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Use Fee Payments

What are ‘Use Fees’? Literally, they are ‘fees for use.’ You get paid when you work but thanks for ACTRA’s collective agreements – you are also entitled to compensation when your work is used.

The Independent Production Agreement (IPA) has three options for Use Fee compensation:

Residuals can be selected when a Production is exploited in a market other than the market provided for in the declared Use and the Producer has elected not to adopt the Use payment system in Article B5, Performers shall be paid Use fees based upon percentages of Net Fees earned during the production. Use fees shall be paid within thirty (30) days of the date of such Use.

Prepayments are made to performers at the time of production in the amount of either 105% or 130% of the performer’s total net fees. A payment of 105% of your net fees will allow the producer the right to air the production on television and release it to DVD/Video, throughout the world, for a period of four (4) years. A payment of 130% allows for use of the film theatrically, on television and release it to DVD/Video, throughout the world – also for a period of four (4) years.

Advance payments can be selected by the producer and provides for the performer to share in the production’s ongoing distribution earnings once the producer has recouped their initial advance. Under this option, performers receive their contracted payment plus an advance payment ranging from 25% to 100%, all paid at the time of production. All performers on a production must be paid the same advance option percentage and a producer cannot mix and match the prepayment with the advance. For each advance option, percentage (25% to 100%) there is a corresponding percentage which determines the performers’ share of the Distributor’s Gross Revenue (DGR) after the producer has recouped their initial advance. Simply put, think of the advance as a down payment against sales and every time the producer/distributor makes a sale a certain value is deducted from this down payment and performers share in more monies only once this down payment is depleted.

Your participation in distributor’s gross revenue

Advance Payment
(% of Performers’ Net Fees)
Participation in DGR
100% 3.6%
75% 4.6%
50% 5.6%
25% 6.6% Canadian pre-sales only

How ACTRA PRS calculates your payments:
When we receive a Use Fee payment from a Producer or Distributor, there are four steps we take to determine the amount that each performer will receive:

We take the minimum daily rate at the time of production and divide it into each individual performer’s gross fee for the production of the Production. This gives us the number of ‘units’ assigned to each performer (each performer’s units are capped once they reach 20 units on a production).

The number of units for the whole production is totalled by adding the units allocated to all performers who appeared in the production.

We then divide the total number of units allocated to all performers into the dollar amount received from the producer or distributor to give us a dollar value for a single unit.

The dollar value of a single unit is then multiplied by the number of units assigned to each performer based on their gross fees; this gives us the dollar amount allocated to each performer who appeared in the final cut of the production. This is the amount (less deductions for dues and insurance and retirement) that is forwarded to you.

ACTRA PRS applies this formula to all Use Fee payments paid to us in accordance with the IPA and the various other collective agreements which we administer on your behalf. Our calculations are always based on the original ACTRA contract and the remittance sheets forwarded by the Branches once production has wrapped. This formula is similar to that used by many collecting societies all over the world, including the Screen Actors Guild (SAG).

A more detailed outline of the Use Fee options and distribution of payments is contained in the IPA, Section B.

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