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Erin Pearson
Bradley DeRuiter
December 19, 2019

The Ultimate Guide to SAG-AFTRA Theatrical Rates 2020

SAG Rates

Hiring SAG Actors can be daunting for any producer let alone when you are just getting started. There are so many rules, rate types, forms and more. As a result, we wanted to create a sort of one-stop-shop for producers to come and easily find what they need regarding SAG/AFTRA rates. This is not intended to replace the Entertainment Partners Paymaster.

So what all is here? I have laid out some tables below that go from a very high-level perspective to a more in-depth perspective. Following all that amazing data is a breakdown of rules and penalties by agreement. I go into the nitty-gritty of SAG Schedules for Day and Weekly Players, not to mention all things related to meal and rest penalties, over time, 6th day, 7th day, and holiday pay rules and more. So if you are looking for one place that has what you need for SAG rates and rules you have found it so buckle up and get ready.

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

Important SAG/AFTRA dates for rates

Latest SAG/AFTRA rates started July 1st, 2019 and remain in effect until June 30th, 2020

You can always find the latest union rates on our website with our easy Union Rates Search tool.

SAG Theatrical Performer Only Rate Table

TierBudget RangeDaily RateWeekly Rate
Basic Agreement>$2.5MM$1,005$3,488
Low Budget (>80min)$700k - $2.5MM$630$2,190
Modified Low Budget (>80min)$250k - $700k$335$1166
Ultra Low<$250k (Including deferrals <$500K)$125n/a
Student Film (<35min)<$35k$125n/a
Short Project (<40min)<$50kNegotiableNegotiable

Note: that all SAG Performers Pension and Health contributions are 19%, all Background Actors Pension and Health contributions are 18.5%

Now let’s take a more detailed look at the rates by agreement.

SAG Basic Agreement Theatrical Rates

  • Budget Amount: Greater than $2.5MM

Basic Agreement Theatrical Rates PDF

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PositionDaily RateWeekly Rate
Performer$1,005$3,488
Stunt Performer$1,005$3,746
Stunt Coordinator$1,005$3,746
Stunt Coordinator Flat Deal$1,562$6,162
Airplane Pilot (Studio)$1,344$3,746
Airplane Pilot (Location)$1,748$3,746
Airplane Pilot (flying/taxiing - daily adjustment)$1,152n/a
Background Actors$174n/a
Special Ability Background Actors$184n/a
Stand-Ins / Photo Doubles$204n/a
Swimmers and Skaters$402n/a
Singers Solo and Duo$1,088$3,488
Singers Groups 3-8$954$3,199
Singers Groups 9+$833$2,911
Singers Mouthing 1-16$798n/a
Singers Mouthing 17+$620n/a
Sweetening additional per day+100%n/a
Overdubbing only, additional+33-1/3%n/a
“Step Out” Rate up to 15 cum. bars$543n/a
16 + cum. bars or, If detained 1 hr + after group released$1,088n/a
Singers Contractor 3-8$954 +50%$3,199 +50%
Singers Contractor 9+$833 +100%$2,911 +100%
Dancers Solo and Duo$1,005$3,232
Dancers Groups 3-8$880$2,964
Dancers Groups 9+$769$2,695
Dancers Rehearsal$592n/a
Term Performers/Stunt 10 to 19 Weeks Guar.n/a$2,994
Term Performers/Stunt 20 Weeks or More Guar.n/a$2,492

SAG Low Budget Theatrical Wage Tables

  • Budget Range: $700k - $2.5MM - Length Minimum 80 min.

Low Budget Rates PDF

PositionDaily RateWeekly* Rate
Performer$630$2,190
Stunt Performer$630$2,350
Stunt Coordinator**$980*$3,655*
Airplane Pilot (Studio)$841$2,350
Airplane Pilot (Location)$1,096$2,350
Airplane Pilot (flying/taxiing - daily adjustment)$724n/a
Singers Solo and Duo$680$2,190
Singers Groups 3-8$598$2,009
Singers Groups 9+$521$1,826
Sweetening additional per day+100%n/a
Overdubbing only, additional+33-1/3%n/a
“Step Out” Rate up to 15 cum. bars$340n/a
16 + cum. bars or, If detained 1 hr + after group released$680n/a
Singers Mouthing 1-16$500n/a
Singers Mouthing 17+$391n/a
Singers Contractor 3-8$598 +50%$2,009 +50%
Singers Contractor 9+$521 +100%$1,826 +100%
Dancers Solo and Duo$630$2,026
Dancers Groups 3-8$553$1,859
Dancers Groups 9+$483$1,690
Dancers Rehearsal$371n/a

*The above weekly rates apply to the five (5) day “studio week” only. For a six-day “overnight location week,” the Performer will automatically receive an additional four (4) hours overtime at “straight time” rates. The weekly rate stated on the employment contract must be the five (5) day “studio week” rate whether an overnight location is involved or not. All overtime must be computed on the five (5) day “studio week” rate.

**Rates for Daily, Weekly and “Flat Deal” Stunt Coordinators track the rates in Schedule K-I, K-II or K-III of the Basic Agreement that are applicable at the time of photography

SAG Modified Low Budget Theatrical Wage Tables

  • Budget Range: $250k - $700k - Length Minimum 80 min.

Modified Low Budget Rates PDF

PositionDaily RateWeekly* Rate
Performer$335$1,166
Stunt Performer$335$1,251
Stunt Coordinator**$980*$3,655*
Singers Solo and Duo$ 361$1,166
Singers Groups 3-8$319$1,070
Singers Groups 9+$278$973
Singers Mouthing 1-16$270n/a
Singers Mouthing 17+$209n/a
Sweetening additional per day+100%n/a
Overdubbing only, additional+33-1/3%n/a
“Step Out” Rate up to 15 cum. bars$181n/a
16 + cum. bars or, If detained 1 hr + after group released$361n/a
Singers Contractor 3-8$319 +50%$1,070 +50%
Singers Contractor 9+$278 +100%$973 +100%
Dancers Solo and Duo$335$1,166
Dancers Groups 3-8$293$1,060
Dancers Groups 9+$256$978

*The above weekly rates apply to the five (5) day “studio week” only. For a six-day “overnight location week,” the Performer will automatically receive an additional four (4) hours overtime at “straight time” rates. The weekly rate stated on the employment contract must be the five (5) day “studio week” rate whether an overnight location is involved or not. All overtime must be computed on the five (5) day “studio week” rate.

**Rates for Daily, Weekly and “Flat Deal” Stunt Coordinators track the rates in Schedule K-I, K-II or K-III of the Basic Agreement that are applicable at the time of photography

SAG Ultra Low Budget Theatrical Wage Tables

  • Budget Range: $250k or less excluding deferrals with deferrals $500k

Ultra Low Budget Rates PDF

PositionDaily RateWeekly Rate
Performer$125n/a
Stunt Coordinator*$980$3,655

SAG Student Film Wage Tables

  • Budget Range: $35k maximum running time of 35 minutes.
  • The producer must be enrolled in an accredited educational institution
PositionDaily RateWeekly Rate
Performer$125n/a
Stunt Coordinator$980$3,655

SAG Short Project Agreement Wage Tables

- Budget Range: $50k max running time of 40 min, 30 days of Principal Photography - Shooting entirely in the US
PositionDaily RateWeekly Rate
Performer*NegotiableNegotiable
Background Actors*NegotiableNegotiable
Stunt Coordinator$980$3,655

*$125/day due prior to Subsequent Use for Principal Performers; $96/day & 18% P&H due prior to Subsequent Use for Background Actors

SAG Rest Periods

SAG rest periods

Daily Rest Periods for Day and Weekly Performers:

Studio Zone: 12 hours.

Not Overnight Location Outside Studio Zone: 12 hours may be reduced to 10 hours where exterior photography is required on such location, on the day before and the day after such a reduced rest period. This is applicable once every fourth consecutive day.

Overnight Location: 12 hours may be reduced to 11 hours on any two non-consecutive days in a workweek.

Weekly Rest Period:

All performers are entitled to one weekly rest period of 56 hours. The following are exceptions:

A 56 hour rest period may be reduced to a 54 hour rest period, provided the call time for the first day of the new workweek is no earlier than 6 am.

A 36 hour rest period is allowable on a six-day location workweek.

Forced Call:

A violation of either daily or weekly rest periods is a forced call. The penalties are:

Day Performers: Daily rate or $900, whichever is less per violation

Weekly Performers: One day’s pay or $950, whichever is less per violation

SAG Meal Penalties

SAG Performers must receive a meal within every 6 hours of work or there is a penalty

SAG Basic, Low and Modified Low Budget $25 first ½ hour, $35 for 2nd ½ hour, $50 for 3rd on.

SAG Ultra Low Budget $25 for every ½ hour or fraction thereof

SAG Schedules Details

SAG Rates 2020 crop

It is helpful to have all that information regarding how much to pay a performer, but there are other details to consider. SAG has a separate schedule for each performer depending on how much and how you pay them. Why does this matter you might ask? It is important because items like overtime, 6th and 7th day and holiday pay can vary depending on the schedule. A general rule of thumb is, The less you pay over scale the more that performer can earn on those items: OT, 6th and 7th day pay etc. However, the more over scale you pay a performer means more caps on those items.

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I have put together a detailed table of the terms for each of those items according to the Schedule of the performer.

ScheduleTermsOTOT Ceiling6th Day Terms7th Day TermsHoliday Terms
AAll Daily Rates1.5x >8, 2x >101.5x1.5x2x2x
BWeekly <$6,350 and Per Film <$65k2x >10, 1.5x > 44 or 48*$125/hrAdd ½ day payAdd 1 day payAdd 1 day pay
CWeekly >$6,350 and Per Film <$65k2x >10$125/hrAdd. Less of ½ day or $500Add. Less of 1 day or $1,000Add 1 day pay
F ContractWeekly >$6kn/an/aLess of 1.5 day pay or $1,500Less of 2 day pay or $2,000Add 1 day pay
F Multi-Track2+ Films Year, >$6k W. or >$60k filmn/an/aLess of 1.5 day pay or $1,500Less of 2 day pay or $2,000Add 1 day pay
F DealGuaranteed >$65k per filmn/an/aLess of 1.5 day pay or $1,500Less of 2 day pay or $2,000Add 1 day pay

*Schedule B, 1.5x after 44 hours worked in 5 days, or after 48 hours worked in 6 days for overnight locations, less daily overtime paid.

The other Schedules below (H,I,J,K) are for specific performer types and fall under one of the above schedules (A, B, C, or F) depending on the term and rate of pay.

Schedule H - Stunt Performer
When a performer does stunt work, during the term of that stunt work they will fall under this schedule. They are entitled to receive a Stunt Adjustment for any stunt work beyond the scope originally negotiated and that adjustment becomes part of their base rate and affects overtime, 6th, 7th, and Holiday pay amounts.

Schedule I - Airplane Pilots
Pilots have unique overtime of 1.5x after 8 hours with no ceiling, no weekly overtime. They are entitled to receive a Flight Adjustment for any hazardous work beyond the scope originally negotiated and that adjustment becomes part of their base rate and affects overtime, 6th, 7th, and Holiday pay amounts.

Schedule J - Dancers
Dancers are any performers who are professionally trained and doing choreographed routines requiring rehearsals. This can also include skaters and swimmers as well. Here are the unique rules for this schedule:

  • They can receive hazardous pay for dangerous activities, $100 per day or $125 if only working one day.
  • Dancers receive $11.50 per day for being required to use their own footwear for the performance.
  • Dancers must get 10 minutes of rest for each hour of rehearsal or shooting unless shooting is continuous up to 90 minutes and then they must receive at least a 15 min. break.

Schedule K - Stunt Coordinators The only unique item for these brave people is that their rest provision is 9 hours, not the normal 11 or 12 hours depending on location.

SAG Travel Rules

Note: Please note there are exceptions to transportation rules under the SAG-AFTRA Low Budget theatrical agreements. Contact a SAG rep for more info.

Overtime:

Overtime caused by travel time is computed at a rate of, 1.5x, time and one half.

Mileage:

Mileage is payable at $ .30 per mile to the performer if the performer is required to report to a location within or outside of the 30 mile Hollywood or San Francisco Studio Zones or eight-mile zone in New York. There are, however, exceptions as follows:

No mileage is payable for a 10-mile radius from a point designated by the Producer once during the theatrical production period within the 30 mile Los Angeles zone. The producer should notify their business representative of their designated point prior to the commencement of principal photography.

No mileage is payable if the Producer provides the Performer with transportation to a location outside of the Studio Zone.

Pay for Non-working Travel day to an Overnight Location

Day Performers:
When traveling to or from the location on a day when no services are rendered, the performer shall be paid for a full day.

Weekly Performers:
There are exceptions applicable to some weekly performers. Please contact a SAG-AFTRA business representative for specific questions.

Flight Insurance:

The Producer must provide coverage of not less than $100,000 for travel by commercial airlines and $250,000 for travel by helicopter. If the producer is unable to provide such coverage, he or she is required to reimburse the performer in full the purchase price of such insurance after showing proof of purchase by the performer.

Transportation Provisions:

When a performer is required to fly at the request of the Producer, all flights shall be business class when available and, if not available, first class. However, coach class* air travel is acceptable in the following circumstances:

• For domestic flights that are less than 1,000 air miles when the flight is non-stop; • For non-stop flights between LA and Vancouver; • For non-stop flights that are less than 1,000 miles between the US and Vancouver or between the US and Toronto; • If a substantial number of the company is being transported; • If 6 or more performers travel together in the same class on the same flight; or • For auditions and interviews.

*Producer must provide elevated coach class (e.g., Economy Plus, extended legroom, etc.) when available. Performers who travel by coach class shall be reimbursed by Producer for baggage fees and costs of in-flight meals provided performer submits receipts and requests for reimbursement within 30 days after the flight.

Per Diem:

On overnight locations, in addition to lodging, the Producer will provide a per diem meal allowance to be paid prior to the day or week of work. The minimum per diem amounts are as follows and only applicable if meals are not provided by the Producer.

Breakfast: $12.00 Lunch: $18.00 Dinner: $30.00

Concluding Data, Now what?

Knowing what to expect when you embark on a production that uses SAG Talent is extremely important. My goal here is to make sure you have easy access to most of the pertinent information you needed for a SAG set.

When it finally comes to start your project making sure your production is compliant with all the SAG, and other Unions’, rules, rates, and regulations can be very challenging.

That ‘s why we are here. The other reason is so that you can run your payroll up to 25X faster and eliminate hundreds of hours of grunt work on payroll weekly. So get started now!

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