Re: ATTN JMS: Claudia'n'residuals

 Posted on 7/25/1997 by to

Claudia's statement that the actors were asked to give up their
residuals now makes sense ... to me, anyway, and I'm writing to ask
where or if I'm wrong in this deduction ... in that the actors *were*
asked to give up residuals that might be able to cover their rent for
a month in exchange for residuals that might be able to cover lunch.
Her statement about "giving up residuals" could be taken as a bit
of exaggeration, as, by the previous scale, the basic cable residuals
*are* pretty much nonexistent on a making-a-living basis."

Prior to getting the S5 renewal, we called in as many actors as were
present and explained that shows made for basic cable are, according to
the Screen Actors Guild Basic Agreement, different in many ways from
syndication, as syndication is different than network, in terms of

In network, the fees generally start higher, and the residuals start at a
higher percentage of that fee as well . In syndication, the fees are
smaller, and the residuals start at a lower percentage. (For writers, for
instance, I think the going fee for a network script is about $26-30,000
and the first rerun gets a high percentage of that back to the writer; in
syndication, the script fee is about $15-16,000 and the first rerun starts
at an even lower percentage of that fee.)

For basic cable, things get more complicated. The fees paid stay the same
as syndication, so across the board actors' fees, directors and writers
don't get touched. But the various Guilds gave basic cable a break in
terms of encouraging original production, and in rerunning
network/syndication fare. For instance, there's one formula for something
made for network/syndication and later run on cable, and another for
something made *specifically* for basic cable.

And it's the latter that we had to explain to the actors, because under
SAG regs, again as part of the various guilds' decision to give cable a
break to get it up and viable (so that it can later be brought up to par
with syndication), the formula is that the amount paid to an actor above
double-scale is credited against residuals. Once that is burned through,
residuals accrue to the actor again.

That was the ONLY item mentioned in terms of residuals. Bear in mind in
ALL this that we *cannot* make ANY deal that contravenes what is
established by the various guilds, so asking any actor to give up
residuals forever, as some have suggested, cannot be done by us or ANYone
because we are Guild signatories.