Applying to auditions & jobs

Where does StarNow stand on Industry rates?

What are industry rates and will I be paid them on StarNow?

Generally industry rates are payment amounts that industry professionals broadly agree seem fair for various types of work within the industry. They’re often suggested rates (as opposed to amounts required by law), and can vary depending on budget available.

Rates vary depending on things like:
  • Location of the job.
  • Length of time worked.
  • The size/importance of the role.
  • Exposure the talent receives/where the work will be seen and for how long.
  • Experience/star power of the talent (e.g. a very skilled or well-known actor playing a lead in a drama series could expect to be paid more than a newcomer playing a similar role).
When people refer to 'industry rates' they likely mean one of the following:

Union Recommendations
Local unions will usually have suggested rates for different kinds of work and are often a good starting place to check what is considered fair. Small independent producers may choose to set their own rates based on their available budget, although they still need to follow any local minimum wage regulations that apply to them.

Collective Agreements
Local unions can negotiate on behalf of members with large industry bodies (e.g. the BBC) to agree on a fair working framework for performers. If an employer is part of a group like the BBC that has made an agreement with a union, they need to use the contracts and rates agreed upon.

Award Rates
Some countries have official award rates for certain types of performers (often employees of long running productions). If a production fits the criteria for attracting award rates, these are not a suggestion, but a legal requirement.  An example of an award rate in the entertainment industry is the Broadcasting and Recorded Entertainment Award in Australia (https://www.meaa.org/download/brea/).  

Do you insist all Casting Professionals pay industry rates?

We want our community of Talent and Casting Professionals to connect on genuine opportunities, benefit from working together, and be paid fairly for work done.

We absolutely expect large industry bodies to honour agreements they may have made with local unions and to pay agreed rates.

Industry rates are continually evolving (see our blog on usage fees!) and there is no 'one size fits all' fee structure that works for every individual looking to connect with talent via StarNow.

We don't set or enforce rates ourselves – the Casting Professional lists the fee available, and we expect it to fair, and the talent decides whether or not this is acceptable to them.

We do our best to remind our community to consider things like:
  • Size of the production company.
  • Whether others involved are being paid.
  • Exposure to talent.
  • Commercial benefit from the final product.
  • Benefit to talent from being involved.

We expect everyone to abide by local payment regulations in their area, and endeavour to keep educating casting professionals on current industry guidelines.

We do our best to question productions that appear to be commercial but are not paying talent, to let them know we expect more for our community.

If a job has allocated budget for talent and that rate is advertised elsewhere (e.g. another jobs website or social media), we expect that same rate to be available for a listing placed on StarNow.

  • If a Casting Professional is working on low budget production that can afford to pay a small fee to those involved, we encourage them to look for up and coming talent looking to build their experience.

  • If a Casting Professional is working with a professional Production Company, on a project that will appear in the public domain, we expect them to pay the talent accordingly from the budget allocated to them.

  • If a Casting Professional has a budget for talent, that budget should be the same, regardless of where they source the talent. The rate for talent should reflect the nature of the job and not where the talent was sourced (e.g. via social media, or another jobs site).
Is StarNow mostly for lower paid or volunteer work?

No. We regularly post paid jobs from professional companies. While we welcome student film makers, low budget indie productions and those with limited budgets to collaborate with StarNow talent, well over half of the work on StarNow is paid.

Simply put, we expect productions with commercial budgets to pay commercial rates for talent – we know that many of the talent on StarNow are professionals who make their living from working in the industry.

  • If you're a student looking for a volunteer to help out on your graduation film, we can probably hook you up.

  • If you're a genuinely small company with a low budget, we can probably help.
  • If you're a professional production looking for volunteers to be featured extras on your film, we suggest you try a local community group – we would expect productions in this position seeking talent to be offering payment.

You may like to check out some of our other payment resources and commentary, such as:

Usage, Rollovers, Buyouts, In Perpetuity - what does it all mean?

The Evolution of Usage

Paid and Unpaid work

Making TFP work for you


You may also like to research rates recommended by your local union:


Australia & NZ