cast I'm trying to finish a homemade family film. But there's an issue with SAG.

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Joe Budd

Member
I had already started shooting. We had a family reunion and filmed some parts. Part of it is acting but part of it is real. However there happens to be one person in family who is in Sag. I had never even heard of Sag. Most people haven't. And in order for me to complete the film, he happens to be a very important part. But I would need to fill out Sag Paper work. However, there's a problem. You would have to shoot 3 weeks after you signed and that includes all non union people. They said I would need all the last 4 digits of social security for every person I filmed. This has turned into a nightmare. Most of the movie was already filmed without even knowing that Sag exists.

So it appears there is no way I can release this film legitimately. Initially I just wanted to show it to family members and that was it. But now I found out you have all these other legal things going on.

I would have no problem paying him if that was what it took. But apparently they have to have every single person sign and their info and that would be unrealistic for me to track them down. Plus you need insurance. This breaks my heart as this family video was everything to me.

Is there any work around? Like this makes me disgusted as I am not in Sag, I'm not even a real filmmaker yet.

If I were to ever get famous in films, would they find out about this and kick me out forever? I'm so torn up thinking about this, it is hurting me inside.
 
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indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff member
Admin
Initially I just wanted to show it to family members and that was it. But now I found out you have all these other legal things going on.
Non-legal advice, I would think this is fine! You made a home movie with some acting. You want it for your family. A family member/friend happens to be SAG.
 

Joe Budd

Member
Non-legal advice, I would think this is fine! You made a home movie with some acting. You want it for your family. A family member/friend happens to be SAG.
Well when I called them, they said they take it very seriously. If their actor appears in anything, they need to know.

So would this ruin my chances of every becoming an actor if it were to be discovered later down the road that I did this?
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff member
Admin
I love that you want to do it by the book. It shows that you have integrity. But you will be fine with this family film.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff member
Admin
I don't want to steer you the wrong way. So I'll let others chine in. But we've all been there in one way or another.
 

Joe Budd

Member
I don't want to steer you the wrong way. So I'll let others chine in. But we've all been there in one way or another.
I do appreciate you though. Hope others can chime in. Sag makes me feel horrible. I mean this is my own cousin. We just want him to be in our family movie. It's important. Unfortunately, everyone else got to sign and get paid too, making this an unbearable and nearly impossible task. I feel broken today.
 

Maxsdad

Member
According to SAG, they claim "exclusive jurisdiction over motion picture performances, and shared jurisdiction of radio, television, Internet, and other new media", but home movies (and that's what you're trying to make, right?) do not fall under their exclusive jurisdiction. But the phrase "release this film legitimately " may be the hangup, especially if you used it in discussions with them. Is this strictly for family and friends, or do you have plans on submitting it to film festivals? If this film is for Uncle Harriett and the cousins, and for showing at family reunions and funerals (the only time MY family gets together anymore), then it's no more under their control than a skit shot on an iThing by a couple of screaming 13 year old girls. I agree with Indietalk, you have nothing to worry about... and your SAG member cousin should know that.

But if we happen to be wrong, four words... soap-on-a-rope. You'll thank me later.
 

Joe Budd

Member
According to SAG, they claim "exclusive jurisdiction over motion picture performances, and shared jurisdiction of radio, television, Internet, and other new media", but home movies (and that's what you're trying to make, right?) do not fall under their exclusive jurisdiction. But the phrase "release this film legitimately " may be the hangup, especially if you used it in discussions with them. Is this strictly for family and friends, or do you have plans on submitting it to film festivals? If this film is for Uncle Harriett and the cousins, and for showing at family reunions and funerals (the only time MY family gets together anymore), then it's no more under their control than a skit shot on an iThing by a couple of screaming 13 year old girls. I agree with Indietalk, you have nothing to worry about... and your SAG member cousin should know that.

But if we happen to be wrong, four words... soap-on-a-rope. You'll thank me later.

Okay I gotta be honest with you. Thanks for the reply. Originally when I was making this, I was just doing it for the family. We have a big italian family and I met many cousins at the reunion. As we started to film together, they started to tell me this was so good that I should submit it to the festivals.

And I've been taking classes in acting and really would love to get farther into it. But I would hate to be blacklisted because they found out I used a Sag Actor.

Now, could i release a legit version with the actor and then show the family the film with everyone? Or does that not make any sense?
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
You are NOT going to be blacklisted from SAG/AFTRA once you get in.
It WILL NOT happen.

As the producer/director you currently have no agreement with SAG. So
you cannot violate their contract. The only person who might get in trouble
is you "Uncle BOB" - the SAG member. If this movie wins several awards
at top festivals and gets so much publicity that it reaches national attention
then maybe SAG officials will notice. And the MOST that can happen to him
is SAG officials will ask him about the project. And he'll say it was originally
a home movie that "Nephew Joe Budd" entered in a few festivals and "Who knew...?"

SAG will do nothing to him and do nothing to you.

Nothing.
 

Joe Budd

Member
You are NOT going to be blacklisted from SAG/AFTRA once you get in.
It WILL NOT happen.

As the producer/director you currently have no agreement with SAG. So
you cannot violate their contract. The only person who might get in trouble
is you "Uncle BOB" - the SAG member. If this movie wins several awards
at top festivals and gets so much publicity that it reaches national attention
then maybe SAG officials will notice. And the MOST that can happen to him
is SAG officials will ask him about the project. And he'll say it was originally
a home movie that "Nephew Joe Budd" entered in a few festivals and "Who knew...?"

SAG will do nothing to him and do nothing to you.

Nothing.

Your post is assuring. When I called them they said they were recording and they said that having a Sag actor in anything is a very serious deal. They said once that happens it's a Sag film. Very forceful.
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
Your post is assuring. When I called them they said they were recording and they said that having a Sag actor in anything is a very serious deal. They said once that happens it's a Sag film. Very forceful.
They are good. They've got you freaked out. But think about it.

They want you to believe they are going to keep a record of this
phone call for, what, three years as you finish this movie and enter
it into film festivals. If all goes amazingly fast you might get into a
festival or two in 2022. Then SAG is going to check the entries of
EVERY SINGLE film festival in the US for his name. What if his
name isn't on the poster? What if you don't use his name in any
of the promotional material?

Do you honestly believe that SAG is checking every single film f
estival in the US for a member that MIGHT be in a non-SAG project?
What if “Uncle Bob” is credited as “Uncle Joe”? Do you think they
watch every, single movie in every single festival with pictures of their
guild actors and then go back to their phone call recordings to confirm
that the amateur film maker was warned about this SERIOUS breach
of a non-contract?

Seriously; YOU have not agreed to follow their agreement. They cannot
hold you to their agreement.

What does “Uncle Bob” say about this? Have you told him you now want
to release this film?
 

Joe Budd

Member
They are good. They've got you freaked out. But think about it.

They want you to believe they are going to keep a record of this
phone call for, what, three years as you finish this movie and enter
it into film festivals. If all goes amazingly fast you might get into a
festival or two in 2022. Then SAG is going to check the entries of
EVERY SINGLE film festival in the US for his name. What if his
name isn't on the poster? What if you don't use his name in any
of the promotional material?

Do you honestly believe that SAG is checking every single film f
estival in the US for a member that MIGHT be in a non-SAG project?
What if “Uncle Bob” is credited as “Uncle Joe”? Do you think they
watch every, single movie in every single festival with pictures of their
guild actors and then go back to their phone call recordings to confirm
that the amateur film maker was warned about this SERIOUS breach
of a non-contract?

Seriously; YOU have not agreed to follow their agreement. They cannot
hold you to their agreement.

What does “Uncle Bob” say about this? Have you told him you now want
to release this film?

Let me ask you this. Could i come out with a Sag version that has just the Sag actors and then come out with the homemade version that has everyone else added into it?

Or can I just fill out the forms and scripts for the sag actors and just come out with the whole version on my own?

Would that put me at any greater risk?

Because I'm thinking that way they at least know that I got the union actors approved. What are they gonna do once they find out I had all these non union actors/regular people in it as well? What would the punishment be?
 

mlesemann

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
You're making your life unnecessarily complicated. I see several practical approaches:

1. Keep it as something just for family, and chalk the whole thing up to experience.
2. Use a fake name for the SAG actor - believe me, no one is going to check.

Again, you CAN use non-union actors in a SAG-AFTRA ultra-low budget movie, but you still need to do the paperwork.

The odds on your first movie being some huge festival hit are....tiny. That's reality.

Move on to the next project, and plan the paperwork in advance.
 

Joe Budd

Member
You're making your life unnecessarily complicated. I see several practical approaches:

1. Keep it as something just for family, and chalk the whole thing up to experience.
2. Use a fake name for the SAG actor - believe me, no one is going to check.

Again, you CAN use non-union actors in a SAG-AFTRA ultra-low budget movie, but you still need to do the paperwork.

The odds on your first movie being some huge festival hit are....tiny. That's reality.

Move on to the next project, and plan the paperwork in advance.
should I feel bad? Is it okay for family? This may sound like a joke but I read that Sag says it’s bad karma and shame on us if we did not know. I really feel horrible but my film is so great.

Will this prevent me from being a star one day if they find out? Or if I’m a star will they kick me out of doing movies? I’m not in union but I wonder if I’m giving it all up for this. But this project is something I have worked so hard at and died for.
 
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