For my movie Last Kind Words (directed by Kevin Barker) we did this and were glad we did. A few last minute changes pushed our budget into the Low Budget Modified range and we went ahead and made the adjustment with SAG (though we may not have had to). Because we'd already hired at the higher rate we didn't have to negotiate contracts with anyone except our few day players.
Hiring at Low Budget Modified scale allowed us to hire super talented Spencer Daniels for our lead. I'm sure his agent wouldn't have submitted him at the Ultra Low Budget rate.
|We were also able to make offers to Canadian teen actress Alexia Fast (above), as well as Sarah Steele. Their agents were willing to consider the offers at $268 a day. It is unlikely they would have for $100.|
That said, if you're shooting super small don't feel ashamed to offer only $100, but be aware that your best casting opportunities will come through your connections, as not a lot of agencies will submit.
Updated rates: In 2015 SAG raised the rates of the SAGIndie contracts to: Ultra Low Budget: $125; Low Budget Modified: $335 daily or $1,166 weekly; Low Budget $630 daily or $2,190 weekly.