When it comes to earning money as a professional actor, there are two primary payment models. The first is a daily rate, also known as day rate. The second is what is known as a residual, or recurring income.
Residuals are paid fees that are earned over a certain period of time. These fees are earned for work that is done, regardless of whether or not the actor is working on another project at the time.
Typically, an actor will receive a set number of weeks of pay at their daily rate in their contract. The rest of the weeks they earn a residual income, which is why it is called that.
Your residuals increase in value each week you do not work, which makes them quite valuable! Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee you will receive them, but there are ways to increase your chances.
Example of residuals
Residuals are a part of your compensation when you are an actor in a film. Residuals mean you will receive money for the work you do once the film is released and is paid for by viewers.
Residuals can be either upfront money in a contract or bonus payment depending on your role and the film production company.
When a residual is positive, it means that you will receive money for the work you did. A negative residual means that you did not earn any money, even if people watched the film.
Because of the uncertainty of whether or not people will pay to watch your work, residuals can be either positive or negative depending on how many people watch your work. This can make it hard to plan for future payments.
Effects of residuals
Residuals are a component of your compensation as a model. Residuals are paid when an image or video of you is sold again, either through repeated use or in a market where it is sold for good.
When a residual is positive, it means that you will receive some compensation for images or videos that are used again. This is dependent on the agency that you work for and if they negotiate contracts for residuals.
Residuals can be either monetary or in the form of product or service. For example, if you shoot a campaign with Nike footwear, you may be given a pair to keep or re-sold at market price depending on the campaign.
There are several ways to increase your chances of receiving residuals: ask your agent to negotiate them, collaborate with more reputable brands, and keep using durable products so that they can be re-sold at market price.
How are residuals calculated?
Residuals are calculated by comparing what you were paid per production with the average pay for all other production workers. If you were given more money than the average worker, your residual is positive.
If you were paid the average amount, your residual is neutral. If you were paid less than the average worker, your residual is negative.
Residuals are usually determined after each production is completed. If a production runs for several weeks or months, you will likely receive several residual checks. You will probably also receive a bonus check at the end depending on how well the production went.
You can also receive bonuses for things such as sales and viewership, which can also affect your residual check. If you perform well and help make the production a success, you will most likely receive a bonus check.
Why are some residuals positive and some negative?
When you agree to work a certain number of hours per week, the studio pays you a residual payment each week based on the number of hours you agreed to work.
If you work more hours than what you agreed to, the residual payment is higher. If you work fewer hours than what you agreed to, the residual payment is lower.
So, a positive residual means you worked more hours than what you were paid for and received a bonus for that. A negative residual means you worked fewer hours than what you were paid for and received a deduction.
Residuals can go back and forth between being positive and negative due to changing numbers of hours worked.
What does it mean when a residual is positive?
When a residual is positive, it means that an actor gets paid even when their work is used in an unpaid setting. For example, if your film goes viral on YouTube, you will get paid for your work.
Typically, actors are only paid when their work is used for a commercial, TV or film royalties, or DVD sales. With a positive residual, you get paid even if your work is used for none of these.
Residuals can be both positive and negative. A negative residual means that an actor gets paid less than what they were originally paid for the work. This can happen because of the way royalties are calculated and how often the work is re-used.
Am I eligible for a positive residual?
If you are an active member in the SAG-AFTRA union, you are eligible to receive residual payments for the use of your work. Residuals are paid when a piece of media is aired, streamed, or downloaded again.
Residuals are calculated using a formula that takes into account how many times a piece of work was paid for. For example, if you received $100 for your work and it was replayed ten times, you would receive a residual payment of $10 for every replaying.
Residuals can be either negative or positive, meaning you can either lose or gain money from them. When a piece of media is negatively perceived, fewer people rewatch it or buy it, thus lowering the number of residual payments.
What are the requirements?9) Who pays for the promotion?10) Are there any risks involved with a residual promotion?
In order for a residual to be paid, the person or company who pays for the promotion must receive value. This means that if the advertiser’s product or service is not of good quality, then the person receiving the residual will not receive a payment.
The person receiving the residual must also maintain an account with the company that pays them. If someone does not pay their bill, or stops using their service, then they will no longer receive payments.
There are very few risks involved with a residual promotion. The only risk is that if someone does not maintain an account with the company that pays them, then they will not receive any more payments.