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Low Budget Television Films

Section VIII. of the AFM’s Basic Television Motion Picture Agreement outlines the wage scales, hours of employment, and working conditions for the production of music scoring for low budget motion pictures in the United States (these provisions do not apply in Canada.) Note that “short subjects” of 60 minutes or less are also excluded from these provisions. 

Applications for the use of low budget terms and conditions, including the initial best estimate of the final cost must be certified by the head or production and submitted to the AFM no later than 96 hours prior to the first scoring session. The final estimated cost must be certified and submitted to the Federation within 30 days of the release of any such motion picture. Failure to provide such final cost shall result in an automatic upgrade to full scale. 

Paragraph 61 of the Agreement covers conditions for long-form television motion pictures budgeted at $5 million or less per program hour. These rates may apply for films 90 minutes or longer in length. For films released to videocassette that are 61 minutes or longer, the total budget must be $7.5 million or less. 

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