Industry News

Derek Hay Blows the Whistle on Talent Rate Cutting

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Star Wars – The agent writes back – (Part one) of a continuing saga.
by admin on Mar. 4, 2010, under News

Recently this post was observed on one of the gossip columns related to the adult industry,

Jeff Mullen Says:
Great post Ryan,
I recently had a big agent turn down work for a girl in our upcoming mega-feature Not Charlie’s Angels XXX over a three hundred dollar difference in pay over a multiple day shooting schedule. Many agents don’t look at the publicity that special projects will provide but some do and understand there is real value in being a part of a marquee project. Our Charlie’s Angels spoof will be among the biggest movies of the year.

We’ve had a number of big time girls (and plenty of newer ones as well) ask to be put in this movie for much less then their normal rate because they know come awards time they will be nominated and quite possibly standing in the victory circle. That doesn’t mean much to some but it means a lot to others. I can only imagine what this one cute actress is going to say when she runs into me at a party and asks why I didn’t hire her for a part. Not sure if I will tell her the real reason or not that her agent turned it down. I am sure this agent never even contacted the actress to see if she wanted to do it but that is not my business.


It is about time that someone blew the whistle on this practice and that time is now and LADirect is the one to do it,

When this film producer started in the business he and his partner would meet girls at industry events and parties and solicit them with tales of their marketing and PR prowess (though not film making) all to the end of convincing the model (actress) to become excited about the possibility of appearing in their upcoming production, before delivering the sting in the tail that they would want her to appear for less than any other studio paid her and less than her normal rate – whatever that might be. And truly that meant whatever that might be. No matter what the model (actress) rate was,  once known,  the budget of these producers somehow would only have been set at 10% – 20% below that. And so the bartering began about why it would be to her benefit to see her name in press releases – so that she might get more work from other studios who were prepared to pay,  her usual market value.

Over the course of time these producers film making skills improved, in fact improved a great deal, so much so, that the movies began to win awards, sales of their movies was good, budgets increased, expensive sets could be afforded, mainstream actors were brought in here and there., expensive wardrobe, costuming and make up could be afforded, yet never could the budget afford to pay an actress her usual scene rate. Somehow still, despite all the success enjoyed by this production company (and due credit given for that) – the budget for the actors and actresses that appeared in them, almost always fell below that of their usual market value. And still the “work with us because we put out more press releases than anyone else”, was touted as the reason that the actresses should always work for less than was usual.

Not to mention that the work required for these movies was far in excess of that typical, for adult productions. Where an average for a model to shoot a scene is five / six (5 / 6) hours total time on set – twelve to fifteen (12 / 15) hours each day was more likely for these movies. Granted they were / are film making – not shooting gonzo – but was any allowance made for this to compensate the actors / actresses as one might reasonably expect.?  No sireee – again they were expected to work for less than every other studio would pay them for their typical five to six hours,  but don’t forget – their name would appear in some extra press releases.

Now to the outside observer – or the porn consumer – one might reasonably conclude that the purchaser of such movies does so primarily because of the female stars contained in them, that is the primary reason for the purchase. And this, combined with a well made movie and in these cases often times well made parodies of popular TV shows,  makes for a winning combination. So that same intelligent, outside observer might expect that the first people that the producers would be concerned about when producing their movie would be their cast. – but they would be wrong, as illustrated above.

And let us not forget that in adult – there are no back end deals, no percentage points, no sharing in the revenue,  if the movie is a success.  This a flat fee, one time, day rate – paid and gone. , So that flat fee that you worked for – with its 10% – 20% shaved off, is all you will get.

Oh and by the way – you might – just might,  get a call from the producers – asking you to come on a few radio shows to help promote the movie, which will help the movie increase its sales, because you of course are one of the stars of the movie – and “ what’s that you say?” – will you be compensated for that promotional work because you have no back end deal, and if you can help to increase sales you don’t receive anything?.  Errrr no, you will do that as part of your package – because – now listen, you haven’t been paying attention – we will put you in some extra press releases.

And wait – hold on, wait one second, – some intelligent young model just called and asked this question,

“Well what happens if one of those other studios finds out that I worked for less for this movie? Won’t they want me to work for less for them as well next time? Cos they don’t keep me on set for half as long.”

Well   errmm – yes – that is indeed a very good question – what indeed does happen,  cos you know these producers make movies that are distributed by some of those very same studios that are happy to pay actresses their normal going rates. Well anyway  let’s skip over the answer to that question and “ oh by the way – did you get an invite to our party? Oh good cos we definitely want you to come to that, because there will be loads of press and all that and oh this is getting repetitive –  lets move on,

Ok so lets recap,

Work for us for less because we will get you lots of press and if you gets lots of press then the other studios will hire you more, and they will pay you at your normal rate,

But don’t tell anyone you worked for less because if those other studios find out you worked for less then they will want to pay you less as well.

Hmmm – forgive the models and the agents for thinking not only is this a Catch 22, it’s not good business practice and not in the least bit advisable.

So the next time – you hear a producer tell you – I’d love to have you in my movie, and we’ve won all these awards, and we will make you Farrah Fawcett or Charlie Chaplin or Bill Cosby or whomever – tell them you’d love to work for them if they care to cast you – (but not for any less than you normally get paid.)

And if your agent tells them the same thing – then you know why – and you have a good agent.

And lastly – if your agent turns down a role for you because the deal isn’t right – he makes no money at all, – so there can be no accusation that agents (good ones at least) are only after money – a good agent work s for his clients best interest and that means turning down bad deals as much as it does securing good ones.

LA Direct Models. – working hard for its clients,

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