Union says movie extras should have been paid

A UNION representing actors has revealed more than 100 south-west extras in Paul Hogan and Shane Jacobson’s film Charlie and Boots should have been paid $127.28 each per day.The Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance will investigate why the extras were not paid the Actors Feature Film Agreement award rate.The Standard understands more than 100 south-west extras completed a total of about 250 days work at Warrnambool and Terang in November last year. Yesterday the producers said they were not required to pay extras because they were used to “authenticate” Warrnambool. At the award rate, the extras would have cost the producers nearly $32,000. Instead the extras agreed to work for free on the premise donations would be made to local clubs. It was revealed late last week that the South Warrnambool Football Netball Club, which hosted the auditions in October, was the sole beneficiary of a $500 donation.Alliance spokesman Jonathan Este said it was important performers were paid for their work under the act.”It is important that the deal is observed and honoured,” he said.That is a view shared by former Flagstaff Hill director Peter Ronald, who was an extra in Quigley Down Under along with his late son Lee. It was filmed in Warrnambool in 1989-90.Mr Ronald said he recalled them being paid $500 each.Mr Ronald said on top of his personal income for being an extra, the producers of Quigley Down Under donated $10,000 to Flagstaff Hill for the use of the facility for filming.He said the producers of Charlie and Boots would be “pretty game” to show their faces in Warrnambool again.”I think it is shocking,” he said.”To imply generosity via donations to clubs and then give $500 to one footy club because it hosted the auditions…I think we’ve been had.”Charlie and Boots follows the story of a Warrnambool father and son who set off on a road strep to Cape York. Producer Shana Levine said the moviemakers wanted to show both places and the people who lived in them as authentically as possible.”According to the relevant industry agreement, filmmakers can invite members of the public for the purposes of authenticity to join in scenes as extras and such members of the public are not considered the same as professional extras and are not required to be paid,” she said.”The South Warrnambool Football and Netball Club was given a small donation to thank them for their amazing efforts in helping co-ordinate the large number of local people who wanted to be involved.”
HangZhou Night Net

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.