SCI-FI CONVENTIONS: Do actors get paid well?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by ReadyAndWilling, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. ReadyAndWilling

    ReadyAndWilling Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    ok, so let's say the cast of Angel has a convention some where in the US. do they get paid well? i remember someone mentioned the 'subsidiaries' are quite good, alluding to the conventions. i'm sure something like star trek would be awesome because of the huge following. do all TV shows have these conventions to get a chance to talk to the actors and meet them? or is it purely dependent on how much of a following the show has? something like Angel or Star Trek obviously have huge cult followings.

    has there even been an Angel convention? did boreanaz ever go for one? how do the actors feel about conventions anyway? i've heard lot of negative stories about william shatner called fans 'losers' right to their faces. is it because these stars just can't deal with so much attention?
     
  2. od0_ital

    od0_ital Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2001
    Location:
    Nacogdoches, Texas
    Depends on the actor, the convention location, and quite a few other considerations.

    Star Trek, Star Wars, Firefly, Buffy/Angel, Doctor Who, Twilight, Stargate, Farscape, Harry Potter & Supernatural are all shows that I know have specific cons across the country, and they draw crowds.

    The conventions I've gone to have just been general scifi cons - a few folks from this, a couple from that, whatever...

    As for how much they make, Jonathan Frakes says he paid for his first house with the money he made off of Trek conventions, and of course, that was durin' TNG's prime. Wil Wheaton has a pretty naive story about how he expected to be compensated with free admission for goin' to a scifi con durin' his time on TNG in one of his books.

    I don't think David Boreanz does conventions, and I'm pretty sure Sarah Michelle Gellar won't be caught dead at one.
     
  3. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    A Long Time Ago...
    I went to a McCloud convention just last week. Dennis Weaver is looking rough.
     
  4. BDJ

    BDJ Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Location:
    Lovely little shire known as Cave City
    I was wondering that myself. Just got back from the Trek con in Nashville and photo ops with Shatner were 79 bux each! He had a line nearly a kilometer long! People were winding around every corner and along every wall in the Ryman area on the bottom floor of the Opryland Resort. The lady working the line near the back, where we were, said that there were right at 200 tickets purchased just on Sunday. That didn't include the advance purchases! The photog was charging 10 bux to put your jpeg on cd. That's 10 bux per jpeg! I had two! He was also making a killing! Great Bird Bless 'em!!
     
  5. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2002
    Location:
    Gotham
    SMG was just at comic con promoting "Ringer". I think she was at one when "Southland Tales" was out. SDCC is the big one if you're in television and movies and wanna promote something. I've read and heard varying tales regarding who gets what and how much, etc. To answer the original posters question: they probably do not get paid "well".
     
  6. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    In your head, doing stuff...
    A fool / soon / His money :p
     
  7. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    There was an interesting article on this a little while ago (I'll see if I can find it) - the bottom line is that the amount you can command is basically a combination of how famous/hot you are and the amount of cons you do - so if it is easy to get your autograph, then you can't make a lot.

    I remember the article mentioned Lou Ferrigno as someone who turns up at everything, isn't that famous and as a result is often simply sitting around.
     
  8. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Ah-ha - here it is:

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/...ign-autographs-conventions-lance-fensterman/2
     
  9. ElimParra

    ElimParra Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    I've heard stories about some actors who don't make appearance at scifi conventions. Where as others do, as they want to give back to the fans. With regards of payment, I've heard there is an appearance fee and charges for autographs and photos.
     
  10. Frontier

    Frontier Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2002
    Location:
    Fifth Circle of Hell, IE: Pennsylvania
    When the JumpCon fraud happened ((I lost $465, thank you!)) in some of the later court filings, it had the amounts owed to various actors for their appearance fee. The original article seems to be gone, but someone reporting on it has two of the figures preserved...

    http://www.conventionscene.com/2009/05/25/jumpcon-owner-files-for-bankruptcy/

    Edward James Olmos @ $60,000
    Stephen Furst @ $1500

    I also remember from when I originally read it, Bob Picardo @ 8,000 and J.G. Hertzler @ $2000 or 3000.

    I'd always guessed at the figures myself, and I was pleased to find I'd been pretty accurate at my guesstimates.

    I know at one point back in the day, Creation tried to get Harrison Ford to do a convention. They offered him their entire budget of $200,000 and that didn't even leave enough for any autographs. He still rejected it. $200 G's to talk for an hour on stage, lol.

    Some folks like Shatner, Nimoy, Stewart can still pull down the big numbers even when they're appearing more often than normal. Stewart in the late 90s/early 00s was pretty rare, less than one a year. Now he's doing 2, sometimes 3 or 4 a year.

    And back in the 'old' days of as recently as the early 00s, some of them where able to get away with not signing in person. You'd be provided with a pre-signed 8x10 at the show. As was the case when I first met Stewart in 2000. He's since done two purely autograph shows in my area, and I've gotten most of my "must have" items signed by him in person including a Locutus of Borg photo. :) It was the repugnant David Scott of Slanted Fedora infamy that changed that; he made them all sign in person, and it eventually forced Creation to follow suit as people where no longer willing to accept the pre-signing nonsense once Scott had gotten people like Shatner to sign like everyone else. I hate that man (David Scott) but he did some good things for the convention scene in his brief reign as king. He was also a scumbag and a cheat...

    Something else that can determine how much you make is the $ amount you charge for autographs. When doing purely autograph shows, bigger names like Olmos and Stewart tend to charge bigger fees. Recently, Stewart was charging $60 a pop, Olmos $50. It can deter some fans. I bite the bullet. Olmos was really great to me though; I had come prepared with 8 photos I wanted him to sign, and he cut his price from $50 to $30 if he could personalize them (which I imagine was to make sure they where not going out on e-Bay, lol) -- so for paying LESS money, I got 8 items PERSONALIZED which you normally pay MORE for. Hehe. He rocks though. He was very patient and friendly. I had a bunch of inscriptions I'd wanted, famous lines. He did them all and we had a nice chat for about 10 minutes. One of the better experiences. :)
     
  11. Pingfah

    Pingfah Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pingfah
    I would never pay someone for scribbling their fucking name on a piece of paper, screw that!
     
  12. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Also varies whether the convention is corporate or fan-run, whether it's profitmaking or nonprofitmaking ... The convention I'm on the committee of, Redemption, is fan-run for charity and totally nonprofitmaking - so we don't pay guests at all. But we still get some, who're willing to do a more cosy con for room and board under those circumstances.
     
  13. Rarewolf

    Rarewolf Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2002
    Location:
    Devon, England
    It's probably in the her contract that she does promotional appearances, DVD commentaries etc. There is a difference between doing a signing purely for that purpose (which can include free autographs) and being a paid guest, charging money for autographs.

    A lot of the autograph fees are set by organisers, rather than guests. So if they can get minor guest for £/$500 charge £/$10 a throw it doesn't take long to get into profit. And you usually have plenty of time to get those guests while waiting for your big ones.

    And to a degree a high price is crowd control. Sir Derek Jacobi did one last month, £25 a sig. He was busy enough. But he did 2 Dr Who conventions where autographs were free. I have some lovely items signed by him. Didn't cost me. I'm told he is generous at theatres too. Lovely man.


    The SDCC had David Tennant, Matt Smith, Karen Gillan appear, we've only had Karen do one proper (paid) signing so far. £25 a auto or photo. She did 600 photos and over signed for over 1000 people. In one day.

    Depends what you consider well paid really. 4 figure sum for one days work, I'd not complain.
     
  14. OmahaStar

    OmahaStar Disrespectful of his betters Admiral

    Joined:
    May 15, 2002
    Location:
    OmahaStar
    I miss Slanted Fedora conventions. They were some of the most fun times I've had, and provided the greatest variety in guests (this was before I had gone to mega conventions like Dragon*Con).

    As mentioned above, it really does vary depending on whether it's a fan-run or corporate con, and who the guest is. Claudia Christian (B5) and Denise Crosby (TNG) charge a $3000 speaker's fee, plus daily expenses (and suite, etc). Walter Koenig and George Takei are in the $20-25,000 range, but expenses and autographs are included.

    Shatner will not do a convention for less than $50,000.

    BUT there are also a lot of actors who are ... let's say not at the "star" levels, who are often referred to as "bonus guests" ... They get free admission to the convention and a table in the autograph area, and then sell their autographs. They aren't paid at all. The Borg twins, Mary-Linda, Robin Curtis, and Martin Rayner are all at that level.
     
  15. Rarewolf

    Rarewolf Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2002
    Location:
    Devon, England
    Claudia is an odd one.

    She's running her own her event in two weeks, doing it her own way, saying she doesn't like the usual way.

    http://www.claudiaconuk.com/

    I met her a few years ago, and got 2 autos for £15 each. But she gave me £5 back. She's one of the good guys.
     
  16. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    It depends entirely upon the actor.
     
  17. od0_ital

    od0_ital Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2001
    Location:
    Nacogdoches, Texas
    My (then nine year old) nephew almost learned the facts of life from one of Claudia's appearances at a scifi con in Dallas...so glad I noticed the binder of photos was labelled "Adults Only" before she did!!!
     
  18. JiNX-01

    JiNX-01 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Location:
    JiNX-01
    I hope you didn't waste the money. It would be cheaper to scan the print onto a CD when you got home.
     
  19. BDJ

    BDJ Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Location:
    Lovely little shire known as Cave City
    I sure did! I wanted to insure that my photo's would survive just in case something happened to the printed ones before I got home. I was thinking "in for a penny..." since I had already spent money on a photo op with Gowron and Martok (a real hoot by the way!). I've never gone to a convention before. (It was 20th wedding anniversary gift)
    So we just went with the whole experience and had a great time. Those that seem to get their panties in a wad over "someone scribbling their name on a piece of paper" aren't being forced to buy an autograph, so why be so hateful about it? Oh and the "fool and his money comment" would've been a hurtful if I actually cared about the person making it.
     
  20. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    In your head, doing stuff...
    Well it wasn't aimed specifically at you -- more a poke at anyone who doesn't keep a tight control over their expenditure when faced with temptation -- especially nowadays. I did use an emoticon to indicate that I was being facetious but I obviously touched a raw nerve -- sorry.