Modified Low Budget
The Modified Low Budget Agreement applies to those films with a total budget of less than $700,000.
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
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 Modified Low Budget Agreements.
Email the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A SAG-AFTRA Business Representative will contact you within a few days and send you a packet of information and 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
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).
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
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.
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.
Complete the fillable areas completely (it is important that you do not leave any areas blank).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
If you have any questions throughout the process, please contact your SAG-AFTRA Business Representative.
Thank you for working with SAG-AFTRA.
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