What does a modelling agency do?
As a modelling agency we are the liaison between the advertisers or production companies and the models. We coordinate castings and other jobs for the models, as well as process contracts, image rights releases, invoicing and payments among other things. At Role Model Management we work with productions in fashion, advertising, runaways, TV series, movies, etc. We look for potential in everyone!
How does it work?
Firstly there will be a brand that wants to advertise. Behind every such project there is a creative, executive and technical team responsible for developing the idea, organizing the castings, shooting etc. Models are a very important part of this process. The team working directly with models includes a variety of professionals: casting directors, photographers, stylists, make-up artists, etc.
What is a Casting?
It is a photographic or video test that will serve to choose the model that fits in with the idea of what the customer is looking for. It usually consists of a brief presentation (name, age, hobbies, etc.) and taking few pictures (face, profile and whole body). In the case of a TV commercial where a specific action is required, you may be asked to come up with or repeat a phrase. Castings are not paid for either the models or the agency.
The producer or client will contact us with a proposal and we send them images of the models that fit in with the project; this is the reason why it is very important that your information and photos are updated and the client can make a good selection beforehand for each specific project. We regularly ask to have all your updated information (i. e height, clothing and footwear size).
Sometimes the selection is made directly through these photos and in other cases the client wants to meet the model in person. The main purpose is to see if they are as imagined, if they fit with the other selected models, if they are comfortable in front of the cameras, etc.
When we receive a call for casting, we try to contact you as soon as possible, which is why we value your time and try to pass all the needed information quickly and avoid unnecessary movements. We hope you will understand that it is a long chain and sometimes the last minute changes have us all running.
The final response to a casting is made after a long deliberation considering multiple factors and this decision is communicated directly to the agency and we pass it on to you. Sometimes second rounds of casting are arranged and we call them: Callback.
I have been chosen! What happens next?
Once the agency has been notified, prior to the job there may be an appointment with the client and stylist to try clothes and decide the look – this is called fitting.
In case of minors, we request additional documentation which must be provided to the agency at the time of registration in order to produce a report that guarantees the participation of the child in all projects. To process this permit it is necessary to bring to the agency and upon registration these updated and valid documents:
- Child ID card, passport or NIE.
- Parent’s DNI o NIE.
- Family book: first page, parent´s page and children´s page.
- Social Security number. (If you do not have this document, you should go to the Office of the Social Security Treasury nearest to your residence, providing them with originals of the ID card or NIE of the child, DNI or NIE of the mother / father and the Family Book. There you must ask to be assigned a Social Security Number to work. The health card is not necessary.
Once the permit has been obtained, the production company will register and unsubscribe the child, generating a payroll for the work done.
As an agency we play a key role in providing the necessary information and documentation to the producer since normally it is a long process but from time to time we have to react right away. We try to be as flexible as possible to understand your needs and those of our customers. Sometimes last minute changes are made at production level and we have little time to organise ourselves.
Why is it better not to be enrolled in many modelling agencies?
With models enrolled in several agencies, chances of different agencies presenting the same proposals are very high. In addition, photos of the same person may change considerably from one agency to the other and the production company may not detect it. In these cases two agencies may refer the same model for the same casting, making all look unprofessional, in addition to creating conflicts at the time of choosing which agency will participate.
Why are castings and fittings announced with such short notice?
Production companies follow a long process, from the moment their client decides to assign a specific budget to his advertising campaign until choosing the models. In between there are many decisions, factors and great teams examining what is best.
The dates of the photo sessions and shootings are decided in advance and many factors related to the availability of the photographer / director, budget, availability of locations, etc. must be considered. In addition, they are also determined by the date on which the campaign is to be launched and the time necessary for post-production. For all these reasons, many times the final calls are made at very short notice.
Remuneration: Unlike other sectors, there are no established standards in remuneration for this type of work. It is the clients who proposes a budget and we value and negotiate, always trying to find the best deal for our models and our work.
Image rights: sometimes they are included in the rate and others times they are invoiced in a package separate from the work remuneration. The rate of image rights depends on several factors: if the model is much or little recognizable in the image, whether it appears alone or with more people, the time the image will be used, in which countries it will be distributed and in which means of communication or what other uses it will be given (catalogs, stores, banners etc.).
In the event that a customer wants to use the image in a field that does not appear in the initially signed contract, the customer must contact the agency to negotiate the appropriate remuneration.
In case of minors, the extension of rights agreed by the modelling agency and the client is always subject to acceptance by legal representatives.
Fees and retentions: from Role Model Management we always provide the information of the Gross Amounts negotiated with the client and detail the retentions, commissions, etc. In this way the remuneration is clear and the obtained income can be declared correctly.
All payments made by the agency are subject by law to a withholding of 24% of personal income tax on image rights. The agency is required to make the entry on behalf of the model. We will deliver the corresponding withholdings certificate to those requesting it and it can be used for income tax return purposes.
The agency will charge the model a 20% commission fee for its work. No other type of fee shall be paid for being registered with the agency or for the steps taken by us.
Payments: Payments are made immediately after the advertiser or the producer has made the payment to our agency. This process is long (it includes the client, the advertising agency, the producer that can be abroad and then the national producer, etc.) and could take time.
Role Model Management as a model agency is an intermediary between the customer and the model. In no case do we advance money to the model if we have payment by the final customer has not been made.
Glossary / Slang:
Casting: Short photographic or shooting session where the shortlisted models / actors are presented for a job with the purpose of choosing the most suitable ones. A model is never directly told whether or not they have been chosen during the casting. The decision is communicated directly to the agency.
Callback: This a second round of casting before making the final decision.
Direct Booking: It is when the model is chosen through the photos that the agency sends, without having to go through a casting.
Fitting: Appointment with the client and the stylist in which clothes for the session are tried and the character’s look is defined.
Casting Director: A professional who coordinates a casting on behalf of a producer or end client.
Option: This is a selection by the customer that is not definitive. Models are placed in option (reservation) to ensure that they will be available for some work dates when the final selection is made. It is important for the customer to choose models that he knows will really be available. Most decisions are taken at the last moment and it is possible that a model is in option until the day before the work but does not do it. We know that this involves a number of inconveniences for families and we take it into account. That is why we keep you updated with all the information as soon as we have it.
Book: Collection of photographs or Portfolio of a model showing their work and their best images.
Exchange: Unpaid photo session that serves both for the model´s book and the photographer.
Editorial: Themed photo session for a magazine.