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Producers Start Adding Up Costs of Potential SAG Strike as Contract Expires

Jul 1, 2008  •  Post A Comment

The Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers hit the ground running on its Web site in an effort to persuade the Screen Actors Guild to sign a contract and stave off any work stoppage.
The guild’s contract officially expired at midnight. After weeks of negotiations, the AMPTP has left a “final offer” on the table for SAG.
“Our industry is now in a de facto strike, with film production virtually shut down and television production now seriously threatened,” the AMPTP said on its Web site.
Similar to its Writers Guild of America strike tote-board, the AMPTP on its main page features a banner showing the financial damage a SAG strike could cause to other SAG members and to California.
The AMPTP estimates a SAG strike could cost California $266 a second, while the cost borne by a SAG member would be $29 per second.
SAG is reviewing the 43-page deal and said it is committed to continuing its negotiations with the AMPTP, a favorable sign compared with the grousing of producers and the Writers Guild of America before that strike began in late 2007.
“This offer does not appear to address some key issues important to actors,” said SAG National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator Doug Allen. “For example, the impact of forgoing residuals for all made-for-new-media productions is incalculable and would mean the beginning of the end of residuals.”
The guild stressed, “SAG members should report to work and to audition for new work past the expiration date until further notice from the guild.”
Both sides are scheduled to meet again tomorrow at 2 p.m. for questions on the AMPTP’s offer.

32 Comments

  1. SAG BETTER STAY AT WORK!!! THEY BETTER NOT GO ON STRIKE!! STRIKES ARE SELFISH AND STUPID ANDS SELF-SERVING! IF SAG IS WILLING TO LOSE THE ECONOMY $266 BUCKS A SECOND, JUST FOR THEIR STUPID RESIDUALS, THAT MAKES THEM SLIMY, STUPID, SELFISH, GREEDY……PIGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK

  2. OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK OINK

  3. What Diablo said…

  4. Hey Diablo, you must be a producer! The only “slimy, stupid, selfish, greedy” folks are the producers who are unrealistic at not giving the performers a fair share of the ongoing profits made from the internet. It’s a winfall for them and the producer’s don’t want to give it up (that’s greedy).
    So, get real Diablo. Honestly, don’t comment on issues unless you have a complete grasp of them.

  5. What TriggerFish said!

  6. Obviously, Diablo doesn’t work at the kind of job where they can employ you and pay for a few months of work, and then make millions from your efforts over the next 50 years.

  7. Wow, that 1st post is really deep Diablo. You should think about getting at least a basic grasp of the facts surrounding this issue before you post ill-informed, opinionated nonsense like that.
    I’m sure you are paid for the work you do yes? Well SAG actors (like myself) expect to be compensated fairly for the work they do as well.
    Most SAG actors do NOT make $20 million a picture or $800,000 per sitcom. Most SAG members have to supplement their income in some way through other resources; or have a day job like myself.
    You wrote: “…JUST FOR THEIR STUPID RESIDUALS, THAT MAKES THEM SLIMY, STUPID, SELFISH, GREEDY……PIGS.” That’s less an insult to the members of SAG than it is a revealing look at how clueless you are about how residuals work and about what’s really at stake in this debate.
    By YOUR logic it’s fine for producers to sell off and profit from the rights of films, television shows, videos etc.. to online companies for consumers to view on computers, iPods, mobile phones and technology that hasn’t even been invented yet, but the artists who’s work is the basis for the value of the content (What’s ‘The Closer’ without Kyra Sedgwick? Whats ‘Two & a Half Men’ without Charlie Sheen?) are NOT entitled to receieve some kind of compensation for the distribution of their work through a myriad of digital channels?
    And strikes are NOT “selfish and stupid and self serving” as you assert.
    Strikes are the reason employers can’t make 8 year-olds do hazordous work for 12 hours straight; strikes are the reason we have laws that protect the safety of workers in the workplace; strikes are the reason we have a minimum wage.
    You’re quick to quote numbers on projected losses to the economy posted by the AMPTP – why don’t you find out what the producers will be making off of the 100’s of hours of film and television programming little Johnny will be downloading onto his iPod and sharing with his friends.
    Why don’t you get some figures on what producers will clear in profit when they re-sell television/film programming online repeatedly while not compensating the performers who’s work MAKES the production a valuable asset?
    Pick up a book or go online and educate yourself about the history of the Screen Actors Guild, or the evolution of labor laws in the US before you post crap like that online and please keep your opinion to yourself unless you know what the %$#! is going on.

  8. In December I noted that the writers strike was actually a slow lockout of the actors and directors, and everyone else who works in the industry. AMPTP refused to negotiate in good faith with anyone until they could negotiate with middle management – the directors. Why again does middle management pretend they are labor?
    Anyway, the lockout broke the Writers Guild determination. Now AMPTP is slowly locking out everyone to break SAG’s determination even though SAG has not called a strike.
    Ironically, in another industry in another era what AMPTP has done would be termed unfair labor practices. Welcome to the WalMart employee status those of you who work for media conglomerates. The union movement and fair treatment of workers is dead in Hollywood now, too.

  9. I second almost every point that mark f made so eloquently in his post. The place I differ is that I AM VERY OFFENDED by the first post. I am a SAG actor and a producer but not slimy, selfish, stupid or greedy. The fact is that Diablo’s post really sounds like a 14 yr old just trying to start a flame war or worried about not being able to see his favorite show, should there be a strike. No one wants a strike but it is a tool that has to be used sometimes, very regretably. And it is not just about residuals, there are many other issues. I wonder how Diablo would feel if he went to his favotite plex to catch a flick because he tired of the commercial interuptions on tv and found that he still could not get away from commercials because the actors in the film were forced to eat a big mac and say mm, mm, mm, mm, mm, I’m lovin’ it. The AMPTP is fighting to be able to force actors into compromising their art with true commercials in the films. If it starts, it will smowball and never stop. These are commercials that actors won’t get paid for and that will add conflicts to our resumes in case we have the chance to to a commercial for a competing product which could be a potentially huge loss for an actor. I make my living as an actor and producer and coach but it is not a huge one or even a lucrative one. It is just what I truly need to do. The offer on the table does not even keep pace with inflation. Our mileage rate has been the same for about 20 years and we are not even asking for as much as the IRS says we are entitled to.
    If we are forced to strike, it will probably destroy me financially and I may never recover but I will be there on the picket lines.

  10. Poor Diablo doesn’t respond b/c he’s realized he doesn’t have a clue.
    I am also AFTRA and they have sold us out. Even from background gigs…still all less than SAG work.
    Does Diablo even know the paltry rate background people make? They are valuable…imagine watching a tv show or a film with noone in the scene but the principals? Also, I’ve worked many an AFTRA show and no rep has ever come to set…sad!
    TV actors (AFTRA members) and SAG members need to work together. We can’t let the newscasters at AFTRA decide our fate. VOTE NO on The AFTRA contract…please.
    We have to stand up now b/c if this negotiation doesn’t go our way the financial future of the performer who makes under 100k a year is doomed.
    Look at the Grand Theft Auto guy. SCREWED! No residuals!!!??? WTF! Do you think he can go and work on another game…no there’s a conflict…so I hope that 100K (or so) that he made will be feeding his family for a long time. Doubt it!
    Happily SAG

  11. Happily SAG, sorry buddy but it’s the wrong year to be crying workers of the world unite. The town is broke. WGA is really to blame, after the shut down due to that mess production never really got back up to full speed, then Hiatus… whadda gonna do? Working actors can’t afford it. Background certainly can’t afford it, it’s a done deal, Aftra will sign it’s deal on or around the 8th SAG will follow shortly thereafter.

  12. Dear All,
    So many valid points have been made and my hope as an industry professional is that we can all look forward to having work resume back to normal. In a perfect world, every union would be afforded a fair share of the profits. I feel if we saw this whole process as splitting a birthday cake; whereby everyone would get an equal piece of the cake, life would be so much easier. Unfortunately, corporate America doesn’t run that way. So, as a realistic and an idealist where this situation is concerned, I hope that we look at the greater good right now and not the short term goals, and realize that our economy cannot withstand another strike. As so many of you know, the LA economy is officially in a recession and lost $2.5 billion from the Writers strike. LA, in particular, won’t recover until the end of 2008. If there’s a SAG strike of any significance, then LA won’t recover until end of 2010. With respect to our country’s financial situation, Film is one of our largest exports. If we stop production entirely due to a strike, then we’re doing ourselves an enormous disservice. Let’s please hope that common sense prevails tomorrow and that we can all focus on the bigger picture (literally and figuratively). Best wishes to all – “Hopeful”

  13. SAG is an old fashioned system that won’t work in the internet age. There are tons of people that work on sets for a short amount of time and never see residuals.
    What no one is realizing is that the internet is going to be the mainstream distribution channel in the future and that the amount it will cost to fund the shows we all love and adore won’t break even with the amount of advertising money that will be made in return.
    Foreign Television and Film sales will be on the decline the day everything is released at once worldwide.
    The SAG union itself is made up of washed up bitter actors who live off of residual checks for small roles that they had. Their current offers would put hollywood out of business.
    The sad thing is that hollywood really doesn’t need SAG anymore and neither do actors. almost 99% of casting is done on-line and good actors AGENTS and MANAGERS negotiate residuals for their clients as well as already steep fees.

  14. MARK F, I AM TOO LAZY TO READ EVERYTHING YOU WROTE. BUT THE GIST I GOT WAS:
    “I WANT MONEY CAUSE I’M A PIG!”
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