How Entertainment Payroll Works

Last Update:
July 15, 2020

How does entertainment payroll work?

When you have a production - whether an event, film, commercial, etc, you need to pay people for their services.

Companies who pay others for their services, are “employers” and need to comply with state and federal laws for paying “employees”. And if the labor is unionized, you need to comply with union rules. This all applies whether you pay someone for an hour of work or you pay hundreds of people for months of work.

Companies like Wrapbook specialize in entertainment payroll–making it easy to spin up a project, pay talent and crew for their services, and even automate compliance, payments, and insurance processes. With Wrapbook, you will find payroll to be digitized and seamless- making it all that much easier to focus on your project instead.

And, hey, less time spent doing payroll means more time you can be practicing your acceptance speech.

How does Wrapbook help with entertainment payroll?

Wrapbook is a web application with dedicated paymasters to handle entertainment payroll.

The web application handles employee onboarding, payroll calculation and disbursement of funds, while paymasters verify hours worked, compliance, and payroll calculations.

For all projects run through Wrapbook, Wrapbook serves as the employer of record and provides workers compensation insurance, for employees and loan-outs. In addition, Wrapbook processes contractor payments under clients’ EINs.

What do entertainment payroll companies do?

An entertainment payroll company acts on behalf of its clients in five major functions:

1. Serves as an employer of record

When tax season comes around, each production’s talent and crew will need W2s, 1099s, and other tax forms. As an employer of record, Wrapbook acts on behalf of the producer, collecting and sending out these forms.

2. Provides workers’ compensation

Regardless of your production size, workers’ compensation is required in case of on set injury. Not only is it illegal not to have– without it, you’re opening your production to potential lawsuits.

3. Onboards cast & crew

With each new hire on a production comes a host of paperwork and information. Entertainment payroll companies, like Wrapbook, ensure the proper information is collected so it can pay your production in compliance with unions, loan out companies, and more.

4. Calculates payroll

Whether done manually by accountants or automatically in Wrapbook’s software, film payroll companies calculate payroll and union benefits–observing federal and state labor laws, and union contracts.

5. Processes payments

Understanding a production’s nuances, entertainment payroll companies pay everyone out – securely transmitting funds to unions, employees, and state and federal withholding agencies.

What is unique about entertainment payroll compliance?

Behind the cloud of movie magic, production and entertainment companies are still businesses, and have to operate under the same laws. There are a few points that commonly frustrate producers: