Interesting that when I mentioned that this was there year when SAG and AFTRA finally merged, strong applause emerged from the audience at the Dam Short Film Festival Awards night, attended by filmakers from across the country and in some cases the world.
But when I applauded the use of qualified professional SAG-AFTRA union talent, the strong applause came from most but not all of the room, with mostly local filmmakers who think that anyone can act sitting on their hands or only politely applauding.
For some reason many local filmmakers cannot see the obvious difference displayed in the final products shown during the festival (you could tell which films used union talent long before the SAG, AFTRA, ACTRA or Equity bugs showed up at the end of the film). Trained, qualified SAG-AFTRA talent brings a dedication to the craft, and to the projects they are part of, that goes beyond dollars and cents. And often the cost is zero or near zero.
When will Nevada filmmakers realize the wealth that is there at little or no cost (just the contract) for low and ultra-low budget films and projects?
While not all local talent are actors, there remains a strong often untaped pool of union talent in Nevada, and you may import from elsewhere should your film need talent you cannot find here. Also under some contracts union and non-union talent can work side by side, learning from each other, and raising the overall tide of what you need in front of your lens.
All it takes is a call to our local Nevada AFTRA-SAG Executive, Steve Clinton ((702) 737-8818) or a quick e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.