UBCP/ACTRA is responsible for the administration of use fees for film and television productions produced under UBCP/ACTRA collective agreements.

Residual and other use payments are governed by the B.C. Master Production Agreement (BCMPA).  All performers in residual-attracting categories are entitled to payments for the continued use of the production.  Residual-attracting categories include Principal Actors, Actors, Stunt Performers, Dancers, etc. – all categories except Background Performers and Vocal/Dialogue Coaches.

There are three options available to producers when it comes to paying use fees to performers:

  • Prepayment Option
  • Advance Option
  • Individual Use Option

The producer must choose the same use option for all performers on UBCP/ACTRA contracts for a given show.  The use payment chosen by the producer must be indicated on the performer’s individual performer contract, in the section entitled “Additional Release Rights”.

Other than the initial prepayment or advance, which are paid at the time of production along with regular work fees, the length of time it takes to receive the first use fees payment from a company varies.  In some cases, it will be a few months after the claim letter is filed.  In others, it involves a significant amount of detective work to track down which company is responsible for the residual payments to performers.

Each Performer’s use fee payment is calculated by UBCP/ACTRA on a production by production basis.  Once a Producer or Distributor remits 3.6% of their Distributors’ Gross Revenue, each Performer will receive a use fee payment based on the following formula:

  • Each Performer’s gross fee earned for the production is divided by the minimum “actor” daily rate for the production.  This will determine the number of units assigned to each performer.  Each performer is allotted a maximum cap of 20 units per production/episode.
  • Adding the number of units allocated to each Performer in residual-attracting categories will determine the total number of units for the production.
  • Each Performer’s individual units are then divided by the total number of units for the production to determine the percentage of the company’s use fee payment that each Performer should receive.
  • Multiplying the company’s use fee payment by the percentage that each Performer is entitled to will determine each Performer’s gross use fee earned for the production.

The above formula ensures that the use fee each Performer receives is a reflection of the Performer’s original payment on the production. Use fees will vary depending on the amount of Distributors’ Gross Revenue earned on the Production and the percentage applied to it, the number of Performers in residual-attracting categories on the production that will be sharing in company’s use fee payment, and the gross fees that each Performer earned on the production.  Simply put, there are several factors which influence the use fee each Performer will receive and no two productions are alike.

As you know, Talent Agents can charge Performers a commission on wages, including Residuals/Use Fees, in accordance with Employment Standards as indicated here.   Our practice at UBCP/ACTRA has been to mail Residuals/Use Fees directly to you, the Performer.  This enables you to pay your Talent Agent(s) any commissions that may be due.

However, there is another option.  You may wish to have your Residuals/Use Fees mailed directly to your current Talent Agent.  Should you choose this option, please fill out our “Authorization and Indemnity Form” above and return it to Courtenay McLeod at [email protected].  This form is only required should you wish to have all Film, TV and New Media Residuals/Use Fees mailed to your current Talent Agent instead of to you.

The choice is yours!

If we can’t find you we can’t send you your money!  Please click the button above to see whether we are holding your residual cheque.  If you find your name, please contact Courtenay McLeod at [email protected] or at (604) 689-0727, extension 2262. They will be happy to update your contact information and arrange for payment to be made.

Use Fees for any shows produced under ACTRA collective agreements (in the rest of Canada) are administered by ACTRA Performers Rights Society (PRS) in Toronto.