Acting Advice

Ask Me: Non Union Print (with option to broadcast)

QUESTION FROM: anonymous
Just wondering if you would know the answer to this one.  A SAG actor is chosen for a (non union) print job and is asked if they can use the stills for a tv broadcast commercial.  Would this fall under the SAG jurisdiction?

Great question.

As always, questions regarding the unions are always best answered by calling SAG-AFTRA directly. Their numbers are available on the SAG-AFTRA website and in my experience it’s usually very quick and painless to get the answers you need.

I just spoke to a rep in the commercial department and the criteria for whether still photographs – when used in a commercial – fall under union jurisdiction is a little complicated. However, it seems that if the still is featured (not merely referenced in passing or in the background), it does indeed fall under the commercial principal contract.

This would be important to clarify at the go-see, on set, and/or when signing contracts.

If you ever have any questions about union contracts when you are signing them you must absolutely call your agent. If you do not have an agent then call the union for help. Ultimately, it’s not a massive worry because the union will always take precedent – even if you sign a contract that signs away your rights. Unless of course you have already cleared that kind of contract with the union (as in New Media contracts, ultra low budget contracts, etc) in which case you’d know about it.

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About The NYC Actor

Angela Dee is a professional actress working in Film, Theatre, TV, Commercials and Voiceovers. She currently lives in New York.

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