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Paris Barclay & Jay Roth Bid Farewell At DGA’s Annual Membership Meeting!

May 17, 2017 (18:30) | 2016 | By: Arlin Miller

EXCLUSIVE: Paris Barclay and Jay Roth kicked off their farewell tour last night at the DGA’s annual membership meeting in Hollywood. Barclay will be stepping down as DGA president next month, and Roth recently stepped down as the guild’s longtime national executive director. They’ll reprise their sendoffs next Wednesday at the DGA membership meeting in New York.

Barclay’s second two-year term as president will end next month when delegates gather at the DGA’s biennial convention in Los Angeles to elect a new slate of officers. Roth turned over the guild’s reins to Russ Hollander this month after serving 22 years as the DGA’s top executive.

DGA Awards Winners List
DGA

Barclay’s speech to the members-only meeting last night, he told Deadline, “wasn’t so much of a swan song as it was a thank you to the members for the difference they’ve made in so many ways, and about how strong this guild is.”

The DGA’s new film and TV contract, which includes a tripling of residuals from high-budget SVOD shows, was one of the guild’s major accomplishments during his term, he said. “It’s a forward-thinking deal that will end up reaping major benefits for the members for years to come,” Barclay said.

Barclay, the guild’s first African American president, noted that diversity has been and remains one of the guild’s top priorities. The DGA’s inclusion efforts, he said, “are looking good. We have a report coming out soon, and I feel positive.”

Coming into the job four years ago, he said, he was surprised at how well the guild operated. “It’s the most functional family that I have ever been involved with,” he laughed. “I didn’t expect it to be so functional, but the more I got into the plumbing, the more I found that it was copper-plated.”

The guild’s future, he told Deadline, is bright. “We’ve got good long-term prospects,” he said. “Our pension and health plans are well-funded, and we’ve beefed up our staff, and we’ve got many more boots on the ground and many, many more members are involved.”

The state’s $330 million annual film incentives program, which guild leaders and members lobbied effectively for during his term, “has been huge for our members,” he said. “I know I work much more in town than I use to. It’s pumped $3.9 billion into the state’s economy on $560 million in spending over the last two year, and our members are reaping the benefits.”

At the meeting, he praised, to thunderous applause, Roth’s leadership through eight successful film and TV contract negotiations, and said the guild is in good hands with Hollander – also to roaring applause and a standing ovation.

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Arl

The Ol’ SAG Watchdog

*Headline Photo selected by Watchdog

 

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SAG-AFTRA Makes Inroads As Video Game Strike Drags On.

May 16, 2017 (11:49) | 2016 | By: Arlin Miller

SAG-AFTRA video game strike rally

As SAG-AFTRA prepares for its upcoming round of negotiations for a new film and TV contract, it continues to pressure a different set of employers – video game producers – in a labor dispute that is the longest strike in the history of SAG.

Now in its 207th day, the union’s strike against 11 video game companies has pitted the companies’ desire to maintain a 20-year-old pay structure that includes no forms of residuals against the union’s demand for some type of residuals payments. And with more than $30 billion in U.S. sales and $90 billion-plus worldwide, video games are the only major industry sector that doesn’t pay residuals.

SAG-AFTRA

The strike, however, already has made some small gains in that direction. According to SAG-AFTRA, 20 companies and 30 games have signed agreements the union promulgated in October that that give performers residuals amounting to a full-day’s pay for each 500,000 units sold, up to four secondary payments if the game sells 2 million units. According to the unions, “the number of signatories has quadrupled” in the first three months of 2017, “and new deals are being signed every week.”

“These deals show that other companies see that what we’re asking for is reasonable,” said striking video game performer Phil LaMarr in the latest issue of the union’s magazine.

“This is a crucial time,” SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris said in the magazine. “The video game companies are getting ready to start production on a slate of new titles. They need and want our members’ talent to be on their games.”

The struck companies represent some of the industry’s largest players, including Electronic Arts, WB Games and Activision.

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Like I’ve said, “It’s too bad we’re not talking about bowling here.”    I

Arl

The Ol’ SAG Watchdog

*Headline Photo selected by Watchdog

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Studios Snubbed WGA’s Contract Proposal To Boost Women & Minority Writers!

May 12, 2017 (22:00) | 2016 | By: Arlin Miller

EXCLUSIVE: The WGA made no major gains in its new film and TV contract regarding diversity, which the guild has been pushing for years. “There was a proposal related to diversity on the table,” an industry source said, “but the guild did not get it.”

The union did, however, receive additional funding for its training program for episodic TV writers, which is geared toward improving the lot of women and minority writers. Under the new deal, CBS, ABC and NBC will now be kicking in a total of $250,000 a year for the program in each of the three years of the contract – up from $200,000 a year under the previous contract.

The new 69-page memorandum of agreement can be seen here, in full, for the first time. Membership ratification of the new pact began today and will conclude May 24.

In its 2016 report, the WGA West found that women made up only 29% of the TV writers; that female film writers earned only 68 cents for every dollar earned by their white male counterparts; and that only 7% of films, and 13% of TV shows, were written by minorities.

The contract’s non-discrimination clause – known as Article 38 – provides that “there shall be no discrimination due to sex, age, race, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, gender identity, color, creed, national origin or disability,” and that in accordance with this policy, the companies agree and reaffirm to continue the “policy of such non-discrimination in employment of writers hereunder.”

Under Article 38, which remains in effect, the studios also agree “to explore with the guild’s Equal Employment Officer new affirmative action programs to increase employment opportunities and the availability of writing assignments for writers in the ‘protected classes,’ as defined in this Article, in the fields of television and theatrical motion pictures. In addition, each company will designate one or more high level creative, production or programming executives to meet on an individual company basis at least once per year with members of the WGA West and WGA East, who have been designated by the board of directors of WGA West and council of WGA East.”

The companies’ reps the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers did not comment when contacted about the diversity proposal.

The new contract does include major gains for writers employed on short-order TV series; a bailout of the WGA’s ailing health plan; and more residuals from high-budget SVOD programs, similar to those won by the DGA in its recent contract negotiations.

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Hmmm…so the Snub Plot develops!

Arl

The Ol’ SAG Watchdog

*Headline Photo selected by Watchdog

 

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Streaming Services Will Pay A Lot More Residuals Under New WGA Pact

May 11, 2017 (15:59) | 2016 | By: Arlin Miller

EXCLUSIVE: Netflix, Amazon and Hulu will be paying a lot more in writers’ residuals under the new WGA film and TV contract. New details, outlined by WGA West, reveal that high-budget shows they run will generate anywhere between $3,448-$34,637 more residuals per episode over the life of the three-year contract than they did under the old contract, depending on the platform and the length of the show.

The contract, which has been unanimously approved by the WGA West board and the WGA East council, now goes to the guilds’ members for final ratification. Voting begins tomorrow and concludes May 24. The old contract expired May 2.

The new residual formula includes, for services with 1 million or more subscribers in the U.S. and Canada, a domestic residual of 35% of an applicable minimum after 90 days of availability. Residuals will also be due for reuse on foreign-affiliated SVOD services. “In general,” the guild says, “if an HBSVOD program is available worldwide on the SVOD service, the residual payment will be a percent of the domestic residual (35% for each of the first three years, a declining percent thereafter). If the HBSVOD program is available in some foreign markets, but not worldwide, the residual will be 1.2% of the license fee for the foreign markets.”

The new contract also establishes new subscriber tiers, which determine the residual, for programs or episodes written under license agreements made on or after May 2, 2017. Current series or those with a license agreement made prior to May 2, 2017 will receive residuals under the formulas negotiated in 2011 or 2014.

Netflix, with more than 45 million domestic subscribers, will pay $19,058 more in residuals over three years for each episode of a half-hour high-budget show than it did under the old contract. Each episode of a high-budget one-hour show will generate an additional $34,637.

Amazon, with a domestic subscriber tier of 20 million-45 million, will pay $10,004 more in residuals over three years for each episode of a half-hour high-budget show than it did under the old contract, and $18,180 more for each episode of a high-budget one-hour show.

Hulu, with a domestic subscriber tier of 5 million-20 million – but no foreign subscribers – will pay $3,338 more in residuals over three years for each episode of a half-hour high-budget show than it did under the old contract, and $6,268 more for each episode of a high-budget one-hour show.

The chart below shows examples of residuals for the first three years of availability of episodes made for Netflix, Amazon and Hulu.

Half-Hour Episode

Platform Domestic Subscriber Tier New Domestic Residual New Foreign Residual New Total Residuals under 2014 MBA Gain
Netflix 45 million+ $20,121 $7,043 $27,164 $8,106 +$19,058
Amazon 20-45 million $13,414 $4,696 $18,110 $8,106 +$10,004
Hulu 5-20 million $8,718 $8,718 $5,270 +$3,448

 

One-Hour Episode

Platform Domestic Subscriber Tier New Domestic Residual New Foreign Residual New Total Residuals under 2014 MBA Gain
Netflix 45 million+ $36,571 $12,800 $49,371 $14,734 +$34,637
Amazon 20-45 million $24,380 $8,534 $32,914 $14,734 +$18,180
Hulu 5-20 million $15,846 $15,846 $9,578 +$6,268

 

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We’ll now pause while some of our scribes out there hum a few bars of Down by the Old Quill Stream!

Arl

The Ol’ SAG Watchdog

Photo selected by Watchdog

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SAG-AFTRA to Start Negotiations With Producers Next Week!

May 10, 2017 (22:29) | 2016 | By: Arlin Miller

 

May 10, 2017 | 06:49PM PT

SAG-AFTRA will start negotiations with Hollywood producers on a successor deal for its master contract next week, with a tentative start date of May 17, Variety has learned.

The talks will be launching six weeks before the June 30 expiration of the current three-year deal. Neither the union nor the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers has confirmed a start date, but sources have said that subcommittees will begin meeting next week, followed by an exchange of “wish lists” before the end of May. Full-blown negotiations are scheduled to begin in early June.

Negotiations are expected to take place at AMPTP headquarters in Sherman Oaks, California. Key issues for the union are likely to include employer contributions to shore up the separate SAG and AFTRA pension plans; dealing with options and exclusivity rules due to shortened seasons in TV, also known as the “span” issue; and changes in how performers are compensated for travel.

SAG-AFTRA, which reps about 160,000 performers, is coming to the table in the wake of down-to-the-wire negotiations by the Writers Guild of America. The writers reached a tentative deal with the AMPTP an hour before the May 2 expiration of the contract, after unnerving the industry with a strike authorization endorsement supported by 96.3% of members who voted.

The WGA achieved significant changes in the compensation structure for short-order TV series, forcing the studios to recognize the financial strain for TV writers as the industry norm has shifted to shows with six-13 episodes per season rather than the broadcast norm of 22-24. Prior to reaching a deal, WGA leaders had been portraying the producers  as greedy and cited the guild’s estimate of the major entertainment conglomerates having racked up $51 billion in operating profits in 2016.

Unlike the WGA, SAG-AFTRA leaders have done little to mobilize the membership. Its national board approved a contract proposal for a successor deal with the production companies on Jan. 22, but it did not disclose details of the package. The close-to-the-vest approach is similar to that employed by the Directors Guild of America, which reached a tentative deal in December for a new contract that goes into effect on July 1 and includes a major gain in streaming residuals.

SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris is heading her union’s negotiating committee and SAG-AFTRA national executive director David White will be the lead negotiator. AMPTP president Carol Lombardini will lead negotiations for the companies.

WGA will begin ratification voting on Friday with a deadline of May 24. The contract is expected to be ratified by a large margin.

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And Thanks to a TV allergygation  , I have learned that Six is greater than One!
Arl
The Ol’ SAG Watchdog
*Headline Photo selected by Watchdog

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