Saturday, January 12, 2008

DGA and AMPTP Advance to the Starting Blocks ...

So here they go:

"(W)e would not enter negotiations with the AMPTP unless we were within shouting distance of an agreement on our two most important issues-- jurisdiction for our members to work in new media and appropriate compensation for the reuse of our work on the Internet and other new media platforms," ... DGA president [Michael Apted] wrote. "We've spent the last few months discussing these and related issues with the studios, and we've been doing intensive research on these points for the past year and a half. Now we believe it is time to move forward with the goal to hammer out an agreement."

Formal negotiations between the Directors Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers start later today. How long do they last? I'd say somewhere around a month. But of course I've got no thorough-going knowledge of the complexity of all the issues through which the two sides must churn, so we could say I've got my head up my large intestine and not be wrong.

But a month seems to be about the norm.

However much time it takes, if and when the two sides reach an agreement, it changes the dynamics of future negotiations for the WGA and SAG. Whether the other guilds like those new dynamics or not.


Anonymous said...

Hey Steve--
In your opinion,might this DGA agreement, which we all hope will be reached in reasonably swift course, serve as the much- discussed "template" for the WGA and SAG talks, or simply a starting point?

Steve Hulett said...

Most likely a template (since it always has before).

Howsoever. If the Writers and Actors don't like it, I'm not looking at a swift end to strikes. More likely, the WGA would stay out a while longer.

Ultimately, they'll go back to the table and use the pattern set by the DGA.

Personally, I'd think that if the new media percentages don't jazz them, they would push for more money upfront. But that's me.

Anonymous said...

Ever since the WGA strike started a lot of people have been trying to get a handle on why the writers deserve residuals. The latest explanation has been that the money paid up front is just a dowen payment and the residuals amounts to the balance of the fee they should have been paid. This sounds like utter nonsense (especially after you find out how much that 'down' payment is). Who asks for a down payment for services rendered in the hopes that there will be more money coming later?!
If they think there work is worth really more than they should try to get that up front and stop trying to justify residuals as anything except mailbox money - actors and directors don't seem to have that conflict.
The reality of the situation is if they do a good job and the movie/TV show is a hit because or in spite of them then the next deal they negotiate is all the better.

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