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Old 07-19-2018, 10:35 PM   #1
RealJasonBourne
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Can a non-union production hire union actors?

I am going to be filming a project that I had to cancel three years ago due to funding issues. I auditioned an actor three years ago from craigslist who had very good acting for the part. I contacted him again last week, and he told me he's a union actor now and can't work with non-union.

I have an alternative actor for the part, he fits the character look better than the first actor, but his acting is just low tier, and I'm afraid of it ruining the tone of the show.


I could try to work closely with the alternative actor to try and get the tone I want, but I feel like its risky. If I could just work with the first actor, it would give me the creative confidence I need to succeed.
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Old 07-19-2018, 10:43 PM   #2
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https://www.sagaftra.org/ultra-low-budget-agreement
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Old 07-19-2018, 11:09 PM   #3
RealJasonBourne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indietalk View Post
It appears they want me to agree to a bunch of non-sense, low tier actor it is.
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Old 07-20-2018, 12:20 AM   #4
Kaiborg
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I think the ultra-low budget union rate is $120 a day, just FYI
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Old 07-20-2018, 10:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaiborg View Post
I think the ultra-low budget union rate is $120 a day, just FYI
Did you look at the link? You're close but if you take a look
at the link provided you'll see that's not correct.
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Old 07-20-2018, 11:31 AM   #6
Kaiborg
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That link isn't working too well with my mobile device.

Did they change it recently? I could've sworn that's what it was when I researched it recently. Is CA a different rate or something?
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Old 07-20-2018, 11:46 AM   #7
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It's $125/day anywhere in the U.S.
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Old 07-20-2018, 11:50 AM   #8
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It's $125/day anywhere in the U.S.
Right on. I probably just recalled that wrong.
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Old 07-20-2018, 01:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealJasonBourne View Post
It appears they want me to agree to a bunch of non-sense, low tier actor it is.
Well it's a union. What nonsense? I know lots of people that use the ultra low budget agreement. If the actor is perfect for your film, there is your answer.
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Old 07-20-2018, 03:53 PM   #10
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How important is the actor to the project? How important is the project to you?

I've worked under the SAG-AFTRA ultra low budget agreement. Yes, it requires some extra work and attention to details. No, it wasn't terribly onerous or unreasonable.
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Old 07-20-2018, 04:18 PM   #11
RealJasonBourne
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Originally Posted by indietalk View Post
Well it's a union. What nonsense? I know lots of people that use the ultra low budget agreement. If the actor is perfect for your film, there is your answer.
Does signing up for union give them any rights over my film? I want to be able to do as I want with the footage.

The main benefit is to get talented actors right?

I'm in Canada right now, and they have an Indie program for productions less than $20, 000. It says: FAQ 13: We’ve made some revenue on our production! What’s next?

A: Under the 40 Under Indie Ultra-Low Budget Program, the producer shall pay performers an amount equal to 20% of Distributor’s Gross Revenue. If your production receives revenue, contact our Distribution Department"

I'm considering on joining this indie union program just to hire 1 union actor that was non union 3 years ago. He's a supporting role, but I think he may fit the role perfectly. It's like I would be losing 20% of any potential profits I make off the footage just to go union for one actor. Am I being greedy? I am investing in an all or nothing film shoot. The actors are getting paid decently for one day.

Last edited by RealJasonBourne; 07-20-2018 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 07-20-2018, 04:19 PM   #12
RealJasonBourne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlesemann View Post
How important is the actor to the project? How important is the project to you?

I've worked under the SAG-AFTRA ultra low budget agreement. Yes, it requires some extra work and attention to details. No, it wasn't terribly onerous or unreasonable.
Ok thank you, I am considering it now. I'm investing around $20, 000 into this and can only afford to do the film shoot once so I do need the best talent I can get.
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Old 07-21-2018, 10:55 AM   #13
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Are you casting this in Canada? It's kind of important to offer that info.

SAG-AFTRA has different rules than UBCP/ACTRA. I does look like
you required to pay a percentage if your movie makes a profit. You
do not lose any rights over your film but you may not be able to use
the footage as you want. Typically all contracts limit how footage
of an actor can be used. This protects the actor for unexpected
exploitation. Not a nonsense rule, really.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RealJasonBourne View Post
It's like I would be losing 20% of any potential profits I make off the footage just to go union for one actor.
I think you are misreading that answer. Did you read the contract
or only the FAQ? I didn't but it seems the Union is insuring that no
more than 20% goes to talent - thus protecting the producer. It
doesn't suggest that one actor gets 20% of all profits.

So are you asking abut UBCP/ACTRA rules?
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Old 07-21-2018, 11:05 AM   #14
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Now's a good time to hire your producer, who is versed in all of this.
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Old 07-21-2018, 12:13 PM   #15
RealJasonBourne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by directorik View Post
Are you casting this in Canada? It's kind of important to offer that info.

SAG-AFTRA has different rules than UBCP/ACTRA. I does look like
you required to pay a percentage if your movie makes a profit. You
do not lose any rights over your film but you may not be able to use
the footage as you want. Typically all contracts limit how footage
of an actor can be used. This protects the actor for unexpected
exploitation. Not a nonsense rule, really.

I think you are misreading that answer. Did you read the contract
or only the FAQ? I didn't but it seems the Union is insuring that no
more than 20% goes to talent - thus protecting the producer. It
doesn't suggest that one actor gets 20% of all profits.

So are you asking abut UBCP/ACTRA rules?
Yes, my apologies I'm asking about UBCP/ACTRA. Thanks for the clarification. I only read the FAQ . Right now my only issue is that I would like to be able to do whatever I want with the footage. This is meant to be an "episode 1" for an online series. If people ended up liking the footage, and I was able to find a producer (or community kickstart) would I owe UBCP/ACTRA profit % for following episodes/footage under the same title as the first footage? I just don't want them to be connected to the title of the series.

The only reason I'm making a deal over it is because I would be going through that mess just for one supporting role character. Since I can only afford to film this one time, I am kind of desperate to get the right actors for the part and make it the best that I can.

I'm going to be auditioning this union actor soon and then I will most likely sign up for the indie budget program.

http://www.ubcp.com/40-under-indiefaq/
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