VOICES: Once Ghadafi’s gone, it’s time to move on ACTRA.
Posted by Tom Ritchie on March 30th, 2011
Andy Shortt is a celebrated Creative Director and Partner at Huxley Quayle von Bismark. Andy believes in results and has won back-to-back Cassie Awards for Effectiveness. Some people say Andy is the new hybrid advertising professional because he has been awarded for both traditional and digital creative. Aside from the award shows, Andy has been featured in international media and has judged both the Marketing Awards and the International Clio Awards.
Once Ghadafi’s gone, it’s time to move on ACTRA.
by Andy Shortt
So they’ve gotten rid of oppressive regimes in Egypt and Tunisia and they’re working on Libya. Now it’s time to get rid of ACTRA.
I’m not kidding around here. Over the past few years the ACTRA agreement has cost the Canadian production community tens of millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs. All in the name of “protecting their community”. Sound familiar Moammar?
It’s time to rebel against them. It’s time to free Canadian talent from the oppressive ACTRA regime so that they can freely make a living at their vocation. Take, for example, an agency I used to work at that shot campaign in Chile for a Canadian beer that featured at least fifty actors. They flew the director, agency team, client and others all down to Chile for week, where they hired local production crews, local talent, ate a local restaurants, stayed at local hotels, bought local souvenirs. They did all this just to avoid ACTRA union costs.
In this example, and countless others that occur each and every year, Canadian grips, production assistants, assistant directors, craft services people, principle actors and extras all were left sitting at home watching Oprah while their counterparts in Chile were enjoying a week of paid work.
Now, ACTRA will argue that without their union these people would be taken advantage of, would be paid unreasonable wages. However, as in any market economy situation, I would argue that they would be paid what they’re worth, and what the market can bear. The market, in most cases, can simply not bear the fees, residuals that ACTRA thinks it can. Which is why o much Canadian production goes elsewhere. I would ask an actor if making a session fee without residuals for a week of work is better than sitting at home making nothing, wondering where the rent is coming from.
It’s time for Canadian agencies and actors to rise and up and kick this oppressive, stuck in the past regime out on the sidewalk where they belong. It’s time we took back the Canadian production community and allowed Canadian agencies to make commercials for Canadian brands in Canada.