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SAG-AFTRA To Pursue Pay For Auditions Under Specific Circumstances

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Film and TV actors might be contractually entitled to collect half-a-day’s pay when they audition but aren’t hired, though very few ever collect. The payments have been codified in every Screen Actors Guild and SAG-AFTRA contract since 1937, but the payments are not automatic – actors have to file a claim to receive them, and few ever do.

On Wednesday, however, after Deadline made inquiries, the union said that it now will pursue claims for audition pay under specific circumstances.

“Until further notice,” the guild said in a posting on its website, “members should expect the union to pursue audition pay claims in the following circumstances, provided that the performer is not offered employment in the picture and that the requirements of the audition pay language within the schedule applicable to the role being cast are otherwise met:
1. When the producer or casting director expressly require the performer to memorize their lines in advance.
2. When the performer participates in a network or studio ‘test’ as that term is commonly understood in the entertainment industry. For context, ‘tests’ are typically used to cast series regular or feature lead roles, typically involve multiple performers who are expected to be ‘off book,’ may involve make-up, hairdress and wardrobe, and will have network or studio executives in attendance.
3. When a performer is owed pay for waiting time in excess of one hour as provided in the applicable schedule.”

SAG-AFTRA headquarters in Los Angeles
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Actor Shaan Sharma, who is a member of the SAG-AFTRA Hollywood board, has been one of the leaders of the effort to get the union to pursue pay for auditions and has filed his own claims for audition pay. “This is a first step,” he told Deadline, “but does not address the work we do on auditions that don’t expressly require lines to be memorized, which includes most auditions. This is something we’ve been owed since 1937.”

In its statement, SAG-AFTRA said:

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“It has come to the attention of SAG-AFTRA that there is a lack of clarity regarding the requirement of payment for auditions where the performer is not subsequently offered employment on the picture. The confusion stems, in part, from the fact that the audition provisions of the Codified Basic Agreement, which apply to the casting of film and dramatic television programs, date back to 1937 and employ vocabulary that no longer tracks common usage in the entertainment industry.

“In addition, the way that roles are cast in the entertainment industry has changed radically since that language was last negotiated, thereby creating genuine ambiguities in how the audition pay language should be applied today.

“The current Codified Basic Agreement expires on June 30, 2023, and feedback from members has made it abundantly clear that changes in how roles are cast have created a number of issues that require resolution at the bargaining table.” In the interim, the union said, it “will pursue audition pay claims” in the above-listed circumstances.

“To be clear,” the union said, “SAG-AFTRA believes that the audition pay language can be read to require payment in circumstances beyond those identified (above) and SAG-AFTRA specifically reserves the right to pursue those interpretations in the future. There is the potential, however, for such broader interpretations to have negative consequences, including a reduction of access to casting opportunities that will impact some member groups more acutely than others.”

The union says that it also will “consider any unique or compelling circumstances in determining whether to file a claim, including claims that do not meet the foregoing criteria, so members who strongly believe that they are contractually owed audition pay should call their local office to review the circumstances of their audition or interview. Active claims previously filed with SAG-AFTRA will be reviewed and processed in line with the above criteria and guidance. Members who are interested in how the Codified Basic Agreement regulates the casting process are strongly encouraged to participate in the TV/Theatrical Wages and Working Conditions process that will commence in the coming months.”

With regard to auditions and tests, the current SAG-AFTRA contract says:

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“A. If the performer is given employment in the picture, he shall not be entitled to compensation for auditions or tests unless required to wait more than one (1) hour between the time of the call for such purpose and the commencement thereof; if required to wait more than one (1) hour, the performer shall receive compensation for excess waiting time, at straight time, in one-half (½) hour units.
“B. If the performer is not given employment in the picture, the performer shall receive one-half (½) day of pay.”
“C. If the performer reads or speaks lines which he has not been given to learn outside the studio, without photography or sound recording, the same shall not constitute an audition or test, but shall constitute an ‘interview,’ and the provisions of Section 14 hereof shall apply thereto.”

Similar language is contained in the Screen Actors Guild’s 1947 contract, which said:

“(a). If the player is given employment in the picture, the player shall not be entitled to compensation unless required to wait more than 1 hour between the time of call for such purpose and commencement of such audition or in which case the player shall receive compensation for excess waiting time at straight time, in one-half hour units.
“(b). If the player is not given employment in the picture, the player shall receive one-half day’s pay. If the player reads or speaks lines which he has not been given to learn outside the studio, without photography or sound recording, the same shall not constitute an audition or test but shall constitute an ‘interview,’ and the provisions of paragraph 7 above shall apply thereto.”



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Netflix & Paramount+ To Profile ‘Strip Search Caller’ ; TVOKids Spotlights Down Syndrome With Toon Series; ‘One Piece Film Red’ London Takeover — Global Briefs

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Netflix & Paramount+ UK To Profile ‘Strip Search Caller’

Netflix and Paramount+ have struck a first of its kind-of-deal over a true crime documentary telling the story of the strip search caller in the U.S. Paramount+ has taken UK rights to Pervert: The Hunt for the Strip Search Caller and Netflix has rest of world on the doc, which it will be calling Don’t Pick Up the Phone. The deal is believed to be the first time two streamers have worked in such a way in the UK and rest of world. The doc tells the shocking story of a hoax caller who targeted fast food restaurants across the U.S. – posing as a police officer investigating a theft, the caller instructed managers to strip-search the young female employees he said were suspects. For many victims, what began as a humiliating strip search escalated into sexual abuse.

Canada’s TVOKids Spotlights Down Syndrome In Animated Series ‘Griffin And Turner’

EXCLUSIVE: Ontario, Canada’s TVOkids and Big Jump Entertainment are working on 2D-animated series Griffin and Turner. Based on real Canadian brothers who a significant online following, the show follows the supportive pair as they, their friends and family undertake personal challenges but focus on the journey rather than winning. Turner has Down syndrome, and TVOKids executive producer Kirsten Hurd noted the series has been developed in consultation with the Down syndrome community. Producer Big Jump is behind shows such as Shutterbug and Big Words, Small Stories.

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London Gets ‘One Piece Film Red’ Takeover After Record Haul

To celebrate the record-breaking haul of One Piece Film Red in the UK, the Straw Hat Pirates are set for a takeover of iconic London locations on November 26. Via local distributor Anime Limited and Toei Animation, the cast and memorable scenes from the series will be projected onto the County Hall of London, opposite the London Eye as well as other key locations. One Piece Film: Red has grossed over £800,000 in the UK and Ireland since it released earlier this month, making it the biggest of the long-running franchise. A phenomenon in Japan, One Piece Film Red has grossed $162M to date worldwide 



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‘All Quiet On The Western Front’, ‘Belfast’ Top 2022 EFA Arts & Crafts Awards

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Edward Berger’s All Quiet On The Western Front and Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast top the European Film Academy’s Excellence Awards honoring achievement in the arts and crafts categories, the winners of which were announced on Wednesday.

Belfast won best European Production Design for Jim Clay, whose credits include Children Of Men, for which he won a Bafta in 2006, and Murder On The Orient Express.

The drama, set against the backdrop of the beginnings of “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland in 1969, also won best European Costume Design for Charlotte Walter (Blithe Spirit, Misbehaviour)

Netflix-backed German WWI drama All Quiet On The Western Front won best European Make-up & Hair for Heike Merker, and Best European Special Effects for Frank Petzold, Viktor Müller and Markus Frank.

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 In other categories, best European Cinematography was won by Kate McCullough for her work on Colm Bairéad’s Irish-language drama The Quiet Girl.

Best European Editing went to Özcan Vardar and Eytan İpeker for Turkish director Emin Alper’s drama Burning Days.

Polish composer Paweł Mykietyn won best European Original Score went for Jerzy Skolimowski’s EO.

Best European Sound went to Simone Paolo Olivero, Paolo Benvenuti, Benni Atria, Marco Saitta, Ansgar Frerich & Florian Holzner for Michelangelo Frammartino’s cave exploration drama The Hole.

The winners, which are decided by a special expert jury, will receive their awards at the European Film Awards ceremony on 10 December in Reykjavík.

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Jennifer Lopez’s Social Media Mysteriously Goes Dark

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EXCLUSIVE: The actress, producer and top-selling performing artist’s social media channels including Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter have suddenly gone dark in their featured/cover images.

Reps for Jennifer Lopez were unavailable for comment, but we hear from others that The Hustlers and Marry Me actress is on the verge of announcing a new project.

Here’s a look at her Instagram tonight:

While Lopez’s Instagram had erased all posts, a trail of her previous postings remained on Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter. Across all four social media portals, Lopez counts close to 347M followers, the majority of that coming from her Instagram.

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Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions in June 2021 signed a multi-year first-look deal with Netflix spanning feature films, TV series and unscripted content, with an emphasis on projects that support diverse female actors, writers and filmmakers. Lopez co-runs Nuyorican Productions with her producing partner Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas.

Lopez scored her best opening for a live-action movie at the domestic box office with STX’s 2019 stripper caper Hustlers which debuted to $33.1 million, and grossed $105M stateside, $157.6M worldwide.  As a recording artist, Lopez has sold over 70 million albums, with J.Lo became her bestselling album with 3.8M copies sold in the U.S. and 12M global. Her Netflix thriller The Mother from director Niki Caro is set to debut in May. Her romantic comedy Shotgun Wedding with Josh Duhamel will hit Prime Video on Jan. 27.

On Facebook, one of her followers, Steffany Merino wrote, “What’s happened? Hope you and your wonderful family are ok. I’ll pray for your health and safety.”

Again, we hear something special is in the works in the next few days.



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