INFORMATION FOR PIRROMOUNT PERFORMERS past, present and future
It has been brought to our attention that some of the performers who have appeared over the years in Pirromount films have been investigated by SAG for appearing in our “non union” films. Many of the actors in question haven’t appeared in a Pirromount film in over ten years, but SAG sees the writing on the wall and is trying desperately to keep a stronghold on its members as the wave of DV (Digital Video) films continue to get underway and the union loses more of its grip on filmmaking. This is a huge thing to them because with DV independent films outnumbering union films by a large margin, they realize that if they can’t stop this, their union becomes weaker.
There have always been non union films, they have always used union actors. It was never that important before when we were in the minority. Well, welcome to the new millennium where the little guys are taking over (you would have never seen a “Blair Witch” go theatrical and make $100 million ten years ago, and this is only the beginning, my friends). We have been making non union films for over 25 years and today the floodgates are open for other filmmakers. High Definition video is making it possible for people to produce movies who wouldn’t have been able to in the past .
As of this writing, there are over 1500 HDV movies in some phase of production, many using SAG and non SAG talent. How do we know this? Because they’ve been contacting us, wondering about the problems involved and the solutions we’ve known about for two decades. Visit our “Ask Mr. Pirro” section to see many of the financial core questions we get asked. In the early 80’s, we had such a low profile that it wasn’t important for anyone to care, but today, with the internet, streaming video, direct sales and DVD, the little guys are being taken more seriously. Many films are being shot in Canada and Mexico to avoid the restrictions of unions and these numbers will get bigger as the number of filmmakers increase. SAG is trying to stop this, but what they don’t seem to realize is that scare tactics won’t work anymore.
You want to act and if the opportunities are slim, you can either wait tables, wait for Martin Scorsese to call, or work in a non union film. Now, if you are an actor who has appeared in any of our films and are being hassled by your union, I’d like to inform you of your rights as an actor and a worker. There is something out there called “Financial Core,” which SAG would rather you not know about (in fact, you won’t see it in any of their propaganda). But this is a legal way for you to work in both SAG and Non SAG films without any hassles from the unions (of course, you may get some dirty looks at the annual Christmas parties). Financial Core is made possible through a Supreme Court decision which would forbid SAG from taking disciplinary action against any member who works in a non union film. This is how you can continue to work in your chosen craft regularly and not have to turn down jobs that you may desperately want.