On-screen talent rates in large cities

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by Bill, Aug 13, 2003.

  1. Bill

    Bill Guest

    I've never done a project requiring professional narration or
    on-screen talent. Could someone give me a rough idea of what kind of
    rates I should expect in the Chicago area (or any other large city).
    I've got a client waiting for an answer, and I admit I was caught off
    guard by their request (my clients normally use their own staff
    members for training videos).

    THANKS!
     
    Bill, Aug 13, 2003
    #1
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  2. Bill

    Steve King Guest

    AFTRA scale for an on-camera narrator is $769 per 8 hour day for the first
    day of production for a traditional corporate video. If the video is to be
    shown in public places, such as shelf-talkers in retail stores or on
    convention floors, in museums, etc., the rate is $911 for the first day of
    production. Additional days are $423/$526; however, the busier and more
    experienced performers often do not lower their fee for additional days. In
    addition to the performer's fee you will pay a percentage of the performer's
    fee (13.3%) to the union pension & health fund. As another poster
    mentioned, you will need to engage a paymaster to employ the actor and
    handle the fees. They charge for this, but they also become the employer of
    record providing workman's comp insurance. Their fees run around 10% of the
    base fees. The bottom line is to budget about $1000 for the first day and
    $600 to $700 for subsequent days. In Chicago, what you should expect is a
    professional, proficient with an ear prompter or memorization who will get
    it on the first take most of the time, who is not intimidated by a 60 second
    or more walk and talk and handle props scene, will take direction well,
    knows when to be of help on a set and when to shut up, and knows how to
    comport him or herself in front of your clients.

    Let me know if I can help. I've worked the Chicago market for 25 years as
    an on-camera narrator, actor, and ...now... AFTRA/SAG signatory employer,
    writer and video producer.

    Steve King (email: )
     
    Steve King, Aug 13, 2003
    #2
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  3. Bill

    Jay Rose CAS Guest

    And don't forget FICA and unemployment insurance, which you (or the
    paymaster) is also responsible for, unless the talent has incorporated
    themself. The magic multiplier is actually 1.39, to convert base rate to
    paymaster's invoice if taxes are included. Plus 10% for the agent, if
    talent has one. Plus penalties if you don't pay within 15 days of shoot...

    SAG rates are the same.
     
    Jay Rose CAS, Aug 13, 2003
    #3
  4. Bill

    Ty Ford Guest


    AFTRA scale of one hour in the studio is $346 or $385. You add the payroll
    and pension stuff and they go up to $435 or $485. If the piece is shown
    unrestricted to the general public you pay the higher amount.

    On camera rates depend on whether the talent is an on-camera narrator or
    acting in a skit.

    Thge on-camera narrator scale is $769 or $911 for an eight hour day. With
    payroll and pension that goes up to $965 and $1145. I think there's a
    wardrobe fee of about $17 that also gets tossed in.

    These rates are work when you yourself hire the talent. If you use a
    paymaster to process the paperwork, add another %15 to the scale figure.

    It is a violation of Internal Revenue Service codes to pay talent as
    contractors. I don't make the rules. I just know they exist. Like the rules
    for speed limits; people break the hiring rules as well. You get a speeding
    ticket if you get caught speeding. You get an IRS audit if you get caught
    hiring talent as contractors.

    For more information check out: http://www.itva.org/irs/

    Sometimes there are ways to negotiate a better rate. Let me know if you want
    to know more.

    Regards,

    Ty Ford
    410.296.2868

    PS: I'm an AFTRA/SAG narrator, on and off camera in Baltimore.




    For Ty Ford V/O demos, audio services and equipment reviews,
    click on http://www.jagunet.com/~tford
     
    Ty Ford, Aug 13, 2003
    #4
  5. Bill

    Bill Davis Guest

    And don't forget FICA and unemployment insurance, which you (or the
    paymaster) is also responsible for, unless the talent has incorporated
    themself. The magic multiplier is actually 1.39, to convert base rate to
    paymaster's invoice if taxes are included. Plus 10% for the agent, if
    talent has one. Plus penalties if you don't pay within 15 days of shoot...

    SAG rates are the same.
    [/QUOTE]


    And let's paint a complete picture.

    There are "right to work" states, (such as mine, Arizona) where union
    affiliation can NOT be made a condition of employment.

    If you contract with someone our here as a talent, you pay THEM. Period.
    No paymasters, no SAG/Aftra filing unless that performer him or herself,
    is a signatory. And there are no required contributions to any pension and
    welfare funds, PERIOD.

    If the talent offers themselves out as a self-employed sub-contractor, all
    that's required is to issue them a 1099 (assuming you pay them MORE than
    the minimum yearly fees requiring the issuance of said 1099. (Used to be
    $600/yr, I'm not sure what it is now.)

    If, like me, they have their own studio facilities and you give them
    latitude to self-direct their performance, you can make a strong case that
    they are, in fact, a self-employed sub-contractor and responsible for
    their own taxes.

    You write one check. To the talent. And your liability ends there.

    (as always, you should obtain your own professional representation
    concerning about matters relating to your tax status.)

    (Doing Voiceovers in Arizona for more than 30 years)
     
    Bill Davis, Aug 14, 2003
    #5
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