Acting Tip

Time Is Money: Why Actors Get Paid So Much

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  • Matt Dearing talks about why and how some actors get paid more in this industry than others. This video is for actors, but it's also for you directors and producers out there. I want to explain why and how actors get paid. New directors or new cinematographers often ask how much would an actor cost per hour?

  • 1: Actors get paid by their skill level.

    Actors don't get paid per hour, nor should they. Actors get paid by their skill level.

    Let’s compare an actor to a famous artist like Picasso. Somebody walks up to Picasso and they ask Picasso to draw them a paining. Picasso Does. It takes him 5 minutes, so he hands them the painting back and says that will be $100,000 please. The person says $100,000 that only took you 5 minutes. Picasso says, no that took me my whole life to get good enough to draw that drawing in five minutes. Your welcome, because when I die hat is going to be worth a million dollars.

    Actors are the same way. You as an actor get paid by your value, by your efficiency on the set. You have to be really good, really efficient. You have to listen to direction, take that direction and then be awesome when you're on the set. If you do that you get to save the production time.

  • 2: How great actors save producers money

    For those producers that are out there look for great actors, cast great actors because they save you money. The more money you pay a great actor, the more money they're gonna save you on the back end. Think about a huge production, a massive production like Star Wars. Let's say you go to a Star Wars movie and you see that whole list of everybody at the very end. Just go down and down down. All these people that are involved in this production, they're all on set. Well guess what, if the actor that day saved you one hour, that's one hour saved, times all those people's salaries. You can take that same idea and bring it down to a student film, bring that down to a low-budget film. This is what makes the actor valuable. So that's why and how actors get paid and why actors should get paid just as much as everybody else on set.

    All these exercises you want to think “Am I doing this every day all day as a person?” If you can change who you are slowly then you will major improvement on the stage.

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