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Screen Credit

Sally writes:

I’m working an unpaid position as a “Set Intern” on an Indie Film with some recognizable names.  Since we’re not receiving school credit or financial compensation, I was banking on receiving screen credit.  Now it seems that may not happen.  Is that normal?  Is it normal to work 15-hour days for 3 weeks and receive no credit whatsoever?

Sadly, yes.

Union rules (which are often very confusing) govern the credits for movies and series that fall under their jurisdiction, but independent films are rarely signatories.

When you’re working for free on a movie, the deal is usually “copy/credit/meals.” Meaning you get a copy of the movie (this never happens), credit on the film (happens maybe 40% of the time, in my experience), and meals while you work. If this last one doesn’t happen, walk away immediately. The show is definitely not worth it.

Adding your name to the end of the movie is very easy to do, and if they don’t do it, it’s because they’re ungrateful dicks. Fuck them.

That being said, IMDb is open to everybody, which is both a blessing and a curse. You can always add your name there, even if it doesn’t appear in the film itself. When potential employers are checking your resume, it’s not like they’ll rent the DVD, anyway; they’ll just check IMDb.

Of course, if you’re particularly devious, you could do this for shows you didn’t work on. But who would do that?1

Footnotes    (↩ returns to text)

  1. Everyone.
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