George Costanza’s hand modeling career was short lived.

I often cast commercials that need SAG hand models. Yep, in the casting world they’re called “hand jobs.” Producers will often ask me range of questions about a hand modeling job, so here are some typical questions-and-answers that can help you as a producer get the hand job done.

Q: Are hand models required to be paid when they audition?

A: Yes. Under the SAG commercial contract, all hand models required to audition must be paid for the audition. This rule does not apply to non-union jobs.

Q: What is the current rate for SAG hand model auditions?

A: The SAG hand model pricing has different rates and rules governing both the audition process and rate. The current rate for a hand model audition is $65.31 for a 2-hour window.

Q: What about scale, fees, and buyout?

A: Most SAG hand models get double scale (+ 10% agent fee) as it is a total buyout and no residuals are paid. For non-union, production can set the rate.

Q: As a producer, do I have to always audition the hand model? Can I just cast from comp cards or images?

A: Sometimes auditioning the hand model is not necessary and you can cast your talent from their comp cards.  If you need your hand model to do a specific action, say chopping vegetables or dealing cards, I would suggest taking a look at some photos and then selecting a small group to audition.

Q: Can I just use my principal on-camera talent as a hand model as well?

Yes. If you are considering using your principal talent as your hand model you should ask the casting director to do a “hand slate” (an extreme closeup of the actors hands) at the session. This option is frequently used to avoid hiring a hand model as well as the fee associated with paying for the audition.

Q: Can you provide some contractual specifics from SAG?

A: Sure, here you go below. This is from the current SAG commercial contract, page 129, section G:

Interviews 1. Hand models reporting for interviews shall receive an allowance equal to 1/8 of such hand model’s applicable minimum wage for each of the first 2 hours. For additional time of interview hand models shall be paid in units of 2 hours at the specified written hourly rate for the call being filled. Extra performers (other than hand models) may be called for the first interview which shall not exceed 1 hour without payment of an interview allowance. For the second hour of interview, extra performers shall be paid 1/8 of such extra performer’s applicable minimum wage and for additional time of interview in units of 2 hours at the specified written hourly rate for the call being filled. If, within any 130 period of interview time, any recording or photography, still or otherwise, is done for use in any production, extra performers shall be paid the agreed daily wage; except that still pictures to be used exclusively for identification of the extra performer or wardrobe may be taken by the Producer without making such payment.

Producers: Do you have any more questions about hand modeling? Need to cast a hand model? Contact me now!

Hope this helps. Happy hand jobs!