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What is Pay or Play?

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This is a contractual provision where if the talent on a film is not going to be used in a motion picture for any reason, he or she will still be paid full compensation. All above-the-line talent want “pay or play” in their contract. No matter what happens, the talent (writer, actor, director) will get paid. Think of this like a penalty that the studio has to pay if they choose not to use a particular talent. An agent will typically try and negotiate this in the agreement terms so that it incentives the studio/production company to use their client in the film. 

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