- Why do overseas commercials get made in Cape Town?
Cape Town is a popular destination for local and foreign filmmakers, commercial production companies and photographic shoots, particularly during the summer months when we have long daylight hours. Cape Town has a wide diversity of fantastic faces for commercials and photographic advertising managed by experienced agents. Production companies and crew offer excellent competitive and professional services and facilitation to overseas clients. Not to mention the great locations in and around Cape Town!
- What sort of work do your models do?
The focus of the agency is on representing people of all ages for television commercials and photographic advertising (magazine adverts, posters, billboards). In addition there is a lot of catalogue work available for the children with overseas clients, particularly from Europe. We also handle film work suitable for people who have an interest in drama but are not professionally trained actors. Film work suits children who take drama classes at school or adults who are perhaps involved in amateur dramatics or anyone who can competently handle a few lines of dialogue. As we are a small boutique agency we do not handle extras for crowd scenes. We also do not represent fashion models or professional actors. The agency is always on the look out for interesting faces, all shapes and sizes for the adult’s and children’s divisions.
- How much money can I earn?
The amount of money that you can earn depends on what the product is, what media the advert is being used in (TV or magazine or cinema for example), how long the advert is being used for and which country or region it is being used in. The amount that you can earn therefore differs from one job to the next. With regards to TV commercials the amount you earn also depends on whether or not you are clearly recognizable in the final edit of the commercial. You will get a basic ‘day rate’ for being on the shoot. If you are featured (clearly recognized) in the commercial you will also get a ‘usage fee’. It is this usage fee that is determined by type of media, duration of usage of the advert and country that it is used in.
- What is a casting?
A casting is part of the selection process that enables a client to make a decision on which models to choose for the shoot. It is basically an audition. You need to put aside at least an hour to get through a casting. Some castings are quicker than this and some take a little longer depending on how many people are waiting to cast.
- How long is a shoot?
If you are booked for a shoot you are expected to be available for a full day. For adults this means a 10 to 11 hour day. Children’s hours on a shoot are laid out by the Department of Labor. For a child up to the age of 4 a full day is 6 hours. Children aged 5 to 9 years are expected to be on set for an 8 hour day and children from the age of 11 can be on set for 10 hours. Television clients always make a full day booking. Photographic clients can book a model for a full or a half day but complications can arise (such as weather or technical problems) so we advise our models on half day bookings to remain available for the full day.
- When do castings and shoots happen?
The agency is given the date and time of the casting by the client or casting director. A casting can happen any day of the week. Children’s castings happen after school but castings for adults can be at any time of the day. If you want to join an agency you need to be able to get off work / studies during the day to attend castings. This can happen on a regular basis during the busy summer months. Shoots happen at any time of the day that the client decides is necessary for the job. Occasionally we even have night shoots. Children need to be able to miss the occasional day of school for a shoot. Unfortunately the agency does not take on anyone who is only available on weekends for shoots and castings.
- How much commission does the agency take?
We deduct a 20% commission from the model’s earnings. This is the standard commission percentage for all members of NAMA (National Association of Model Agencies).
- How does tax work?
Earnings in the commercial and advertising industry are not considered to be regular or fixed. Therefore all clients deduct 25% PAYE from the model fee. As of 1st March 2010 it became compulsory for all models in the industry (irrespective of age or earnings) to obtain an income tax reference number. This will enable models who earn below the tax threshold (for example: children) to claim the tax back from SARS at the end of the tax year. Clients issue IRP5 certificates at the end of the tax year which you would need to submit with your income tax return.
- Should I / my child do a modeling course?
A modeling course will not turn anyone into a model. Particularly with photographic shoots for children and character models clients far prefer people to behave in a natural manner in front of the camera than to pose. However, courses that are worthwhile are those aimed at assisting you with casting technique and performance. The agency can put you in touch with a casting coach.