More about Payment and Access to Work In A Timely Manner

We believe professional performers deserve…

  • Payment and access to their work in a timely manner.  Performers should be paid within a reasonable amount of time, and should be granted access to clips of their work as soon as available.

Professional performers work on projects for several reasons, to pay the bills, to grow as artists, to grow their resume and potentially grow their reel.  Regardless of how much a job may pay, it’s still their performance – their work that is being used – and these performers deserve access to that work in a timely manner.  Just as filmmakers and producers use their work to further grow their business and land future funding, performers use their work to help land the next job.

Can you imagine an architect designing a building, then having to wait years after completion before being able to show photos of his or her work to potential clients (or never being able to show photos of that work at all?)  What if the clients run out of funds and the building is never completed?  Shouldn’t that architect be able to show his or her blueprints and designs?

One key to a successful business is to get agreements in writing.

Whether you are in front or behind the camera, we encourage everyone to let those they work with know they are professional – that they uphold their agreements, and that they’re happy to have those agreements in writing so everyone is on the same page.

Whether it’s transportation or dry-cleaning reimbursement, payment, terms of use, or the often promised “Copy, Credit and Meal Provided,” make sure everyone is on the same page and it’s explained in writing.

What if the project isn’t finished?  Even if the project isn’t finished yet (or is never finished) the performer completed his or her work, upheld his or her agreements – s/he deserves access to his or her work.  If production is worried about premature exposure, an agreement can be drawn up specifying that the performer can only use footage for his or her reel and personal website.  The agreement can also specify what the footage can’t be used for (i.e.: showing the project at a public event, on Facebook or YouTube).  Let’s be clear; the entire project doesn’t need to be finished!

 Performers only needs their scenes, not the project as a whole.  Even if the project is never finished, the performer still deserves access to the work they completed. 

Keep in mind:  If you are a performer working for a large big-budget production, such as a major motion picture of television show, it can be especially difficult to receive copies of work from production. While it may seem odd that larger productions with more people have less capacity to make copies for performers, consider that everyone working on these productions has very specific jobs (and it’s rare that copying work for even the series regulars or stars is part of anyone’s job description.) Sometimes sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to the production company with a blank dvd and a nice note asking for a clip of your work may yield results – or it may not. It’s always a good idea to be prepared to record television episodes yourself – whether off of live broadcast or the web. You can also simply purchase a download or DVD when that option becomes available; it’s likely to get your footage faster (and the cost is most likely tax deductible; consult a tax professional to be sure!)

What do we mean when we say timely?  6 months for a short film, or 1 year for a feature, from the date of the performer’s wrap on the project.