Can I Hire a SAG Actor for a Non Union Film_

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Can I Hire a SAG Actor for a Non Union Film?

Throughout filmmaking, you’re going to find situations where you have plenty of help and assistance, and times when you certainly need to hire additional crew. If you’re operating a non-union production, you might find that union workers are concerned about their rights to work for you while they are under contract. Breaking contract rules could have potentially serious implications for the worker, but what about for you, the producer? If you’re wondering, can I hire a SAG Actor for a Non Union Film? We can help.



You might think that casting SAG actors for your non-union film is something that is potentially out of reach for you. But it’s really not! In fact, you can hire SAG Actors for your non-union film if you’re interested in doing so. And if they’re interested in taking on the work.

In order for a SAG actor to accept work from a non-union production, the production company must be a SAG “signatory.”

SAG actors that work for non-union films which are not being produced by a SAG signatory production company are at risk of being fined or losing their union membership all together.


If you’re wondering if a SAG Actor can be hired to help you out on your non-union film, you’ve come to the right place. SAG certainly diversifies their agreements and the rates that they require for various works.

But, what about if you’re a non union producer that’s interested in a particular SAG actor for your film? 


In order to hire SAG Actors, your production company must become a SAG signatory. Fortunately, there are actually several benefits to becoming a SAG-AFTRA signatory. In addition to being able to cast SAG actors.

While the process of becoming a signatory will take 3 to 6 weeks, the benefits include having your production appear more professional. And being able to hire SAG actors that have already made a name and reputation for themselves.

These actors may even have a bit more set ‘etiquette’ than non-union actors which often have limited firsthand experience on the film set.


SAG-AFTRA actually makes becoming a SAG signatory within reach for many producers. If you’re concerned that your production is too “low-key” or “low-budget” in order to actually become a signatory?

You might want to do some further research. SAG has options for many producers. Including the Micro-Budget Project Agreement, Student Film Agreement, and Short Project Agreement. All of which are low-budget options within reach for many production companies.


If you’re on the opposite end of the totem pole, and you’re the SAG Actor that is wondering if you can take on the non-union film work that is being offered to you. You’re probably wondering what will happen!

This really depends on whether the production company is a SAG signatory or not. Taking on a role in a non-union film that is produced by a NON-signatory production company will potentially land you in some hot water.

You could be fined. And you may lose your right to be a SAG-AFTRA member. You could potentially suffer other repercussions as well.

The Takeaway

This is not to say that SAG union members cannot work with non-union members! But if you’re going to be involved in a production that hires both union and non-union. You must make sure that the production company is an approved SAG signatory.

Fortunately, SAG-AFTRA makes it quick and easy to find out if a production you’re involved with, or considering, is a signatory by providing a SAG signatory search engine via their website.

So, can I hire a SAG Actor for a non union film? Absolutely yes you can just as long as you take the steps to become a SAG signatory first!