WHAT IS IT?
The Low Budget Agreement allows writers to write and sell a narrative feature-length screenplay under the protection of the Writers Guild if the theatrical film’s budget is at or below $1.2 million. The best time to contact the Guild is before a screenplay is going to be purchased or when a writer will be hired to write a screenplay.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The Low Budget Agreement is only used when requested by the Writer, and the Company must also file required Low Budget Agreement documents and Signatory paperwork. If the Agreement’s terms are included in a personal agreement but no additional Low Budget Agreement documents are filed and approved by the WGAW, the Writer is NOT ensured that the Low Budget Agreement will apply to the project.
When required by the Low Budget Agreement, the Company will need to submit documents regarding the “total production cost of the film.” Please note that the definition of “total production cost” includes all “above the line” and “below the line” costs involved in pre-production, production and post production, including any deferred guaranteed compensation, and all other direct and indirect costs and out-of-pocket overhead costs actually incurred in connection with making the motion picture. If the parties agree to defer writing fees, any deferred fees MUST be included in the budget. A Low Budget Agreement submitted without inclusion of all deferred guaranteed compensation will not be approved.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
By working under this contract you may receive premium health care coverage; earn money towards a pension plan; obtain residual payments when your work is rebroadcast on television and distributed on DVD and other media; qualify for WGA membership and the benefits that most film and television writers have known for decades.
HOW DO I FILE A LOW BUDGET AGREEMENT FOR A THEATRICAL FILM PROJECT?
Download the Low Budget Agreement filing documents then contact us for additional information.
WHO SHOULD I CONTACT?
If you are filing documents, call (323) 782-4501 or email: Contracts.
Learn how to join the WGAW through use of the WGA Low Budget Agreement.
BECOME A GUILD SIGNATORY
The WGA Low Budget Agreement requirements should not be confused with the Guild’s Signatory documents and process. If you would like to become a Guild Signatory Company, find out how. If you have Signatory questions, call (323) 782-4514 or email: Signatories.