re: British Equity does it right/and the smoking gun
Posted by: NewtonUK 11:33 am EDT 10/20/20
In reply to: re: Feuding Actor Unions: SAG-AFTRA and Equity fighting over jurisdiction of zoomed/streaming plays - JereNYC 09:29 am EDT 10/20/20

The Union is less strong in the UK than in the US (Margaret Thatcher saw to that), however British Equity represents actors, stage managers, directors, Fight Directors, and designers - in theatre, film, and TV. Until 1933 AEA represented film actors - but then SAG was formed. In large part because AEA was NY based, and Hollywood was on the West Coast.

Getting to RYHOG'S point, Equity's position is a losing one indeed. Every Equity contract says a version of the same thing about recording a stage production for Broadcast of any kind. First and foremost, you have to be producing the play or musical under a full contract in order for the Rules to apply in the first place - meaning you are producing a stage production. And there is no AEA contract for any kind of production other than those that are presented for a live audience on stage. So for a starter, if you create a project to stream only, AEA has no jurisdiction whatever. If you produce a show under an AEA agreement, your actors are working under that agreement, and THEN AEA media rules apply. And what do they say? The producer asks AEA for permission to record the production, and AEA more or less has to say yes. And then you are required to employ your AEA members under the appropriate SAG/AFTRA agreement. The Stage Managers are paid as AEA employees, since SAG/AFTRA doesnt deal with Stage Managers.

Every single AEA contract cedes recording/broadcast to SAG/AFTRA.

I worked as manager on a show which live streamed a performance, that was then avail to stream for 30 days after (for schools and universities only - kind of the same as for producers and industry only) It was private - but there was a charge to view. The producer (on the Off Broadway Agreement) asked AEA for permission.

I quote the response from AEA, which is exactly what the contracts said, and still say/lead to: "Each Actor who performs during any streaming, whether or not they appear in the Streaming, must be signed to the applicable SAG-AFTRA contract, and will receive not less than the applicable minimum rate established for that contract. All the terms of the SAG-AFTRA contract must be met, including health and welfare.

"Stage Managers employed during any Streaming will receive the same terms and conditions including residuals, received by the Actors, even if Stage Managers are not covered by the SAG-AFTRA contract. Stage Managers will be paid the equivalent of the On-Camera Principal {performer rate for each day of live streaming. Equity PEnsion of 8% shall be paid on and dues of 2.25% shall be deducted from this amount in behalf of Stage Managers in lieu of SAG AFTRA benefits."

Please note that no Health Payments are required for the stage manager for the streaming. If the Producer uses the Stream for any purpose other than the approved purpose, then each AEA member would get a penalty payment of two weeks of their AEA contract and benefits.

Thats it. Thats how it works. AEA, if you are already working on an AEA contract, gives producer the approval to stream or record, and then sends the producer to SAG/AFTRA for the applicable contract, and SAG AFTRA contracts for all the members (save SMs) In this case each actor got $490 for the stream.

Every AEA contract that I have ever worked with cedes jurisdiction for recorded/streamed/broadcast content to SAG-AFTRA.

No AEA contract covers work that is not being made for live performance in front f a live audience.

I don't know how much clearer it can be.

Let's say you want to record a stream of a reading, which you will rehearse for 4 days and then record on one day.

SAG-AFTRA requires a minimum of $125 per day + benefits for each day, which can be up to 8 hours.
If you do an AEA 29 hour reading usually, you are required to be paid subway fare in exchange for 29 hours - usually 5 days - work.
The last deal that AEA put on the table to me, was for a bit more salary, still on only 29 hours work, and the work could only stream for two days.

AEA says they have agreements for this kind of content that they have promulgated (meaning made up on their own). You will not find them on their website. Yes they have no jurisdiction. But they want to think so,
have made up rates etc, but won't publicly let even their own members know what they are. Doesnt sound like even good faith to me

Under SAG/AFTRA you get $625 (minimum) + benefits - and the stream can be online, privately, or behind a paywall with slightly different rules re residuals etc, for 26 weeks.

This is not a contract invented for the pandemic by SAG-AFTRA. This is their Media Agreement for budgets under $50,000. There is a slightly different agreement for larger budgets.

Both AEA and SAG AFTRA agreements are collectively bargained. A union has no right to add or delete rules, or change rules, or salaries or anything, without the agreement of their collective bargaining partner.

For the record, I am not a member of either union - but I do work with them both.

SO please stop being angry people!

Previous: re: Feuding Actor Unions: SAG-AFTRA and Equity fighting over jurisdiction of zoomed/streaming plays - ryhog 11:40 am EDT 10/20/20
Next: re: British Equity does it right/and the smoking gun - ryhog 11:50 am EDT 10/20/20

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