On September 29, DGA members sat in with casting professionals from Central Casting and Assistant Director Training Program (ADTP) Trainees for an AFTRA Contracts Breakfast seminar held at the DGA boardroom in New York. These seminars are designed to keep the DGA membership and trainees abreast of current management practices and contract updates.
This seminar, presented by Central Casting and hosted by the Directors Guild-Producer Training Plan, featured an in-depth exploration of the three prevailing AFTRA TV background contracts and how DGA members and casting professionals can make the best use of them. Although SAG and AFTRA have recently merged, the seminar focused specifically on the current AFTRA contracts, which are still in effect.
The seminar’s speakers were Central Casting’s Vice President Franklyn Warren, Central Casting Senior Vice President Jennifer Bender, and SAG-AFTRA Senior Manager Steve Meicke.
After a welcome from New York ADTP Program Administrator Sandra Forman, and a brief history of SAG-AFTRA, the workshop launched with a detailed discussion of the contracts. The participants learned the answers to questions such as: how payment for multiple episodes with overtime is calculated; if stand-ins may be asked to read lines during camera blocking; what constitutes background work for singers and dancers; and what are the situations under which an AFTRA Cast Clearance must be submitted.
The session ended with the panelists answering questions submitted by the participants, and a raffle where several participants won a gift bag that contained an emergency preparedness kit or Paymaster software and a Central Casting hat.