2 Minute Video of the On-Line Courses

US Film Production Payroll Workshop

Full 2 Day Week-End Workshop (CPE 14 Hrs)

Chicago, IL on TBD, 2018

See On-Line Self-Study Courses (click here)


For scheduling questions please contact Heleneworkshops@gmail.com



SAG Daily & Weekly Performers, DGA, IATSE National Low Budget (crew) & IATSE Area Standards(crew)


REGISTRATION INCLUDES - 2 Day Workshop Plus Access to all 5 Payoll On-Line Self-Study Courses

Seating is limited to 20 participants.



Can't make it? No problem. Do the Self-Study On-Line Courses.


See more about the On-Line Courses only - CLICK HERE.


Who Is It For?  This workshop is in response to the high demand from aspiring Line Producers, Film Producrtion Accountants, CPA's auditing for state Tax Credits and those General Accountants who are aware of the prestigious role of Film Payroll Accountant. If you have an aptitude for numbers, aspire to work in film production either as a Line Producer, Unit Production Manager, a Key Production Accountant, or Payroll Accountant (a specialized assistant production accountant), then this workshop is for you.

Understanding Film Payroll Is Key: Film Production Payroll, on average, is about 60% of any film production's local costs. Understanding the union and guild payroll, referenced to the appropriate Agreements, is not only vital to any film budget, it's also vital to managing the film accounting & auditing of any film production.

Local Film Payroll Accountants are in high demand. Any production arriving locally from Los Angeles or New York are begging for local Payroll Accountants. If you follow Emily's List (a notification blog announcing the categories of film accountants needed in different localities throughout the USA) you'll know that Payroll Accountant's are in very high demand.

Course Objective: The two-day live workshop will concentrate on the actual calculation of gross payroll for each of SAG, DGA, IATSE (Low Budget Agreement and Area Standards). The emphasis is on the practical application of the guild/union payroll rules according to each Agreement. We will also walk-through the workflow associated with performing the duties of a Film Payroll Accountant inclusive of the key control points which need to be understood by all Line Producers.  

After the workshop you will be able to refresh your understanding by visiting the 5 comprehensive on-line payroll self-study courses.

Participants: will be able to step into a junior Payroll Accounting role. Additionally, Line Producers will know the nuances of budgeting and controlling all essential payroll costs. The speed with which you perform these duties will be depend upon your apptitude to calculate timecards quickly in a high paced environment. So, take this opportunity to practice in a controlled environment.


  Where:           Venue is at the Hilton Garden Inn, 10 E. Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611 Click Here for website


  When:             TBD, 2018 Saturday, -----: 9:30AM to 5:00PM

                        TBD, 2018 Sunday,   ------: 9:30AM to 4:30PM

                              (Morning coffee and snacks provided)


After the Live Workshop you can refresh your understanding at any time by visiting the On-Line Courses




    Major Topics:


    FILM PRODUCTION PAYROLL: The two-day workshop will concentrate on workflow and all of the nuances of SAG Schedule A Day Peformer payroll. For beginners, this is the most difficult union to grasp - however, the following terms are not only key in SAG payroll, but also throughout the remaining categories of unions:

  • Base Rate
  • Basic Work Day/Week
  • Call time and Wrap
  • Meal Breaks and Non-Deductible Breakfast
  • "Studio" and "Distant" Locations
  • Travel rules regarding payroll
  • Overtime
  • Rest Period Violation
  • Meal Period Violation
  • Money Break
  • etc
  • During the live workshops, after thoroughly practicing Schedula A day performers we will review each of the other agreements, tracticing at least one timecard for each. We will also be going over one-page sets of calculating rules for each guild/union.


    When you graduate you can refreash your skills by visiting 5 On-Line Payroll Courses.


    Note: at the beginning of each Guild/Union I will ensure that you all can link to the On-Line Self-Study Course, and are familiar with the navigation tools, the downloads, etc. Each Self-Study course contains many downloadable blank timecards as well as the same timecards completed for your review and comparison.

    1. SAG Day Performers (Schedule A): the rules for calculating "Gross Pay" are referenced to the specific SAG Codified Basic Agreement for Schedule A (Day Performers). 

    2. SAG Day Performers (Schedule B): the rules for calculating "Gross Pay" are referenced to the specific SAG Codified Basic Agreement for Schedule B (Weekly Performers). Schedule H (Stunts) and Schedule F (Deal Performers) are also quickly covered - Note: once you know Sch. A and B Performers the rest fall into place very quickly. Emphasis is on practicing the calculation of Gross Pay with actual timecards, all the while applying the SAG related rules, until you have a smooth working knowledge of SAG payroll.

    3. DGA: the rules for calculating "Gross Pay" are referenced to the specific DGA Basic Agreement. The DGA covers the Director, UPM and AD's. All rules relating to calculating Gross Payroll are practiced, including the calculation of "Production Fees" and "Completions of Assignment".  Emphasis is on practicing the calculation of Gross Pay with actual timecards, all the while applying the DGA related rules, until you have a smooth working knowledge of DGA payroll .

    4. IATSE National Low Budget Agreement (IANLBA): The IATSE rules for overtime, etc. vary according the size of your budget and the geographical location of the production. Without being properly oriented it can seem very confusing - it's complex, but easily sorted out when you understand the basics. There is one IATSE Agreement that has the same rules throughout the USA and Canada. It is the "IATSE National Low Budget Agreement". It covers all IATSE union film productions less than $12Mil. This is the agreement that we will work with the most as it covers all productions less than $12Mil throughout North America.  

    Some other IATSE related notes: The set of overtime rules in the National Low Budget Agreement is known in the vernacular as "West Coast Rules" - that is, overtime is a function of "Elapsed Hours" rather than just "Worked Hours". This concept differs from the "IATSE Area Standards Agreement".

    5. IATSE Area Standards Agreement: The IATSE Area Standards rules for rates, overtime, rest period and meal period violations are applicable on film productions greater than $12Million in most geographical regions throughout the mid-west and southern states (not New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco). After learning the above guilds and the IANLB Agreement, this will seem easy.

    Email or blog me with your questions





        (Less 10% Early Bird Registration Deadline TBD/2018 = $742.50) 

        (Coffee / pastries - morning)



        WORKSHOP FEES INCLUDE: my ebook "Walk The Talk", all current Agreements between AMPTP and SAG, DGA, IATSE National Low Budget Agreement, as well as the wording on a local Teamster Agreement. In addition I will supply all forms, multiple formatted film budgets, flow charts of film accounting systems, a typical film production organization chart, SAG payroll templates, IATSE Low Budget Agreement payroll helper template, cashflow templates, hot cost templates, etc. Additionally, you will receive my short summary lists of payroll rules for each of the 5 guild/union payroll courses.

        About John Gaskin, Testimonials and Benefits
        John Gaskin has worked on more than 40 film and TV productions, working in 5 different countries over 2 1/2 decades. He has worked on all sizes of productions, including 2 with Ron Howard.

        INSTRUCTOR: John Gaskin is a working Production Auditor. At the time of this writing he is the Production Controller on "Devil", a feature film production developed and produced by M. Night Shyamalan. John also has a Proprietary School licensed in the State of Michigan (License #20090034). John has worked in the film production business since 1985, primarily as a Film Production Auditor.

        John has worked on 45 different productions in 5 different countries, working with greats such as Ron Howard, Frank Oz and Walter Salles - as well as small independent films and TV episodic productions, pilots and mini-series. During his career many of his assistants have gone on to become Key Accountants (another term for the Production Auditor).

        John also has Supervising Producer credits - see his resume on IMDb. In his previous seminars he was touted as the Billion Dollar Man because the accumulated budgets that have been under his control has exceeded a Billion Dollars.

        John's book, "Walk The Talk" is required reading at the University of Southern California's Cinematic Arts (Peter Stark Graduate Producer's Program), as well as the Producer's Program at the University of Tampa, where John has an open invitation to deliver seminars. John's book is also used and recommended by at least one mentor, Michael Glick, at the American Film Institute. John has numerous Internet articles on Google Knol and EzineArticles and enjoys answering your questions on his blog - film production.

        John has several 'Testimonials' but his favorites are from Ron Howard and David Valdes (David worked with Clint Eastwood for a chunk of his career and has been an independent producer for some time in his own right). Click here to see Ron Howard's letter, and here for David Valdes's hand written note. Another testimonial that John is proud of is Peter D. Marshall's book review. Peter is a 35 year veteran film director and instructor. Visit John's Web Site for more testimonials. For a quick 2-minute video of Testimonials, CLICK HERE. When Ron Howard asked John why the budget was so high on a feature film production they were doing in New York, John was tongue tied. After that John was determined to get it right the next time, so he wrote a book, called "Walk The Talk" which shows any filmmaker, or any novice film producer, how to "Direct the Money" during a film production.

        To see more about John's credentials see the following:

        John Gaskin's Profile: Click here

        John Gaskin's Production Record on IMDb: Click here

        John Gaskin's Articles on Google Knol: Click here

        John Gaskin's Articles - Ezine Expert Author: Click Here

        Blog comments or suggestions to John Gaskin: Click here

        Email John Gaskin: Click here


        Testimonials: Below is a video clip of attendees from one of my workshops in Detroit. Open this PDF document of more testimonials of people who have allowed us to use their names. Many of them have found work in the industry after attending one or more of my workshops - see what they have to say.

        Some quotes to give you a concept of my basic nature - my workshops are never boring:

        "Over a year ago I opened a dialogue with you with the hopes of gaining more knowledge of production accounting practicing and some tips for really breaking in... And I just wanted to let you know that as of today, I am 4 days away from wrapping out my first show as Key Accountant. It was only an 800K feature, but a featurenonetheless.... And in a rebate state(North Carolina). We payrolled all crew (non union), SAG, and background... So every week, I had three individual payrolls. Plus obvious things like AP and Petty Cash... But I made it through!  Just wanted to say thanks for the help." - Josh, North Carolina

        "The presenter (John Gaskin) was excellent...candid, straightforward, respectful of the audience. I especially liked the real life examples, they're the best way to learn about finances. The casual format stimulated great conversation between audience and presenter." Christy,CPA Florida

        "I took John’s 2 day budgeting workshop, and his one day Michigan film creditworkshop in August.  He is wonderful!  The time flew by, and I found myself hoping he would re-do his production accounting workshop in Michigan, so I could attend that as well!  He provided us a lot of very useful, and current materials.  At our workshop we  all brought laptops, and had hands on experience learning to use Movie Magic Budgeting.   John is very good at teaching this material, and provided us with many valuable tips and tricks.  He has a wealth of real-world experience, and often spiced up his presentation by sharing this experience with us.  A few who had planned on taking only the Budgeting workshop, decided to stay and signed on to take the Michigan Film Credit workshop he offered the next day – and two of them had no plans to film in Michigan! Carol A,CPA Michigan

        "I had such a great time this weekend. It was a pleasure to meet John and take in the wealth of knowledge he was willing to share with us. It was also great to see someone who is a finance professional be successful in a field that (when all the money talk is over) nurtures the creative drive of so many individuals." MarieM., CA- Came to Toronto from Baltimore.

        "I just wanted to thank you both for the excellent workshop. It was really well organized & delivered, full of great content, and fun! It was also a place to network. I really look forward to future seminars." Craig L.,CA, Toronto

        Honestly, I have attended a lot of seminars to keep up with the required 40 hours of CPE for my CPA status and this was easily one of the best ones I've been to. The venue, the topics,  instructor and the class participants were all excellent. John keeps things interesting by adding his personal experiences and was always great at explaining nuances/ terms specific to the industry - having the materials emailed before the seminar was also very helpful." Irene W., CPA, came to Toronto from Ohio

        "JohnGaskin and what he shares is just not available, ANYWHERE!  John 's workshop seminars are perfect, they  are the ONLY SHOW IN TOWN for the seasoned film professional or aspiring filmmaker; or that CPA , lawyer, general business person wanting make a career change or added value to what they do, by segueing into the entertainment business.
        John Gaskin is film professional that instills trust and enthusiasm and calls it as it is! From his years of experience as a production auditor /accountant/ production executive ( all my higher powers) with his expertise in budgeting, cost reporting, dealing with bond companies, managing contracts of every description, working with producers(and being one himself), production managers and studio executives ensure a production is produced on time and on budget. He brings his vast cross-over disciplinary skills and experience to an nuts and bolts result in his book "Walk The Talk", which I use in my producing course at University of Tampa. His presentations ( including EP budgeting & scheduling)and workshops are just not the how to's... but the why's . He shares all the interpersonal goings on with the bottom line- the result. And the money involved to get that result. I am grateful to have discovered "Walk the Talk" and John Gaskin and look forward always to introduce John's his book and information that I have found there, and no where else!"
        Tom Garrett, University of Tampa

        Benefits: The workshops provide you with a practical 'door opener' to film production - as a novice Line Producer, Producer's or Director's Assistant, Production Assistant, Film Accounting, etc. (If you are unsure of the role of a Film Accountant, click here, for a quick run down on the income levels and career potential.)

        WORKSHOP FEES INCLUDE: my ebook "Walk The Talk", all current Agreements between AMPTP and SAG, DGA, IATSE National Low Budget Agreement, as well as the wording on a local Teamster Agreement. In addition I will supply all forms, multiple formatted film budgets, flow charts of film accounting systems, a typical film production organization chart, SAG payroll templates, IATSE Low Budget Agreement payroll helper template, cashflow templates, hot cost templates, etc.


      • You will receive a copy of John's book, "Walk The Talk" jammed with practical tools of the trade.  
      • John will provide each attendee with their own CD packed with all materials required
      • All practical assignments are based on John's 25 years experience in film production.
      • John will be discussing the practical aspect of finding opportunities in the film industry. John makes no promises, but he has many years of experience finding work as a film auditor and will mentor you on his successful actions and contacts.
      • If you have any further questions about the workshops, or about the film business in general, feel free to email John Gaskin.

      • John's Email for any queries.
      • John Gaskin - Film/TV production credits on IMDb
      • John Gaskin - Profile on LinkedIn
      • John Gaskin - Google Knol Articles
      • John Gaskin - Web Site
      • John Gaskin - Workshops
      • John Gaskin - "Walk The Talk"
      • John Gaskin - Free Articles
      • John Gaskin - Survey on Geographical Areas
      • John Gaskin - Michigan Workshops
      • John Gaskin - John Gaskin's Blog

      • Participant's Understanding & Refund Policies

        Participants Understanding: John Gaskin will be consulting the participants understanding of the materials during the workshops with practical drills, direct questions, short quizzes, etc. The number of “Contact Hours” during the course will be provided to you for your purposes.

        Attendance & Participation: Attendance will be taken. The “Clock-Hours” and the results of the attendee’s practical assignments and random quizzes (both verbal and otherwise) will form an integral part of John Gaskin's assessment of your understanding of the materials.

        Refunds Policy: All fees paid by the applicant shall be refunded if the applicant is rejected by the instructor (John Gaskin) before enrollment. An application fee of $25.00 may be retained if the application is denied. All fees paid by the applicant shall be refunded if requested within 3 calendar days after starting the workshop. All refunds shall be returned within 30 days.


        Live On-Line Training Sessions COMING SOON:

        • SAG PAYROLL  

        • DGA PAYROLL




        INTERESTED? SEND ME AN EMAIL AT heleneworkshops@gmail.com