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Theatrical
Step 0

Producers who sign with SAG-AFTRA have access to the world's most talented and professional performers for their projects, but becoming signatory does require completing some paperwork.

 

Learn more about the process with a step-by-step guide. Chose your project:

 

THEATRICAL

 

MODIFIED LOW BUDGET

 

SHORT FILM*

 

LOW BUDGET ULTRA LOW BUDGET* STUDENT FILM*

 

*These producers can also

Sign Online
No
Short Film Agreement
Step 0

The Short Film Agreement applies to those films with a total budget of less than $50,000 and a total run time of under 35 minutes.

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No
Student Film Agreement
Step 0

The Student Film Agreement applies to all student films.

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No
ULTRA LOW BUDGET
Step 1

The Ultra Low Budget Agreement applies to those films with a total budget of less than $250,000.

 

Click the NEXT button for a signatory tutorial.

Sign Online
No
MODIFIED LOW BUDGET
Step 1

The Modified Low Budget Agreement applies to those films with a total budget of less than $700,000.

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No
THEATRICAL
Step 1

The Theatrical Agreement applies to those films-that are shooting outside of the United States-with a total budget greater than $2,500,000.

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No
LOW BUDGET
Step 1

The Low Budget Agreement applies to those films with a total budget of less than $2,500,000.

Click the NEXT button for a signatory tutorial.

 

Casting Incentives

SAG-AFTRA offers two casting incentives to Modified Low Budget filmmakers that may increase the total production cost maximum.

  • Diversity-in-Casting Incentive
  • Background Performer Incentive
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No
PRE-PRODUCTION
Step 2

The following are the steps you must take prior to your first day of travel, rehearsal or principal photography, whichever comes first (we recommend giving yourself at least three weeks).

 

Start by completing the Preliminary Information Sheet for Ultra Low Budget Agreements.

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No
MODIFIED LOW BUDGET
Step 2

Casting Incentives

 

SAG-AFTRA offers two casting incentives to Modified Low Budget filmmakers that may increase the total production cost maximum.

 

•    Diversity-in-Casting Incentive
•    Background Performer Incentive

Business Rep
No
PRE-PRODUCTION
Step 2

These are the steps you must take prior to your first day of travel, rehearsal or principal photography, whichever comes first (we recommend giving yourself at least three weeks).

Start by completing the Preliminary Information Sheet.

 

Email the completed form to signyourfilm@sagaftra.org.

 

A SAG-AFTRA Business Representative will contact you within a few days and send you a packet of information and documents.

Business Rep
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No
PRE-PRODUCTION
Step 2

The following are the steps you must take prior to your first day of travel, rehearsal or principal photography, whichever comes first (we recommend giving yourself at least three weeks).

Clip Board
No
PRE-PRODUCTION
Step 3

The following are the steps you must take prior to your first day of travel, rehearsal or principal photography, whichever comes first (we recommend giving yourself at least three weeks).

 

Email the completed form to signyourpicture@sagaftra.org.

 

A SAG-AFTRA Business Representative will contact you within a few days and send you a packet of information and documents.

Envelope
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Yes
PRE-PRODUCTION
Step 3

Required Documents

 

Complete and return the following documents from your packet:
1)    Company Authorization Letter form
2)    Theatrical Information Sheet
3)    Theatrical Distribution Checklist
4)    SAG-AFTRA Agreement for Independent Producers of Theatrical Motion Pictures
5)    Low Budget Agreement
6)    SAG-AFTRA-Producers Pension and Health Adherence Letters
7)    Television/Theatrical Production Checklist

Download Bar
Yes
PRE-PRODUCTION
Step 3

Email the completed form to signyourpicture@sagaftra.org.

 

A SAG-AFTRA Business Representative will contact you within a few days and send you a packet of information and documents.

 

Envelope
No
PRE-PRODUCTION
Step 3

The following are the steps you must take prior to your first day of travel, rehearsal or principal photography, whichever comes first (we recommend giving yourself at least three weeks).

Clip Board
No
PRE-PRODUCTION
Step 3

Required Documents

 

Complete and return the following five documents from your packet:
1)    Theatrical Information Sheet
2)    Theatrical Distribution Checklist
3)    SAG-AFTRA Agreement for Independent Producers of Theatrical motion Pictures
4)    SAG-AFTRA-Producers Pension Plan Adherence Letter
5)    Television/Theatrical Production Checklist

Clip Board
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Yes
PRE-PRODUCTION
Step 4

Required Documents (cont.)

 

Also complete and submit documentation that indicates who is employing the performers:

Corporation – Provide your Articles of Incorporation and completed Corporation Resolution. Click to download.
Limited Liability Corporations (LLC) – Provide your Articles of Organization, LLC Operating Agreement and completed LLC Resolution. Click to download.
Partnership or Joint Venture – Provide your Fictitious Business Name Statement (if applicable) and Partnership Agreement (if applicable).

 

NOTE: It’s very important that the information you provide in this step is consistent with the information previously submitted.

Yes
PRE-PRODUCTION
Step 4

Required Documents

 

Complete and return the following documents from your packet:
1)    Company Authorization Letter form
2)    Theatrical Information Sheet
3)    SAG-AFTRA Agreement for Independent Producers of Theatrical Motion Pictures
4)    Ultra Low Budget Agreement
5)    SAG-AFTRA-Producers Pension and Health Adherence Letters

Download Bar
Yes
PRE-PRODUCTION
Step 4

Start by completing the Preliminary Information Sheet for Modified Low Budget Agreements.

Clip Board
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Yes
PRE-PRODUCTION
Step 5

Email the completed form to signyourpicture@sagaftra.org.

 

A SAG-AFTRA Business Representative will contact you within a few days and send you a packet of information and documents.

Envelope
Yes
PRE-PRODUCTION
Step 5

Send your SAG-AFTRA Business Representative the following three required production documents:

 

1)    Complete Pre-Production Cast List
2)    A copy of the shooting script
3)    Day Out of Days

Business Rep
Yes
Pre-Production Cast List
Step 5

Required Documents (cont.)
Also complete and submit documentation that indicates who is employing the actors:

 

Corporation – Provide your Articles of Incorporation and completed Corporation Resolution.
Limited Liability Corporations (LLC) – Provide your Articles of Organization, LLC Operating Agreement and completed LLC Resolution.
Partnership or Joint Venture – Provide your Fictitious Business Name Statement (if applicable) and Partnership Agreement (if applicable).

Business Rep
Yes
PRE-PRODUCTION
Step 5

Also complete and submit documentation that indicates who is employing the actors:

Corporation – Provide your Articles of Incorporation and completed Corporation Resolution. Click to download.
Limited Liability Corporations (LLC) – Provide your Articles of Organization, LLC Operating Agreement and completed LLC Resolution. Click to download.
Partnership or Joint Venture – Provide your Fictitious Business Name Statement (if applicable) and Partnership Agreement (if applicable).

Business Rep
Download Bar
Yes
PRE-PRODUCTION
Step 6

Required Documents

 

Complete and return the following documents from your packet:
1)    Company Authorization Letter form
2)    Theatrical Information Sheet
3)    Theatrical Distribution Checklist
4)    SAG-AFTRA Agreement for Independent Producers of Theatrical Motion Pictures
5)    Modified Low Budget Agreement
6)    SAG-AFTRA-Producers Pension and Health Adherence Letters
7)    Television/Theatrical Production Checklist

Download Bar
Yes
PRE-PRODUCTION
Step 6

We also need to review any agreements you have that affect the ownership of the film and its story.  These are called Chain of Title documents.  Chain of Title documents usually include, but are not limited to, the following:

 

•    A copy of Form PA or eCO (relating to the screenplay) and proof of its registration with the US Copyright Office (USCO)
•    All assignment agreements relating to the film and the underlying rights, including proof of filing each with USCO (For example, certificate(s) of authorship, “work made for hire” agreements, and copyright assignments); and
•    Copies of all distribution, license, and/or sales agency agreements pertaining to the right to distribute the Picture in all media and territories worldwide.

Yes
PRE-PRODUCTION
Step 6

Send your SAG-AFTRA Business Representative the following four required production documents:

 

1)    Complete Pre-Production Cast List; if you intend to use the Diversity-in-Casting Incentive, use the Pre-Production Cast List Diversity form.
2)    A copy of the shooting script
3)    Day Out of Days
4)    Line Item Budget

Business Rep
Yes
PRE-PRODUCTION
Step 6

Send your SAG-AFTRA Business Representative the following four required production documents:

 

1)    Complete Pre-Production Cast List
2)    A copy of the shooting script
3)    Day Out of Days
4)    Line Item Budget

Business Rep
Download Bar
Yes
PRE-PRODUCTION
Step 7

Required Documents (cont.)
Also complete and submit documentation that indicates who is employing the actors:

Corporation – Provide your Articles of Incorporation and completed Corporation Resolution. Click to download.
Limited Liability Corporations (LLC) – Provide your Articles of Organization, LLC Operating Agreement and completed LLC Resolution. Click to download.
Partnership or Joint Venture – Provide your Fictitious Business Name Statement (if applicable) and Partnership Agreement (if applicable).

Clip Board
Yes
PRE-PRODUCTION
Step 7

Once we’ve received and reviewed all of the applicable documents, your SAG-AFTRA Business Representative will contact you and let you know what financial assurances are needed. Financial assurances usually include, but are not limited to, the following:

 

1)    Security Deposit (in the form of a cashier’s check or wire transfer) and related Security Deposit Letter and W-9 form.
2)    Security Agreement
3)    Assumption Agreement(s)
4)    Intercreditor Agreement(s), if applicable
5)    And all other financial assurances that may be required, including, but not limited to, a Collection Agreement, Guaranty Agreement, and/or a Residuals Reserve and corresponding Custody Agreement.

Yes
PRE-PRODUCTION
Step 7

We also need to review any agreements you have that affect the ownership of the film and its story.  These are called Chain of Title documents.  Chain of Title documents usually include, but are not limited to, the following:
•    A copy of Form PA or ECO (relating to the screenplay) and proof of its registration with the US Copyright Office (USCO)
•    Agreements for all assignments relating to the film and the underlying rights, including proof of filing each with USCO (For example, certificate(s) of authorship, “work made for hire” agreements, and copyright assignments); and
•    Copies of all distribution, license, and/or sales agency agreements pertaining to the right to distribute the Picture in all media and territories worldwide.

Business Rep
Yes
PRE-PRODUCTION
Step 7

Once we’ve received and reviewed all of the applicable documents, your SAG-AFTRA Business Representative will contact you and let you know the amount of the security deposit, which you must deliver to the union as follows:
1)    Security Deposit (cashier’s check or wire transfer)
2)    Security Deposit letter
3)    W-9 form
Complete the fillable areas completely.

When all of these requirements are fulfilled, your Business Representative will give your production “clearance,” which will allow the performers you have cast to begin work.

Business Rep
Sign Online
Yes
PRE-PRODUCTION
Step 8

Send your SAG-AFTRA Business Representative the following four required production documents:

 

1)    Complete Pre-Production Cast List; if you intend to use the Diversity-in-Casting Incentive, use the Pre-Production Cast List Diversity form.
2)    A copy of the shooting script
3)    Day Out of Days
4)    Line Item Budget

Business Rep
Download Bar
Yes
PRE-PRODUCTION
Step 8

When all of these requirements are fulfilled, your SAG-AFTRA Business Representative will give your production “clearance,” allowing you to verify with the Union that the Performers and Background Actors you’ve hired for your project are in good standing and can work.  This is referred to as the Cast clearance process.

Business Rep
Yes
PRE-PRODUCTION
Step 8

Once we’ve received and reviewed all of the applicable documents, your SAG-AFTRA Business Representative will contact you and let you know what financial assurances are needed. Financial assurances usually include, but are not limited to, the following:
1)    Security Deposit (in the form of a cashier’s check or wire transfer) and related Security Deposit Letter and W-9 form.
2)    Security Agreement
3)    Assumption Agreement(s)
4)    Intercreditor Agreement(s), if applicable
5)    And all other financial assurances that may be required, including, but not limited to, a Collection Agreement, Guaranty Agreement, and/or a Residuals Reserve and corresponding Custody Agreement.

Yes
PRODUCTION
Step 8

Required Documents
During production, complete and submit the following to your SAG-AFTRA Business Representative:
1)    Delivery of each week’s payroll checks to the Union: Itemized checks made payable to each performer must be delivered to your Business Representative no later than the Thursday following each payroll week.
2)    Delivery of each week’s total Pension and Health contributions: In addition to the payroll checks, you must deliver a check made payable to the SAG-AFTRA-Producers Pension Plan in the amount of the total Pension and Health contributions for the previous week’s payroll, accompanied by a completed Pension and Health Plans Theatrical Weekly Report of Contributions

Yes
PRE-PRODUCTION
Step 9

We also need to review any agreements you have that affect the ownership of the film and its story.  These are called Chain of Title documents.  Chain of Title documents usually include, but are not limited to, the following:
•    A copy of Form PA or eCO (relating to the screenplay) and proof of its registration with the US Copyright Office (USCO)
•    All assignment agreements relating to the film and the underlying rights, including proof of filing each with USCO (For example, certificate(s) of authorship, “work made for hire” agreements, and copyright assignments); and
•    Copies of all distribution, license, and/or sales agency agreements pertaining to the right to distribute the Picture in all media and territories worldwide.

No
PRODUCTION
Step 9

During production, you will need to complete and submit SAG-AFTRA Performer Contracts and Production Time Report Forms (Exhibit G) to your SAG-AFTRA Representative.

Clip Board
Yes
PRE-PRODUCTION
Step 9

When all of these requirements are fulfilled, your
SAG-AFTRA Business Representative will give your production “clearance,” allowing you to verify with the Union that the Performers and Background Actors you’ve hired for your project are in good standing and can work.  This is referred to as the Cast clearance process.

Business Rep
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Yes
PRODUCTION
Step 9

Required Documents (cont’d)
3)    SAG-AFTRA Performer Contracts for Ultra Low Budget Theatrical Motion Pictures
4)    Complete a Production Time Report Form (Exhibit G) for each day of production. 

Clip Board
Download Bar
Yes
PRE-PRODUCTION
Step 10

Once we’ve received and reviewed all of the applicable documents, your SAG-AFTRA Business Representative will contact you and let you know what financial assurances are needed. Financial assurances usually include, but are not limited to, the following:

 

1)    Security Deposit (in the form of a cashier’s check or wire transfer) and related Security Deposit Letter and W-9 form.
2)    Security Agreement
3)    Assumption Agreement(s)

Business Rep
Download Bar
Yes
PRODUCTION
Step 10

Working With Non-Union Members

 

If you are hiring a principal performer or background actor who is not yet a SAG-AFTRA member, you should submit the applicable Taft-Hartley Report to your Business Representative, along with a head shot and resume.

Clip Board
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Yes
PRODUCTION
Step 10

Required Documents

 

During production, complete and submit the following to your SAG-AFTRA Business Representative:
1)    Delivery of each week’s payroll checks to the Union: Itemized checks made payable to each performer must be delivered to your Business Representative no later than the Thursday following each payroll week.
2)    Delivery of each week’s total Pension and Health contributions: In addition to the payroll checks, you must deliver a check made payable to the SAG-AFTRA-Producers Pension Plan in the amount of the total Pension and Health contributions for the previous week’s payroll, accompanied by a completed Pension and Health Plans Theatrical Weekly Report of Contributions

No
POST-PRODUCTION
Step 10

After production, complete and submit the following to your SAG-AFTRA Business Representative:

 

1)    Final Cast List
2)    Detailed Final Cost Report

Clip Board
No
PRE-PRODUCTION
Step 11

4)    Intercreditor Agreement(s), if applicable
5)    And all other financial assurances that may be required, including, but not limited to, a Collection Agreement, Guaranty Agreement, and/or a Residuals Reserve and corresponding Custody Agreement.

 

Complete the fillable areas completely (it is important that you do not leave any areas blank).

Download Bar
Yes
POST-PRODUCTION
Step 11

After production, complete and submit the following to your SAG-AFTRA Business Representative:
1)     Final Cast List
2)    Casting Data Report Forms

Clip Board
Download Bar
Yes
PRODUCTION
Step 11

Required Documents (cont’d)

 

3)    SAG-AFTRA Performer Contracts for Low Budget Theatrical Motion Pictures
4)    Complete a Production Time Report Form (Exhibit G) for each day of production. 

Clip Board
Yes
POST-PRODUCTION
Step 11

And that’s it!

 

If you have any questions throughout the process, please contact your SAG-AFTRA Business Representative.

 

Thank you for working with SAG-AFTRA.

Business Rep
Sign Online
No
PRE-PRODUCTION
Step 12

When all of these requirements are fulfilled, your SAG-AFTRA Business Representative will give your production “clearance,” allowing you to verify with the Union that the Performers and Background Actors you’ve hired for your project are in good standing and can work.  This is referred to as the Cast clearance process.

Business Rep
Yes
And that’s it!
Step 12

If you have any questions throughout any of the signatory process, please contact a SAG-AFTRA Business Representative at the number listed below.

 

Thank you for working with SAG-AFTRA!

Business Rep
No
Working With Non-SAG-AFTRA Members
Step 12

If you are hiring a principal performer or background actor who is not yet a SAG-AFTRA member, you should submit the applicable Taft-Hartley Report to your Business Representative, along with a head shot and resume.

Download Bar
No
PRODUCTION
Step 13

Required Documents
During production, complete and submit the following to your SAG-AFTRA Business Representative:
1)    Delivery of each week’s payroll checks to the Union: Itemized checks made payable to each performer must be delivered to your Business Representative no later than the Thursday following each payroll week.
2)    Delivery of each week’s total Pension and Health contributions: In addition to the payroll checks, you must deliver a check made payable to the SAG-AFTRA-Producers Pension Plan in the amount of the total Pension and Health contributions for the previous week’s payroll, accompanied by a completed Pension and Health Plans Theatrical Weekly Report of Contributions

Business Rep
No
POST-PRODUCTION
Step 13

After production, complete and submit the following to your SAG-AFTRA Business Representative:

 

1)    Final Cast List
2)    Casting Data Report Forms
3)    Detailed Final Cost Report

Clip Board
Download Bar
No
PRODUCTION
Step 14

Required Documents (cont’d)

 

3)    SAG-AFTRA Performer Contracts for Modified Low Budget Theatrical Motion Pictures
4)    Complete a Production Time Report Form (Exhibit G) for each day of production. 

Clip Board
Download Bar
No
And that’s it!
Step 14

If you have any questions throughout the process, please contact your SAG-AFTRA Business Representative.

 

Thank you for working with SAG-AFTRA.

Business Rep
No
PRODUCTION
Step 15

Working With Non-SAG-AFTRA Members

 

If you are hiring a principal performer or background actor who is not yet a SAG-AFTRA member, you should submit the applicable Taft-Hartley Report to your Business Representative, along with a head shot and resume.

Business Rep
Yes
POST-PRODUCTION
Step 16

After production, complete and submit the following to your SAG-AFTRA Business Representative:

 

1)    Final Cast List
2)    Casting Data Report Forms
3)    Detailed Final Cost Report

Clip Board
No
And that’s it!
Step 16

If you have any questions throughout the process, please contact your SAG-AFTRA Business Representative.

 

Thank you for working with SAG-AFTRA.

Business Rep
No
This is the form a producer signs to producer under the 2017 Theatrical Codified Basic Agreement.
Sample PDF
Agreement
This is the agreement for independent producers making films under $2.5 million.
Sample PDF
Agreement
This is the agreement for independent producers making films under $700,000.
Sample PDF
Agreement
This is the agreement for independent producers making films under $250,000.
Sample PDF
Agreement
This is the master agreement for theatrical motion pictures, and spells out the responsibilities of producers working in that medium.
Informational / Guide PDF
Agreement
This is the master agreement for theatrical motion pictures, and spells out the responsibilities of producers working in that medium.
Informational / Guide PDF
Agreement
This is the form a producer signs to producer under the 2017 Theatrical Codified Basic Agreement.
Sample PDF
Agreement

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