Creative Rights Checklist:
Theatrical Motion Pictures & Long-Form Television/SVOD


  1. Before you accept an assignment, the producer must disclose to you all script, casting, approvals, and budget commitments.
  2. You must be allowed to choose your First Assistant Director.


  1. You must be provided an office.
  2. You must participate in all casting, and there must be a reasonable purpose for the presence of each person attending the casting session(s).
  3. You must approve the selection of the second unit Director.
  4. Before principal photography begins you must be informed of the material that will be shot by a second unit.
  5. You must be given a full below-the-line budget before assignment and receive all subsequent revisions.
  6. You must be consulted on all script revisions.


  1. You must see dailies at a reasonable time.
  2. You must approve the use of video assist and decide the number and placement of monitors.
  3. You must be informed of any electronic transmission of sound or images from the set.
  4. All notes to cast and crew must come directly from you.


  1. No one may interfere with or cut behind you during your Director’s Cut period. Your right to prepare your cut is absolute.
  2. You must be given adequate time to complete your cut. For most theatrical motion pictures* and certain High Budget SVOD pictures,** you must be given at least 10 weeks.
  3. No one may see the editor’s assembly before you.
  4. If the producer intends to terminate the editor, you must be given at least two business days’ notice and the opportunity to consult regarding the replacement editor.
  5. You must screen your cut for the producer and person with final cutting authority.
  6. You have the right to preview your cut of a theatrical motion picture. That preview must be in a format superior to a simple Avid output. If your film involved substantial special effects, you must be given the opportunity to incorporate temp effects for the preview.
  7. You must be notified of the date, time, and place of every post-production operation, and allowed to be present and consulted.
  8. You must be offered the opportunity to direct all additional scenes or retakes.
  9. You must be offered the opportunity to direct looping or narration.
  10. You must be offered the opportunity to take part in the spotting and dubbing of sound and music.

* Certain theatrical motion pictures covered under the Low Budget Sideletter may have shorter Director’s Cut periods.
** Applicable to High Budget SVOD pictures that are 96 minutes or longer with budgets of $22.5 million or more.


  1. You must be advised of editing of versions for ancillary markets, the amount of time to be added or removed, and any change to the aspect ratio, and given the opportunity to participate in this editing.
  2. You must be consulted on the contents of the DVD and advised of its release schedule in a timely manner.


Were you consulted about every creative decision?

The Director’s creative rights are codified in Article 7 of the DGA Basic Agreement. If you believe your rights have been violated, please consult with the Guild office or a DGA field representative. You may request the conversation be confidential. Initially the goal is to “cure” all Creative Rights violations and have a Director afforded all of his/her rights, in most cases a grievance is a last resort.

DGA Creative Rights Hotline:
(310) 289-5355