A casting call was issued for extras in the Santa Cruz area to work on the film “Mavericks”. However, the production is not paying the extras. They are only offering “drawings for prizes”. I do not post unpaid casting notices, and I think it should be illegal in all states to do this. I see this more and more often in different states, and I see it as being an extremely unsettling trend.
On union films and television shows, only a limited amount of union background extras are required to be hired on a given day. After the production meets the union extras requirement, they can then hire non-union extras for the remaining number of the background extras needed. Those non-union extras are then only protected by the employment laws of the state in which they are working. Too many people are willing to work as actors and extras for free just to be part of a film of TV show. There is no problem with working in a student film in exchange for a copy for your demo reel, or a SAG low-budget contract film, but please… do not work free for production companies that have plenty of money in their budget to pay non-union extras minimum wage.
Only lawmakers can stop the practice of not paying background extras and simply offering “drawings for prizes” as compensation. So remember that when you go to the polls to vote. Get rid of the lousy polititians who allow this unfair practice to continue, and help get laws past that protect people from these “work-for-free” environments.
Click Here to view an example of how a law was enforced as a result of SAG Extras Committee fighting for it’s members, and it ended up helping non-union extras also:
L.A. City Attorney sends cease-and-desist letters were sent to 14 background casting companies
It’s too bad that this production has chosen to go this route because I was really supporting this project and love the story behind it. The production companies behing this film are far from hurting for money. But as a past member of the Screen Actors Guild Background Actors Commitee, I found myself compelled to finally shine some light on this disturbing trend in background extras casting around the country.
To read the original casting information, go to the following auditions post:
Feature Film “Mavericks” Casting Information