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Old 04-28-2015, 12:16 PM
 
6,612 posts, read 6,565,562 times
Reputation: 4046

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Quote:
Originally Posted by helena101 View Post
Um actually I have worked in the legal field for years. Lawyers take cases *all the time* on contingency. I've worked on numerous such cases and had friends/family members involved in such cases. What planet do *you* live on? Since you don't seem familiar with this, here's how it works: You get hit by a truck or you get sexually harassed at your job. Since you don't have the money to pay hourly legal fees or don't want to put up money when you don't know how much you'd win in a lawsuit, the lawyer takes your case for free in exchange for a percentage of what you win in a lawsuit. If you have a legitimate case you'll find a lawyer.

If they're paying extras slave wages, how are they finding people to fill these roles? Why are people applying to these jobs if they're being "abused" and being paid nothing?
Excellent points. People just love to whine over things like this when there is really nothing to whine about.
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Old 04-28-2015, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
1,957 posts, read 2,005,216 times
Reputation: 2212
Quote:
Originally Posted by helena101 View Post
Um actually I have worked in the legal field for years. Lawyers take cases *all the time* on contingency. I've worked on numerous such cases and had friends/family members involved in such cases. What planet do *you* live on? Since you don't seem familiar with this, here's how it works: You get hit by a truck or you get sexually harassed at your job. Since you don't have the money to pay hourly legal fees or don't want to put up money when you don't know how much you'd win in a lawsuit, the lawyer takes your case for free in exchange for a percentage of what you win in a lawsuit. If you have a legitimate case you'll find a lawyer.


If they're paying extras slave wages, how are they finding people to fill these roles? Why are people applying to these jobs if they're being "abused" and being paid nothing?
If you read my post just a little more carefully, then you'll discover that my comment about you not knowing the industry was referring to the entertainment/production industry.... but for the purposes of this post I will humor your supposition.

*All the time* (regarding contingencies) is most certainly an exaggeration on your part, but even ignoring the inability of poor/indigent clients to be away from work for extended periods, lets analyze the prospect of a barrister taking on a client for lost wages for work as an extra on set.

Lets assume that a non-union extra is getting short shrift and only making ~$8/hr when the wage is supposed to be $20/hr.

Let us also assume that they are on set for a total of 40 hours in one week. Hell, lets double that. 80 hours.

The gross amount for lost wages in this case total is $640. That amount will put the claim in small claims court, and no self respecting lawyer is going to take a contingency case with a maximum award of ~$600 after factoring how much work will be necessary.

The only viable route for retaining representation on contingency for holding the production company to task would be class action and if you think that getting 1 poor person to miss work for trial and the mere prospect of 50% of the awards... then just try getting a gaggle of indigent clients to do the same thing for ~30% of the awards (if past class action splits are any indicator of what legal representation will charge).

So, time away from work, minimal awards for lost wages *and* alienating the very casting and production companies they rely on for steady work?

Hmm, doesn't sound very likely to me... but you know this already as an expert that has worked in the legal field for years, right?
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Old 04-28-2015, 08:43 PM
 
4,257 posts, read 2,845,881 times
Reputation: 2809
Quote:
Originally Posted by helena101 View Post
Background extras in other cities make almost $20 per hour?! That sounds ridiculous, and you have to assume they're bombarded with a million applications and you need connections (friends and family in the industry) to get those jobs. It's a job that requires very little skill and big rewards (get to be in a movie or TV show). I know plenty of people (myself included) who would do it for free for a day or two just for the experience and to be able to say they were in a movie/TV show.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eRosewater View Post
Oh no! Movie extras, who need no skills and typically work part time, make minimum wage? The humanity!

Thankfully in Atlanta we don't have to provide a "cut" to unions when any worker wants to so much as lift a finger. Corrupt politicians - yeah we've got plenty - but it could be worse.
Quote:
Originally Posted by flamadiddle View Post
No! they should get some real skills and a real career if they want to make real money.
I'm pretty sure very few people on this thread have any idea what a true movie extra is. They seem to think it's just the people who fill up a stadium. In restaurant scenes, office scenes, etc, those extras know damn well what they are doing. It's not a "no skill" thing that "just anyone can do". Decent budget movies aren't going to be hiring just any yokel off the street and risk crappy performance.

Are they curing cancer or doing something truly important to all of us like managing hedge funds? No. But it's not a no-skill job.

Oh, and good luck getting any real work on a movie if you're not union.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paris-on-ponce View Post
Exactly. No one should be a professional background extra.
Who are you to say what anyone should be? Not everyone wants to spend their life as a slave to the corporate machine. I know I don't, haven't, and hopefully never will. You guys can have that life.

Last edited by samiwas1; 04-28-2015 at 09:25 PM..
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Old 04-28-2015, 09:53 PM
 
Location: 98004 / 30327
557 posts, read 455,501 times
Reputation: 887
Quote:
Originally Posted by samiwas1 View Post
I'm pretty sure very few people on this thread have any idea what a true movie extra is. They seem to think it's just the people who fill up a stadium. In restaurant scenes, office scenes, etc, those extras know damn well what they are doing. It's not a "no skill" thing that "just anyone can do". Decent budget movies aren't going to be hiring just any yokel off the street and risk crappy performance.

Are they curing cancer or doing something truly important to all of us like managing hedge funds? No. But it's not a no-skill job.

Oh, and good luck getting any real work on a movie if you're not union.



Who are you to say what anyone should be? Not everyone wants to spend their life as a slave to the corporate machine. I know I don't, haven't, and hopefully never will. You guys can have that life.
Let me amend what I said. No one CAN be a professional b.g. extra. You don't know what a b.g. extra is if you think it's possible to make a living from it AND you believe it requires some skill. No it does not. This isn't like roaming from production to production and finding work as a set P.A. And this isn't like fast food service where I can appreciate the argument that people deserve to make a living wage. Background extra work is not a career. I'm not talking about walk-ons. I'm not talking about being an extra who gets a Taft-Hartley and earns their SAG card. I'm talking about being a b.g. extra. No one wiIl make a living from being a b.g. extra in a SAG or non union production. Your response of 'who are you to tell someone what they can or can't be?' is entirely missing the point. It's as if I said, "no one can be a praying mantis for a living" and you wanna tell me I shouldn't crush someone's dream. If you've ever worked in film, either in LA or ATL or anywhere else, you would realize how lame this entire line of thinking is.
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