Thread: SAG vs. AFTRA

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    SAG vs. AFTRA
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    Indie Arms Member Doc Bernard's Avatar
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    Okay I am saving up to join one of the acting unions/guilds. I am now eligible for both, 3 vouchers SAG, and for AFTRA, I am alive (LOL, I have 2 vouchers for them, though).

    But as some one that is on an extremely tight budget, I have to choose between the two, eventually I will join both.

    Looking around the studio, I have a bunch of stuff I don't use, so you may see some Classified ads from me there, to get the money, although my HVX will not be there.


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    Advice: Don't join until you are a must join. You are now SAG-Eligible, so you can legitimately work on both non-union and union jobs. Your status as SAG-Eligible will not prohibit you from being competitive on SAG projects.

    Oh, and of the two, SAG of course is the one to join. Don't worry about joining AFTRA.


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    Indie Arms Member Doc Bernard's Avatar
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    Apparently, I am now AFTRA must-join. Well, there goes any paycheck if I work an AFTRA job.


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    Don't give AFTRA any money. I am a SAG and AFTRA member. Wait until you're a SAG must join and then, join SAG. AFTRA will just keep your checks, until your initiation fee is paid up.
    Why would you give them $1500 up front.

    SAG has almost all the prime time shows and all the movies. There are only two AFTRA shows running on TV at the moment (Gary Unmarried and Better off Ted). AFTRA did get lots of pilots but hardly any will get picked up and the ones that do will be cancelled. Why? video still sucks compared to film, no matter what the nerds say. People that aren't fasinated by pixels, don't like the digital athestic as well as film. AFTRA can't do film just sucky digital.


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    Senior Member Michele Seidman's Avatar
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    don't forget the option of joining SAG as financial core member...not only slightly cheaper but then you can do both union and non.
    Sincerely,
    Flora Barren (A Little Mouth to Feed)
    aka Michele Seidman
    imdb / 800Casting / Actors Access / Michele and the Midnight Blues




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    There is no such thing as, "joining SAG as financial core member"!

    If you are" finanacial core", you are a dues paying NON member.

    You are NOT a member of the Screen Actors Guild, if you are "finacial core"! You cannot vote in SAG elections if you are "finacial core". You weaken the Screen Actors Guild if you become "finacial core".

    If every actor went finacial core there would be no Screen Actors Guild. That's why people that go financial core, are pariahs among SAG actors. That would be the worst thing you could do to yourself or your fellow SAG actors and your career.


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    The reason "financial core" exists is because the supreme court ruled that a union cannot prevent its members from earning a living. If there's not enough union work to go around, "financial core" lets someone work non-union gigs without retribution by the union.

    In Los Angeles or New York, Fi-core may be a bad thing for an actor to do to him/herself, or it may not, that's part of living in a free country - the person gets to choose for themselves. But the more who choose fi-core, the weaker it makes SAG, that's undeniable.

    For the actor who lives where there isn't a whole lot of union stuff going on, fi-core may be the only way they can make a living. Yes it cuts off opportunities; the actor isn't actually a member of SAG and they can never be elected to hold office in the union or win SAG awards or participate in SAG-member events, etc. But they retain the right to work on SAG productions and non-SAG productions without the union getting the producer or the actor in trouble.

    For the most part, fi-core actors aren't the big names, although there are a few exceptions (like Jon Voight). Fi-core exists for those who aren't making enough of a living, which pretty much rules out all the "name" actors.

    If you're joining SAG because you believe in the idea of collective bargaining and a large entity watching out for your rights as an individual member, then financial core cuts the union's legs out from under it.

    If you're joining SAG because you can't get enough work otherwise, but you really don't want to be a member of a union or you don't appreciate what the union's trying to do, then declaring financial core status may be of some appeal. (with the understanding that the faithful members may very rightly look upon you as a traitor who's sabotaging their union.)

    For those who are considering joining SAG, be aware that SAG RULE 1 says (basically) "you agree to never work on a non-SAG production". That's where SAG gets its power and its ability to bargain on behalf of its membership: if you want to use a SAG actor, you *have* to be a SAG signatory, abide by SAG rules, and pay SAG rates, etc. Or, at least, that's the way it's supposed to work. Sometimes actors will choose to violate that rule; there's nothing to prevent a producer from hiring a SAG actor to work on their non-SAG shoot. But, SAG is certainly within its rights to be peeved or to punish their members who do violate Rule One, or to deny that producer the right to ever become a SAG signatory, etc. SAG can sanction or even expel that actor for violating the core tenet of what gives SAG its strength; that's all within its rights as a voluntary member-joined organization. Which is why anyone who harbors the idea of stardom will think twice (or three or four times) before committing to financial core status.

    So Financial Core is something of a middle ground. Someone who elects Financial Core status resigns from the union and they are no longer a member of the union. However, they continue to pay dues and they continue to be eligible to work on SAG-signatory shoots. Loyal members of the union do not like, appreciate, or endorse those who choose financial core. It weakens the union. As otter1 said, if everyone went fi-core, SAG would cease to exist, because the union would have no leverage: they couldn't expel their members (because there wouldn't BE any members) for violating rule 1, and there wouldn't be any power in collective bargaining because the producers could freely skirt the system and go directly to the actors. Of course, everyone's free to "scab" if they want already, but the bigger names simply will not, and those are the names the producers want, and therefore SAG remains a powerful entity.
    Last edited by Barry_Green; 03-27-2009 at 02:43 PM.


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    Senior Member PaPa's Avatar
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    wonder if Actra has anything like that..
    Mind you, most all paying work in Canada is Actra.

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2393063/
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry_Green View Post
    For the actor who lives where there isn't a whole lot of union stuff going on, fi-core may be the only way they can make a living. Yes it cuts off opportunities; the actor isn't actually a member of SAG and they can never be elected to hold office in the union or win SAG awards or participate in SAG-member events, etc.
    By the time you are interested in getting elected to SAG offices, you may as well toss your hat into the ring for governor of California... and who knows... the Presidency...


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    Indie Arms Member Doc Bernard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j1clark@ucsd.edu View Post
    By the time you are interested in getting elected to SAG offices, you may as well toss your hat into the ring for governor of California... and who knows... the Presidency...
    I can do that?!?! I am going to re-place Ar-nie, I am going to re-place Ar-nie! (read this as if I am singing it)

    Do I have your votes? I promise the world to you, and as your new governor, I shall make DVXUser.com an official California website. My State of the State Addresses shall be posted here. Forget CNN, they are a bunch of wankers.


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