Frequently Asked Questions…

★ How long can my child work in a single day on set? The number of hours that a child can work is directly related to the child’s age. Children under the age of twelve (12) may work a maximum of eight (8) hours, with up to one (1) hour additional as an unpaid lunch or dinner break. Children between the ages of 12 and fourteen (14) may work an additional two (2) hours of overtime. Teens fifteen (15) and older may work unlimited hours, and do not require an adult chaperone while on set. Of course, these hours must occur before curfew (10 p.m. on a school night, 12:30 a.m. on a non-school night, or 2 a.m. during school holidays).

★ Will my child be fed? If I’m a chaperone, will food also be provided for me? Food and beverages are provided for child performers and adult chaperones, and availability is dependent upon the length of your workday. “Craft service” (an area with light snacks, coffee, tea, and juice or water) is usually provided but is limited. Use your manners at the craft service table–there is usually a lot more extras than there is food, so don’t be a piggy. Meals will be provided as required; the extras wrangler or one of the ADs will let you know when it is time to eat. Do not wander over to the meal tent on your own.

★ Will there be chaperones on set, or am I required to stay with my child? If your child is under the age of 15, you are required to either remain on set with him/her, or designate a guardian, over the age of 19, to serve as your child’s guardian. You may not drop off your underage children on a set and expect that they will be minded by the production crew. You are required by law to provide chaperone duties for your child.

★ Can non-working children come to set (i.e., my other kids, my friend’s kids, etc.)? No. Make daycare or babysitting arrangements for your other children who are not scheduled to work. Do not bring extra kids with you in the hope that they, too, will be allowed to work (unless the agent advises otherwise!).

★ How late my child work on a school night (Sunday through Thursday)? Please see the detailed regulatory information available at http://www.labour.gov.bc.ca/ esb/chldflm/regulat.htm. Curfew is 10:00 p.m. on a school night. How late can by child work on a non-school night (Friday-Saturday, stat holidays, summer break, etc.)? Curfew is 12:30 a.m. on a non-school night. If school is not in session (i.e., school holidays), then the curfew is 2:00 a.m. Productions can apply to the Union for extended hours, and a Parental Consent for Extended Hours form (click link) is included on our Forms page for downloading. The application must be approved by the UBCP forty- eight (48) hours prior to a minor child working extended hours past the curfew time.

★ Will there be an on-set teacher or tutor for my child? On-set tutoring must be provided by the production company once a child misses three days in a five-day school week. There must be three hours of tutoring each day that a child works once this threshold is met.

★ How much will my child earn? Earnings are based on the category of hiring. For background work, presume that ALL bookings are at $10/hour for your child unless otherwise stated. There is always a chance of upgrades on set to other pay grades. For roles that have been auditioned for, the rate of pay is discussed on an individual basis, depending on the role won.

★ The wrangler said my child was going to get paid “on voucher” today What does that mean? A union voucher, sometimes called a permit, is a document that entitles the bearer to payment at a different (union) rate versus the standard non-union background performer’s rate of $10/hour. If your child is on a voucher, he/she will receive a minimum daily or half- daily rate (i.e., your child might be paid for a minimum eight-hour day, even if he/she only works six hours). There is a limited number of union vouchers available on each production. The number of vouchers available is negotiated between the film actors’ union and a film’s producers when a film comes to town, before filming commences. As noted, there are a specified number of vouchers available, and these are intended for union performers first. If a production as twelve (12) union performers but the production offers twenty-five (25) vouchers, chances are the production will make the remaining vouchers available to non-union performers based on their own set of criteria. (If this happens multiple days in a row, wranglers are usually very good at being fair and equitable in the distribution of vouchers, assigning vouchers in rotation so that everyone gets a voucher at least once.) However, if there are only 25 vouchers and thirty (30) eligible union performers, five (5) of those union performers may go without. Decisions about who among the non-union performers gets an unclaimed union voucher on a day-to-day basis is up to the production staff. Please do NOT ask if your child can receive a union voucher.

★ What is the agency’s commission? Agencies are regulated by the provincial government; fees payable to agencies are also regulated. Agencies may charge 15 percent commission on gross earnings, and a once- yearly fee of $25.00 for photo handling, reproduction, and distribution. You should never pay a fee (“processing fee,” “service charge,” “fee for representation”) for your child to be represented by an agency. You should not have to put your child in modeling or acting “lessons” in order for them to secure employment. Agents are only paid via the 15 percent commission collected from your child’s earnings.

★ How does my child get paid? When you complete your child’s paperwork while on set, make sure that you identify Twins Plus Talent as your agent, and ensure that either your child’s Social Insurance Number (SIN) or date of birth (DOB) is legibly written on the form. It is not required for your child to have a SIN unless they are 15 years or older. If you complete the paperwork correctly, you can expect to be contacted by us within two to three weeks after the date of work to notify you that the performer’s cheque has arrived. When your child works on a set, they are booked and represented by Twins Plus. The cheques come from the production payroll provider directly to Twins Plus, where we reconcile, log, copy, and assess commission. We will notify you by email to let you know the amount of the cheque that we have received, as well as the amount of commission owed to Twins Plus. The 15 percent commission is not automatically deducted from the performer’s cheque. We will hold the performer’s cheque until we receive the commission, and then release the cheque to the performer. This whole process takes less than a week if you mail the commission cheque immediately after receiving our email. For children who work on non-union commercial sets, Twins Plus invoices the production company for the full earnings plus commission. When we get paid by the production company, we allow ten (10) business days for the payment to clear and then issue a cheque from Twins Plus to your child.

★ Does my child have to go to auditions? Not for background/extra work. Auditions or go-sees are only necessary when your child has been requested by a casting director or if your child is responding to an open call for a speaking role. Auditions and go-sees are non-compensatory (i.e., your child does not get paid for these activities) and are considered part of the process of hiring, like an interview in a regular job environment. While most hiring is done using photos and our discretion, there are occasions where a specific “fit” is required, and you may be asked to attend a short casting session where the director can determine the best child for the job.

★ Where do I get my child’s photograph taken? We cannot stress the importance of a great headshot. We require clients who are interested in both background AND principal auditions to attend a professional headshots session, and are pleased to have entered into a partnering agreement with SomberBee Pictures for affordable, industry-appropriate photographs. If you are only represented for background work through Twins Plus Talent, you may submit good quality, home-taken photos for headshots using the do-it-yourself (DIY) photo guidelines.

★ What sorts of roles are available to my child? General background (most common); photo double (a client who has a strong physical resemblance to a principal actor–photo doubles are used on film for shots from the back, distance shots, etc.); stand-in (a client who closely matches height and weight of the
actor; stand-ins do not appear on film; the client is used for the director and director of photography (DP) to block and prepare scenes so that the principal child actor does not use up all of his/her allowed time on set for prep); special ability extra (a background performer who exhibits a talent that other kids on the show cannot do, or demonstrated special ability, usually physical or athletic, that are highlighted on film).

★ Do I have to sign a contract? Absolutely not! We believe that there should be mutual respect between a client and agent, and if you are not satisfied, or if you just want to see if the grass is greener, we wish you and your child all the best. You can always come back to us, no questions asked! Beware of the agencies that require you to sign a contract–if the relationship goes sour, it can mean missed opportunities for your child.

★ Can my child have more than one agent? In theory, you may only have one agent; however, you may have two agents if you are only represented for one type of work with each agent. For example, for auditions and principal work, you may have one agent, and for background work, you may have either the same agent or you may opt to use a different agency. At Twins Plus, we offer both principal and background services, and our only requirement to be represented for principal work with us is that your child is also represented for background work. We strongly believe that your child will thrive if there is a balance of auditions and PAID work, as the rejection that can occur with principal auditions can be demoralizing to some children. Here’s an example of where things might seem confusing: Let’s say that your child is represented by both Twins Plus and another principal agency. Your principal agency sends your daughter on an audition for a role in a film, but she does not get the job. A few weeks later, Twins Plus sends your child out on a job where she will be working as a background performer on the same film she auditioned for, but did not get the part in, a few weeks prior. Upon arriving at the set, you sign in and wait in extras holding with the rest of the background talent. While shooting, your daughter catches the attention of the director, and he decides to upgrade her by giving her a few lines. Because your daughter went to the job originally as a Twins Plus client, we are the primary agency, i.e., Twins Plus is responsible for your daughter’s pay cheque, even though she has been upgraded. Even though your daughter auditioned for a role on the same film under the auspices of her primary agency, she did not book the part. Thus, when she arrived on set on the day of shooting, she was there as a background performer and Twins Plus client.

★ My friend’s kids are interested in acting. Do you take referrals? Absolutely yes! However, please tell your friend that he/she MUST be available to escort his/her child to set and remain on set for the duration of the child’s workday