Steve Asare Hackman, president of the Film Producers Association of Ghana (FIPAG), has asked the Film Crew Association of Ghana (FICAG) and the technical crew behind Ghanaian movies to negotiate thoroughly with movie producers before agreeing to work with them.
Over the years, crew members have complained about how the industry and its stakeholders have refused to their contributions.
FICAG and members of the technical crew claim that when it comes to the production chain, they are the least paid—a phenomenon they say is a deliberate act of exploitation.
But in an interview with NEWS-ONE, Mr Hackman explained that before a movie producer starts a production there is always a form of agreement, with regard to payment, between the producer and the crew.
“What happens to the crew members is that before anybody goes into production, there is some kind of agreement that they sign with the producers. So the artiste and the cameraman must agree with the producer on how much they want to be paid in a day. If the Film Crew Association of Ghana (FICAG) and the technical crew say the artistes make more money than them then I don’t understand. It’s an agreement. If the agreement does not favour you, then you need to find an avenue to discuss it,” the FIPAG president stated.
Asked whether FIPAG was aware of the plight of members of FICAG, Mr Hacked explained that the group in question had just made a comment about the concerns in passing but had not officially written to the association about it.
“As far as I’m concerned, the group in question only mentioned their concerns in passing but they haven’t really made a formal complaint to FIPAG. But what I know is that every producer who has a production enters into the kind of agreement with the crew members on how much to pay them,” he added.
As it stands now, FIPAG has no structure or legal instrument to regulate how much crew members, artiste and the rest of the production team should or should not be paid whilst working on set.
“Yeah we don’t have anything like that but maybe the concerns they have raised now will draw the attention of producers to sit down with them and agree on how much to pay them. Maybe the cameramen can decide on their minimum rate or the minimum rate for soundmen. If the complaint is officially brought forward to us, we will see what to do about it. As an association, we welcome any complaint that seeks the betterment of the group,” he said.
A week ago, FICAG and members of the technical crew in Ghana converged in Kumasi for a two-day programme meant to improve the image of the industry and the products that come out to the general public.