What Are the Rules about Using Local Actors in Productions?

Although acting may seem like it’s all glitz and glam, it’s had a tumultuous path to get where it is now.  The business has gone through several dozen union changes and laws being put in place to protect performers: there’s a lot to consider when you want to hire an actor or actress for a production.  If you’re going to hire professionals to help with whatever project you’re working on, here are some guidelines and laws to keep in mind.

Keep in mind; laws change based on where you are, so research your area before moving forward with hiring.

Be Clear About Payment Upfront

Let your performers know exactly how much they’ll be getting paid before you hire them.  This step means that they’ll give you a yes or no immediately without having to wait until filming day to back out and decide it’s not enough money.  This planing can also be a great way to pull in more actors and actresses since many ignore casting calls that don’t include payment upfront.

Limit Hours In A Day

Unless you’re a large studio, who can afford legal help, avoid spending more than twelve hours in a day filming.  This schedule can help you keep your performers in top shape, and also avoid the legalities of overworking them.  Consider spreading out your days instead, and working hard to get perfect small shots down instead of trying to fit filming all in one day to cut cost.  That’s a quick way to get a lawsuit, and a faster way to accidentally damage any equipment you bought or are renting.

Ensure That You’re Hiring Ethically

In acting and every other type of job, it’s illegal and unethical to hire someone for a role solely based on any protected status.  If you have a specific idea in mind for a character, that’s fine, but audition people outside of that ideal as well, because they may surprise you and be everything you need for a role.

Offer To Pay Transit In Cities

To help ensure your cast gets to you on time every day, offer a bus or train fare to anyone commuting in the city like New York actors.  This small payment will help you save time, so you don’t have to wait, and it’s also able to be written off on your taxes if the production is work-related.  Don’t push this too far, though- paying for cab fare, gas mileage, and other transit forms can add up quickly and may leave you taken advantage of by your performers.

Consider Online Auditions

Although the idea of auditioning actors and actresses one after another like how it’s shown in movies may seem exciting, the logistics of it could leave you without an actor or actress that would have been perfect for your production.  Look into hosting an online audition on Facebook, Twitter, or youtube, and have every performer read the same monologue or act out the same emotions.  They can perform these on their own time, which means more people will audition, and you can go over these options in your own time instead of having to let people down in person.

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