Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Today's Tip: SAG Weekly and Daily Contracts and Consecutive Employment

One way to save a little money on any SAG project is to sign your actors to a weekly contract as opposed to a daily contract.... Wait! Not ANY project, as there is no Weekly Performer option for Ultra Low Budget projects.

For all other contracts the cost of scale for a Weekly Performer is slightly less than the cost of paying a daily performer for four days of work. Therefore, unless a performer is working three consecutive days or less, it makes sense to sign them to a weekly contract. This gives you some freedom as well. If someone is being paid weekly, it won't be a problem to bring them in for a shot where they are just in the background, or a scene that they are in only a moment. If you're paying them a daily, and you are like me, you will stress about spending the money for such a small moment and try to squeeze them into a different day when they're already doing something else. It also creates flexibility (and saves money) for when you miss a day and have to throw another day onto a performer's schedule.

It will also save you as you work with Consecutive Employment. On the standard SAG Contract and Low Budget Contract ($500,000 to $2,000,000) a performer must be paid for down days between their work day. So if I hire an actor to work Monday and Friday I have to pay them for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as well. While it would be preferred to shoot them out in two consecutive days, it is frequently impossible. Therefore, hiring the actor as a Weekly Performer will save you about a day and a half's worth of pay.

SAG's Ultra Low ($0-$200,000) and Low Budget Modified ($200,000 - $500,000) contracts do not require Consecutive Employment payments.

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