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Old 10-27-2011, 03:30 PM   #31
Dleo
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2001 Prod,
Thank you!!!



finderskeepers,

You're absolutely 100% right! I won't go SAG again unless I have KNOWN actors--FOR SURE
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Old 10-27-2011, 05:54 PM   #32
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Going Fi-Core for actors has NOTHING to do with if the actor is insecure or very secure. It has to do with the rights we lose as actors. The union protects us as far as safety on sets, insurance, pay, yada yada...Going ficore, although a right of the members, directly goes against the principles of any union. I'm not saying that an actor shouldn't go FiCore, but those are the cruxes.

Going FiCore for a $100 a day for an indie is not exactly very worthwhile for us. It doesn't put food on our table. If you're working below the line you have the opportunity to work most weeks of the year but as an actor (and you can work non union for most of your unions I believe), unless you're starring on a show or insanely famous, you're not working daily. Our income comes in chunks. Big chunks for commercials, big chunks for studio films, and much smaller chunks for tv (unless you're a regular). So giving up our time that we could possibly be auditioning for bigger projects that can actually help us pay rent is what we are giving up. It sucks because there is a ton of great indie film out there but most theatrical agents would tell their clients to pass on the $100 a day leads because it takes weeks or months of our time for very small financial gain.

All of that said indie films are great to work on and there is usually a lot more heart involved in the projects. So I love doing them when I can fit them in. But I wouldn't go FiCore to do one because if it isn't union its likely not paying a ton and I have to give up my rights as a union member...no voting, no attending our events...we essentially lose our card but still get to work in union projects.
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Old 10-27-2011, 08:31 PM   #33
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Well, I'm proud to say my next production will be Ultra Low Budget SAG because I'm looking forward to a much higher level of experience and professionalism SAG and other union actors bring to a production.

The lower the budget, the more reasonable SAG is with Indie producers.

So, let's disspell the false rumors and all go SAG!

I've heard nothing but good things from people in my crew who have produced ultra low budget productions with SAG actors.

And, I know PLENTY of SAG actors. And, they really have their acts together. Even Equity and Eastern European union actors are more committed to the art than disillusioned non-union actors.

With all the migrane headaches non-union aactors bring, as well as additional expenses, I will never producer another non-union propduction ever again.

Here's my blog on that just a few days old: http://mikecervello.wordpress.com/20...ostproduction/

Last edited by Modern Day Myth Prod. LLC; 10-27-2011 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:03 PM   #34
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Well, I'm proud to say my next production will be Ultra Low Budget SAG because I'm looking forward to a much higher level of experience and professionalism SAG and other union actors bring to a production.

The lower the budget, the more reasonable SAG is with Indie producers.

So, let's disspell the false rumors and all go SAG!

I've heard nothing but good things from people in my crew who have produced ultra low budget productions with SAG actors.

And, I know PLENTY of SAG actors. And, they really have their acts together. Even Equity and Eastern European union actors are more committed to the art than disillusioned non-union actors.

With all the migrane headaches non-union aactors bring, as well as additional expenses, I will never producer another non-union propduction ever again.

Here's my blog on that just a few days old: http://mikecervello.wordpress.com/20...ostproduction/
I think it's very dependent on the regional SAG office as to how willing to work with indies they are. For every good experience I've heard about, I've heard about a horrible experience. Personally, for me, unless I can get name talent, it's not worth the hassle. It has nothing to do with not wanting to pay my actors (personally, I'd like to pay them well above SAG ultra low budget, and will plan my budget accordingly for the feature I'm doing next year), but more to do with the hoops SAG makes some indie producers jump through.

Again, though, it seems to be largely dependent on the individual SAG reps that people deal with. Some seem to be wonderful and others are nightmares (as with most things in business).
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Old 10-29-2011, 01:21 PM   #35
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I always pay the actors I work with, but this is the first film I used SAG. Our acters felt like SAG treated us badly aswell. It was mostly our agent. It was an aweful expereince, and they treated our production like they really didn't care about us. They laughed in our faces -- they treated us like we didn't belong--and our representive actually came out and said low budget independant films are destroying the industry. It was the New York SAG. I've heard much better things about California SAG.

If you look back and read this thread you wil see what happened.

Michigan SAG is useless, and that's where we are from.

If your going to go SAG--Make sure you account in your budget for the deposit it will be your whole salary, plus 35%, if your actors salaries is say $5,000 then you will need a deposit of $6150 plus the actors salaries
so you will need 11,150, for your actors-- you will get the deposit back however, but it will be months after the photography is done.
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Old 10-29-2011, 01:46 PM   #36
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They laughed in our faces -- they treated us like we didn't belong--and our representive actually came out and said low budget independant films are destroying the industry.
Which is why this pro-union writer is anti-SAG. Most of the people in SAG are not making a living acting, which is why SAG isn't much of a union.
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Old 10-29-2011, 01:52 PM   #37
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We are only required to pay SAG actors $100 a day with the Ultra Low Budget Agreements. We are looking to get a letter of Intent from a cable TV Network to get a bank loan to cover our budget.

Remember, the rules and contracts change according to the size of the budget.

As one of my crew people said, a SAG rep may only show up one day for the whole shoot and the rest of the time, we are on our own.

So, there is no need to scare people here.

I'd rather work with responsible actors, which most SAG actors are instead of non-union actors who show up for their first day of rehearsal 30 to 40 pounds heavier than on their auditioning day when we took their costume measurements. And now, they can't fit into their costumes and feel to sick to rehearse their stunts. Others have their schedules all mixed up and try to get me to change the production days because of their screw-ups. Then there are divas who can't find shooting locations in a city they were born in.

And, the list goes on and on. SAG? ALL THE WAY!!!
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Old 10-29-2011, 02:24 PM   #38
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So, there is no need to scare people here.
I'm not scaring anyone here. I'm giving them facts not previously brought up in the thread (as far as I know). Filmmakers can decide on their own what to do re: SAG

Besides, enough people taking SAG to task for their lack of parity and for their other nutty activities might prompt them to knock it off with bullying tactics and get into the digital age.
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Old 10-29-2011, 06:01 PM   #39
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SAG offers an affordable way to bring a high caliber of better actors to small independent filmmakers to improve their overall production with more responsible, more experienced, and more professional actors than what small producer are used to working with that can save BIG bucks when roles don't have to be cut out or recast. And, the production isn't being held back with people who mix up their schedules by the day and can find local shooting locations. They don't keep calling the director every 5 seconds with no regards to everyone else on time and ready to shoot when something is being filmed. They find their own way to the shooting location.

You won't see a SAG actor asking the director to put on their makeup so it looks the way the director wants. But ,you will with non-union actors.

Maybe this thread will wake up non-union actors to clean up their act, because SAG is making an option for better actors affordable to small filmmakers.

As I said, I can go on and on about all the issues I've have to put up with with non-union actors. But, no more.

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Old 10-29-2011, 08:54 PM   #40
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There's plenty of talented non-union actors out there and plenty of SAG actors who will work non-union. I've never had any major problems with non-union actors (makeup or otherwise). Explain how shit works ahead of time and you won't have problems. Having said that, any producer knows that you always have backup choices for actors in case someone backs out. Have your main irreplaceable actors sign deal memos. Simple. The unrealistic demands of SAG make them unworkable for me. This is not 2000 any more. Profits have eroded severely and budgets have been slashed. Beggars can't be choosers. That's what actors are on low budget films. It's simple supply and demand. There's a zillion actors and very few films. Complain and cry "unfair" all you want but it's true. This isn't the oil industry.
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:14 PM   #41
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The are plenty of screw-ups among the non-union actors. They'll never make it to SAG.

I do everything on the books. So, I'll have no problems with SAG and look forward to working with SAG and their actors and stunt coordinators. There are also a good number of studio SAG actors willing to work in Indie Ultra Low Budget productions. But, they will not work in a non-union production.

Without a union card, no new faces stand a prayer of a chance of even getting called for an audition in the future.

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Old 10-30-2011, 12:28 AM   #42
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There are also a good number of studio SAG actors willing to work in Indie Ultra Low Budget productions. But, they will not work in a non-union production.
I'm thinking it depends on the producers. Run of the mill productions, perhaps so, but a savvy filmmaker can make the seemingly impossible happen.
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Old 10-30-2011, 11:20 AM   #43
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I have friends who are studio SAG actors. They cannot work on non-union productions because they have to protect themselves. As long as the production is on the books with SAG as an Ultra Low Budget SAG production, they don't mind the drastic pay cut to help out a friend. But, they want to go back to their studio jobs, which is their bread and butter.

They can get thrown out of SAG and lose their work in studio productions if they ever worked in a non-union production and it winds up on youtube and SAG and the studio sees it.

Robert Rodreguez got kicked out of the DGA for doing a production with Frank Miller -- Sin City.

I can get SAG waivers for my returning non-union actors for IC3, if the budget calls for it. Below a certain budget range, SAG waivers aren't even necessary.
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Old 10-30-2011, 01:56 PM   #44
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Robert Rodreguez got kicked out of the DGA for doing a production with Frank Miller -- Sin City.
Actually, I believe RR voluntarily quit the DGA because they wouldn't sign off on allowing Miller to be credited as co-director.

If you are able to deal successfully with SAG, then by all means do so, and more power to you.

In addition to the horror stories posted here, a friend of mine in Portland just finished directing a feature in which she'd cast a name actor for a small but important role. She bent over backward to accommodate SAG's requirements, including overnighting - at $10 a pop - the actor's paychecks each week to SAG.

Her co-producer contacted SAG several times in order to obtain the address where the checks were supposed to be sent. The SAG rep claimed not to have that information and never returned the producer's calls.

When the address was finally obtained, SAG at one point called the actor and instructed her not to show up to the shoot because the check had not arrived that morning. The producer called SAG and said the check had, in fact, been delivered and signed for. While on the phone, the SAG rep searched through the stuff piled on his desk and found the unopened envelope sitting right there.

The actor, meanwhile, showed up each day not knowing her lines, and had almost no memorization skills. Whenever she got stuck she would let out a scream. It came to the point where all of her dialogue was shot in close-up, with the director feeding her the lines from off-camera and her repeating them, one at a time.

She was very rude to everyone on set - including her fellow non-SAG actors, who did show up on time with their lines memorized - and by the end of the shoot she was despised by pretty much everybody.

Was it worth it? Probably. Having her name attached will most certainly help the film sell. But don't kid yourself that a SAG actor is necessarily going to behave more professionally than one that is non-union.
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Old 10-30-2011, 03:00 PM   #45
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I have friends who are studio SAG actors. They cannot work on non-union productions because they have to protect themselves.

I'm wondering what they are protecting themselves from?

The vast majority of SAG members do not earn enough to support themselves through acting in SAG films. So, in order to "protect" themselves, the must skip other acting jobs and instead primarily focus on non-acting jobs (yup, waitressing and pumping gas) as a means to support themselves.

Like I said, your actor's SAG status is not your concern. Stick a big enough carrot under a sliding B lister and you, too, can get a NAME for your film. There's no point in worrying about SAG backlash while you're trying to get your first film off the ground. Being harrassed by SAG after a successful first film is a nice problem to have.
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