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Erin Pearson
Bradley DeRuiter
May 6, 2020

The Ultimate Guide to DGA Theatrical Rates

DGA Rates

When your feature or short film production hires crew from the Directors Guild of America, you know your cast and crew are getting top notch expertise. With that level of excellence.comes a lot of terms like, completion of assignment pay, wrap allowance production fees, and other daunting details. So it is not just about the DGA rates alone. Whether you are shooting a feature film or a short film, this article will help guide you through, the information you need to know, when working with the DGA.

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Here is a layout of what you will find in the order of appearance:

Important DGA rates and dates

Latest DGA rates effective July 1st, 2019 and remain in effect until June 30th, 2020. When the subsequent season DGA rates come in we will update our blog.

DGA Basic Agreement Director Rate Table

Basic Agreement is for films with budgets $11 million and over.

Shooting a feature film, Documentary or Short Film? You can always find the latest union rates on our website with our easy Union Rates Search tool.

DGA Rate Card for Film Directors Theatrical Basic Agreement Directors

RATE TYPE AND GUARANTEESHIGH BUDGETSHORTS & DOCUMENTARIES
Weekly Salary$20,113$14,364
Guaranteed Preparation Period2 Weeks2 Days
Guaranteed Employment Period10 Weeks1 Week + 1 Day
Guaranteed Cutting Allowance1 Week0 Days
Compensation for Days Worked Beyond Guarantee$4,023$2,873
Daily Employment Rate Where Permitted$5,028$3,591

6th and 7th Days Worked; Holidays Worked

The workweek for Studio locations is 5 days, with the 6th and 7th days off. The workweek for Distant locations is 6 days, with the 7th day off.

Film directors will be paid 1/5 of their weekly salary plus $3,609 for work on a 7th day in a workweek or on New Year’s Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, the day after Thanksgiving or Christmas Day. If compensation is less than $3,609 per day, then they are paid 200% of scale.

If required to work a 6th day studio, Directors will be paid 150% of actual pro rata daily salary or an additional 200% of scale, whichever is lower.

Director Fringe Rates for Basic and Low Budget

Pension & Health Employer Contributions:

Pension Plan 7%, Health Plan 10.5%

Pension & Health Ceilings:

Theatrical: Pension ceiling = $200,000; Health ceiling = $400,000

Unit Production Managers & Assistant Directors Minimum Rates

DGA Rate Card for Theatrical Basic Agreement UPM and AD's

RATE TYPEUPMFIRST ADKEY 2nd AD2ND SECOND ADADDITIONAL 2ND AD
Weekly Studio Salary$5,740$5,459$3,658$3,453$2,101
Weekly Distant Salary$8,038$7,634$5,111$4,828$2,947
Weekly Studio Production Fee$1,245$1,01$771$0$0
Weekly Distant Production Fee$1,482$1,245$1,013$0$0
Daily Studio Salary$1,435$1,365$915$863$525
Daily Distant Salary$2,010$1,909$1,278$1,207$737
Daily Studio Production Fee$311$253$193$0$0
Daily Distant Production Fee$371$311$253$0$0

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6th and 7th Days Worked; Holidays Worked

DAY WORKEDLOCATION TYPEWEEKLY SALARYWEEKLY PRODUCTION FEEDAILY SALARYDAILY PRODUCTION FEE
6TH DayStudio1.5x ⅕ Salary1.5x ⅕ Fee1.5x Daily Rate1.5x Daily Fee
6TH DayDistantIncluded in RateIncludedIncludedIncluded
7TH DayStudio2x ⅕ Salary2x ⅕ Fee2x Daily Rate2.x Daily Fee
7TH DayDistantExtra ⅕ Studio SalaryExtra 1/6 FeeExtra Dist Daily RateExtra Dist. Daily Fee
Holiday WorkedStudio2/5 Salary2/5 Fee2x Daily Rate2x Daily Fee
Holiday WorkedDistant2/7 Salary2/7 Fee2x Daily Rate2x Daily Fee
Holiday Not WorkedStudio1/5 Salary1/5 Fee1x Daily Rate1x Daily Fee
Holiday Not WorkedStudio1/7 Salary1/7 Fee1x Daily Rate1x Daily Fee

Extended Workday

HOURS WORKEDCONDITIONPOSITIONADDITIONAL PAY
16+Every 4 hours or portion thereofUPMAdditional 1 day pay
16+Every 4 hours or portion thereofADDITIONAL 2ND ADAdditional 1 day pay
16+Every 4 hours or portion thereofKEY 2nd ADAdditional 1 day pay
16+Every 4 hours or portion thereof2ND SECOND ADAdditional 1 day pay
14-16Hours over 14 less than 16FIRST ADAdditional 1/2 day pay
16- 20Hours over 16 less than 20FIRST ADAdditional 1/2 day pay
20+Every 4 hours or portion thereofFIRST ADAdditional 1 day pay

Rest Periods

The rest period is 9 hours, if the rest period is invaded the employee receives ¼ days pay for every hour invaded.

UPM & AD’S Completion Of Assignment Pay

UPMs, 1st ADs, Key 2nd ADs and 2nd 2nd ADs are entitled to an additional week’s salary upon completion of assignment if employed two or more consecutive weeks or 2 1/2 days salary if employed at least five consecutive days but less than two consecutive weeks. COA pay shall be based on actual (including overscale) salary paid, excluding production fee, extended day, and rest period invasion payments, and shall be computed by totaling all compensation earned (including upgrade salaries) and dividing the total thereof by the number of weeks worked.

No COA is paid for a hiatus of at least one week over Christmas/New Years so long as (1) the Employee receives unworked holiday pay for Christmas Day and New Years Day; (2) the hiatus is a maximum of two consecutive weeks; and (3) if on location, the Employer will provide travel to/from location or will provide per diem and housing if the Employer agrees that Employee remains on location.

UPM and AD’s Employer Contributions Fring Rates

Pension & Health Contributions

Pension Plan 7%, Health Plan 10.5%, Vacation 4%, Holiday Accrual 3.719%

Pension & Health Ceilings

Theatrical: Pension ceiling = $200,000, UPM Health ceiling = $350,000, AD’s Health ceiling = $250,000

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Low Budget Agreement Director Rates Table

DGA Rate Card Theatrical Low Budget Directors

LEVELBUDGET
1A<$500K
1B$500k-$1M
2$1M-2.5M
3$2.5M-3.75M
4A$3.75M-5.5M
4B$5.5M-8.5M
4C$8.5M-11M
RATE-GUAR.1A1B234A4B4C
Weekly SalaryNegotiateNegotiateNegotiate$75K total$15k$15k$18,102
Daily SalaryNegotiateNegotiateNegotiate$1,500*$3,771$3,771$4,525
Guarant. Prepn/an/an/aNegotiate2 wks2 wks2 wks
Guarant. EmployNegotiateNegotiateNegotiate13 wks10 wks10 wks10 wks
Guarant. Cuttingn/an/an/an/a1 wk1 wk1 wk
Daily Pay Past Guar.n/an/an/aNegotiate$3,017$3,017$3,620

*For Second Unit Directors

Low Budget UPM & AD's Minimum Rates

DGA Rate Card Low Budget Theatrical UPM’s and AD’s

Low Budget Agreement Levels 1 - 3

POSITION1A <$500K1B $500k-$1M2 $1M-2.5M3 $2.5M-3.75M
UPMNegotiable$1,894$2,870$3,444
FIRST ADNegotiable$1,801$2,730$3,275
KEY 2nd ADNegotiable$1,207$1,829$2,195
ALL OTHER 2ADNegotiable$823$1,051$1,261

Low Budget Levels 1-3 UPM, AD’s Other Terms

TERMS1A <$500K1B $500k-$1M2 $1M-2.5M3 $2.5M-3.75M
Production FeeNot RequiredNot RequiredUPM = $25/wk; 1AD & Key 2AD = $25/wkUPM & 1AD = $200/wk; Key 2AD = $150/wk
6th 7th Day Work-Studio6th and 7th 1x pay6th and 7th 1x pay6th and 7th 1x pay6th day 1x, 7th 1.5x
6th 7th Day Work-Distant6th and 7th 1x pay6th and 7th 1x pay6th and 7th 1x pay6th day 1x, 7th 1.5x
Rest PeriodSame as BasicSame as BasicSame as BasicSame as Basic
Vacation Fringe 4%Not RequiredNot RequiredNot RequiredNot Required
Holidays Worked2x Day Rate2x Day Rate2x Day Rate2x Day Rate/Studio Extra ⅕ Studio rate/Distant
Holidays Not WorkedNot paidNot paidNot paidPaid if during workweek
Holiday Fringe of 3.719%Not RequiredNot RequiredNot RequiredNot Required
COA** PayNot RequiredNot RequiredNot RequiredSame as Basic
Dinner Allowance$30$30$30$30
Distant Housing1st Class or Best Avail.1st Class or Best Avail.1st Class or Best Avail.1st Class or Best Avail.
Distant Per Diem$60$60$60$60
Incidental’s Allow. DistantNot RequiredNot RequiredNot RequiredNot Required
Mileage in TMZNone unless cast or crew getNone unless cast or crew getNone unless cast or crew getNone unless cast or crew get
Mileage outside TMZ$.30/mile$.30/mile$.30/mile$.30/mile
2AD Wrap AllowanceNot RequiredNot RequiredNot RequiredNot Required
Min Prep TimeNegotiable, but no less than neededNegotiable, but no less than needed7 days 1 AD, 3 days Key 2AD7 days 1 AD, 3 days Key 2AD
Aircraft/Water AllowanceNot RequiredNot RequiredNot Required$180

**COA is Completion of Assignment

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Low Budget Agreement Level 4 UPM, AD’s Rate Table

Low Budget Level 4A $3.75M-5.5M

RATE TYPEUPMFIRST ADKEY 2nd AD2ND SECOND ADADDITIONAL 2ND AD
Weekly Studio Salary$4,018$3,828$2,561$2,417$1,471
Weekly Distant Salary$5,627$5,344$3,578$3,380$2,063
Weekly Studio Production Fee$872$709$540$0$0
Weekly Distant Production Fee$1,037$872$709$0$0
Daily Studio Salary$1,005$957$640$604$368
Daily Distant Salary$1,407$1,336$894$845$516
Daily Studio Production Fee$218$177$135$0$0
Daily Distant Production Fee$259$218$177$0$0

Low Budget Level 4B $5.5M-8.5M

RATE TYPEUPMFIRST ADKEY 2nd AD2ND SECOND ADADDITIONAL 2ND AD
Weekly Studio Salary$4,592$4,367$2,926$2,762$1,681
Weekly Distant Salary$6,430$6,107$4,089$3,862$2,358
Weekly Studio Production Fee$996$810$617$0$0
Weekly Distant Production Fee$1,186$996$810$0$0
Daily Studio Salary$1,148$1,092$732$691$420
Daily Distant Salary$1,608$1,527$1,022$966$589
Daily Studio Production Fee$249$203$154$0$0
Daily Distant Production Fee$296$249$203$0$0

Low Budget Level 4C $8.5M-11M

RATE TYPEUPMFIRST ADKEY 2nd AD2ND SECOND ADADDITIONAL 2ND AD
Weekly Studio Salary$5,166$4,913$3,292$3,108$1,891
Weekly Distant Salary$7,234$6,871$4,600$4,345$2,652
Weekly Studio Production Fee$1,121$912$694$0$0
Weekly Distant Production Fee$1,334$1,121$912$0$0
Daily Studio Salary$1,292$1,228$823$777$473
Daily Distant Salary$1,809$1,718$1,150$1,086$663
Daily Studio Production Fee$280$228$173$0$0
Daily Distant Production Fee$333$280$228$0$0

Low Budget Agreement Level 4 UPM, AD’s Other Terms

TERMS4A $3.75M-5.5M4B $5.5M-8.5M4C $8.5M-11M
Rest PeriodSame as BasicSame as BasicSame as Basic
Vacation Fringe 4%Not RequiredNot RequiredYes
Holiday Fringe of 3.719%Not RequiredNot RequiredYes
COA** PaySame as BasicSame as BasicSame as Basic
Dinner Allowance, when meal not provided$30$30$30
Distant Housing1st Class or Best Avail.1st Class or Best Avail.1st Class or Best Avail.
Distant Per Diem$60$60$60
Incidental’s Allow. DistantNot RequiredNot Required$22-Day
Mileage in TMZNone unless cast or crew getNone unless cast or crew getNone unless cast or crew get
Mileage outside TMZ$.30/mile$.30/mile$.30/mile
2AD Wrap AllowanceNot RequiredNot Required$57/day
Min Prep Time15 days 1 AD, 7 days Key 2AD15 days 1 AD, 7 days Key 2AD15 days 1 AD, 7 days Key 2AD
Aircraft/Water Allowance$180$180$180

All Level 4: 6th and 7th Days Worked; Holidays Worked

Workweeks for all Low Budget levels for Directors, UPM’s, AD’s are the same as the Basic Agreement, Studio locations 5 day workweek, Distant locations 6 day workweek.

For studio locations, 5 day workweek, employees working on the 6th day get 150% of their daily salary including any production fee. Daily salary for weekly employees is ⅕ their weekly salary. Employees who work on the 7th day get 200% of their daily salary and production fee, if any.

For distant locations employees working on the 7th get an addition ⅕ of their studio salary and an addition ⅙ of their production fee. Distant weekly salaries equal 7/5 of the studio salary.

For Holidays worked employees get 200% of their daily pay, for holidays not worked employees get paid their daily pay.

Low Budget Agreement Extended Workdays

HOURS WORKEDCONDITIONLOCATIONPOSITIONADDITIONAL PAY
16+Every 4 hr or portion thereofAllUPMExtra 1 day pay
13-16Hours betweenStudio/Report ToAll 2ND AD’sExtra 1/2 day pay
16+Every 4 hr or portionStudio/Report ToAll 2ND AD’sExtra day pay
14-16Hours betweenDistant or Bus ToAll 2ND AD’sExtra 1/2 day pay
16+Every 4 hours or portionDistant or Bus ToAll 2ND AD’sExtra 1 day pay
14-16Hours over 14 less than 16AllFIRST ADExtra 1/2 day pay
16- 20Hours over 16 less than 20AllFIRST ADExtra 1/2 day pay
20+Every 4 hours or portionAllFIRST ADExtra 1 day pay

Employer Fringe Contributions

Same as Basic Agreement:

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