SAG-AFTRA Low Budget Contracts

I Went To SXSW So That You Don’t Have To

Low budget contracts aren’t always straightforward. If you plan to create a film, you will need to understand the specifics and stay informed. How do you know which contract is right for you? As a signatory, how can you steer through the complexities of industry contracts, incentives, & residuals? I am here to answer all of your burning questions.

Ask yourself: “What route do you see this film going?” Besides the monetary value of your project, you also need to identify your distribution plan. Considering these objectives prior to picking an agreement will save you the headache of having to back-track on your contract.

Finding that balance between your budget and your long-term distribution plan is essential. And remember, always set aside a cushion in your budget of 5-10%.

Stay informed. Understanding residuals as a filmmaker is a fundamental part of the distribution process. Be sure to have your distribution company sign a Distribution Assumption Agreement. This will alleviate your responsibility to pay residuals long-term. Without this agreement, you will be responsible for paying all residuals throughout the life of the film.

Additionally, one should understand the incentives that you can utilize based on the contract that you select. These can help increase your budget. Let’s take a look:

Background Performer Incentive

This incentive is only applied to the moderate low budget agreements and can increase your budget for your film.

Diversity incentive

Under this incentive, all classes and individuals with disabilities are federally protected. This can also help increase your budget, however, you can not deliberately ask if an individual falls within a certain category before bringing them onto your project. Keep in mind that each person can only qualify for one incentive.

If you found this information helpful, check out the full video on my Youtube channel.

Are you in the TV or film industry and are in need of an experienced lawyer in Houston or Atlanta? Contact the Hay Law Group today!