BUY OUT FEES?

  • Natalie Rowan

    Actor

    Can someone please explain to me the ins and outs of "Buy out Fees"?

    I'm confused ..........

    Thanks guys x

    • 7th Jun 2006
    • 13392
    • 6
  • Lucy Perkins

    Actor

    Hi,

    Buy out basically means a flat fee for all the work you do on the production. So you'll recieve no residuals or repeat fees if the work is used/shown again after the original contract and the company has complete ownership of your image/voice to use as they please.

    It's really not ideal and buy out fees are getting lower and lower, but there are always actors willing to work for what little money and exposure they can get.

    Hope this helps

    Lx

    • 2nd Jun 2006
    • 0
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Lucy has explained it perfectly, I just wanted to say that if you do agree to a buy-out, make sure you check the contract thoroughly for amount of usage. I did an advert and was very excited etc etc, and speaking ot the woman on the phone I understood usage was 2 years. After signing the contract and not checkign properly, I later found out they can use the advert forever! How terrible is that. If I could have my time again I would say they could have 2 years and that would be it, as the money certainly should have been more.

    Also, there is room for negotiation once you're in. I did an ident, they wnated to use it again after the usage time ended, so I renegotiated a new contract with shorter usage. I had rung Equity for what I should have been receiving, and despite it beign for Cadbury's , they weren't paying Equity. SO it helps to put your foot down. Having said that, if they offer you a job, and you want more moeny, they might choose someone else.

    Hope this all makes sense,

    Zara

    • 2nd Jun 2006
    • 1
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    There is a very useful website www.usefee.tv which is supported by the Personal Managers' Association, the Association of Model Agents and British Actors' Equity. A must visit if you are offered a buy out fee for TV commercials.

    Also Equity produces a booklet "Equity Guide to Working in TV Commercials" which is full of useful advice. If you are an Equity member you can ring for a copy or read it on the member's only area of the Equity Website under TV Commercials.

    Buy out contracts are quite complicated so I would always highly recommend taking advice from both Equity and your Agent. And please keep in mind Equity will always give you advice on contracts weather they are Non Equity or Equity contracts. This is one of the services you pay your Equity fee for, so never be afraid to ask for help and advice.

    • 2nd Jun 2006
    • 2
  • Natalie Rowan

    Actor

    Ok I see , thank you girls, it's alot clearer now! So are buy out fees used in Film too or is it just TV/commercials ect?

    • 2nd Jun 2006
    • 3
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Hi Nirowan -

    Generally, buy-outs are for commercials, whereas film work has a flat rate. However, sometimes actors sign a contract for film work where they receive a percentage of box-office takings; although actos in that position would usually be a fairly big name. For example, Alec Guiness got 2% of Star Wars (makes you want to weep, doesn't it, you could probably buy your own country with that kind of money).

    Re: the ethics of demanding repeat fees as oppose to accepting a buy-out. Equity are always banging on about this, and of course in theory they are right. Yet I've always found it rather ironic, because you can only really 'demand' anything when you're an established name, or at least well-known within the industry. If you haven't done any acting work for a year or so, and you're earning £6 per hour in a call-entre, and then someone offers you £2000 for a day's work, are you really going to say "Thanks, but no thanks - I demand repeat fees." Of course not - they'll just hire someone else. That is reality, however unpalitable it may be. Years ago it was different, as repeat-fees were the status-quo. Obviously it's sad that things have changed, but that's the nature of life. And as for the idea that all actors (note; 87% of Equity members earn less than £10,00 per year from acting) should group together in some kind of noble, agit-prop army and say 'we refuse to accept buy-outs', all I can say is, get real.

    It would be nice, but it's simply never going to happen - unless you're James Nesbitt or Jonathan Ross. Who said life was fair!!

    • 7th Jun 2006
    • 5
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    btw, that was meant to be 'less than £10,000 per year from acting' - although for many actors less than a tenner would probably be more realistic!

    • 7th Jun 2006
    • 6