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SAG AFTRA Theatrical Contracts

SAG BASIC THEATRICAL AGREEMENT

SAG’s Basic Theatrical Agreement applies to films with budgets greater than $2,000,000. While premium talent is usually paid far above the SAG minimum, this is the rate actors can expect to make on a low budget studio project or a moderate indie film. The SAG day rate is $1,056, and $3,564 for the week.

Valid from 7/1/21 through 6/30/22:

  • Budget Range: Greater than $2MM

  • SAG Day Rate: $1,056 / Day

  • SAG Weekly Scale: $3,664 / Week

Valid from 7/1/22 through 6/30/23:

  • Budget Range: Greater than $2MM

  • SAG Day Rate: $1,088 / Day

  • SAG Weekly Scale: $3,774 / Week

SAG LOW BUDGET AGREEMENT

The SAG Low Budget Agreement applies to films with budgets between $700,000 and $2,000,000, making this the SAG pay scale of most independent films. Under this contract, actors must make a SAG day rate of $686, or $2,382 per week.

If you’re working with some actors who aren’t in the guild, don’t worry. Under this agreement, those actors are allowed to work with a Taft-Hartley agreement, as with most SAG agreements.

Valid through 6/30/22:

  • Budget Range: $700k - $2MM

  • SAG Day Rate: $686 / Day

  • SAG Weekly Scale: $2,382 / Week

The P&H rate for performers is 20.5%. The P&H rate for background actors is 20%.

SAG MODERATE LOW BUDGET AGREEMENT

The SAG MODERATE Low Budget Agreement applies to films with budgets between $300,000 to $700,000. The SAG day rate is $370, while the SAG weekly rate is $1,282. Non-union actors are allowed, while background actors are not covered.

While this agreement may seem like it perfectly applies to your film, it’s important to note that you need to release your film initially in theaters to qualify. If your film is released directly to a streaming service, like Hulu, your SAG scale rates might fall under New Media.

Valid through June 6/30/22:

  • Budget Range: $300k - $700k

  • SAG Day Rate: $370 / Day

  • SAG Weekly Scale: $1282 / Week

The P&H rate for performers is 20.5%. The P&H rate for background actors is 20%.

SAG ULTRA LOW BUDGET AGREEMENT

Despite having three low budget options, the SAG Ultra Low Budget Agreement only applies to films (and short films) that are $300,000 or less. While there is no weekly SAG scale for “ultra low budget” projects, the SAG day rate is $211.

If you’re looking for a SAG short film agreement, this is likely the right place to start.

Valid through June 6/30/22:

  • Budget Range: $300k or less

  • SAG Day Rate: $211 / Day

  • SAG Weekly Scale: None

The P&H rate for performers is 20.5%. The P&H rate for background actors is 20%.

SAG SHORT PROJECT AGREEMENT

SAG Short Project Agreements cover films that have total budgets less than $50,000 and a maximum running time of 40 minutes. (Note: This does not apply to episodic nor animated projects.) Unlike other SAG day rates, actor salaries are completely negotiable.

And unlike other SAG AFTRA Theatrical agreements, you don’t need to ensure a theatrical screening under this agreement.

Films made under this pact can be released at film festivals, on free-streaming sites like Vimeo or YouTube.

Valid through June 6/30/22:

  • Budget Range: $50k or less (maximum 40 minutes)

  • SAG Day Rate: Negotiable

  • SAG Weekly Scale: None

The P&H rate for performers is 20.5%. The P&H rate for background actors is 20%.

SAG STUDENT FILM AGREEMENT

SAG Student Film Agreements cover films with budgets less than $35,000, a maximum running time of 35 minutes, and producers that are currently students at an accredited U.S. university. Like the SAG Short Project Agreement, there isn’t a set SAG weekly scale or even a set day rate – it’s negotiable.

While a theatrical release isn’t required to qualify, there is a fair amount of paperwork needed to fall under this contract.

  • Budget Range: $35k or less (maximum 35 minutes)

  • SAG Day Rate: Negotiable

  • SAG Weekly Scale: None

The P&H rate for performers is 20.5%. The P&H rate for background actors is 20%.


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