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Friday, February 15, 2008

What does it means when a Agency is SAG Franchised?

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I saw this question posted on the Backstage Forum, and I posted an answer that I wanted to repost here:

I am a little confused as to whether it is important for the agency you sign with to be SAG (or not) or if there is a big difference if they are not SAG. We have an offer from one who is and one who isn't. Opinions please.

TAE answers:

First off- congratulations on having multiple offers- that is fantastic! I hope my response helps to answer your question.

Agencies who want to represent union members are usually required to be "franchised" by the union, meaning they have a signed agreement with the union which determines a standard practice between the agent and the union member. SAG's current contract with the agents is expired, but those agents who want to continue to work with union members can stay committed to the expired contract until a new contract is created.

Until the new contract is drawn, SAG actors can sign with any agency they choose. If you are a member of SAG, it is a good idea to choose an agency who has been franchised by the union in the past, that way you know that the agent has had a good working relationship with the union, and will likely continue that relationship in the future. So, it is a good idea to do some research- and use these message boards to get an idea of how the actors feel about working with both agencies you are interested in.

If you are not a SAG actor, it really does not matter one way or another. A SAG franchised agency can represent both union and non-union actors, and can submit non-union actors to non-union projects. But, if your goal is to get your union card, I would suggest going for the agency who plans to sign with SAG when the new contract is offered. Otherwise, you may have a tough time getting your card in the future.

I hope this demystifies the process a bit- and, again, congratulations!

Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking below!

Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. To learn more, check out http://www.theactorsenterprise.org.

2 COMMENTS - Click to READ:

Laz said...

Interesting..as Johnny Carson would say; "I did not know that."

NICO said...

It's still not clear... Can a non SAG Franchised Agency submit me to union projects? I know this not SAG franchised Agency that clamis to have 65% SAG Talent in its roster... How is that possible if a SAG Actor is required to be represented by a SAG Franchised Agency???

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