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Producers, Rework Your Budgets: SAG-AFTRA Ups Low-Budget Contracts 25%

Julia Stiles in Between Us

For low-budget filmmakers, the cost of hiring SAG actors has just gotten higher. Yesterday, as reported by Deadline, the SAG-AFTRA national board of directors approved a new contract paying actors working under three low-budget agreements a 25% raise.

The ultra-low-budget agreement, for films under $200,000 dollars, such as Dan Mirvish’s Between Us (pictured above), now requires producers to pay actors $125 a day, up from $100. The modified low-budget agreement now has a daily minimum of $335 and weekly rate of $1,166 (up from $268 and $933, respectively). And the low-budget contract, covering films less than $2.5 million sees rates rise to $630 and $2,190 (from $504 and $1,752). All three contracts require filmmakers to shoot in the U.S. and, remember, a SAG work day is eight hours. So, overtime rates apply to bring actors up to film’s typical 12-hour shooting day.

These increases are the first for these contracts in ten years.

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