SAGAFTRA.org defines residuals as “compensation paid to performers for use of a theatrical motion picture or television program beyond the use covered by initial compensation”.
Principal performers recieve residuals; background actors do not. You will not recieve residuals for an initial release; you are paid residuals when the project is sold in markets other than the initial intended market.
So, if a SAGAFTRA film is made to be released in theaters, actors do not get residuals when the film comes out in theaters. This is because their initial paycheck already included a release in that ‘media market’. The residuals are paid when that film sells in another media market, including DVD, VOD, cable, TV or new media. TV episodes, your initial paycheck covers the first airing and residuals are paid on subsequent airings.
When Are Residuals Paid?
SAGAFTRA.org/content/residuals-faq states “For TV work, residuals begin once a show starts re-airing or is released to video/DVD, pay television, broadcast TV, basic cable, or new media. For film work, residuals begin once the movie appears on video/DVD, basic cable and free or pay television, or new media.”
When Will the Check Arrive?
Residuals are sent to SAG and processed (for up to sixty days) before being sent to the actor. SAGAFTRA.org/content/residuals-faq states the following regarding when residuals are due to SAG from each production:
“For projects made for TV then released to:
• Network TV, non-network TV - 30 days after air date.
• Syndication - 4 months after air date
• Foreign free to air - up to 30 days after producer obtains knowledge of first foreign telecast and never later than 6 months after that first telecast
• Basic Cable - Quarterly when the producer receives revenue
• Supplemental Markets - 4 months after initial exhibition, then quarterly
When are Residuals Sent to SAG by the Production
For projects made for theatrical then released to:
• Network Prime Time - 30 days after initial broadcast, then quarterly when the producer receives revenue
• Free TV, Non-Network - 4 months after initial broadcast, then quarterly when the producer receives revenue
• Supplemental Markets - 4 months after initial exhibition, then quarterly when the producer receives revenue”