The DGA's collective bargaining agreements guarantee its Members’ are compensated for the exploitation of their work beyond the initial use. 

Residuals are paid to DGA Members when feature films are distributed in home video and pay television ("supplemental markets"), free television (including basic cable) and new media. Residuals are paid to DGA Members when television programs are rerun or distributed in supplemental markets and new media. 

Residuals are not derived from a project’s profitability, but rather from formulas based on gross receipts, television runs or pay television subscriber counts.

Residuals can represent a significant portion of a DGA members income and one of the major financial advantages of being a DGA Member. Residuals also play a significant role in funding the DGA Basic Pension Plan, to the great benefit of all Plan participants.

The DGA Residuals Department processes residuals payments and monitors and enforces compliance with the reuse provisions of the DGA’s collective bargaining agreements.  Using its state-of-the-art computer system, various audit programs and claims processes, they pursue claims against producers and distributors who fail to meet their obligations under these agreements.

  • For further information, please call the DGA Residuals Department at 310-289-2076.

History of Residuals

The concept of compensation to authors for reuse of their work was first established in Europe in the 19th century. Residuals in the United States began in the early days of live radio, when actors and musicians had to perform twice: once for the Eastern time zone and again three hours later for the Pacific time zone. With the advent of recording technology, the networks would record the first performance and simply replay it later. The talent guilds successfully demanded that their members receive compensation for those rebroadcasts.

The DGA, along with the other talent guilds, negotiated residuals for domestic reuse of television programs by the mid-1950s. 1961 saw the first DGA residuals for feature films shown on free television and 1968 ushered in residuals for foreign reuse of television programs. In 1971, the first payments for videocassettes and pay television reuse were made. In 1981, made-for-pay TV residuals were negotiated, and in 1989, residuals for high-budget basic cable dramatic programs came into effect. 2002 ushered in the era of residuals paid for reuse on the Internet.

DGA Headquarters - Los Angeles 310-289-2000
or toll free at 800-421-4173
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or toll free at 800-356-3754
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