Myths, Mayhem and Money: The Truth About the Child Talent Industry – Part 3

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Money, Money, Money!

Everything costs money, so don’t be surprised when talent management also comes at a cost. At Bettina Management we have a full time castings team who spend all of their time putting children forward for briefs every single day. We do a really large amount of work behind the scenes in order to put our kids forward for as many different jobs as possible. However, all of this work does take a large amount of time and energy from our team, and involves an immense investment in digital infrastructure and expert knowledge in order to be compliant. This can’t all be done for free, hence why we have costs for our talent management packages.

After your child is accepted onto the books, the first stage is to be are pitched for a job. If we receive a brief that is suitable for your child (e.g. Boys 10-12, NSW, Brown Hair), they will be pitched to the client by our casting team. The client will then select multiple children who they believe will be a good fit for the job. From here there is the possibility of having to do a video casting or audition before a client will want to move ahead, however this isn’t always the case.

After this your child might be lucky enough to be chosen by the client to attend an in-person casting or get selected for a job without one.

If this does occur here is break down on what you can expect money wise from this part of the process. When your child is selected for a casting and they choose to attend, this portion of the process is unpaid. A casting will usually only take 5-15 minutes and doesn’t require a payment. Though castings are unpaid, they are a really good opportunity for your child to be exposed to some of the procedures and processes within the industry.

It also allows for casting agents and producers to be exposed to your child and maybe even keep them in mind when another opportunity comes up in the future.

If they aren’t selected to continue on further after their casting, it is still a great opportunity for the child and will help to build their confidence and help with nerves during other castings, if they are requested for a casting again.

If a child makes it through to the next stage, they will either attend a call-back or they will be requested for the job. A call-back is basically a second casting. This happens when a client would like to see some of their options again, in order to make a final decision. Call-backs are usually paid if they are for commercials, but not for feature films or a TV series. They will also be longer than a casting and less children will attend; the payment for a call back is most likely to be just a base wage amount per hour.

If your child is successful and is requested, they may be required to attend a wardrobe fitting. A wardrobe fitting is exactly how it sounds, the child will need to go and try on their wardrobe for their shoot, this is to ensure that all items fit, adjustments can be made if necessary or give the stylist time to source other items if needed.

This is very similar to a call back in the sense that they will be paid for their time, just an hourly rate, but it will be a tad more exciting because you know that your child has been selected for the job.

The next stage will be the shoot, the best part of the process. Shoots can be unpaid; however, you may be compensated with clothing or vouchers from the client. We always accept these jobs to create more opportunities for our talent, we will also always pay the kids a working base awards rate if the client is not providing payment or is providing clothing vouchers instead. This is so that no shoot is ever technically unpaid. These shoots aren’t very common but it is still a great opportunity for your child to attend any kind of job, especially for the experience.

Unpaid shoots are often student films and runways or extras in Live TV crossovers such as Sunrise or The Today Show.

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The majority of shoots will be paid opportunities and every shoot will be different. When you receive the booking details for the shoot, you will also receive the details for your child’s payment.

The payment amount will depend on many factors including the type of work, hours needed on set, where the advertisement will be shown and how long it will be shown for, among others. As your agent, we are here to ensure your child receives equal compensation for the amount of work done for the client. It is important to align your expectations with the fact that every shoot is different. Some will pay per hour and others will be a lump sum and in most cases no payment will be the same.

While it is important to know this information if you have a child within the industry, also remember that money isn’t everything. Though it can be nice for your kid to get some pocket money or savings for later in life, overall it is all about the experience and the fun your child will get from these opportunities. And for the parents, well you can have some keepsake images to share with family and friends, maybe even bring them out for some embarrassment at their 21st!

Any job will be an exciting and enjoyable time for your child and a great opportunity for them to build confidence and gain experiences that they can remember for the rest of their lives.

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