The Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) Ultra Low Budget project agreement is a contract that allows low-budget film and television productions to hire union actors at a reduced rate. This agreement was created to give independent filmmakers, web series creators, and small production companies a chance to work with union actors while staying within their limited budget.
The Ultra Low Budget agreement is specifically designed for productions with a budget of $250,000 or less. In order to qualify for this agreement, productions must meet specific criteria, including a maximum shooting schedule of 14 days, a maximum of nine speaking roles, and a maximum daily rate of $125 for actors.
While the Ultra Low Budget agreement offers a reduced rate for union actors, it still provides them with important protections and benefits. Actors working under this agreement are still eligible for health and pension contributions, residual payments for future use of their work, and the right to refuse unsafe working conditions.
Independent filmmakers and small production companies can benefit greatly from the Ultra Low Budget agreement. Hiring union actors can give their productions a higher level of professionalism and quality while remaining within their budget. It also provides opportunities for actors who may not have access to larger budget productions to work in union projects and gain valuable experience.
It is important to note that the Ultra Low Budget agreement is not the only option for low-budget productions. SAG-AFTRA also offers the Short Project agreement, which is designed for productions with a budget of $50,000 or less and a maximum shooting schedule of three days. Additionally, producers can negotiate a modified agreement with SAG-AFTRA for any production that does not qualify for these agreements.
In conclusion, the SAG-AFTRA Ultra Low Budget project agreement provides a great opportunity for low-budget productions to hire union actors while staying within their budget. It offers important protections and benefits for actors and allows independent filmmakers and small production companies to create high-quality productions. It is important for producers to explore all options available to them when choosing a SAG-AFTRA agreement that best suits their specific production needs.