I blinked a couple of times and stared. 'Is that per day?' I
'I mean, in addition to what the production is already paying you?'
'Oh, yes,' they replied in unison. 'It's in our contract.'
'They' are the movie star's hair and make-up artists. Specifically hired
for this movie at the request of the star. To work on only the star.
This gives them clout. And their contract proves it.
'But you don't have to do anything extra. He's already made up for the
scene. It's just a brief television interview,' I countered, still
stunned that I had to pay both of them an extra fee that was roughly the
amount of my weekly salary.
'It doesn't matter,' they responded almost in unison. 'Anytime he does
any publicity you have to pay us this rate. It's in the contract.'
Publicists, we're in the wrong business. Is it too late to learn how to
Members of a star's entourage - be it a driver, a personal chef or
make-up artist - belong to a small and powerful clique known as a
'crew.' Big stars always have their own crew. If you're inside that
fortunate circle, life can be very, very good. Stars usually request,
ahem, insist, that the production hire their crew. In turn, the crew
knows they've been requested by the star and can command hefty salaries
and perks. It's in the contract.
That's why on-set publicity events, such as a photo shoot, TV interview
or press conference, can get expensive. There's the extra studio space,
lighting and grip equipment, photographer fees - or the previously
mentioned extra pay for hair and make-up. Before you know it, your
interview with PrimeTime Live costs an arm and a leg.
I started doing the math. 'If we don't get the interview today, and have
to reschedule for tomorrow, will that be another???'
'Yes,' they responded in unison. 'It's in the contract.'
On the flip side, publicists can also become members of a star or
filmmakers' crew. Steve Newman, for example, now the photo editor at
Fox, was Arnold Schwarzenegger's longtime publicist of choice. Jane E.
Russell is in Robert Zemeckis' crew. Attaching your wagon to a star can
take you far. You may end up becoming a little too chummy, knowing where
all the bodies are buried, but it is usually well worth it. A stamped
ticket to the inside circle gives you access and clout that even studio
executives and directors often don't have. You might as well walk around
with a sign that says 'Crew Member of Big Star. Don't even think of
messing with me. At all.'
There's much more I could say on the subject, but won't. I don't have to
write more than 475 words for this column. It's in the contract.