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Share your experience with SAG new media. Discuss working with SAG on new media contracts on your web series. Share stories relating to SAG new media. Have general SAG new media discussions. Looking forward to reading your posts. -Rich
It was a simple process that has now been even more streamlined. The benefit for us was SAG actors could work on the project.
Thanks for commenting Ryan, and glad you've had a positive experience on this. Could you take us through the process? I've tried interviewing SAG on this topic and the 'contact person' I was guided to speak with did not know much. Thanks.
My experience with SAG was a bit frustrating. I was given a "contact person," but every time I tried to contact her, I either got a machine or an assistant who told me she would surely call me back. She never did. She never answered my emails either. I had a baby in one of the scenes and wondered if I actually had to Taft Hartley the baby. I still don't know the answer. There were other questions that I had working with SAG and got different answers from different assistants. Again, I never really got to talk to my contact person except when I turned in my paperwork. She said "thanks." I know that new media is new territory for SAG, but they need to at least get everyone working there on the same page.
Thank you Kristen. From this experience, would you go through the process again or skip?
Unfortunately, I don't think I would have a choice since I'm a SAG member and most of my actors were as well. If I had been able to avoid working with SAG, I probably would've.
I hear ya, Kristen. Sending good vibes your way. Hopefully future SNM dealings won't be as frustrating as this one.
Man or man, what a topic Rich -- as a proud SAG member who is also a SAG-Indie producer I say go SAG -- of course, it's not the only way for a producer to go -- but if you can go SAG, then I think many, many things will work out better for you down the road not the least of which is casting -- of course there all are the red tape aspects of doing a SAG new media production -- but Hey, the Guild is there to promote the interests of member actors which I respectfully submit promotes the interests of all actors -- imagine what pay, benefits, and working conditions would be like for non-SAG actors if there was no SAG -- I think it's a small price to pay for what you the producer get with SAG actors- as for working with SAG on the administrative end of things, in my experience, they couldn't be more accommodating and helpful -- the 2 new media reps I've worked with over the years have always been very responsive -- in fact, they've gone out of their way lots of times to be of service -- it's not always a "you having to go to them for help" thing.
The bottom line for me WSN community, as I perceive SAG's position on new media (speaking only for myself and not for any other individual or entity) is like, "Hey, we know you're not paying these people a ton, and a lot of times, compensation is deferred, but you know what, if you as the producer are willing to put up with a little paperwork, then you're getting good, professional, responsible actors that you can count on to deliver – both when cameras are rolling and when they’re not (which is most of the time) – and more significantly, I believe SAG’s whole take on the whole deal is basically YOU ARE GETTING SAG MEMBERS WORK, EXPERIENCE, ETC.!!!! -- Regardless of anything else.....
Going the SAG route for web production, if you can at all do it -- including the minor headaches such as having to hire a payroll service (I know of a really GREAT one right on Wilshire that does the whole thing for what I consider to be next to nothing--and they're just wonderful to work with) and making sure you make your pension and health payments (nominally as they may or may not be) -- is the way to go -- I briefly touched on this closing thought in a roundabout way a while back on someone's post on the topic of casting for web series, and so I’ll just come right out with it now – back in the day I produced a non-SAG short – looked at 20 people for the male lead 60 for the female lead to get who I felt were the right actors for the parts. Then I did a SAG project – looked at a total of 6 people for the female lead, chose 1, and then in later shoots for the same project just picked from the other 5 for different roles – didn’t even have to put out another call, hold auditions, etc. – of course the male lead—the guy in the mirror—was a relatively straightforward call.
Happy Holidays, All
Thanks for your voice, Bob. :)
...And thank you so much, for getting the topic started, Rich
My project is also SAG new media. This is my first SAG project. I'm having a friend help me out with the paper work. I actually talked with a SAG rep about it at a new media mixer at Comic Con and he told me that SAG knows many web series don't make money. They don't want to discourage creators from working with SAG. You can negotiate with each actor any rate. You can do deferred, there's no minimum or maximum you have to agree on. If you are thinking of working with SAG I think now is the time. Once web series start figuring out how to make consistent money, then I think SAG will have it's act together about how to deal with new media. It might make it more difficult to do a SAG project in the future. But I'm going through the process now. We'll see how it turns out in the end.
While not a breeze, the process was a lot easier than I had initially anticipated, and certainly beat the hassle of dealing with AFTRA. But the ability to negotiate talent rates was absolutely essential. I don't think we could have afforded to become a signatory without this flexibility. I concur with Aaron; the time to give SAG a try is now. It's only a matter of time before they start becoming more strict with regard to New Media rates.
Becoming a signatory was also a nice way for us to attract non-SAG talent who were interested in getting a union production under their belts. It almost made up for the fact that we deferred their pay.
I was skeptical of SNM but you've got me reconsidering guys. Thanks for your input. :)