By: Anthony De La Rosa
Paying residuals has been a pain point in the entertainment industry for decades. Considering the cost of the paper used and the price of postage, a check for a few cents became a frequent punchline. A now infamous episode of Seinfeld illustrated this perfectly, with Jerry’s throbbing hand contorting as he signed hundreds of five and six cent checks from an old television special that had aired oversees.
At Entertainment Partners (EP), we’re happy to say those days are over. EP has officially gone live with SmartResiduals: Reporting & Remittance (SR3), which simplifies our clients’ reporting and payment obligations for residuals through electronic guild reporting and payment transmittal to SAG-AFTRA members. This is an industry first, as union members will be able to receive their payments via direct deposit, facilitated by Exactuals. A large part of the benefit is that actors and crew will no longer need to worry about relocation notifications, as the funds will get deposited directly in their bank accounts. And this process eliminates unclaimed checks (escheatments).
Later this year, we’ll be rolling out a new platform, where talent will simply log in to the system and see dates with amounts paid, which will significantly streamline the payment process. Additionally, clients will have access to a customizable dashboard to see an overview of their payments by date, show, and talent, and gain visibility into the specific distribution method.
We’re proud of the hardworking teams who achieved this groundbreaking technology and continue to innovate the back-office processes of production.
Anthony De La Rosa is Executive Vice President of Residuals Services.