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What's the latest with SAG Indie?

Whenever I get ready to shoot a feature the question to use SAG actors or not use SAG actors comes up. For 1999's Wild Diner I didn't use any SAG actors - I don't think they were affordable for that project (budget $20K+). For 2006's (production began in 2004) Date Number One (budget $10K+) I contacted SAG & they sent me a 650 page contract, so I skipped them (didn't feel like doing all the work necessary to figure out what's what in that huge document). Now I am getting ready to shoot a micro budget feature with the working title of Movie About An Actress (budget should be $3K - $5K, most of that for actors) and I am wondering where SAG (or SAG Indie) is now in their hopefully ever-evolving relationship with low budget indie filmmakers. I e-mailed SAG Indie to see if I can interview a representative re: their current approach to ultra low budget projects. Their website has some interesting info; such as the ultra-low budget agreement.

If anyone has any info. they want to share re: working with SAG or SAG Indie (good & bad sides of it), please leave a comment. Or e-mail me.

One of the questions I have is re: distribution - in '04 I heard from a filmmaker that he had to get all distribution agreements approved by SAG for his project since he used SAG actors. I wonder if that was in fact the case & if that is still the case.

Looking forward to finding out more; speaking with ultra low budget filmmakers who have used SAG talent recently & of course speaking with SAG Indie directly.

- Sujewa

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