Crew Rates in the USA for I.A.T.S.E. members

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) is the organization which oversees the working conditions, including standardized rates, for much of the crew.  Today the IATSE is the largest union representing workers in the entertainment industry. Their members work in all forms of live theater, motion picture and television production, trade shows and exhibitions, television broadcasting, and concerts as well as the equipment and construction shops that support all these areas of the entertainment industry.  The IATSE represents virtually all the behind the scenes workers in crafts ranging from motion picture animator to theater usher.

This is the main entity who bargains with AMPTP when contract negotiations occuer every few years.

 
 

Depending on where you shoot (city and state) in the USA, your budget level and what kind of contract you sign, the rates vary. A lot. I have worked hard to wrap my head around all the special cases and have come up with the following.

Step One
If your budget target is over $12M USD, determine where you are shooting (down to what city), then consult the map and information below. If your budget is under $12M USD, skip this step.

iatse-asa-usa-map

  • ORANGE: "Maryland" Rates scale, which includes: California (but not San Diego and outside the areas noted as LA Basic), Florida, Maryland and Wayne County in Michigan (this includes Detroit). More stipulations exist for Southern Michigan.
  • GREY: "Non-Maryland" Rates scale, which includes: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan (outside Wayne County), Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada (outside Las Vegas), New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Puerto Rico, San Diego, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
  • PURPLE: "Non-Maryland" Special Stipulations Rates scale, which includes: Cuyahoga County - Ohio, Washington (DC), Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Las Vegas & Hawaii
  • GREEN: "Basic Agreement" Rates scale, which includes: Los Angeles, San Diego and New York City.

Step Two
Will you be signing a "Term Deal", which means you agree to do the next three films under this agreement (with this same signing production company) or will you be using a "One-Off" contract? One-Off contracts have slightly higher rates, but you are not locked into anything.

Step Three
In a general sense, you should know what budget level you and your Producer's are targeting. Refer to the following charts (based on Term Deals or One-Off) and pick the right link to see the proper rates. Please keep in mind that there are lots of rules governing everything, and while I feel this is pretty darn accurate (I use this too) - even I double check. So, you should too.

TERM DEAL IATSE CONTRACTS (3 or more projects with same production company)

Budget Level It's called... Prod. City? * Use Rates found in... Expires end of 2014
Less than $1.6M   N/A All rates ar "as negotiated".  Be fair.
$1.6M to $2.2M Extreme Low N/A Extreme Low Budget Rates
$2.2M to $5M Tier 1 Yes ASA LB Agmt., Tier 1, Prod. City - Appendix B  
$5M to 8.5M Tier 2 Yes ASA LB Agmt., Tier 2, Prod. City - Appendix C (1)  
$8.5M to $12M Tier 3 Yes ASA LB Agmt., Tier 3, Prod. City - Appendix D (1)  
$2.2M to $5M Tier 1 No ASA LB Agmt., Tier 1, Non-Prod. City - Appendix B  
$5M to $8.5M Tier 2 No ASA LB Agmt., Tier 2, Non-Prod. City - Appendix C (2)  
$8.5M to $12M Tier 3 No ASA LB Agmt., Tier 3, Non-Prod. City - Appendix D (2)  
Budget Level It's called... Area ** Use Rates found in... Expires July 20XX
13 14 15 16
Over $12M Area Standard Maryland ASA Maryland Rates
Non-Maryland ASA Non-Maryland Rates

 

ONE-OFF IATSE CONTRACTS (1 project only)

Budget Level It's called... Prod. City? Use Rates found in... Expires end of 2013
Less than $1.5M No Name N/A All rates ar "as negotiated".  Be fair.
$1.5M to $4.4M Tier 1 N/A One-Off, Low Budget, Tier 1
$4.4M to $7.5M Tier 2 N/A One-Off, Low Budget, Tier 2
$7.5M to $10.6M Tier 3 N/A One-Off, Low Budget, Tier 3
Budget Level It's called... Area ** Use Rates found in... Expires July 20XX
13 14 15 16
Over $10.6M Area Standard Maryland ASA Maryland Rates

 

Non-Maryland ASA Non-Maryland Rates
  • * Production Cities: Los Angeles, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Orlando, San Francisco, St. Louis, New York, Washington(DC)
  • ** Production Centers are used to determine if a crew member is a Local, Near-By or Distant hire.  These cities are: Anchorage, Phoenix, Tucson, Sacramento, San Diego, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando, Atlanta, Honolulu, New Orleans, Shreveport, Baltimore, Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, St. Louis, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Charlotte, Wilmington, Cleveland, Portland, Pittsburgh, San Juan (Puerto Rico), Nashville, Austin, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Salt Lake City, Richmond, Washington (DC), Seattle
  • Rate ranges are in USD.
  • Rates are for Feature Film, not Television or Commercials. Ask IATSE for those rates.

 

 

OTHER RULES YOU MAY WANT TO KEEP IN MIND

  • Meal Penalties: $7.50 for first half hour, $10.00 for the next and $12.50 per each 30 minutes thereafter.
  • Fringes: LineProducing.com is working on a complete review of Fringes.  Coming soon.

 

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RATE INFORMATION SOURCES

There are a few places you can go to ensure you have the latest rates.  First thing you'll want to do is contact any local union representatives for where you are shooting and start to discuss your project.  Once you do this, they can provide for you a more comprehensive contract for various local rules and, most importantly to you, crew rates.  Soon, I'll be putting up a Union Contact list so you know where to go to get information.

  • A.M.P.T.P.   Speak with Crickett Hoffman  at 818 935-5933 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. her.
  • Entertainment Partners  |  The Paymaster lists rates and rules for all USA unions and guilds.
  • Media Services   The Showbiz Labor Guide also lists rates and rules for all USA unions and guilds.
  • Unions and Guilds   Direct from the sources, and from reading the contracts myself.

 

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