I've got an agreement from a GREAT and recognizable narrator to voice a low budget documentary project gratis but we're concerned that if the program gets picked up by PBS (we can all dream) or another broadcaster she'll be in trouble with AFTRA, of which she's a member. I don't want to do anything inappropriate and so am curious what it generally would cost to hire a union voice to do a 1 hour documentary in terms of recording/studio time plus any obligations upon broadcast. We are applying for grant funds and I'd love to cover her cost if possible.
Any thoughts or points in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.
As a long-time member of AFTRA and SAG, I think you can do this several ways.
You can usually get a rate for limited play in festivals and some small distribution with a bump if it goes bigger.
I got a very low rate from the SAG low low budget contract for work on the "Hot Flash" previsualization. http://www.hotflashmovie.com. If it goes bigger and makes some money, she gets a taste of that.
Of course, she or her agent can ask for anything above scale they want to. Here in Balt/DC, we used to hear, "nobody works for just scale in NY!" Well that was because they have agents and the agent needs to make a living. Much or all of the overscale is agent salary unless you really are bankable as an actor.
We don't have agents in Balt/Wash, but there is some fine talent here and we actually cost less because we don't have agents.