The Performance Mentor
Working Directly with no Agent or Manager
Title: Working Directly with no Agent or Manager
I always think it’s better to have an agent that will represent you as they will source the best fee for you and it’s really nice not to be involved in the negotiation. However, some agents don’t always have your back and some just don’t have a clue. So as always, I say, know your team and be your own manager. If you have to do your own invoice for a job, these tips may be of help so you can focus on the performance than all this business stuff as it can be overwhelming. However, try and get a good team behind you, there are loads of great agents out there. I’ve been with mine for over 20 years.
There is normally a set audition/casting recall fee and a set time period they can keep you before encoring any additional cost. The casting agent and your agent will know all the correct rates, just note your hours down and pass them on afterwards. If you’re representing yourself and there is no casting agent, you need to source this all out yourself with the talent coordinator you got the casting from.
Your fitting day is for your costume check. You should be cleanly shaven with clean underwear to save on embarrassment. This can be in the dance studio if you’re still rehearsing, film studio, production office or stylist location. Check your booking form for the fitting day rate, as this can be for a couple of hours and then over time on the date rate.
Your rehearsal day will have the creative director, choreographer, movement director and director in attendance. Here, you will learn and clean the movement, within an 8 hour window.
You may also have a show and present with the director, agency, client and production at the end of the work day, or film the movement for it to be sent to the necessary parties to review prior to filming or the first show.
This is done the day before the shoot day. You would normally be called in later within the day as they are setting up the studio in the beginning of the day. However, sometimes there is another studio to practice prior to this on set rehearsal so it could be an all day rehearsal.
Your booking fee is the rate for the job. Teaching jobs and some events sometimes do hourly rates, but most jobs have a day fee. There is no such thing as a half day as you are still unable to do another job. Your booking should include all days’ rehearsal, shoot, travel and down day’s rate.
A buyout fee is a rate for the footage or photographs being used in different territories/countries for a certain time duration. After the time duration is up or should they want to include other countries you will receive an additional fee or renewal. If you are part of a union check their terms and conditions, which could help you in receiving more compensation. Having a good agent could get you more money or you could be promoting a product for free. Leading you to possibly lose thousands due to your lack of knowledge because another campaign is a conflict. Some people don’t even ask about the buyout fee and sign all release forms.
Some jobs include transportation before and after certain times on shoot days, you should include this in your booking form. While some jobs will reimbursed you or have a maximum allowance. Never assume your travel will be reimbursed, never assume anything. If you’re driving, keep note of your mileage and keep your fuel receipts for the production or your own tax records.
Some jobs include travel to the airport and all booking days, it just depends on your contract and location of work.
When working away from home, your transportation is covered unless you’re working as a local, then you cover this of course.
Once you go over your contracted time you’re now in hourly overtime. Should you be in an all-inclusive contract you are not entitled to overtime payment, so think very carefully on all areas. You would not want to do a 16-hour shoot for the same money as 11 hours or would you? Some jobs are not like shoot days so your overtime may be very minimal so again take care in how you address this and make sure you confirm and negotiate your over time rate prior to accepting the job.
When you do a job you will be asked to sign a legal document called a release form. This gives your employer your consent to the terms of usage layout within the contract. You must always read the contract thoroughly before signing it.
If you have representation, they will be sent the release form prior to you receiving it on the shoot day and can sign it on your behalf along with flagging any areas they are not in agreement with.
When you have finished your job you will have a certain time frame to submit an invoice for your services. These can normally be posted or emailed, however email is quicker and you have receipt of sending so it’s easier on the follow ups, should you need it. Some companies have their own invoice portal and sometimes you need to submit a request for a booking reference before the job is done, as a confirmation on approval of rates then they will send a purchase order. You still need to invoice afterwards, it’s just a process for some companies.
Each company has their own rules on what is required for your invoice submission. These include some of the below, you should just submit based on what relates to you from being self employed, a business etc.
• Tax number
• Vat ID number
• Company number
• Purchase number
• Invoice number
• Contact telephone number
• Dates of Services
• Job title
• Job description
• Overtime rate (if applicable)
• Buyout rate (if applicable)
• Travel expenses (if applicable)
• Any additional fees
I always keep my call sheets as it has all the contact information and all the talent used.
From Natricia aka the Performance Mentor