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Pay Rates for Actors


The information provided here is for reference only. Please be sure to contact your local SAG office before entering into any contract or agreement with any agent, agency, or 3rd party. Also, be sure and learn how to avoid acting scams!

You're pursuing your dream as an actor. You took classes, got your headshots, kept your resume up to date, networked with the right people, auditioned for a film with pay(!) and you landed the role! After your initial excitement of landing the role wear's off, you get doubly excited that you have a pay check coming your way for doing what you love.

"Hmmm, I wonder how much I'll get paid," you ask yourself. "$50 a day? $500 a day? $5000 a day??" You realize you have no idea what a standard rate for an actor is. What's a fair amount? What's the minimum you should receive?

A lot of people are curious as to what an actor might get for working on a film. I'm not talking about the millions of dollars we all read about those Hollywood guys making per picture. I'm talking about the actors who make their living in film. All contracts are of course negotiated by the actor's agent, but what is an actor's pay scale or minimum pay rates for feature films.

There are over 8000 films listed with IMDb that were released in 2002 alone. We all dream of becoming a Hollywood success and pulling in "the big bucks" but what can an actor who is hired for a film expect to get paid? We compiled the following information to give you a general idea of what to expect to be paid for your work. We listed 3 SAG agreement pay rates which vary based on the film's total budget.

These minimum rates are current through July 2003 and should only be used as a guide.

 

"Basic Codified Agreement" SAG Agreement for a full budget feature film:

Principal Performer Rates

Per Day:
Per Week:
$655
$2,272
Background Actors (Extras)
Per Day: $115
Residuals for theatrical films:
Television/Cable:
Video/Discs:
3.6% of distributor's gross receipts
4.5% of first million sold, 5.4% thereafter

 

Side note about background actors: In New York, producers must first hire at least 85 background actors who are members of SAG before they can employ non-sag background actors. In Los Angeles, the number drops to 45. If the producer can't meet these requirements, any non-sag actor they use will receive a sag waiver, which basically means that the non-union actor is covered under the SAG agreement and is entitled to all it's benefits for the day he is working on the set.

 

"Low Budget Agreement:" SAG Agreement for Low Budget Films (budgeted less than $2 million):

Principal Performer Rates

Per Day:
Per Week:
$466
$1,620
Background Actors (Extras)
Per Day: $115

 

"Modified Low Budget Agreement:" SAG Agreement for Modified Low Budget Films (budgeted less than $500,000):

Principal Performer Rates

Per Day:
Per Week:
$248
$864
Background Actors (Extras)
Per Day: $115

By ActorPoint.com


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