Industry standards and your rights

So, you’ve found work in the talent industry. That’s great!

Before you start, however, you should arm yourself with information on your rights and obligations. That way, if you do come across any issues (e.g. not getting paid, being told to work longer hours than expected, or falling ill), you’ll be prepared.

StarNow is a talent website and we’ll do our best to help you create a great profile and apply to castings. We’re also happy to offer general industry advice and suggest some resources, but please treat the information below as a guide only. For more details, get in touch with your local union - especially when it comes to signing anything.

The paperwork

You’ll probably need to give your employer an invoice once you’ve completed a job, or provide invoices on a regular basis if the work is ongoing. The amount you charge will depend on what was agreed upon initially in your contract; always discuss the details at the start and confirm everything in writing!

If you’re being paid for expenses, keep all receipts of travel costs, etc. to include with the invoice. If you’re being paid by the hour, include the number of hours you worked. There are some handy invoice templates online which you can use and add your own details to.

If you’re in paid work, you’ll most likely need to pay tax on your earnings. Check your local tax authority (the IRS in the States, HMRC in the UK, IRD in NZ, and ATO in Australia) for details on what you need to pay and the deadlines for payment. If you have ongoing work, you may want to consider hiring an accountant to handle your tax for you.

It’s also crucial that you organise some insurance before production starts - it may feel like a hassle, but you don’t want to get caught out if illness, injury or even bad weather affect things.

If you’re a film-maker, you may also need a permit before you can film anything. Call your local film commission or screen agency and they can help with permits and advise you on the type of insurance you might need. The Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI) is a great starting point for film-makers, as they cover many countries across the globe.

Handy links