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DGA, studios reach a deal

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The Directors Guild of America today clinched a much-anticipated deal with the major studios that will put increased pressure on writers to follow suit and end a 12-week-old strike that has roiled Hollywood.

In a new three-year contract, directors negotiated a better deal than what studios had initially offered writers, including higher royalties for online sales of their movies and TV shows.

Disputes over how writers should be paid when their shows are distributed over the Internet, cellphones and other new media have been the central sticking point in failed negotiations between studios and writers.

With the directors' deal complete, pressure now shifts to the leaders of the Writers Guild of America to use that agreement as a basis for concluding their own deal, which would bring to a close the industry’s costliest strike in two decades.

The walkout shut down the television industry and upended the awards season. In Hollywood, contracts are often determined through “pattern bargaining,” where the first union to negotiate a deal sets the template for the other unions.

More news on the strike

-- Richard Verrier and Claudia Eller

 
Comments () | Archives (13)

As a member of both the DGA and WGA, I can tell you the DGA deal has nothing to do with the WGA deal, nor does it amp the 'pressure' for the writer's to settle in any way. If the deal is fair it will be accepted. If it's not, it won't.

The DGA has a deal. So what are they going to direct?

So the AMPTP throws ultimatums at the WGA, walks out in a hissy-fit and refuses to negotiate with the guild for 40 days, then sends tens of thousands out of work.... and now offers better terms to the DGA.

Real nice guys.

So do the producers just like the directors better, and thus the better deal? Or do the directors have a better negotiator?

Ummm... what the AMPTP initially offered the WGA was either (a) nothing and study it for three years or (b) rollbacks on residuals for everything. This then improved to 0.03% per download. And then finally to $250 a year flat fee for TV and nothing for streaming movies. This is not negotiating. Be careful where you apply blame, and glory.

It is really fair to say that the DGA deal puts more pressure on the WGA to reach an agreement with AMPTP considering that it was the studios who walked away from the bargaining table more than a month ago after demanding that the writers' drop several of their issues or else? Frankly, I think the directors' pact puts more pressure on AMPTP to get on with the process of negotiating with the WGA - especially since the the directors got a better deal than what the studios were offering the writers, including the use of distributor's gross in the Internet residual formula instead of producer's gross. That, by the way, was one of the issues AMPTP demanded the WGA take off the table.

I'm not a member of either (I'm not even in the industry), but two words say why the DGA deal hurts the WGA bigtime: Gil Cates. I think the DGA deal opens the way for some kind of back-door deal involving Cates that will save the Oscars no matter what the WGA tries to do. (I just posted my idea on GoldDerby, so I won't rehash it.) Without the ability to sink the Oscars--or the Grammys either, since they just announced Beyoncé will be there despite her SAG card--the WGA will have no choice but to give in.

And what will the DGA direct if the WGA won't write? Two more words: Replacement writers. It won't happen, but that's only because the WGA will give in rather than allow its members to be replaced.

If the WGA doesn't reach a deal in time for a scripted fall development season dozens more jobs will be lost that may never be regained. We can revisit these issues in just three years (the DGA has a "Sunset" clause calling for this). Let's go back to work before we do more irreversible damage to prime time TV.

The DGA's relative non-confrontational approach to negotiations, and early negotiating with AMPTP, demonstrates that the WGA leadership did not serve its members well with their threats and insults to Producers starting more than six months ago, eventually resulting in their current train wreck. Hopefully, WGA will now resist the temptation of exhibiting so much extreme pride and attitude and negotiate sincerely with less showing of self-importance and entitlement.

The DGA's relative non-confrontational approach to negotiations, and early negotiating with AMPTP, demonstrates that the WGA leadership did not serve its members well with their threats and insults to Producers starting more than six months ago, eventually resulting in their current train wreck. Hopefully, WGA will now resist the temptation of exhibiting so much extreme pride and attitude and negotiate sincerely with less showing of self-importance and entitlement.

HEY WGA MEMBERS WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING FOR THE LAST 12 WEEK? WRITING CAN BE DONE ANYWHERE AND ANYTIME. PLEASE TELL ME WHAT REMAKES AND SEQUELS YOU ARE WORKING ON. THAT IS VERY CREATIVE STUFF. I AM A STUDIO TECH. I HAVE BEEN WONDERING HOW MUCH OF MY SAVINGS WILL BE USED DURING THIS STRIKE. PEOPLE WILL LOSE MORE THAN YOU WILL EVER KNOW. PLEASE SETTLE. SOMETIMES LESS IS MORE.

RBBritain:

Replacement writers? That's like saying we'll get replacement basketball players if the NBA walks out. There are only 5000 good screenwriters in the world. 4990 of them are in the Guild. For irrefutable proof see the quality of the content on the internet.

to SCARINGI, the "studio tech."— Same ole' brain washed concept that the WGA are the bad guys, when it's the AMPTP that want to strangle unions and their right to fair compensation. They are impersonal wealthy conglomerates, and you may be next, STUDIO TECH

to Lou Antonio:
We were wondering how manyof your colleagues you were going to allow to crash and burn financially before the WGA stopped dragging their feet in their cozy fuzzy slippers and got dressed to "sit or get off the pot" and settle this thing. Stop picking on the guys who bring your words to the big screen. They love to work and need to feed their Kids.

Get it? tkx


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