Model Agencies

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Legal working hours for actors and models

Postby Aurora01 » 18 Jun 2012, 13:03

Welcome to Taiwan Antoin,

One more advice before you arrived:

Generally speaking, people in Taiwan can work 8 regular hours a day, plus 4 (maximum) extra hours that must be paid with a different rate. It means working more than 12 hours a day is illegal. If the government finds it out, both the employee and the employer have to pay a penalty fee. For minors the regulation is a bit different, that is one of the reasons for their schedules.

Don't let any company take advantage of you just because of your foreigner status.

Hope your son gets as many cases as possible (within the law) and that you and your family enjoy Taiwan's friendly environment
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Re: Model Agencies

Postby WelcomeAndy » 19 Jun 2012, 11:41

This is Andy. I have done some modeling and acting in the US. After I came back Taiwan, I have tried to look for good modeling and acting agencies. Be honest with you, only few of them are ok. The pay is very low. I was lucky to be cast a role of Taiwan Health Department officer/inspector for a movie called "Dog Legend" The rest of casting roles sucks.

Do not trust any one of them that they ask you pay the money for photos or any website maintenance fees ! I am working with two ok agent now. If you like, please PM me. Yet, I do not know if they need western people !
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Re: Model Agencies

Postby Toe Save » 19 Jun 2012, 11:59

WelcomeAndy wrote:This is Andy. I have done some modeling and acting in the US. After I came back Taiwan, I have tried to look for good modeling and acting agencies. Be honest with you, only few of them are ok. The pay is very low. I was lucky to be cast a role of Taiwan Health Department officer/inspector for a movie called "Dog Legend" The rest of casting roles sucks.

Do not trust any one of them that they ask you pay the money for photos or any website maintenance fees ! I am working with two ok agent now. If you like, please PM me. Yet, I do not know if they need western people !



Welcome WelcomeAndy. Congratulations on landing a role in a movie. There aren't that many to go around, so good on you for getting one. Sorry to hear about the low wages though. Also, thank you for your excellent advice about agencies that charge for a photo shoot. In my experience that is a huge red flag and such operators should be avoided. I believe that has been discussed before however. Still, thanks....

Aurora, to follow up on your post, kids only work 4 hours per day on a set, however adults can work as long as they are willing to. Every contract is different and completely up to the talent if they want to accept its parameters. I've had 20 minute gigs and 17 hour gigs. If you agree to the terms set out by the contract, then you do the work with no complaints. Remember, there is always someone else willing to step up and do it, so pick your battles.

Today I am shooting a music video in a silly costume for low pay. It's completely up to me to do it. I am doing it because I think it will be fun while at the same time, I'll never post it on my facebook page. :oops:

What a business. :discodance:


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Abusive contracts for models

Postby Aurora01 » 19 Jun 2012, 23:14

Modeling and acting jobs are not bad paid, but sometimes all the money ends in agency’s pockets; you should take a look of the original contract between the agency and the client and make sure the agency is not tricking you.

Many companies take advantage of the fact that most foreigners are not aware of Taiwan industry and labor regulations. Sometimes they ask you to sign unfair contracts with abusive clauses such as exclusivity or non-competence (do not work in the same industry after your contract expire), and then try to stop you getting better jobs by using the penalty clause, luckily Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) understands that employees are the weak part of the contract and has established laws to protect your rights (see the link).
http://www.leeandli.com/web/bulletin/ar ... sp?id=1527 (Sorry, no English version)

It is not true that you cannot complain about the terms on the contract. When the contract goes against the law the company cannot enforce it.
Overtime is a good example: Even if the contract says that you must work 17 hours a day, Labor Standards Act Chapter IV determined that it is illegal. The company will get fined and also the employee if he/she doesn’t report it (see the link).
http://laws.cla.gov.tw/Eng/FLAW/FLAWDAT ... d=FL014930
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model agencies - keep your options open

Postby Aurora01 » 30 Jul 2012, 03:53

Toe Save wrote:...not signing a contract with an agent, as Aurora suggests later in this thread, is a ridiculous idea...
...That they are here implying that 40% commission is high is somewhat ironic...

Toe,

Don't misunderstand me.

When you get a job of course! You must sign a contract, but you can have more than one agent and don't need to agree with all what the agencies ask.

Example:
If a TV commercial will be done within a week, you don't need to sign 1 years exclusive contract;
you sign a contract for that job and keep the opportunity to work with other agencies.

An exclusivity clause forbids you to work with other firms, thus when other agencies offer you higher payment or better jobs, the first agency will take advantage of the exclusive agreement. (RED FLAG) Good deal for them but what is the benefit for you?

When a company asks me to sign an exclusive contract, I request (at least) guaranty incomes.
Notice that it is not only for overseas models.

Regarding the commission, I imply 40% is the average but I know some companies charge higher rates.
Some agencies don't even work by commission, instead they pay low wage to the actors/models and take most part of the incomes.

I am trying to make things more transparent so new actors don't be tricked so easily and actors with some experience (like you) can improve their situation.
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Artistic work permit is limited to 90 days

Postby Aurora01 » 25 Aug 2012, 08:16

Attention!

Foreigners in Taiwan can obtain work permit for acting/modeling MAXIMUM for 90 days, with the possibility to extend it for another 90 days period. Taiwan Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) can't issue work-permits out of this time-limit for artistic jobs; therefore contracts that exceed this time-limit may lead you to a situation where you have a labor contract with a company that is not allowed to hire you. Thus, with a copy of the contract in CLA and without work permit, you may be treated as illegal worker.

A dear friend already got troubles due to this topic; hope you won't be the next. Avoid complications and keep your labor contract within Taiwan law. Don’t trust agencies promising you ARC or more than 90 days work permit for artistic jobs, according with CLA it is not possible.

For foreigner actors/models, CLA suggests to sign 90-days contracts each time.
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Re: Model Agencies

Postby Toe Save » 03 Sep 2012, 18:22

Even more horror stories arising out of this business. For legal reasons I am not going to name any agencies, but damn....

Be real careful out there folks. I've been contacted by more than a few people whom've been outright lied to by unscrupulous operators out there. A lot of them are extremely worried about how well V&L treats its clients and are going to extraordinary measures to badmouth these fine folks. Some that have worked for V&L have stolen data bases and moved on to start their own companies and some have manufactured copies of our contracts and pass them off as their own. In my very professional opinion, there is no choice other than V&L out there. All others are to be avoided.
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Re: Model Agencies

Postby ceevee369 » 03 Sep 2012, 21:21

Back in the days, my son performed for Disney and Why and a1/2.
The only thing I remember is being 5 hours somewhere stuck in a cow stall ( transformed in a studio) and being paid 2000 NTd ( not knowing then what rules were) We gladly bought him some nice outfits.
However, the Poor kid did not had any toys to amuse himself with while waiting for another shoot and green tea as sole drink availbale was not his favorite.
After that we declined all other calls as I know he did not envisioned a role as a model ( yet) :)
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Re: Artistic work permit is limited to 90 days

Postby landshark » 30 Sep 2012, 13:58

Dear Aurora01,

I am glad that you are out here trying to help people understand the complexities of working legally as a Model or talent in Taiwan.

The simple thing is to get the papers from whoever has applied for the permit and understand what they say.

For the acting/modeling work permit you may not be able to extend it over 90 days but all you have to do is to fly out of Taiwan and have another 90 day work permit set up. If you have not gotten a job or very few jobs over the last 90 days you might be denied another 90 permit. There is a way to extend it but it is only for celebrities so most people could not get it. Something very important to know is that you need to submit your taxes. If people don’t submit taxes before you leave Taiwan you will not be able to come back.

Most major Taiwan agencies have at least a few models that have stayed with them long term using this process.

The main thing to be wary of is the lack of information that many of the smaller agencies or freelance agents take advantage of. Toesave has brought up some strong examples of what can happen when you are doing a job when you don’t know all the facts.

If you feel like you are not getting the answers or are not sure of how the process or rules work Call the Labor Department and ask them for yourself.

Here is their number Taipei Labor Department: (02)8590-2567 Just ask for someone who speaks English.


Aurora01 wrote:Attention!

Foreigners in Taiwan can obtain work permit for acting/modeling MAXIMUM for 90 days, with the possibility to extend it for another 90 days period. Taiwan Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) can't issue work-permits out of this time-limit for artistic jobs; therefore contracts that exceed this time-limit may lead you to a situation where you have a labor contract with a company that is not allowed to hire you. Thus, with a copy of the contract in CLA and without work permit, you may be treated as illegal worker.

A dear friend already got troubles due to this topic; hope you won't be the next. Avoid complications and keep your labor contract within Taiwan law. Don’t trust agencies promising you ARC or more than 90 days work permit for artistic jobs, according with CLA it is not possible.

For foreigner actors/models, CLA suggests to sign 90-days contracts each time.

This post was recommended by Toe Save (03 Oct 2012, 16:21)
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Hints for acting and modeling in Taiwan

Postby Aurora01 » 03 Oct 2012, 15:59

1. Keep your options open: Compare different agencies. If possible work with more than one. Usually each agency has its own clients; with more than one agency you will have more opportunities. Don’t sign exclusive contract at least you get benefits that otherwise you won’t get, for example guarantee incomes.

2. Contract: read and understand before sign. Keep a copy of your contract (!).

3. Work permit: Don’t work without work permit or you may get deported. The government is paying a bonus (in cash) to the agency who reports illegal workers and restricting the rights to apply for work permits to the agencies who hire foreigners without proper documentation. It motivates competing agencies to report each other.

4. Working hours: it is illegal to work more than 12 hours a day. You and your employer may get fined.

5. Payment: Usually you get paid per hour(s). Generally speaking print-ads are better paid than TV commercials, which are better paid than internet commercials. If the videos or photos are released in more than one country, your incomes should increase, also if it airs more than a year. According with Toe 40% is the standard commission fee, so you should get 60% of the contract; make sure you get the right amount. I suggest extras to don’t work for less than 500nt per hour; support characters and main characters should charge more.

6. Pay-day: Collect your money within 30 days. It is illegal to delay the payment more than 30 days. You can report it to the Department of Labor.

7. Tax: Your tax rate depends on your residency status. Ask if your agency is paying your tax. You may be eligible for tax refund.

8. Agency dilemma: Ask your agency to be transparent and share the information with you. Sometimes agencies care more about their self than about the talents career. Example: recently a client had to deal with an agency who threatened not to send the main character to the shoot if the client didn't choose the extras from that agency; it was a gambling strategy than increased company’s benefits by risking main character’s job.

9. Agencies war: For clients and talents it’s good to have more options but it is annoying to be in the middle of their fights. Work with the agencies that offer you better benefits and listen what they want to say but don’t take any position. It will save you troubles.

10. Ask: if you have question or something is not clear ask(!). People with some experience like Toe, the agents, me or your friends can guide you and tell you where to find the information, but with important subjects it is best you check yourself with the government as landshark suggests.

This post was recommended by Toe Save (03 Oct 2012, 16:21)
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