First off, there is currently no ‘Standard Minimum Rate for Actors’ in Thailand.
Because the system is the way it is, actors are given whatever is deemed right for them – and whatever they accept as their wage.
Supply and demand:
There is a never-ending influx of Russia, Eastern European, and Iranian models that come from an industry where rates are much lower than here. Some are trained, some are not, all have a dream and want to survive. This influx of talent pushes the rates down, because: They Just Don’t Know what people are being paid here.
So the question is:
What are you willing to work for?
This is the big question and the hardest to answer.
Standard Minimum Rates for Extras:
For extras the going rate right now is 2000,- baht for a day’s work 12hrs). If it is below that it is too low. Some agents post jobs for 1500 baht, and even lower. You don’t want to go there.
The going rate is 2000,- for one day of work.
This is for commercial, film, thai tv, everything.
I start off with extras because it is the easiest. The most straight forward. Everything else is more tricky and more complicated. It always depends on your negotiating skills, their budget, your skills and how bad they really want you.
There is room for argument about flexible rates, but I will write about that in another article.
Standard Minimum Rate for Actors in Commercial Work / Advertisement
The widest range we probably have in Commercial Work / Advertisement. Producing a commercial gets cheaper and cheaper, you need less equipment, less crew, less lighting, it takes less effort to upload something. So we have more commercials, but each gets less exposure. Hence the rates for actors are going down. Especially in a market-based system without regulations or Unions.
In commercials they differentiate between: Online / TV / Worldwide + Pictures
The following are rates that I have received and that I think are fair.
The cheapest rates are nowadays ‘online’ or what they like to call ‘viral’ commercials. These are low-budget productions usually done by small advertisement firms. Sometimes the term is also misleading, used to push the budget down.
Any advertisement the featured extra part should pay 10,000 baht. Minus commission that is around 6,500-7,000 baht into the hand of the talent. In my opinion for featured parts that should be the absolute minimum.
Not including the buyout. See more about the buyout below.
Main parts should start from 20,000 baht. Yes, also for virals / online ads. Minus commission of your agent that is between 13,000-14,000 baht in your hands. And that is low.
Worldwide / All Media
All media means all media, tv, online, social media. You will get paid extra if they want to use it on billboards or printed media as well. That should multiply your budget by 2. Always check the region as well. If it is a big advertisement the budget goes up exponentially with each region added. For example: region 1: France; region 2: Germany; Region 3: US/UK. You will get paid extra for each region. The biggest buyout is worldwide since it covers all regions.
Again, the feautured extras should get paid no less than 10,000 baht. If it is worldwide it should really be 20,000 baht per day or more.
The budget for the main for worldwide exposure should be at least 20,000 baht, but really more like 50,000-100,000 baht up. Up means, for a big campaign it should be more than that.
Remember: For all commercials, there is usually a buyout.
That buyout should be anywhere from 200-2000% of the original budget. This buyout is limited for a certain area and for a certain period of time and is being determined in your contract. So if your budget is 10,000 baht, the buyout can be anywhere between 20,000-200,000 (or more) baht.
If you have a main part in a worldwide ad your budget may be 50,000 baht per day. The buyout should be 100,000-500,000 plus an extra buyout per region, and if they want to use stills for billboards or printed ads you should again be paid a certain amount.
In Thailand a lot of that money ‘disappears’. Talents never see it. You get to see the final budget which is being watered down.
The Standard Minimum Rate for Actors in TV Work
The rates are different for Thai or Foreign TV. Foreign TV usually pays better.
Thai Tv / Film
It really depends on your negotiating skills. I would not work in a speaking part for Thai TV for less than 3,500. That is my minimum. I usually try to aim for 5,000-6,000. If they really like you, you can get 10,000 or more, especially if you can do stunts.
Thai films usually pay a bit less than Thai Tv. The production value or Thai Gilms is higher, the acting better, but there is less money in it. Most of the Thai Films are independent movies. The exposure in the cinemas is low, since Thai people usually prefer to watch the latest Hollywood Blockbuster than a local production with possibly less quality entertainment for the same price. Between 5,000-6,000 Baht per day is common for a speaking part in aThai film.
Foreign TV / Film
Usually I aim for around 10,000 baht per day for a speaking part. But depending on the production and your name it can be 20-30k or even 50,000 baht per day or more