Sunday, January 06, 2008

The Oncoming DGA-AMPTP Talks

I walked through several studios after New Year's, and of course one of the big questions continues to be: "How long will the Writers Guild be out?"

My answers always include variations of the following:

1) Nothing happens with the WGA until the DGA-AMPTP talks start-finish. (Whenever that may be).

2) The DGA ends up with a deal the WGA likes, the strike is shorter. The DGA gets a deal the WGA hates, the strike is longer.

3) The DGA gets no deal at all, wagers re length of job-action(s) are suspended.

So now it appears the Directors Guild and AMPTP will be jawing across the table soon:

The Directors Guild of America has begun casual contract talks with the studios, and an announcement of formal negotiations appears likely within the coming week ...

Discussions between the directors and studios thus far have primarily involved conference calls, with little face time among those who will sit at the bargaining table...Sources said it appears the informal talks could last well into next week. But once the informal phase is over, the start of negotiations would be almost immediate.

I've heard speculation that the DGA-AMPTP talks will be contentious and lengthy. I agree that they'll be contentious (in a business-like way), but I'm not convinced they'll be lengthy. The AMPTP has motivation to get to an agreement faster rather than slower, the better to turn around and wave the signed parchment over its head at SAG and the WGA:

"You see! We can negotiate a mutually satisfactory agreement! What's wrong with you people?!"

Within four to eight weeks, we'll see how right my prediction is.


Anonymous said...

I suspect you're right. It's not a plot any of the writers would've written, but they would rather have an evil Goliath to fight against and cast themselves as David.

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