Rates of pay

  • David Laurence

    Actor

    It seems to me the rates of pay couldn't get much lower right now . An average of £65 pd , with often no mention of travel or food . And to add a little kick as well , I keep seeing pop videos with lines like , well known artist or band project . And then i think , if their well known , then why are they trying to employ people for less than i earned 10 years ago ?

    • 30th Mar 2019
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  • Mark Lisseman

    Actor

    They won't get lower. Mandy insist on NMW (which is basically what £65 is). Fees have 'bottomed out'. Because people work for this embarrassing amount, it keeps getting offered. If people refused, there'd be the chance we might actually be able to earn a living. As it is...

    Then as you say, you get the 'well-known artist' line, or 'fantastic project' or 'amazing director' or 'showreel footage' or 'great experience'... yeah, right - none of that BS is necessary IF you pay a decent fee!

    • 4th Feb 2019
    • 1
  • David Hopper

    Actor

    In my eyes rates on this site have been on a steady drop for the last three years or so years since I’ve been working professionally.

    I think this is down to a lack of creditation of members. This site is full of what I would classify as amateurs and extras, on a daily bases I am seeing unprofessional headshots, blatant amateurs and extra credits on C.Vs.

    There is a culture of “More is More” on this site. Where it looks like people are putting any old rubbish on their C.V and passing it off as a credit.

    I’m not saying I’m an expert but on a c.v of sometimes fifty credits I can’t regosnise a single production company or director I wonder what this people are doing.

    No wonder they are getting away with charging NMW when people have no insite into the rules and rates of the industry are allowed to sign up and apply for anything they want.

    I for one would want to see it go back to the days of a closed shop, but I realise is unfortunately not a widely held belief.

    • 4th Feb 2019
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  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    I think it’s also a case of newer actors not understanding how much we should be paid. A corporate for NMW is pitiful and completely undervalues our job, and in fact the only things that should even consider paying NMW are short film projects with a low budget but that you may get decent footage from or otherwise student films.

    I’ve also recently seen things mislabelled as “corporate” but then further down saying worldwide buyout in perpetuity for YouTube pre-roll - which is not a corporate at all but a commercial and therefore you should get paid a buyout on top of your BSF. It seems “Online” roles aren’t paying buyouts either so a £250 role may seem good to some but if that’s inclusive of online buyout then the company is ripping us off essentially.

    It is really frustrating as Mandy used to be where I could get my bread and butter corporate jobs, but now I find I can only apply for 1/2 jobs a month that are suitably paid.

    • 5th Feb 2019
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  • Chris Eccles

    Actor

    I have been in the industry for over five years now. In answer to David Hopper earlier remarks. I am what he has called an amateur although have worked with some of the biggest names in the industry. This year 1 have earned nearly £500 doing the job of a much hated extra. Now all calculated into s years wage pro rata that is just less then 20 k per year.

    With the competition for roles I use Mandy still for a good way to better my prospects. Yes, the majority of advertised payments are shockingly low, but ( I know in London) that even some student films now offer minimum rates for exposure.

    If you are like most, in the top 3 - 5 percent of actors who het high paying roles for theatre of movies just by there agent putting them up for as a respected name. Then people on Mandy will always charge low for talent.

    There’s something out there for everyone. Life should’nt be a closed book.

    Good luck

    • 5th Feb 2019
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  • David Hopper

    Actor

    Chris you seem to have misunderstood what I was saying. I have nothing against amateur actors or extras for that matter.

    My post focused around the fact that this is a professional acting site advertised as such and we all pay our subscription on that basis, being so should not allow non-industry professionals to apply for what should be high paying jobs. It's driving down prices and creating a cheap labour market.

    You don't see none acting career sites for other skilled jobs for NMW for work that should be paid thousands of pounds do you? I don't understand why it should be any different for actors!

    It's work that takes years of training no less than any other skilled job. Also an acting jobs doesn't just start at the call time. It takes me hours and hours to do all the prep involved. Learning lines, thinking about choices, finding my intentions, playing for time etc.

    Some of us have to pay out an awful lot of money to even keep afloat in this industry, paying back drama school loans, professional headshots, Spotlight etc these simply can't be afforded on NMW jobs.

    Every time I see a commercial offering NMW I just think how sad it is that someone that's paid into the system should be getting a bit of money back for there trouble. Instead of being effectively used.

    Extras work is not acting work and therefore should not be allowed to be posted at a "credit" on this site.

    David

    • 6th Feb 2019
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  • Ian James Seale

    Actor

    Yes, it's a crying shame. About 95% of Casting Notices are inappropriate or an insult. Spotlight doesn't have this problem (at least nowhere near to the same extent). I guess it's because Producers know that there are a lot of Amateurs / New Starters or Extras on here that will take sub-industry rate work.

    • 7th Feb 2019
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  • Heather Rome

    Actor

    The only reason I I keep renewing is I live in the Thames Valley and about every month or so there may be a job advertised well outside of London, often theatre but not always, that is interesting and/or reasonably well-paid that I wouldn't have seen elsewhere and couldn't be sure my agent would see either.

    Some of these have been R&D periods of projects that would love to get fuller funding but have done well to put together an R&D, with young or less well-known directors.

    I wish newer, and aspiring members of the profession would acquaint themselves with the minimum rates and conditions set by Equity in all mediums. Even they themselves are not an Equity member they usually know someone who is and could look it up for them. Those rates are a benchmark these days, not graven in stone alas, as it is so hard to finance productions. But if you do decide to collaborate or accept very modest pay at least you know not only what you should be paid in theory, but also other important things like is there insurance on a film (especially if it's not a student film as I assume the university covers that), how long are the working days, how is travel covered for both rehearsal and performance, etc.

    • 13th Feb 2019
    • 7
  • Rebecca Wilde

    Actor

    Extrapolating a low day rate into a pro rata Annual Wage (as if we're all working 5 days a week like full time employees) is the kind of misleading maths that could only be done by someone who doesn't have the faintest idea what it's like to try and actually make a living as an actor.

    • 13th Feb 2019
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  • David Laurence

    Actor

    Thats one of my main issues with this whole min rates situation . Almost every single job , even the low paid ones require a application , a casting , self tape or in person . A few hours or days set aside to learn a part . All these things eat into your time to such a degree , that its often hard to calculate the real rate of pay .

    So you do paid jobs which fit around all these castings and meeting , which requires a lot of juggling . Hence the situation of people forever on the hunt for the perfect job to fit into the gaps left open to earn money to survive.

    You keep on going , hoping now and again that someone with a bigger budget , will pay you a reasonable ( not a fortune ) but a reasonable, respectable rate of pay , which allows for all the hoops you have to jump through , to even get cast . However , whats happening now , is that every producer , big or small , is taking their cue from the min rates of pay . Instead of being a nice base level guide line , it's what people are trying to pay for everybody for every project .

    I will happily work for lower rates for small student projects , micro budget pilots etc ...... but I'm not best pleased when someone advertises a job on here , which alludes to a big stars involvement , or the promise of showreel footage , or experience ..... Because i can't see my wifi provider going " Oh , you haven't got any money Dave . Thats okay , pay us with experience .

    • 16th Feb 2019
    • 9
  • Alexander Scrivens

    Actor

    Ok. I'm on the fence. One leg wavering over the free market, the other over the regulated price.

    Free market...you takes your choice, there's a job, you need the reel, the cash, the exposure, experience etc. Pay is pitiful. No-one is forcing you.

    Regulated Price...what is it? About £800 a day for an ad plus buyouts? £400 for general telly? £1000 a week west end? I dunno, this end of the market pays well.

    A handful of us got into the top band with sheer talent and great fortune. The rest of us have to slog it out, and play the addictive game of acting cos we are effectively addicted to our calling, otherwise we'd walk away and do something else.

    So I take the low pay jobs for the contacts, the practise and the fun.

    My agent gets me into high paid jobs because that's what he's good at and that clearly is what we're after in the long run.

    But a £75 fee i earned on a student short last week was for 10 mins work. I'd have done 12 hours for it, and will do so. Cos I love doing it.

    It's my choice

    • 4th Mar 2019
    • 10
  • David Laurence

    Actor

    The odd day for £75 is fine , and it’s a free market etc ... But In actual fact even £75 is becoming a rarity . Now £65 is the fee being offered if you are lucky . And as an earlier contributor to my post made mention of , the Min wage would be sort of okay , If this were a full time job . A full time job which once landed in an interview , might never require another amount of effort ever , apart from turning up to sign in .amd carry out set duties A normal job with a pension , sick pay , holiday pay etc

    I assume you pay a regular subscription for Mandy . And I expect you pay a spotlight fee as well. Oh also equities yearly fees .

    Do

    You spend time searching for roles , doing self tapes , learning lines ? All of these things cost time and money , which are not reflected in £65 pd . And this £65 pd fee is not only seen as the norm , it’s now being seen as an adequate fee for a well know pop artist , a corporate event , a photographic for a product launch . All of these projects used to help to pay the bills , while you continued to attend the projects that really inspired you .

    I completely understand the free market , but The line between work you do for experience and maybe possibly , (If its decent footage ), showreel clips , & the bread and butter money jobs which used to boost your account, is very blurred indeed . Acting roles which used to be assigned to actors , are very often being re classified as a walk on of varying grades , repeat fees have all but vanished , to be replaced by small buy outs .

    With all that said , I thoroughly enjoy doing low budget projects . I’ve completed two recently through Mandy . One no pay , because the film school team were incredibly professional and comitted . The other film was pretty much entirely funded , fees wise by the students themselves . They paid me more than some of the so called professsional jobs , for that elusive charts get band who always require actors . It’s not a demand for £800 a day , I’m realistic in my approach to an appropriate fee . All I’d like is the daily rate for all of us to take into account the very unusual set of circumstances we all find ourselves, the hoops we jump through , & the hidden costs of self promotion . Never forgetting of course , the ever increasing cost of merely surviving in the Uk.

    • 9th Mar 2019
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  • David Laurence

    Actor

    Anyway , I very much appreciate all the replies . Its been interesting to see peoples views on this subject . Ps , apologies for any spelling mistakes and random words inserted in odd places .I hate posting anything using a phone , as predictive text tried its best to mess with my worms . I only ever notice that , after the fact .

    • 9th Mar 2019
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  • Mark Lisseman

    Actor

    Don't forget though, it's _Mandy_ setting the £65p/d minimum rate... They're operating a for-profit business here - they don't necessarily have our 'best interests' at heart! To get members (us) to stump up a monthly fee, the main benefit is the ability to apply for paying jobs, so they have to have some sort of minimum. I guess they've deemed NMW (effectively) as being the least they could get away with (unfortunately!) They could easily set it higher (£100? £150?) but would they then get as many advertisers? Ideally, one would hope that doing so wouldn't have a negative effect on those that post castings, but we'll never know.

    • 10th Mar 2019
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  • David Hopper

    Actor

    To be honest, I think my number one worry in this industry is the lack of financial rewards, yes I love it etc however there seems to be no respect anymore.

    People are doing everything that’s been asked by them, train at a good school. build a strong C.V of recognisable work, keep attend workshops and work on new techniques, keep on top of your headshots from a recognised photographer etc the list is endless.

    Only to see a company cast someone who has done none of these things for an tenth of the price.

    There doing it because they can and that’s not going to change. There will always be people who are not prepared to put the work in and that in turn is going to play into these company’s not prepared to pay a decent wage.

    It’s heart breaking and sole destroying but the only way I can see it changing is to bring back equity cards.

    • 11th Mar 2019
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  • Rebecca Wilde

    Actor

    Absolutely, David.

    Yes it's "personal choice" whether or not to accept low paying jobs but nobody is working in a vacuum here. People who accept low rates for jobs which should be paying double that or more are impacting on everyone and creating a race to the bottom.

    Just to be clear I don't mind as much when there's an authentic reason for a low rate like a Student or genuine Low Budget Film. But if you accept £65 corporates, £100 commercials etc then you are being totally taken advantage of and making it harder for all of us to earn a decent wage.

    • 11th Mar 2019
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  • Terri-Ann Brumby

    Actor

    I agree with Rebecca, it is up to the individual if they want to take a low paid job when the project is genuinely low budget. But in my humble opinion, Mandy should not be advertising or promoting any commercial or corporate or training film for less that Equity rates. And if we accept those at a insulting rate of pay, then we are complicate in lowering standards and earning a genuine living.

    • 11th Mar 2019
    • 16
  • Rebecca Wilde

    Actor

    There's an appalling example today. £65 for Online. Provide your own costume, no travel or food included.

    Absolute and total exploitation.

    • 13th Mar 2019
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  • Ian James Seale

    Actor

    Rebecca,

    Did you delete you post?

    • 14th Mar 2019
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  • Ian James Seale

    Actor

    Totally agree with you Terri-Ann.

    I have posted precisely the same messge on this forum, only for my posts to mysteriously disappear or fail to appear on this (pre-moderated) Forum..

    • 14th Mar 2019
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