February 18, 2010
February 12, 2010
February 11, 2010
So you've been booked on a show with a possible recall. Yay! Now... what does that mean? And what are YOUR responsibilities for this situation?
First and most importantly, you MUST be available for all days required in the "possible" recall. We always say "possible", because anything can change at any time on any production. They might finish sooner than they thought, and therefore will not need the same Background Actors the next day after all. They are not obliged to have you back if they no longer need you. Conversely, if they need you, you must be prepared to go back. They have planned to have you for 2, 3, 4 or however many days, and so we have you booked on that show for all required days (another reason it is very important to keep us apprised of your availability). Matching shots are hard to do if the Background Actors are missing!
Many times, the production will inform you on set whether or not you will be recalled. Sometimes they will not. Each production handles things differently, and that is their prerogative. Some casting directors follow up with us here at A List, some do not. If it is a set where they recall you directly, the casting directors trust that you, as a responsible Background Actor, will inform your service. And you should. The minute you hear one way or another, you should call us. Immediately. We may be aware of the situation, but we might not. We don't mind having the information repeated; it is not a bother to us at all. We like to hear from you. If we have been informed that you will most likely be recalled, we will keep with that information unless and until we hear otherwise. DO NOT count on the casting director to tell us. They are very busy. They are casting other shows; and again, they are going to believe you will take the responsibility upon yourself. Also, you might get the news a few hours before they do, and those are hours we can have you open and available for another casting director.
To summarize: if you are told you are recalled, let us know immediately. That's especially important if we did not know that a recall was in the works. If you learn they will not be recalling you after all, call us immediately, so that we may have you free for other casting directors to book you. The theme here is: call us immediately!
As always, use your best judgement. If it's a possible recall, plan to be there until you hear otherwise. Of course, you may feel free to check in with us (that's what we're here for), but refrain from contacting casting directors and bugging them about it. They tend to dislike that. We understand that you want to find other work if you are not recalled, and that you want to know as soon as possible, but making a nuisance of yourself will only hurt you and your chances with that casting director in the future. We all try to work together, and sometimes that is not easy when productions are not forthcoming with information. But please trust the casting directors and us. We all want you to work!
When in doubt... call us, we're here for you. But again, use your best judgement! We trust you. Like most everything when working as background, sometimes it's just a waiting game.
In case you're curious, here are the rules straight from the SAG website:
AVAILABILITY AND BOOKINGS
Asking for availability does not obligate either the Background Actor or the Producer. Availabilities are not bookings. Example: A casting director calls you and says, “There is a two-day shoot next Monday and Tuesday, are you available?” and you reply “yes” and are told to call back on Sunday for details. When you call, you are given all of the necessary information (time, place, wardrobe) for Monday, but Tuesday is not mentioned. At this point you should ask, “Am I booked for Tuesday?” Many casting directors would like to give the impression that the Background Actor is obligated to hold the second day, but this is not true.
If the Background Actor is established in the film so that he/she cannot be replaced, and if the Producer requires his/her services on the following workday and notifies the Background Actor of this by giving him/her a definite call-back, the Background Actor shall report for the following workday.
The Background Actor is entitled to a full day of pay for cancellation of an initial work call, unless such cancellation is due to illness in principal cast, fire, flood, or other similar catastrophe or national emergency. In the event of such cancellation, the Background Actor will be entitled to a half-check. If the Background Actor is notified of such cancellation before 6:00 pm of the workday previous to the work date, the Background Actor will not be entitled to the half-check.
An article from Variety. Also keep in mind that many of these are NOT filming in the LA area....By DAVE MCNARY
AFTRA has clearly become the deal of choice this pilot season, as producers shun SAG -- which once dominated primetime.
With the season starting to wind down and move toward casting, a total of 62 pilots shot on digital have signed with the thus far, according to the union's internal tracking.
Conversely, insiders believe that only few pilots have inked deals with the -- even though minimum terms of primetime deals in the SAG and AFTRA master don't vary significantly.
SAG and AFTRA, which share jurisdiction on primetime shows shot in digital formats, had no comment Tuesday. But this pilot season appears to be a repeat of last year, when strike saber-rattling by SAG leaders sent nearly all of the studios and producers into the arms of AFTRA.
AFTRA has signed 23 ABC pilots, including "Mr. Sinshine" with Matthew Perry; "The Whole Truth," produced by Jerry Bruckheimer; and "No Ordinary Family," starring Michael Chiklis. The guild has also signed 14 at NBC, including "The Rockford Files" and "Prime Suspect"; a dozen at CBS, including "Hawaii Five-O" and Chuck Lorre's "Mike and Molly"; and 10 at Fox, including Shawn Ryan's "Ridealong."
SAG appears to be paying the price for its aggressive stance during 2008 and 2009, when AFTRA split off from joint negotiations and SAG insisted on a better deal than the other Hollywood unions. That led to AFTRA concluding a deal a year before SAG in July 2008 -- despite SAG's fervent opposition to ratification on the grounds that the AFTRA deal fell short in new media compensation.
Studios and producers are able to choose between SAG and AFTRA jurisdiction now that most pilots are shot via high-definition video. SAG has exclusive jurisdiction over projects shot in film -- but that medium is no longer common in TV production.
"We shoot all of our shows in HD," one studio exec said -- adding that their decision to shoot digitally has nothing to do with the guilds. (Instead, the flexibility is a beneficial byproduct of the shift from film to digital.)
SAG dominated pilot jursidiction until last year.
Producers have continued to opt for AFTRA deals -- even though SAG members have voted in more moderate leaders who have moved toward mending fences with AFTRA.
Advocates of a SAG-AFTRA merger contend that the issue of split jurisdiction's a potential headache for working members amid tightened qualifications for the joint industry-union health and pension plans. SAG earnings aren't counted toward the AFTRA plans and vice-versa.
In a development that's troubling for SAG members, thesps were told at the guild's membership meeting on October that declines in TV work had led to producer contributions to SAG's health and pension plans sliding between 10% and 11% for 2009.
SAG's national board voted on Jan. 31 to seek a joint negotiation with AFTRA on a new primetime deal, a week after AFTRA's strategy cabinet took the first step toward joint negotiations by voting to create a committee to explore that option.
SAG has about 120,000 members, and AFTRA has 70,000, with about 45,000 thesps holding dual membership. Both primetime deals expire in June, 2011. SAG is obligated to begin talks with the companies in October for seven weeks; AFTRA's talks have not been set.
http://www.variety.com/article/VR111801 ... Id=14&cs=1