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How did Taylor Swift film her Eras Tour movie during The SAG-AFTRA Strike? Find out


Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour is a concert film based on the titular global tour. The film was shot during Swift’s six-night run at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, and features performances of songs from all of her unique eras. Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour will allow fans who missed Swift’s international tour to experience her show, while those who did attend will want to relive the magic. But none of this would have been possible if Swift had not been granted permission to film the film during the strike. The film was made during the SAG-AFTRA strikes, although there are good reasons why the concert film was allowed.

Meanwhile, the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) went on strike alongside the Writers Guild of America (WGA) to seek improved compensation, working conditions, and job security for union members. The strikes have centered on the little income that actors and writers receive from streaming services, with some earning no residuals even for some of the most successful movies and TV shows.

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Taylor Swift received a union waiver to film the Eras Tour movie

Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour was filmed during the SAG-AFTRA actors’ strike, raising the question of how Taylor Swift was able to do so despite being a union member. According to Billboard, the key reason is that it is a concert film rather than a dramatic production (it also did not require writers, giving it a pass during the WGA writers’ strike). Swift, however, had to appeal to SAG-AFTRA for permission to film. Some exceptions to the Hollywood strike have been made for films that match certain criteria. This was one such project that received an interim agreement.

This interim agreement covers non-AMPTP productions that satisfy the same quality standards as the unions are seeking in their negotiations. Although Swift was granted a waiver for the concert video, the production had to ensure that the requirements of the agreement were followed, including suitable labor conditions, wages, breaks, and so on. The waiver also allows the singer to promote Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour on social media, which she has been doing. To comply with the restrictions of the SAG-AFTRA strike, performers have been prohibited from promoting their work on social media or in interviews.

Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour Film is set to be a hit

Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour has already sold out of tickets. According to Deadline, Taylor Swift’s tickets for AMC theater showings are $19.89 for adults and $13.13 for children, in keeping with her love of hidden messages. The concert film will be shown at least four times every day from Thursday to Sunday. Tickets for the film went on sale on August 31 and rapidly became the largest pre-sale ever, surpassing even the figures for Avengers: Endgame. Swifties, or Taylor Swift fans, smashed AMC’s pre-sale records by grossing $26 million in a single day.

For the uninitiated, Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour film will be released across North America on October 13, 2023. However, it remains unclear when it will be released on the streaming giants.

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Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.