The Final CG!

We’ve been really hard at work with this CG — Tom and Alex (our programmer) have been killing themselves to make sure they get all the notes incorporated and Anthony (our editor) has been plugging things in OVER AND OVER AND OVER and I can’t thank this team enough. I’m blown away by how hard […]
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#FemaleFilmmakerFriday – The Unequal Pay Debate, part two

Thank you so much to my supporters at patreon.com/katehackettwho help make videos like these possible. If you’d like to join me on patreon, I’d love to have you: you get BTS, weekly posts about the industry, and way more.

We left off with the question: wtf is a name actor.

A name actor is someone who is recognizable. I am not a name actor. I have a name! My name is Kate! But I am not A NAME. Matt Smith is a name. You know him, which is why his representation was able to negotiate a higher rate of pay for him than Foy’s reps were able to negotiate for her. It’s A LITTLE bit comparable to experience in the workplace, but exacerbated. He had recognizability she did not. And this happens a lot – and it skews male because men have more opportunities than women (bigger roles, more visibility, etc), so it’s just a cycle that goes on and on.

I don’t begrudge Smith’s reps (or Smith) for wheeling and dealing. I don’t begrudge anyone for doing his or her job – and it is Smith’s agent’s job to get him the highest rate of pay they can. I also don’t really begrudge producers for not trying to offer Foy more money; their job is to keep overhead low, and that means keeping pay to a dull roar. 

That said, obviously it’s not fair – it’s not fair from the lowest rung straight on up. I think the most proactive way to handle this, however, is not to ask production to go against everything it represents. We need the actors’ union to take a stand and protect its underrepresented members to ensure that pay is commiserate with job AND experience (or, you know, my favorite term: NAME). SAG should be stepping in to assist those contract negotiations and actors need to be more vocal about their pay. If Foy and Smith had discussed it, I doubt we would be.

Sundance Labs Application

Sundance Labs offers an episodic programming lab, which sends you off for a week into the mountains of Utah to study writing with other emerging writers. The applications for 2019 open on Wednesday, so I’ve been getting mine ready — thought my patrons might like to see it! Sundance Submission Packet – Kate Hackett — First five pages of script […]
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#FemaleFilmmakerFriday – The Unequal Pay Debate, part one.

What about unequal pay? – part one.

Thank you so much to my supporters at patreon.com/katehackettwho help make videos like these possible. If you’d like to join me on patreon, I’d love to have you: you get BTS, weekly posts about the industry, and way more. 

I know we all read about The Crownlast year – how Claire Foy made less than Matt Smith – and I imagine we all have OPINIONS on it. I bet your opinion is probably HOW COULD THEY.

Let’s slow our roll and go a little deeper. 

I know The Crownepisode actually wound up with an apology and a promise to give Foy backpay to close the gap (ALTHOUGH. https://www.glamour.com/story/claire-foy-not-given-back-pay-the-crown) but Hollywood pay scales are actually kind of … flibbertygibbity. It’s not just “she is on set for 1000 hours this season, she gets 1000 * 100$/hr!” and there is no set amount everyone always receives. 

Let’s start at the bottom: SAG Scales. 

SAG sets its rate sheet every handful of years, when they run contract negotiations, and it’s always better than minimum wage. Commercial and theatrical are different rates (as of right now, commercial pays something like 650/day and theatrical is 980 for a single day of shooting; weekly performers get more). That scale is what it is – men and women are making the same amount. If your agent isn’t negotiating above scale for you, you probably aren’t hitting giant pay discrepancies. 

KIND OF.

I’ve been on sets where I have ALL the dialogue; my male counterpart has ZERO LINES but is reacting to stuff on camera, and he’s still making the same rate as I am. Is that fair? No. And that’s where your agent MIGHT MAYBE want to negotiate above scale for you, though there’s not always much wiggle room for it. 

I have also RUN sets where everyone’s making 100/day (new media rates from a bunch of years ago) and someone on set for 12 hours makes the same amount of money as someone who pops in for 2. Is that fair? No. But you know what I do not feel like fucking around with in the interest of “fair”? 100 dollars a damn day.

So – actor money isn’t based on an hourly rate, nor is it based on the actual amount of time you’re working. If they call you for the day, you’re paid for the day, no matter what your call time is — which does make sense; you’re asking an actor to be available, so you have to pay for that time. 

But when you get to bigger roles and bigger paychecks, that scale goes out the window — you may way more per episode, your reps negotiate (remember the 2.5 million or whatever it was the Friends made? PER EPISODE?), and you agree to that pay rate for X number of seasons. It’s all contracted, it’s all negotiable. And salary negotiations are typically not shared, which is where we get into trouble.

Moreover, a huge part of actor pay is based on something that has absolutely nothing to do with how much you’re working:

Your “Name”.

(come back next week for the EXCITING CONCLUSION and explanation of wtf a “Name” actor is)

A Tale of Two Scripts

I’ve been recalibrating a script – basically from the ground up – and thought it might be interesting for you guys to see the first page of each and how very different they are! So, BEHOLD.

To the left, you have the old version. To the right, the new. Odds are pretty good that I’ll cannibalize this or that from the old version and slide it into the new one, but even though the characters are exactly the same and the basic plot isn’t changing… It’s obviously a very large move. 

February Hangouts – 2/24

Hi guys! We’ll be doing our hangouts on Feb. 24th this month, hope to see you! $10+ friends, let’s plan to meet from 1-1:30pm PT. Your private Discord server is located here: https://discord.gg/xFftgCs & I’ll post the link to the group hangout in that server on the day. One on ones, please hit me up […]
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#FemaleFilmmakerFriday – It’s Not Good Yet.

I grapple with how much to share on here – how much of the process to reveal, how much to show the sausage being made. My general inclination is to only show polished performances & work, which I adhere to completely when other people are involved. But what about things I’m writing or doing myself? Do I share works in progresses? Or only completed, finished things? To that end, do I share scripts? or only shot, edited, and corrected work — do I adhere to the medium in which I see something, or do I share whatever straws I have?

I think it’s a really interesting struggle for artists — when is art done? (never) and when do I share it? Moreover, as an actor, we have a really unique artistic process; you see the entire thing. You see us working. A painter doesn’t work that way – you see the painting, not the painter. With an actor, you see the good, bad, and ugly. 

So I’m opening this #FemaleFilmmakerFriday post up to you guys — I want to know how much art YOU reveal to people. Do you share your works as they go or are you a purist? Do you share only what you deem “worthy”? …but then, how do you decide what (or when) that is?

Thank you so much to my supporters at patreon.com/katehackettwho help make posts like these possible. If you’d like to join me on Patreon, I’d love to have you: you get BTS, weekly posts about the industry, and way more. If you have questions you want to see answered, please consider tossing in a few bucks to the Patreon.

— Kate

February 2019 Update!

I made two big changes last month — first, I totally revamped my website! Tada! This is it! I’ll be posting here instead of on Patreon, so make sure you’ve subscribed to the blog. I imported a list of Patreon subscribers so if you’re magically getting this email WITHOUT having signed up, that’s what happened. […]

#FemaleFilmmakerFriday – What roles are MANDATORY on set?

What are film roles you’ll never leave out on your future sets? Perhaps because you’ve had to work without them before, etc. (things like HMU, production design, AD, line producer, etc etc. Anything beyond director/producer/DP basically) – Bri 

Thanks, Bri!! 

Hey! First, big ol thanks to my Patrons over at patreon.com/katehackett for supporting me every month and making sure I can put videos out — like this one! Patreon is an amazing platform that gives me stability as an artist to keep fighting for a little room in the industry – if you want to keep in touch with me, learn about the biz, or just show support for a writer, producer, actor, creator in Los Angeles, visit patreon.com/katehackett. Patrons also receive weekly #FemaleFilmmakerFriday content, so if you don’t want to miss anything, make sure you head on over!

If you’re a wonderful Patreon FOLLOWER, I’d love to be able to bring you into the fold — join today & be part of the community! This post DOES contain affiliate links and I receive a small percentage of any purchases made through them.

And, of course, thanks so much to viewers like you for joining me for this month’s Female Filmmaker Friday vlog, where once a month I chat with you publicly about some aspect of the business — and being a woman therein.

This month I have a question from one of my Patrons. Bri asks “What are film roles you’ll never leave out on your future sets? Perhaps because you’ve had to work without them before?”

So— beyond the bare minimum, which is really just actor, director, who do we have? DP. Sound. Those are the next most important roles. You must have good sound. Period. DPs are great, a good camera does wonders, though sometimes you can get a director to double. When I hire for these roles in particular, I do my best to hire women; I’ve worked with some WONDERFUL female DPs who really have a great eye. These jobs also skew typically male, so it’s important to be conscious of your hire.

After that, as an actress, I always want Hair & Makeup. Some actors are fine without it; I’m notoriously bad at doing my own hair and makeup and if I have to commit my face to film, I would love for someone who knows what he or she is doing to tackle this.

At this point, everything else becomes “wishlist”. If you’re shooting at a teeny micro budget level, you can make this work with your skeleton crew. However. It’s important to know your weaknesses and farm that work out. Production design is probably the next person I would really want on set; it’s possible to get away with doing PD yourself, especially comedy, but it’s always a billion times better when you hire someone.

When I’m working barebones, I do all the line producing (which is budget stuff), we AD ourselves (keep ourselves on schedule), we gaff ourselves (lighting), we clothe ourselves, so these teammates are not REQUIRED for uber low budget productions I run, but they’re really fucking helpful. It also really depends on the scope of the project; a short comedy in your apartment doesn’t need a best boy. A scifi short action film requires at least three people on production design’s team. 

To conclude: actor. director. sound. DP. Hair & Makeup. You can skate by with those — but remember that that means YOU are doing all of the other jobs that you had to omit!