Captain Atkin wrote:
Union actors get paid for the work they do on these films. The union would most likely not allow them to be in the films otherwise. The rate of pay would be on the low end, as these are non-profit 'indie' films.
Sorry...you are making an assumption that is completely wrong. The current SAG union contract's requirements for members being employed by SAG signatory "new media" (on-line), whether new or derivative (based on another property), is pretty clear...and simple. The contract says it is up to the union member to negotiate what or if they will get paid. They are free to work for free if that is what they are willing to do. (For the production, there are paperwork requirements whether they get paid or not (because all hours worked count toward the member's benefits...believe me, I know...
If this is a television pilot, as implied, that is entirely different...they would hit the "low scale" union contract level.
However, if the production is also a WGA signatory, well, the WGA contract is much more specific and the writer's have to get a pretty penny for any and all work!
I'm a member of ACTRA - The Canadian actors union. I am well aware of the "new media" policies, which even today, are still not well defined by SAG or ACTRA. Unions tend to frown on the idea of their members working on new media projects for free, and for obvious reasons. The actor can negotiate their salary, but there are still certain expectations as to what they should be paid. Although union actors can work for free on these fan films, to my knowledge, not many of them do. Professional actors tend to not want to tick off their agents or union reps.