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Posted Date: 29 July 2009 at 12:35:05PM

We received this email today from a Sydney Director...


My Fellow Actors,


As equity pushes Australian actors to strike if a deal is not met with producers re: Offshore TVCs deal, Australian actors should know that a strike will only hurt them and the industry.


I understand the frustration and I agree actors should get paid more from overseas TVC productions. But striking will not help. As a TVC actor, I've been screwed over many times but I also know what it is like to be on the other end now that I'm TVC director. The directors, production companies & ad agencies aren't out to try and screw the actors over. They are just trying to keep the job they've been given with the budget pressures that they are dealing with.


It's a shit time for everyone. Unfortunately we work in an industry that is over-saturated with talent and people all over the world are dying to break into into it. There will always be actors, directors, production companies, editors, etc trying to get in and get noticed, so they will work for less than they should just to get the chance to do so. And this is a business and eventually companies will go for the cheaper option, because they can and have their own budget pressures to fulfill. Its never going to change. The only way we can help ourselves as artists is to be the best talent available, but still affordable. We have amazing talent here. Believe me, production companies want to come and shoot here. But the final costs will be what determines it. And if they have too many fees to pay they will go somewhere else. It's common sense. The reason they first came to Australia to shoot was because the Americans wanted to strike.


If you strike, Australia will lose work over to other countries and a major part of our industry will die.

The Australian actor's demands to earn more on an ad will not result on better fees, but will only result in a significantly less amount of work and push overseas productions to shoot else where because Australia is too expensive. It might not be right and fair, but it is how our world works. Australian actors would be naive and/or arrogant to think that overseas productions will be willing to pay more for them instead of finding someone else to do it cheaper. Its a business and the bottom dollar will always be paramount.


If we push away overseas productions we will all lose out. NZ, South America and other areas will benefit and will only continue to showcase to American production companies that there are other alternatives than Australia.


The last time actors threatened to go on strike in America (SAG strike in 1990s), it achieved the exact opposite it intended. It showed American producers that they can have successful shows without actors (reality TV shows exploded and have remained a huge part of our industry) and that there are other places they can shoot, US Movies, TV shows and TVCs, started coming to our shores to shoot. Look what it did to the American entertainment industry. Imagine what it will do to ours?!!!




Pass this on to your friends and help support our industry.




KHCcompletely agrees and want all Australian actors to know that while we have your best interests at heart, we agree with SPAA that things have to change if we want our industry to survive and eventually flourish again. An actor's strike may affect change, but it will be for the worse not the better....





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