The last few days I've wondered when the WGA and AMPTP would get down to brass tacks. Now I know:
In order to make absolutely clear our commitment to bringing a speedy conclusion to negotiations, we have decided to withdraw our proposals on reality and animation. Our organizing efforts to achieve Guild representation in these genres for writers will continue. You will hear more about this in the next two weeks.
Every negotiator understands that there comes a moment when you have to take your non-starters off the table and begin the serious discussions that will end in a new contract agreement.
Maybe I'm overly starry-eyed, but it looks like that time has arrived. Good luck to the two Presidents of the WGA. And may there be a swift conclusion to their talks, for everyone's sake.
And Closer They Come ...
... so now we're to the "informal talks" stage:
Hollywood writers will meet with representatives from film and television studios to set ground rules for new talks to end the 11-week-old strike.
The groups announced plans for the discussions yesterday in e-mailed statements. The Writers Guild of America withdrew demands for jurisdiction over animation and reality television shows that had previously been rejected. Neither side said when the meetings will take place...
What we've got here, despite some posturing from SAG, is the "pattern bargaining minuet."
Think of it as a kind of beach volleyball: The WGA set things up for the DGA by pulling an earlier-than-expected strike. Then the Directors Guild leveraged the set up and got a better-than-average deal from the producers (who were anxious for an agreement).
So now the WGA gets its turn to spike the ball. And the AMPTP's game here is to give the writers a better deal than its last proposal of December 7 (the agreement with the Directors decrees it), but not sweeter than the "good and responsible" DGA's deal.
The question now is, does the Writers Guild make a deal and shut down SAG's leverage? Or does it roll the dice and wait for the actors to walk?
I'd put better odds on a deal, but it's a close thing.