How often and secretly can you still do non union or independent projects if you are SAG Aftra?
Is it easy to do?
How forbidden is it?
There aren't degrees of "forbinness." Working non union is 100% prohibited once you are a union member. If caught you can be expelled from the union.
A better question is: Why would you want to work non union if you are a member of the union? If this role and project is so great, doesn't that mean people will see it, therefore you will be found out to have worked non union while a union member.
Is this really the smartest thing for your long term career plans?
Are you serious?
If you are a union member that means NO NON-UNION WORK! As in none, zero, zip, nada. It is not allowed in any case or under any circumstance. It is strictly forbidden and if you get caught doing it you will be penalized.
Out of curiosity, why would anyone join a labor union and then go work non-union jobs?
Agreed. Working n/u after joining the unions is pathetic.
Seriously why would you want to do non union when in the union? There is NO real money in doing nonunion film/tv. $200 at best is NOTHING compared to what you'd make doing a union project.
If you still looking for footage for your reel/clip library, then a lot of top film schools have SAG Waiver agreements where you can work on their projects without penalty
Definitely Agree. Additional thoughts: not only will you be thrown out, you'll be fined. Banishment and a penalty cost.
Holding a union card is the sign of a professional. Not = amateur.
Being a union member is an honor I worked d***ed hard to get. I've already worked for $80/week on non-union work and 20 hour days with no turnaround. If that's all you aspire to, then get 2 or 3 additional minimum wage job flipping burgers. You can pay the rent on that and never sleep.
I think the reason the OP asked is because if you are doing background work and joining Aftra (because of the merger) there's more work for non union extras. It might be the difference between working one day a week as union or working 4 days a week non union.
Pay for non union is SHIT compared to union! One day working on a SAG commercial background is MORE than working four days of non union background.
Doing occasional commercial bg is one thing, but if you're going undercard to do extra work regularly, then you're not a serious actor, PERIOD! You could be training or actually auditioning for a SAG National that can pay you a 1000 times over, but NO, you're "stuck on set for all day" making minimum wage.
No, I get that, but if you're trying to make rent that month then 4 or 5 days of non union work is better than 1 or possibly no days of union work. Obviously everyone would rather be union and work union than non. I think people are just trying to make as much money as they can right now while this whole merger thing is shaking out.
Then you're better off finding a REAL job that pays more for a few months to pad your bank account.
Extra work is a learning experience the first time, but it keeps you AWAY from training and auditioning for REAL acting gigs.
Again, I get that but this is a crazy time for people that have joined Aftra and now don't know what to do.
So what about AFTRA? There's NO AFTRA police! They're weak at enforcing and could care less about people doing non union.
But if you're SAG and you're doing non union, you're an idiot! They DO care and will enforce the rules!
And if they merge, then they're more powerful and still will enforce.
Who are you people? truthteller included... you know the reason he asked... and in reality as much as the older crowd wants to bury their heads in the sand, so much stuff is non union now it is ridiculous. non union commercials on LA casting are paying 1 to 5 thousand dollars a shoot which does make it tempting for a union actor to work non union. Since companies realize that they can make a comparable national commercials for much, much less they have been going in that direction. Insofar as the background part of it, sure union background pays x2 the rate of non union but in reality it, for everyone who seems to have forgotten it is almost as hard to get booked for union background work as it is for principal work(ask those union background actors you meet on set) , and if yo haven't noticed, so many people are getting their start by doing movies with a group of friends who keep doing films till someone else notices them( check netflix if you don't believe me) if you're already union that makes doing those non union films tempting too.. that being said if you are SAG don't do it.. it will come back to bite you just go fi core( if people start noticing you no one will care( ask george clooney or denzel washington)... if you're AFTRA do it up they don't care anyway.
Clooney and Denzel aren't SAG Fi-Core. Clooney is only Fi-Core within the Writers Guild.
Commercials have now been starting shift back to union. The ridiculous number of decent paying non union commercials of 2009 and 2010 is dwindling. So a one day gig paying $30,000 plus residuals vs. a measly $1000? Hmmm....
SAG Background pays MORE than 2x the crappy non union rate. A SAG commercial background gig that goes over 12 hours goes from $350 to around $700. A non union SAG commercial that goes over 12 hours goes from $150 to a whopping $160. WOW! The people who work regularly on SAG background know how to network and play the game. This business as a whole is all about who knows you, right?
Actor produced projects are normally SAG low-budget. The majority of those actors producing them are non union and are desperate to become SAG Eligible so they WANT union people working in the same project to get Tafted. And obviously those produced projects must be good for a SAG actor to want to devote his or her time to working on an unpaid gig.
To add to this, doing non union extra work regularly while hoping to have a serious acting career is almost futile. When they say it's only 8 hours expect 12 hours and when they say 12 hours expect more than that meaning, you WON'T make your 7pm acting class or be able to do a CD workshop the same day you're booked on an extra gig.
Whereas, if you were not currently in a good financial position and had to set acting aside and work a regular 9-5, then you COULD still do classes, CD workshops, and workout to stay in shape. At least you're still somewhat involved with acting as opposed to just sitting around most of the time, getting fat off of craft services, and listening to annoying people boast about working on this show and that show as an extra and bitching about how they can't seem to get through the casting lines of Central Casting.
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