new media

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I’m a SAG-AFTRA member. Some of my other SAG-AFTRA friends and I create original short scripted videos for YouTube just for fun. Do we still need to become signatory?

Yes, because this falls under SAG-AFTRA’s jurisdiction. You must become signatory as you and your fellow performers must be covered and protected by the provisions of a SAG-AFTRA agreement in order to be in compliance with Global Rule 1. For more information on Global Rule 1, please click here.

May I defer payment for my performers? What exactly is a deferral?

You are able to defer payment to your performers under the SAG-AFTRA New Media Agreement if your performers agree to the deferral. A deferral in payments means that you agree to make X payment when Y happens.

Example: A producer agrees to pay all principal performers $100 per day of work performed if and when the production receives DVD distribution and after the producer recoups production costs of $5,000. When deferring payment to the performer, P&H or H&R will also be deferred until the performers’ payment is triggered.

What is the minimum pay scale for new media productions?

Initial compensation can be negotiable* under the basic SAG-AFTRA New Media Agreement for productions that do not meet the high budget thresholds; however, local, state and federal minimum wage laws still apply. 

Payment is due to the performer no later than five business days from the date worked.  SAG Pension & Health (P&H) or AFTRA Health & Retirement (H&R) contributions are due on the negotiated initial compensation, at a rate of 17% for both Principal Performers and Background Actors.

What is a Taft-Hartley report?

Whenever a Signatory producer hires a performer that is not a member of SAG-AFTRA they must report such hiring to the union in writing  within 15 days from the performer’s initial work date.

For additional information regarding Taft-Hartley reports, please click here.

May I hire both union and non-union performers for my SAG-AFTRA New Media covered production?

All Principal Performers and the first ten (10) Background Actors per day must be covered under a SAG-AFTRA contract. If, within reason, you need to hire a non-union member for any covered role, you must submit a Taft-Hartley report, within 15 days of the performers’ initial work date,

SAG-AFTRA does not assist in the casting process, but iActor is available to active Signatory producers. For further information on iActor and how to register, please click here.

Can SAG-AFTRA members work on New Media productions?


Yes, provided the Producer is signatory to the applicable SAG-AFTRA New Media Agreement.

Please note any SAG-AFTRA member cast should be in Good Standing with the Union prior to rendering services.  Performer status is obtained by completing a Cast Clearance Report for each performer 24-48 hours prior to the start of production.

For more information on the Cast Clearance process, please click here.

What information is required to become a Signatory to the SAG-AFTRA New Media Agreement?

The following information is required when submitting initial production information to SAG-AFTRA:
•    Completed Preliminary Project Sheet;
•    Line-item budget for the production;
•    A copy of the script;
•    A copy of formation documents (if signing as a business) or Driver’s License (if signing as an individual).

Please note, for higher budget productions, SAG-AFTRA may require financial assurances that will require additional paperwork to complete the signatory process.

How does a production qualify for coverage under the SAG-AFTRA New Media Agreement?

The New Media Agreement covers dramatic (scripted) and non-dramatic (non-scripted) entertainment productions intended for initial exhibition on a new media platform.  For a production to qualify for coverage under the New Media Agreement, it must:

•    Be intended for initial exhibition via the Internet, mobile device or any other New Media platform now known or hereinafter devised;
•    Have at least one qualified SAG-AFTRA member cast at the time the signatory application is submitted;