What is Golden Hour for the Film Union_

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What is Golden Hour for the Film Union?

Throughout the filmmaking industry there are various film unions like SAG-AFTRA that provide labor support for film workers. To ensure they are properly represented in the workforce. And to prevent film workers from being taken advantage of. These unions have a lot of different rules and requirements. Some of which have random terms to describe them. For instance, Golden Hour is a term used by SAG-AFTRA to reference a particular time on set. But a similar term Golden Time represents a working hour violation. So what is Golden Hour for the Film Union and what does it mean?

What is Golden Hour?

Sometimes referred to as the “Magic Hour,” if you hear a film union mention Golden Hour they are referring to the period of the day during which the sun is just setting or just rising.

It’s a very short window of time during which shots are impeccable. But because it can literally last an hour or less? Everyone must be on their toes to ensure everything gets handled.

And the shots are captured before the sun fully sets or rises and the golden hues are no longer present.

Don’t Confuse Golden Hour with Golden Time

When referring to Golden Hour for a Film Union, it’s common to get confused. That’s because unlike Golden Hour which represents a particular period of the day that is very short and very important to filmmaking.

When a union mentions the word “Golden” it’s more commonly used to describe “Golden Time.”

What is Golden Time for the film union?

It’s a term that is used to describe a violation of rules regarding labor. Union members are never to be required to work more than sixteen hours from their original call time.

And if they are there beyond the sixteen hour point, it’s considered “Golden Time.” The Golden Time rule for a film union basically states:

That when a film union worker is kept working beyond sixteen hours from their stated call time, they receive an additional full-day’s pay.

For each and every hour beyond the sixteen hours that they work.

Golden Hour & Golden Time are Not the Same

Knowing what Golden Hour is to the film union and what Golden Time is is important. Otherwise you might find yourself on a film set getting excited about a full-day’s pay for every extra hour you’re working.

When in fact the director wants you to be focused on being 100% present in the moment to ensure all working parts are in order for Golden Hour.

As you can see, Golden Hour and Golden Time are not one in the same for a film union so it’s important for filmmakers to understand the difference, what each means, and when to expect one or the other on the set.