Commercials made for use in the United States (plus Canada & Mexico if required on the same contract) are usually made on a similar (though NOT the same) basis as commercials made for the United Kingdom.
The minimum studio fee is currently US $567.10. This fee is known as “SAG Scale” and is set by the American actors’ union Screen Actors Guild “SAG.”
SAG and the British Actors’ Union, Equity, have an understanding whereby British performers will not undercut American performers. This means that if offered a commercial for use in the United States you should only accept it on the basis of at least SAG Scale plus use fees (known as “residuals”).
You should be aware that IF a commercial is shown throughout the US network for a period of one year it could be worth around £15,000 (POUNDS not dollars) in residuals. This may give you an indication of WHY you are being offered a buy-out.
If CANADA is to be purchased alone, then the form of engagement is the standard Equity one (as for the UK and the US) plus the ACTRA rider (for details on the latest ACTRA scale fees tel +1 416 489 1311).
Download a printable version of the Standard Equity Form of Engagement, SAG Rider and the ACTRA rider. (You will need Adobe Acrobat to read this file. Please follow the link below for a free download of this software.)