In Depth

Directors, Producers Make a Deal

The Directors Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers reached a tentative contract agreement today after less than a week of negotiations.

According to the DGA, the contract negotiations included new residual formulas for paid Internet and ad-supported streaming material, as well as wage and residual base increases. The deal also establishes DGA jurisdiction over programs produced for distribution on the Internet.

In a statement, the DGA said the Internet residual formula “essentially doubles the rate currently paid by employers.”

“Two words describe this agreement: groundbreaking and substantial,” declared Gil Cates, DGA negotiations committee chair. “The gains in this contract for directors and their teams are extraordinary, and there are no rollbacks of any kind.”

Details of the contract are available on the DGA Web site.

In a joint statement released by the AMPTP, top studio execs said, “Our industry’s creative talent will now participate financially in every emerging area of new media. The agreement demonstrates beyond any doubt that our industry’s producers are willing and able to work with the creators of entertainment content to establish fair and flexible rules for this fast-changing marketplace.”

Among those signing the AMPTP statement were Fox’s Peter Chernin, Paramount’s Brad Grey, Disney’s Bob Iger, NBC’s Jeff Zucker and CBS’ Leslie Moonves.

"Of the 307 labor agreements the AMPTP has negotiated since 1982, this new DGA-AMPTP pact surely dealt with some of the most challenging issues we've ever faced," AMPTP president Nick Counter said.

The AMPTP also said it hopes to bring the Writers Guild of America back to the bargaining table.

“Today, we invite the Writers Guild of America to engage with us in a series of informal discussions similar to the productive process that led us to a deal with the DGA to determine whether there is a reasonable basis for returning to formal bargaining,” the AMPTP said.

“We will work with the full membership of both guilds to discuss our strategies for our own negotiations and contract goals and how they may be affected by such a deal,” the WGA said.

“For over a month, we have been urging the conglomerates to return to the table and bargain in good faith. They have chosen to negotiate with the DGA instead. Now that those negotiations are completed, the AMPTP must return to the process of bargaining with the WGA,” the guild continued.

(Updated 3:34 p.m.: DGA comments added to second, third paragraphs; WGA comments added; 4:02 p.m. Nick Counter comment added.)

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Comments 8

RJ

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I think this whole thing with the writers guild should have been over with when people started losing their jobs before christmas... obviously there are quite a few hard working people in hollywood that aren't actors, and not writers or directors and don't have million dollar homes and cars and depend on a weekly paycheck and without them the show won't go on, and they lost jobs, their paychecks and right before christmas.. do you think they can explain to their kids why "santa didn't show".. why christmas morning mommy was crying over breakfast? they seem to prove that hollywood is a bunch of overpaid and annoying plastics running around without underwear or a ounce of common sense... I really hope they start thinking about how this affects other people.. and the only people I am really rooting for are the people that are getting ****** over and when they get back to work won't be getting raises or bonuses or residual dividends off internet rights.. **** the writers if you ask me.

P. Lee

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Very heart-warming story...AMPTP plant (Christmas threats are so 2007), or even worse stooge! Unless your Tom Short and then there is a special hot place for you!

Why so serious about the writers? NOTHING begins until the story is written. Even with reality programming, who puts the words into the mouths of narrators and hosts? Who pulls the threads of where the direction of the contestants??

No scorn for the studios? Below is a good vid as to why the WGA struck.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beMNePzqpzQ&eurl=http://weblogs.variety.com/wga_strike_blog/

Be kind to your writers, especially these days with many outlets (ex. opportunities) to ply your craft.

MS

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The writers have all along been saying that they are getting $0 from new media, and they deserve to get a piece of that pie. I completely support that. But from this story it seems that the AMPTP is willing to negotiate, b/c they seem to have struck a deal with the DGA that all parties are satisfied with. So, one has to wonder what is holding up getting the writers back to work. We the consumers just do not seem to know what is really going on, and who to really hold responsible, since there are so many sides it seems to the story. Let's just hope this deal with DGA can be a starting point for the WGA and get tv shows back in action ASAP.

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