Agent charge agency fee from production company and commission fee from actors

  • Shu Yun

    Actor

    Hello,

    I was offering a commercial and got the job back in April. For some reason, my agent was delaying the payment, as I was the last one to be paid out of all the cast from various agents.

    On my contract, it says shoot fee +20% agency fee. My agent charged production company 20% agency fee. On top of that, they took 20% commission fee out of my pay.

    I am trying to resolve this matter with the agency ( who also have lawyers background), but they just ignore my calls, texts and emails.

    Has anyone experienced similar situation? What's the best way to get the commission fee back?

    Any suggestions will be helpful. Thanks.

    • 10th Jul 2015
    • 3607
    • 8
  • Sue Parker-Nutley

    Actor

    Contact Equity. They will give you advice.

    Good Luck.

    Sue

    • 6th Jul 2015
    • 1
  • Shu Yun

    Actor

    Thanks Sue. I am working on it.

    • 8th Jul 2015
    • 2
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Hi Shu, totally agree with Sue, contact Equity. Somewhile ago had a problem with a Production Company who were rather shy with parting with their money ! After six months of delay tactics I contacted Equity and bingo the cheque arrived the following week! Hope you get the same response.

    • 9th Jul 2015
    • 3
  • David Vale

    Actor

    Hi Shu,

    I looked at your agent's website. On the Actresses page they have mixed up your photo with that of the actor next to you!

    • 9th Jul 2015
    • 4
  • Shu Yun

    Actor

    I have spoken to Equity about it, and it was Equity told me what they did was illegal. What sounds so bad is they have done it for almost 10 years. Hence, I am not the only victim. There are others on their book, but no one says anything but accept it. Despite I keep asking them, they said the commission fee is theirs and happy to go through court to discuss further. Tricky thing is the owner of cinnamon casting is a lawyer. If what they did was illegal, it's not right for them to keep going like that.

    This whole thing is so stressful, but it's no longer just about money.

    It is about justice, principle, and law. For them to be willing to sort it on the court, they would have certain cards to backup. But why do actors have to accept the unfair situation? None of the actors I know of from the set got charged with 20% commission fee after 20% agency fee was clearly given by the production company. The thing is the Commerical was done in Prague, will that apply different law from UK?

    • 10th Jul 2015
    • 5
  • Rebecca Wilde

    Actor

    I reckon they're calling your bluff on the "take it to court if you like" thing. So call theirs. If Equity can be of no further help, assuming it's less than £10,000 I'd threaten to take them to the Small Claims Court - I don't think they'll even let it see the inside of a court room TBH

    www.moneysavingexpert.com/reclaim/small-claims-court

    www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money/court-fees

    www.citizensadvice.org.uk/law-and-rights/legal-system/taking-legal-action/small-claims/

    If it goes to Court, and you win (which you slmodt certainly would since it's blatantly wrong) in addition the money you're owed you can recover any fees paid upfront from the thieving bastards, plus certain expenses.

    • 10th Jul 2015
    • 6
  • Rebecca Wilde

    Actor

    God, I wish we could edit posts on here. slmodt = almost. :-)

    • 10th Jul 2015
    • 7
  • Shu Yun

    Actor

    Thank you so much Rebecca, I will look into it. I really hope justice will be served and no other actors will have to go through what I had. The agency is based on the terms of Casting Networks in American, blog.castingnetworks.com/4129, to argue that they have the right to both the agency fee and commission. What I don't know is whether it apply to UK and where the UK Equity stand in this case.

    • 10th Jul 2015
    • 8