creative talent (actors, directors, producers, and writers) OR the part of the budget which includes costs and fees associated with the above talent.
The portion of a project's budget which covers major creative elements and personnel, i.e., those which are creatively unique and individually identifiable. These are primarily story acquisition, script rights, script development, writer, executive producer, producer, director and principal members of the cast.
In film, those costs that occur before filming, this includes salaries of the talend and creative team (director, producer, screenwriter), plus any rights required for adapted scripts. Sometimes, above-the-line can also refer to the people included in the above-the-line payment category.