Thursday, April 20, 2006

Audition: “Liberty Mutual Insurance” @ Laray Mayfield Casting. This audition went great. I think I “did less” pretty well. Hopefully I’ll get a callback.

Back on the phone with SAG – the story of my life. I’m kidding, it’s not that bad dealing with them I’m just the most curious person in the world. I have questions about everything – even if I don’t ask them all. The episode of “Love, Inc” that I was in aired again about a month ago. Obviously, I’m due payment for the rerun, but the question I have is how much will it be?

Almost all of the TV jobs I have gotten thus far have been on ABC, CBS, NBC or FOX. If “Love, Inc.” was on one of those networks I know that I’d get my original fee for a prime-time rerun. I also know there are some differences in the contract that UPN and The WB work under; hence my call to SAG. I mean, I'm gonna get what I’m gonna get, but I don’t want to expect a coupla G’s but only get 40 bucks after taxes and commission. Some of these SAG contracts we work under are funny like that. Don’t get me started on DVD residuals……..

So I got a nice, personable representative on the phone @ SAG to help me. He gave me a quick answer to my question, but I was suspect. He said I would get the full fee up to a certain amount, but that amount was lower than my fee. He kept using the term “syndication”. My thought was ‘how could it be syndication when it was a prime-time network rerun?’ It’s a first year show and it reran in the same time slot as it did the original time it ran. I mean it could have been true, but I needed to probe a little deeper. He backed off of his original answer and said nobody had ever asked the question. What? He needed to call me back after checking with someone else in the office.

I didn’t think he was withholding information, I just don’t think he really knew the answer. He gave me an answer assuming all 6 networks are equal; which they are not. It used to be The Big 3, then FOX, followed equally by UPN and The WB. In recent years FOX has joined The Big 3 and made them The Big 4, but UPN and The WB have a different contract.

He calls me back an hour later with roughly the same answer. I thanked him and didn’t give him a hard time. He probably gave me the right answer, but to tell you the truth I still wasn’t convinced. Before I let him go I asked him if the merger of The WB and UPN, “The CW” and also FOX’s new network “MyNetwork TV” will be under the same contract as UPN and The WB. I have to say I was very surprised that he had never even heard of the new networks coming this Fall.


Bruno Amato said...

Stephon, It's amazing how are own reps at SAG don't have exact answers for something like that...unfreakinbelievable!...Still love reading your bio after all these years!!!See ya soon brother, Bruno

Antonio said...

That's interesting. I didn't know that UPN & WB had payment differentials in relation to the big networks, however; I think it is a bit irresponsible that a SAG representative isn't on top of those issues.

Stephon Fuller said...

Thanks Bruno! You're closing next week? Exciting - Congratulations! I'm trying to catch up with you.


Stephon Fuller said...

Yeah Antonio, they are considered "upstart networks" and SAG gives them a break on our rates so that they can become profitable - at least in theory.

Trust me, the rates are different. You feel it on the initial end when you first work and on the residual end; it's definitely a discount.

I didn't necessarily expect him to have exact figures, but I did expect him to have, at least, heard of "The CW" and "MyNetwork TV".


TanikaBrown said...

Whoa! That is a bit scary that he hadn't heard of the new networks. Clearly, he doesnt' read the trades. Maybe he is studying contracts all day?

Okay. Isn't the discounted rate referred to as SAG under AFTRA terms or something like that? There are contract books that SAG can send you, if you want to wade through them. You should have a hard copy for your own desk reference.

Stephon Fuller said...

I think it was a case of it being "just a job" for him; which actually is pretty normal for a lot of people. Most people aren't really going to "go the extra mile" and really rock at their job if there isn't a lot in it for them. At the same time, I was surprised that he had never even heard of the new networks. He said nobody had ever asked those questions.

It was funny because by the time I asked about the new networks he was really ready to get me off the phone. I had a lot of very specific questions about the contract and I think he was getting a little flustered. It's no big deal I was just curious as to what the payment will be.

It could have been the "SAG at AFTRA terms" dealio; I know UPN does/did a lot that.