Dubbing Agreement

  • The Dubbing Modification Agreement (“Dubbing Agreement”) covers the the employment of performers dubbing English language sound track to be used in connection with motion pictures initially produced  in another language or the dubbing of new English language sound track to replace an English sound track which lacks the appropriate fluency in English. Similarly, under the Spanish Language Modification (Dubbing) Agreement (“Spanish Dubbing Agreement”), the agreement covers the employment of performers for the purpose of dubbing sound track into the Spanish language to be used in connection with motion pictures initially produced in a language other than Spanish. The dubbing performer must work “to picture,” synchronizing the on- and off-camera dialogue of the English language script adaptation.

    Looping is not covered hereunder except in circumstances where a star performer loops his/her own performance in a foreign produced motion picture in association with dubbing performers. Otherwise, Looping and ADR work are not specifically covered by this modification, they are instead covered by the Basic Agreement.  

Who’s covered?

  • All performers engaged to sing and provide voiceover dubbing are covered by the Dubbing and Spanish Dubbing Agreements.

What are Dubbing “Categories?”

  • Under the Dubbing Agreement, rates and residuals are based on the initial exhibition which fall under three categories: 

    Category 1: Live action or animated foreign language motion picture with an initial theatrical exhibition in the U.S. or Canada

    Category 2: Live action or animated foreign language motion picture with an initial exhibition on broadcast or cable television in the U.S. or Canada

    Category 3: Foreign language motion picture with an initial exhibition in any market (e.g., home video, airline, pay television) other than those covered by Categories 1 and 2.


  • These are the steps you must take prior to your first day of recording (we recommend giving yourself at least three weeks).

    Step 1

    The producer or audio house must submit a Preliminary Information Sheet to notify SAG-AFTRA of the upcoming project.

    Within two business days, a SAG-AFTRA representative will forward you additional information and documentation.

    Step 2

    You will need to send a link to the original foreign language project, copy of the original foreign-language script, a translated English script, or any other identifying information (such as an IMDb link to the original production) so that SAG-AFTRA can verify that the project qualifies under the Dubbing Agreement.

    Additionally, submit the following documents and complete and return the following forms:

    • Company Structure Documents
      • Corporation – Provide your Articles of Incorporation, state filing receipt, and executed Bylaws.
      • Limited Liability Corporations (LLC) – Provide your Articles of Organization, state filing receipt, and executed Operating Agreement.
      • DBA - Fictitious Business Name Statement with Clerk’s stamp
    • Company authorization Form
    • Information sheet
    • Pre-production cast list
    • Dubbing Agreement
    • Theatrical Adherence Letter
    • SAG-AFTRA Health Plan Letter of Adherence
    • Production checklist

    Step 3

    When all of these requirements are fulfilled, your SAG-AFTRA Business Representative will give your production “clearance” and will email you production paperwork. You can then verify with the union that the performers you’ve hired for your project are in good standing and can work. This is referred to as the Cast Clearance process.

    Working With Non-SAG-AFTRA Members:

    If you are hiring a principal performer who is not yet a SAG-AFTRA member, you must submit a Taft-Hartley Report to your Business Representative, along with the performer’s head shot and resume. The Taft-Hartley process allows a non-union member to become eligible to join the union. As long as the performer is deemed a qualified professional performer, there is no charge to the producer for hiring the performer and submitting a Taft Hartley Report. A “qualified professional performer” is a person who has had prior employment as a motion picture performer at least once within the last three years.


  • Step 4

    During production, complete and submit the following to voiceover@sagaftra.org:

    • SAG-AFTRA Performer Contracts
    • Production Time Report Form (Exhibit G) for each day of production

    Step 5

    Performer payroll is due by the end of the payroll week following each week during which services are rendered. All compensation paid to performers under the terms of the Dubbing Agreement constitute wages and is subject to deductions for income taxes, social security and disability insurance. Producer must make the necessary payments, reports and withholding deductions with respect to such taxes and premiums. SAG-AFTRA strongly encourages production to engage an experienced entertainment payroll house to process performers’ payroll and SAG-AFTRA Health Plan and SAG-Producers Pension Plan contributions.

    Submit copies of the payroll registers to voiceover@sagaftra.org.


And that’s it!

  • If you have any questions throughout the process, please contact your SAG-AFTRA representative or the Voiceover Department at voiceover@sagaftra.org or (323) 549-6815.

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