PAID TRIBUNAL OPPORTUNITY: They Want You (Feature Film)


ActorsMinimumWage has decided to enter the business of finding jobs for actors! The only hitch is that these jobs are advertised as unpaid or underpaid. You will have to take the company to tribunal to get your wages.

Of course there is nothing illegal in doing this. In fact, it’s becoming quite a trend. Actors, technicians, interns are all winning legal cases and financial remuneration for claimants (see recent AMW article).  You probably won’t even have to fight your case at tribunal. Most employers just pay out the wages to avoid going to tribunal. Many others don’t even show up. Equity will also support you in your claim, if they feel the case is winnable.

Oh, and why not use the share buttons to tell your acting friends about this ‘unmissable opportunity’ via facebook and twitter?

The Job: They Want You  (Feature Film)

The Employer: Marfotech

Why they are not exempt:  No Charity production company,so no section 44 exemption to NMW. The roles they are advertising for would be classed as work- so no volunteer exemption. This clearly looks like work that should pay.  In fact any ‘deferred payment’ production carries the essence of a contract, meaning the NMW is due.

Their advert: Payment is on a lo/no/deferred basis.

Director:  Guy Mannerings.

The first thing you should know is that this will be shot mostly in deep woodland and will be a guerilla-type film. However, because of the late-night shooting, I expect that we will only be doing 5 hour days in order to allow everyone to get sleep and work other jobs as well (likely 9pm – 2am for the night shoots). The film could be done in one week with longer days but I feel shorter oneswould be more beneficial to everyone involved. In summary, expect it to be bare-bones film-making but also a caring set.
That being said this will be as far from an amateur production.
As you will likely know, payment talk can be a tricky subject for independent films, I want to make a film that is extremely collaborative and I would ideally like to work with people who will be willing to waive any expenses they can in order to take a percentage in the film’s profits so everyone can gain from it monetarily and personally. However, if someone cannot waive their expenses for whatever reason then they will simply not have a percentage in the film’s profits. I think that is the fairest way of doing things although I am of course happy to discuss different options with people.

This will be as professional a film as I can make it and everyone on set will be valued highly. Can I also confirm where you are based and if you have access to a car to get to and from High Wycombe?

Apply to: Paul Craig / Guy Mannerings, 70 Regal Way, Kenton, Harrow, Middlesex, HA3 0RY

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6 Responses to PAID TRIBUNAL OPPORTUNITY: They Want You (Feature Film)

  1. Nicktw says:

    Of course I am perfectly happy to come along and represent anyone at Tribunal should it actually go to a hearing – and at the risk of upsetting the “lawyers shouldn’t work unpaid” lobby should point out that the Tribunal will cover my expenses – it will just cost you a pint (or a cup of coffee).

  2. Tommy says:

    There was a recent case discussed on Shooting People where an actor took a role and then invoiced for payment, despite agreeing to do it for expenses-only. The director replied that he would not pay as that was not what they had agreed. The actor then filed a case at an employment tribunal. In his response, (and having sought advice from the Citizens’ Advice Bureau) the director called for a pre-hearing review to establish jurisdiction – as employment tribunals cannot hear cases for the self-employed. ACAS advised the actor that she was indeed self-employed and the actor was forced to withdraw her case as the self-employed are not eligible for the National Minimum Wage; they negotiate their own rates.

    The point is that whether an actor is a worker or self-employed varies from case to case – there is no established status for all actors. In fringe theatre and low-budget film I’d wager that more often then not they are self-employed, especially given actors will often supply part or all of their costume, do their own make-up etc, etc.

    Anyone who finds themselves on this end of this kind of extortion racket should speak to CAB as there’s a good chance they can send whoever is foolish enough to take up this suggestion packing with their tail between their legs.

    It’s also worth noting that claimants at an employment tribunal can be forced to pay the other side’s legal costs, if the judge believes the claim has been brought vexatiously.

    • Well ACAS was wrong and the case should have been heard. Actors are always classed as workers. Equity and BECTU are both seeking cases, unfortunately most employers realise how wrong they are and pay the back wages before the tribunal hears the case.

  3. Dear All

    In relation to the above matter it must be noted that myself Paul Craig and my trading name as self employed, Marfotech, withdrew from the production of the above film due to differences between myself and Producer/Director Guy Mannerings in production values after the first day of the shoot. No contracts between myself and Guy Mannering were signed and therefore we withdrew with no legal connection to this production. If you need any further information regarding this I am more than happy to discuss this matter further with the parties included in the production of the film.

    I would also suggest that this web site remove my name and Marfotech from this page and refer the matter fully to Guy Mannering as the now main producer of the movie.

    As mentioned above I am more than happy to discuss the matter further with the parities involved.

    Regards

    Paul Craig

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