“If we are required to show up for rehearsal for a stunt coordinator, or for ourselves at the request of the Producer, it constitutes as work time.” – Gregg Smrz
This is a series of weekly posts by Gregg and Shirley Smrz of Stunt Payroll Services discussing areas of the rulebook and stunt contracts that stunt performers deal with, along with tips on how to keep your records so you get paid properly. Gregg Smrz is a member of Stunts Unlimited, the Screen Actors Guild, the Directors Guild, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the Red Bull Blue Ribbon Committee, and is an alternate board member for the SAG-AFTRA Stunt and Safety Committee. He has experience working as a Stuntman, Stunt Rigger, Stunt Coordinator, and as a 2nd Unit Director. Gregg’s wife Shirley has extensive Bookkeeping and Payroll Experience she acquired while working at Teledyne Electronics.
The Rehearsal Time Rules can be found in the following areas of the 2005 SAG
Codified Basic Agreement. The rule is the same for each of the Schedules.
Schedule H Part 1 refers to Schedule A, Page 201, Section 21
Schedule H Part 2 refers to Schedule B, Page 260, Section 25
Schedule H Part 3 refers to Schedule C, Page 316, Section 24
Schedule B, Section 25, Rehearsal Time
A. The reading of lines, acting, singing or dancing, in preparation for the
performer’s performance, in the presence and under the supervision of a
representative of Producer, constitutes a rehearsal. Rehearsals shall be
counted as work time.
B. Auditions, tests, interviews, make-up and wardrobe tests do not
C. The Union agrees to freely grant waivers for the training of a performer
in a particular skill such as horseback riding, fencing, etc. Compensation,
if any, shall be agreed to between performer and the Producer, subject to
the approval of the Union.
D. Neither tests, auditions, fittings, publicity stills, pre-production stills, prerecordings
nor training under subsection C. above, after employment but
before the starting date of such employment, shall start the employment
period of such performer. Compensation, if any, for any of such services
shall be as otherwise provided in this Schedule.
Rehearsal shall not start the consecutive days of employment for a
performer employed under this Schedule who is engaged for a long-form
television motion picture or a theatrical motion picture, subject to the
(1) The performer must be paid for rehearsal at the same rate as
photography (pro rata of the weekly salary, but not less than a day
performer minimum per day, when rehearsing for less than a week);
(2) The performer must be generally available for rehearsal, as
distinguished from professionally available;
(3) The performer must be given an “on or about” start date; and
(4) Consecutive employment applies during the rehearsal period.
Layman’s Term Explanation
The only sections that really pertain to stunt performers are the following areas.
Section A, and Section D, (1)
While it does not mention stunt work, we would fall under the acting portion of this
rule. If we are required to show up for rehearsal for a stunt coordinator, or for
ourselves at the request of the Producer, it constitutes as work time.
Section D, (1)
The performer will be paid either a daily contract, or 1/5 of a weekly contract
depending upon their particular situation.
When you are on a rehearsal day, you are expected to take a lunch period at the
required six hours from call. If you do not and work straight through, expect to have
problems getting paid, unless the UPM approved your not taking lunch.
When you work a rehearsal day and there is no 2nd AD or PA with you, we advise
that you go to the set at wrap to fill out the Exhibit G and to sign out. Don’t forget to
take a copy of the signed and completely filled out Exhibit G. If you are far from the
set, as an alternative, the stunt coordinator should have an Exhibit G that you fill out,
sign, and take a copy of.
Some argue that since stunt performers are not listed in the rulebook, that we
should never be shown as rehearsing, but as working. I tend to agree with this. If
you are stunt rigging, doing fight rehearsals, or stunt driving, you are technically
working. Since we are not mentioned in the rulebook, I would argue for listing
working in place of rehearsal. This is something we should address at the upcoming
If you want to be sure all the rules are followed and that you have been paid
properly, check out our website at www.stuntpay.com and consider using the
service on your next job.
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