It doesn’t happen as much as it used to but occasionally, someone still asks about a job offer they get through an online posting service. This is not to be confused with Indie film postings, theater postings, or things of that nature but rather, an offer to do a print job (normally) for a company who selects from your online profile and uses a brokering service to hire you. Agency concerns with on-line talent brokers are two-fold:
- THEY DON”T REPRESENT YOU. This is normally stated very plainly on their websites or in contracts/terms. That means they are not looking out for you and your long-term interest. By eliminating the agent and the safeguards we apply, they leave you without representation. What that means is that if problems arise with a booking, you’re on your own. They have no loyalty to you and owe you nothing.
- THEY ARE UNDERMINING INDUSTRY AND MARKET STANDARDS. We, and by that I mean the Atlanta talent agencies as a whole, have worked very hard over the last 20+ years to raise the pay standards, cap the length of a shoot day, and maintain fair rates for usage/conflicts in this industry. On-line services may offer lower rates to the client but they do so at talent expense. Without a knowledgeable agent on your side, you won’t know what’s fair and what’s not. $800 for one work day sounds like a good deal until you consider the use and the conflicts.
When agents book print, usage fees are also factored into the rate. If use is regional or includes outdoor, flyers, direct mail, web, etc… it is billed differently. Use in larger markets costs more. Renewal rates are negotiated. Conflicts are weighed. All of these terms are part of a negotiated contract when your agent is working on your behalf. Stock photography or use of talent as if they are stock takes advantage of the actor/model and is heavily slanted in the client’s favor. The client is often a large corporation completely accustomed and able to pay standard rates. But these online talent providers solicit them and tell them they can pull from the same talent pool but can book for far less and have far fewer rules governing use.
It’s for these reasons that we have asked our talent NOT to be listed with on-line talent brokers. We cannot work for you if you (however innocently) help them work against us.