The SAG short film agreement is now the short project agreement

The SAG Short Film Agreement is now the Short Project Agreement.

As of August 1, 2018, the SAG Short Film Agreement and the Low Budget New Media Agreement have been deprecated. Short films are now covered by the Short Project Agreement and they still have to have a budget under $50k, have a runtime under 40 minutes, and be filmed in the U.S.

The Short Project agreement does NOT cover episodic projects like web series, so those will still have to use the New Media Agreement.

There are two big changes.

The first is that all principal actors (non-extras) have to be covered under the agreement. The non-union actors won’t gain union eligibility by working on your short film, but you have to treat them the same as the SAG actors. Background actors also have to be covered.

The second change is to the way that distribution is treated. Under the previous Short Film Agreement, any deferred salary had to be paid before a short film was distributed online, even if it was to a free streaming service like Vimeo or YouTube. Now, the deferred payments aren’t triggered until a more serious distribution event happens, like a profitable sale of the film.

Most people didn’t follow this rule anyway, but it’s good that they changed it to keep up with the times.