Above the line (filmmaking)
Above the linefor other meanings and uses of the phrase."
In the movie industry, above-the-line expenditures are those that are negotiated or spent before filming begins. These costs can include rights for the material on which the
screenplayis based; and the salaries for the screenwriter, producer, actors, director, and assistants to directors (not to be confused with assistant directors).
The distinction originates from the early studio days when the
budgettop-sheet would literally have a line separating the "above-the-line" and "below-the-line" costs.
Similarly, in television production, above-the-line expenses include salaries for the positions mentioned above (typically all employees working under individual contracts) but are budgeted on a weekly or episodic basis for the run of a series.
* Below the line
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