No to ACTRA, Yes to Releases, Maybe to Cyberhats

Posted by – January 9, 2009

Dave has been talking to the ACTRA actor’s union about our situation, and while there are some lower rates for indie low-budget productions if you qualify, they didn’t go for our model of deferred, hypothetical money.

My unnamed source who had used ACTRA actors, then was able to clear it once he had a broadcast offer, was a bit of a special case. He started his movie as a workshop/improv kind of thing with a few people who were ACTRA. After the movie was made, he went to ACTRA and explained that he didn’t know he was going to actually make a movie — they watched it, believed him based on the style of movie, and allowed him to pay the actors TIP rates retroactively.

So it looks like we should go non-ACTRA & non-union in general: unions are one of those good things, like organic food, that I continue to feel ambivalent about. On a more practical tack, does this mean I should lean towards script ideas have have lots of smaller acting parts (Play’n) rather than ones with leads that will dominate the screen (Alleyologist)? Input welcome.

Dave was also able to track down some templates for all the releases we need at the Canadian Independent Film & Video Fund (CIFVF). He did it so quickly I suspect he might have Internet access via his frontal lobe. Or at least a hat like the guy at the top of the post.

2 Comments on No to ACTRA, Yes to Releases, Maybe to Cyberhats

  1. Tate says:

    That’s a tremendous set of releases and docs. Awesome. Curious though–one of the releases (personal release) has a disclaimer at the front:

    “This sample Release is intended to provide producers with an example of a relevant production agreement and is provided for educational purposes only.”

    I wonder–have these releases been used widely, and that statement’s just there to cover the site’s ass? Or are they releases-lite, and should be used with some trepidation?

  2. Jim says:

    Definitely it’ll make sense to have them vetted by a lawyer at some point, or ask the site about that.

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