Feb. 1, 2011, 3 p.m. by Talent Payment Services Inc
A catch up with Justin at TPSWhat is it, in short, that Talent Payment Services (TPS ) offers? We pay talent (performers) in commercials and supply a host of ancillary financial and production related....
We pay talent (performers) in commercials and supply a host of ancillary financial and production related services that surround these payments.
The talent payment process is a critical part of broadcast production. In North America the rules and regulations regarding union talent payments are strict, complex, intricate, time consuming and prone to expensive errors if not paid correctly. TPS has the expertise, leading edge proprietary technology, infrastructure and systems in place to handle the entire process.
We guarantee to be accurate and on time provided the required information is submitted to us in a timely manner.
TPS specializes in the Collective Agreements for all North American Performers’ Unions - ACTRA, UDA, AFM, SAG and AFTRA.
We also offer credit terms to long standing clients which means we forward funds and pay their obligations on time provided their account is in good standing with us thereby allowing these clients to avoid hefty late penalties levied by the various unions.
What are the key skills of your staff?
Our highly qualified and experienced group of account managers have over 150 years of hands on experience between them and all TPS staff are committed to exceptional customer service. Our account managers provide expert advice and input throughout the production process, generate estimates and process payroll whilst continually working to keep our clients informed about relevant union rulings and interpretations and changes to the agreements. Recent additions in staff at TPS guarantee that all our clients’ requests are handled in an efficient, friendly and service oriented manner. Our many and varied technology resources also enable us to offer flexibility in meeting our clients’ specific needs.
We maintain a cooperative relationship with all unions whilst directly representing our clients’ interests. Our clients find that by outsourcing their talent payment needs to TPS, their business interactions with the various unions improve almost immediately.
How do the relationships between TPS, an agency and a production company actually work?
In most instances the agencies become our client and we become their outsourced "talent and broadcast business affairs department”.
Our clients are either signatory to the unions themselves or they look to us to provide signatory services in order for them to employ union talent.
Our clients love the structure of our relationship because they automatically and immediately upon becoming our client get a full talent and broadcast business affairs department, including people, expertise and all services listed below in addition to a host of technology tools at their disposal for no set or ongoing fee. The only time our clients pay us is when we actually pay performers on their behalf; our TPS
Service Fee (an agreed upon certain % of gross payroll /client) is then levied and added onto the gross wage on the invoice itself.
Our core services encompass the entire talent payment process:
1. Comprehensive Broadcast Business affairs services i.e. Pre-production Talent Advice, Union Code interpretation,
Negotiation and Representation
2. Talent Session and Residual Cost Estimates
3. Comprehensive Canadian & US Signatory Services (if required)
4. Talent Session and Residual Payments , Invoicing and Tracking
5. Year End Government Tax Reporting
For these reasons most Canadian advertising agencies and many international agencies that come into Canada to produce commercials outsource their entire unionized talent payment function to TPS, trusting us with all their talent and broadcast business affairs requirements.
Do you offer online solutions that enable an agency to track what is happening with talent buyouts?
We offer many online tools and tracking solutions for many items including for example “residual reminders”, “dormancy reminders” etc. and can provide clients with either weekly or monthly reporting.
Do you work in the broadcast/TV commercial arena only or are there any other areas you cover?
No, we work in all areas of broadcast -TV, Radio, New Media & Industrial, in addition to supplying payroll solutions for animation and non-union productions
Your offering seems specific to North America. Why don’t European agencies work this way, surely it would benefit the agencies there also??
The rules governing talent payments are different in Europe and the UK; most talent in these regions are paid an agreed upon flat fee i.e. an up-front “buy-out” as opposed to the general North America practise whereby various session and residual (use) payments are made to the talent.
However many European & UK based agencies use our “TPS Canadian signatory and payroll services” when shooting in Canada.
Do you offer this service in Canada to Canadian companies only? Do you have offices elsewhere?
No, our clients are global and operate all over North America and internationally, but we specialise and concentrate on Canadian based productions for all our Canadian & global clients and U.S. location shoots for our Canadian clients.
All of our work is handled from our one Toronto office.
What is new from TPS in 2011?
• Comprehensive web based online “session” and “residual” estimating tools and programs
• The launch of the “TPS#II ” online talent document management, reporting and search tool
• Various other new and exciting offerings to be announced shortly
• Updates relating to our 40th anniversary year celebrations, in 2012 TPS will be 40 years old
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