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California Film & TV Tax Credits: Second Round Sees 254 Big-Screen Submissions!

July 28, 2015 (16:02) | 2015 | By: Arlin Miller

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to expand California’s current $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit ...

Just three days after the latest application period closed for some of the $330 million that the Golden State has allocated for film and television tax incentives, it seems we have some contenders. There were 254 projects submitted for the $55.2 million allocated this round for features films. Of that total, there were 32 for the $48.3 million available for non-independents and 222 for the $6.9 million for independents.The online-only application period ran from 8 AM on July 13 to midnight July 25 – with a digital disruption of a few hours on July 20. The next round of feature applications will be accepted from January 11-24, 2016.

This is the first time tentpoles with budgets of more than $75 million are eligible to apply for tax credits. However, major studios like Warner Bros and Universal are said to have pretty much stayed consistent numbers-wise with past years in terms of projects submitted. Past years saw projects chosen by lottery.

The California Film Commission notified the top 200% non-lottery-selected projects yesterday that they are now going to the next phrase of consideration to receive up to 25% in tax credits out of the state production buckets. Upon notification from the CFC, the chosen contenders of this round will have until the end of the week to submit further documentation detailing their project’s job-creation expectations. Job creation is the primary criteria of the revamped six-year program that Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law last September in Hollywood. The CFC is expected to start informing producers and studios in the next 10 days of who will be granted the tax credits. Those who don’t make the final cut will be placed on a waiting list to jump in if selected projects fail to hit certain deadlines or other criteria.

The first application period under the now non-lottery program ran from May 11-17 this year. The round was for TV only and saw 37 projects apply for the $82.8 million available in state tax credits in that category. In the end, 11 projects, including HBO’s Veep and three other relocating series, were selected in early June to receive the incentives. The next TV application period is November 30-December 6 this year.

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Ah those California palms they’re always open!


The Ol’ SAG Watchdog

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Watchdog endorses Membership First Slate!

July 24, 2015 (16:10) | 2015 | By: Arlin Miller

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I have enclosed MembershipFirsts candidates and a link to there candidate list and their statements .  I especially would hope that you read candidate David Jolliffe’s statement!!!!  Look the current leadership’s policy isn’t working and we need a change.  If you agree please read the following:


MembershipFirst Voting Guide

Please vote for our entire slate in order for us to Move Forward in the board room.

National President (green ballot)
02. Patricia Richardson

Secretary/Treasurer (green ballot)
03. Jane Austin

President (Los Angeles) (purple ballot)
02. Jane Austin

Vice Presidents (Los Angeles) (purple ballot)
(vote for only these candidates.)
03. David Jolliffe
05. Esai Morales

Local Board Members AT Large (purple ballot)
(vote for only these candidates.)
08. Richard Hadfield
09. Linda Harcharic
10. Samantha Hartson
11. Cupid Hayes
13. Charlie Hutchins
14. David Jolliffe
15. Matt Kavanaugh
18. Diane Ladd
24. Jodi Long
25. Kurt Lott
30. Esai Morales
35. Ron Ostrow
37. Patricia Richardson
38. Robin Riker
42. Martin Sheen
51. Edward Asner
52. Jane Austin
53. Jeff Austin
54. Michael Bell
62. David Cowgill
66. Joe d’Angerio
69. Carole Elliott
71. Frances Fisher
73. Marc C Geschwind

Local Board Member (Stunt Performer) (purple ballot)
75. Debbie Evans

National Board Member (purple ballot)
(vote for only these candidates.)
76. Linda Harcharic
77. Samantha Hartson
80. Charlie Hutchins
81. David Jolliffe
84. Diane Ladd
86. Jodi Long
87. Kurt Lott
90. Ron Ostrow
93. Patricia Richardson
94. Robin Riker
103. Edward Asner
104. Jeff Austin
105. Michael Bell
109. David Cowgil
112. Joe d’Angerio
114. Debbie Evans
116. Frances Fisher
118. Marc C Geschwind

Convention Delegate (Actor/Performer) (purple ballot)
(vote for only these candidates.)
119. Richard Hadfield
121. Linda Harcharic
122. Samantha Hartson
123. Cupid Hayes
125. Jack E. Herman
129. Charles Hutchins
132. David Jolliffe
134. Matt Kavanaugh
139. Diane Ladd
140. Peggy Lane O’Rourke
149. Jodi Long
159. Eric Newnham
162. Ron Ostrow
165. Martin Pierron
169. Patricia Richardson
171. Robin Riker
185. Gary Sievers
187. Dave Slattery
190. Scott Stewart
192. Jason Stuart
202. Kent Van Kuller
206. Vanessa Verdugo
221. Edward Asner
223. Jeff Austin
227. Michael Bell
237. Jennifer H. Caldwell
250. David Clennon
255. David Cowgil
263. Joe d ‘Angerio
265. Joan Del Mar
267. Susie Duff
272. Carole Elliott
269. Catherine Eads
274. Judy Evans
278. Frances Fisher
279. Steve Forbess
288. Freddi Gerard
289. Marc C Geschwind
292. Pamela Guest

Convention Delegate (Stunt Performer) (purple ballot)
(vote for only these candidates.)
293. Kurt Lott
297. Brady Romberg
298. Debbie Evans


To checkout the other sides  voters guide here is the link:


If you’d like to make any comment,  you can do it in the space provided below!


The Ol’ SAG Warchdog

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How Did Donald Trump Get a $110K SAG Pension?

July 23, 2015 (11:55) | 2015 | By: Arlin Miller

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His most visible TV work has been as host on ‘The Apprentice’ and ‘The Celebrity Apprentice.’

Buried in Donald Trump’s financial disclosure form, released Wednesday, is a bit of a surprise: listed among the Donald’s receipts is a $110,228 Screen Actors Guild pension. Though the amount is chump change for Trump, it’s natural to wonder how a billionaire acquired a union pension at all, and why it’s so high. Did someone make a mistake?

Probably not. Although his IMDb record discloses only a smattering of SAG work, if he was paid a sufficiently high fee for what appear to be mostly cameos, it’s quite possible that Trump achieved a pension this high, especially since the disclosure form suggests that he began drawing the pension in July 2011, several years after he turned 65, the pension plan’s normal retirement age. Delaying the receipt of a pension past that age results in a higher pension.

Indeed, Trump is probably entitled to a bump, from the AFTRA side of the house. His most visible TV work has been as host on The Apprentice and The Celebrity Apprentice. Although contestant gigs on reality shows are non-union, the hosting slots are generally covered by AFTRA or, now, SAG-AFTRA. If his hosting duties were covered work, that would entitle him to an AFTRA pension as well, and it too is likely to be in the six figures.

Although the unions merged in 2012, the SAG and AFTRA pension/retirement plans remain separate, so even the recent years of hosting would be considered “AFTRA work” for pension purposes, despite the fact that the union is now SAG-AFTRA.

The disclosure form doesn’t indicate the applicable year, so it’s not clear when Trump received the pension or if the amount has changed over time.

The size of the pensions may surprise working actors, whose average TV and film earnings are around $52,000 (2007 figures, the latest the union will release) and who typically don’t receive such generous pensions when they retire. But stardom has its perks.

It may seem odd that a billionaire would be a pensioner, but pensions, like Social Security, are not means-tested. And pensions are payable starting at age 65 even to people who continue working. All a qualified recipient need do is fill out a form and submit it to the SAG-Producers Pension & Health Plans or the AFTRA Health & Retirement Funds.

It might also seem ironic that a Republican – and thus a presumed anti-unionist – is receiving a union pension, but it’s not actually clear whether Trump is anti-union. On the one hand, in his most recent apparent statement on the subject, a 2011 interview with Fox’s Bill O’Reilly, Trump acknowledges that he uses union labor and says that he “has a great relationship with unions.” On the other hand, he also said in the interview that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker – now also a leading Republican candidate for President – was “maybe right for his state” when he took action to weaken and defeat public sector unions.

The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Bookmark The Hollywood Reporter’s Labor Page for the most in-depth coverage of entertainment unions and guilds.

Email: jh@jhandel.com


Arl: I know the SAG maximum pension is eight thousand a month,  As to AFTRA,  a little hard to find any info!  According to what I managed find on the  internet, it can go up to the max of 130 thousand a year!  Here’s another light shedding article I found on the internet.:

“Hollywood Pension Disclosure

 Deep inside the 92 pages of financial disclosures for Donald Trump’s presidential run is a $110,228 pension the real-estate mogul receives from the Screen Actors Guild.

It may seem strange that a billionaire developer who moonlights as a reality-show host would collect a pension. But it’s not so uncommon in Hollywood. Union pensions are a big perk for actors — whose average income is about $48,000 annually, according to Payscale.com. They rarely generate the steady paychecks most workers receive throughout their careers.

Trump starred in the NBC reality series “The Apprentice” starting with its debut in 2004, and its spinoff, “The Celebrity Apprentice,” from 2008. He earned $213.6 million over 11 years, according to a statement from his campaign. The network, owned by Comcast Corp., parted ways with Trump in June, after the Republican candidate’s campaign announcement speech included disparaging comments about Mexican immigrants.

More from Bloomberg.com: These Are the Top 20 Cities Americans Are Ditching

Trump’s acting credits begin earlier. The 69-year-old New York native made appearances in 19 TV shows and movies, dating back to “The Jeffersons” in 1981, according the research site IMDB.com. He played himself in “Zoolander,” the 2001 Ben Stiller comedy, and in 1992’s “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.”

It’s not clear whether the $110,000 figure is an annual amount. The reporting period for presidential candidates is the preceding year, plus the current year up to the filing date.

Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for Trump, declined to comment on his pension, as did the union’s press office.

According to his financial disclosure form, Trump’s pension dates to July 2011, the month after he turned 65.

Guild members earning more than $20,000 a year can begin earning pension credits, according to the union’s website. Beneficiaries earn a minimum of $220 a month and a maximum of $8,000 a month, or $96,000 annually.

More from Bloomberg.com: These Superhumans Are Real and Their DNA Could Be Worth Billions

Trump probably worked with the American Federation of Television Artists before its 2012 merger with SAG, according to Jonathan Handel, a labor expert who wrote about the candidate’s pension in the Hollywood Reporter.

Handel speculates Trump’s payments are higher because he’s eligible for benefits from his Aftra work. According to the Aftra Health & Retirement Funds website, the maximum payout is $108,000 a year, subject to adjustments that could make it go higher.

More from Bloomberg.com: The Scandal That Ate Malaysia

More from Bloomberg.com”


Well one thing I can confirm for sure  about Mr. Trump:  The SAG-AFTRA ballots are out and he ain’t running for our union presidency!

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The Ol’ SAG Watchdog

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Ed Harris, Martin Sheen Endorse Patricia Richardson for SAG-AFTRA Presidency!

July 22, 2015 (15:35) | 2015 | By: Arlin Miller

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The Indiana Democratic Party feels it's critical that citizens vote.

July 22, 2015 | 02:50PM P

Patricia Richardson’s challenge to SAG-AFTRA president Ken Howard has attracted endorsements from Elliot Gould, Valerie Harper, Ed Harris, Robert Hays, Amy Madigan, Ken McCord, Nick Nolte, Martin Sheen and Nancy Sinatra.About 140,000 ballots went out this week to the SAG-AFTRA membership, with results due to be tabulated on Aug. 20. Richardson, best known as Tim Allen’s co-star on “Home Improvement,” announced her candidacy on June 25 as head of the self-styled progressive Membership First slate.Howard won elections in 2009 and 2011 for the SAG presidency and then won the post in 2013 against Esai Morales in the first election for the merged SAG-AFTRA, running each time as the head of the moderate Unite for Strength slate. He announced June 1 that he would seek re-election with Jenny O’Hara as his running mate for secretary-treasurer.Howard’s current endorsement list includes Alec Baldwin, Lewis Black, Bryan Cranston, Sally Field, Tom Hanks, William H. Macy, Octavia Spencer, Jeffrey Tambor and Lily Tomlin.Star power has always been a major factor in the union elections. In the 2013 contest, Sheen received the highest number of votes of any candidate running for a national board seat, followed by Tony Shalhoub, Morales and Howard.

Richardson unveiled her slate Wednesday, which includes stuntwoman Jane Austin as her running mate for secretary-treasurer. Morales and David Jolliffe are seeking the Los Angeles VP slots; notable candidates for the national board include Richardson, former SAG president Ed Asner, Frances Fisher, Jolliffe and Diane Ladd along with Jeff Austin, Michael Bell, David Cowgil, Joe d’Angerio, Debbie Evans, Marc Geschwind, Linda, Harcharic, Samantha Hraston, Charlie Hutchins, Jodi Long, Kurt Lott, Ron Ostrow and Robin Riker.

Richardson has said that Howard’s faction has been too accommodating to employers and not responsive to members. “Our whole team wants to have a member-centric, member-led, transparent and more democratic approach to tackling the issues that have not been solved,” she said.

The Unite for Strength ticket for the national board includes Ellen Crawford (“ER”), “Being Mary Jane” star Lisa Vidal, Mimi Cozzens, Conrad Palmisano (“21 Jump Street”), “Avatar” actor Woody Schultz, Patrick Fabian (“Better Call Saul”), Gabrielle Carteris (“Beverly Hills, 90210″), L. Scott Caldwell (“Lost”), Jon Huertas (“Castle”), broadcaster Hal Eisner, John Carroll Lynch (“American Horror Story”), Elizabeth McLaughlin (“Pretty Little Liars”), Autumn Reeser (“The O.C.”) and Iqbal Theba (“Glee”).

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Theodore Bikel Dies: Actor & Longtime Union Activist Was 91!

July 21, 2015 (14:25) | 2015 | By: Arlin Miller

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July 21, 2015 12:19pm

Theodore Bikel, who appeared in movie, TV and stage roles ranging from The African Queen and Fiddler On The Roof to All In The Family and JAG and devoted much of his life to helping actors and actors unions, died today in Los Angeles. He was 91.

Bikel had roles in more than 150 films and TV shows and countless stage productions. He earned an Oscar nomination in 1960 for his supporting role in The Defiant Ones; the same year, he was nominated for a Tony for originating the role of Captain von Trapp in The Sound Of Music on Broadway. He also has recorded more than two dozen albums of folk music.

Born on May 2, 1924, in Vienna, Bikel’s U.S. screen career began in the late 1940s and soon blossomed with a pair of supporting roles in John Huston films: He played a German Naval officer in the 1951 Humphrey Bogart-Lauren Bacall classic The African Queen and followed as the King of Serbia in 1952’s Moulin Rouge. He worked steadily in films and TV after that, racking up credit after credit. In 1955, Bikel made his Broadway debut with the lead in Tonight In Samarkand. Later that year he starred on the Main Stem in The Lark and followed with The Rope Dancers in 1957. Those led to his signature Broadway role as Captain von Trapp in the original production of The Sound Of Music, which ran until mid-1963.

Aside from his long and prolific career on stage and screen, Bikel’s showbiz legacy is likely to be his tireless advocacy for actors and their unions. He served as president of Actors’ Equity Association from 1973-82 and was the longtime president of the Associated Actors & Artistes of America, the 95-year-old labor organization through which all of the entertainment industry’s performers unions once were affiliated to the AFL-CIO.

“Theo Bikel is a mensch, a tireless force for good, having served his fellow actors as union leader for more than 20 years and lending his voice to significant issues of the day,” Actors’ Equity President Nick Wyman told Deadline last year. “He has had a remarkable, multi-faceted career and there are very few who loved their union more, fought as passionately for what mattered, or honored their craft as much as Theo.”

The union also released a statement today: “Actors’ Equity Association mourns the passing of our dear friend, our brother and former President Theo Bikel. From the time he joined Equity in 1954, Bikel has been an advocate for the members of our union and his extraordinary achievements paved the way for so many. No one loved theater more, his union better or cherished actors like Theo did. He has left an indelible mark on generation of members past and generations of members to come. We thank you, Theo, for all you have done.”

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Always sad to lose someone who works for his fellow actors.


The Ol’ SAG Watchdog

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