Working Hours For Child Actors
Gabrielle Schary (Casting Director) gives expert video advice on: How many hours each day can young children work on a set? and more...
How many hours each day can young children work on a set?
The people that know this the best are the studio teachers and the social people that have credentials to be on set. Typically, six and under, it's three hours of work time. Six to nine, it's four hours, then they have one hour of lunch and three hours of rest and relaxation. If they're school-aged children, they have to be schooled on set if they're working during a school day. That has to be calculated into their eight hour day. Children aren't allowed to work overtime without special permission.
How many hours are babies allowed to work on a set each day?
For babies, sometimes it's 15 minutes. It depends really what state you're in and what the labor laws are for minors. That's why sometimes we'll do a job. We'll do a commercial for an infant formula and we'll have to hire six infants, because you don't know who's going to be sleeping, you don't know who's going to be crying, you don't know who's going to be “on” when they can actually shoot the reaction with say the Mother or the Dad or the Grandmother or whatever. If the child isn't able to get what they need in the time that the social worker on set says, because they're pretty much the police of the set, if they say “the kid's done”, the kid's done. It doesn't matter if you're the top director or what you are, that's the law. So that's why they'll have to have enough children on set to get through their production day.