bring more quality performers into our ranks and more producers wanting to hire them. And the cycle continues, until . . .
Hard times come, like the one we are in now, and members begin to doubt themselves. Suddenly they begin to see fewer opportunities for work, some even blaming their union. But no matter how hard it has been – and it’s been difficult virtually all over the country – our Utah members are hanging tough. And good news! My phone is ringing. Production is slowly turning the corner. More and more producers are calling wanting information about hiring SAG members. You see, quality still matters and employers know where to find it.
So what does this mean to you? Here’s my advice: Just be ready to present your qualifications for work and we’ll be ready to re-present you for the top professionals you are.
From the summer issue of OUT TAKES, published by the Utah Film Commission:
As I continuously read about other states and the difficulties and changes they are facing with their respective incentive programs, I am quite confident that Utah’s Motion Picture Incentive Fund (MPIF) is a solid program. Through the diligent efforts of the Utah Film Commission staff, The Corporate Recruitment & Incentives Office, Motion Picture Advisory Committee (MPAC) and the Motion Picture Association of Utah (MPAU), the MPIF is truly a sustainable program that will continue to benefit the state and the local film industry.
With a 20 percent tax credit or cash rebate available to go along with the natural incentives that already exist in the state, when you do the math, Utah simply makes sense.
I would like to express my gratitude to the volunteers of the MPAC: Tim Nelson, Jeff Miller, Adam Abel, Roger Armstrong, Sarah Pearce, Troy Rohovit and Committee Chari Dr. Nikos Linardakos. Their service to the State of Utah and the Utah Film Commission has been extraordinary and invaluable in our efforts to keep productions coming to Utah.
FilmUtah magazine made its debut during the Sundance Film Festival. Our office will continue to support and contribute to the Utah film industry publication. John Corser, a local film producer and creator of FilmUtah, created the magazine to actively promote the depth of experience, exceptional support service and the outstanding opportunities for producers here in the state. Free copies of FilmUtah are available at the Utah Film Commission office.
At the last film industry luncheon I expressed three thoughts that I believe will move our industry forward: be excellent at what you do, register and maintain current information in the resource directory, and support each other. The current success we are experiencing is because we as an industry have been actively doing these things. Thank you for all you do in making this a great state to live and work.
Director, Utah Film Commission
5757 Wilshire Boulevard, 7th Floor
Los Angeles, California