Ultra Low Budget

Ultra Low Budget

  • The Ultra Low Budget Agreement applies to those films shooting entirely in the United States with a budget of less than $250,000.


  • Step 1

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

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

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

    Step 2

    Required Documents

    Complete and return the following requested documents:

    1. Theatrical Information Sheet
    2. Signatory Producer’s Company Formation Documents
      1. If you are producing as an individual, please send us a copy of your government issued identification.
    3. Company Authorization Form, if applicable
    4. SAG-AFTRA Agreement for Independent Producers of Theatrical motion Pictures*
    5. SAG-AFTRA-Producers Pension Plan Adherence Letter*
    6. Television/Theatrical Production Checklist*
    7. Ultra Low Budget Agreement*
    8. Complete Pre-Production Cast List
    9. A copy of the shooting script
    10. Day Out of Days
    11. Line Item Budget

    *These items may be sent by your Business Representative via DocuSign to the authorized signer.  Contact your Business Representative if you have any questions.

    Step 3

    Required Documents (cont.)

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

    • Corporation – Provide your Articles of Incorporation and executed Bylaws.
    • Limited Liability Corporations (LLC) – Provide your Articles of Organization and executed Operating Agreement.
    • DBA - Fictitious Business Name Statement with Clerk’s stamp

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

    Step 4

    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 or W-8BEN form

    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.


  • Step 5

    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. (Please note, this Agreement requires production to engage an entertainment payroll house to process performers’ payroll.)
    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.
    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.


  • Step 6

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

    1. Final Cast List
    2. Detailed Final Cost Report

    Your SAG-AFTRA Business Representative will conduct a final review of your file to determine what, if any, outstanding items remain in order to begin the security deposit return process.

    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.

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