What to Know About Residuals

With the success of his film “The Investigator,” retired NYPD sergeant Richard Romano, brother of Ray Romano, continues his second career as a screenplay writer and assistant director. A member of the Writer’s Guild, Richard Romano also stays actively involved with the Screen Actors Guild.

A labor union representing professionals in entertainment and media, the Screen Actors Guild works with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists to offer equal employment opportunities and benefits to its membership. In addition, the groups, commonly referred to as SAG-AFTRA, ensure that all members are protected from unauthorized use of their work and that they receive the required residual payments.

Residuals, as they are called, are paid to principal performers in film and television productions. Performers not only include main characters, but also integral members of a cast, such as stunt professionals and pilots. Compensation eligibility begins when a television show begins re-airing or is released to DVD or Blu-ray. Film has the same stipulations, and involves releases to free or pay television and new media. Residual amounts are based on the type of production and time spent making the show or film. Payments are released within 30 days after the air date or four months after the initial exhibition, depending on the medium involved.

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