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SAG aims for April start date

April 19, 2008 (19:06) | 2008 | By: Arlin Miller

1204266808 69.230.223.40

SAG and AFTRA Hollywood

Joint Wages and Working Conditions
Committee Adopts Resolution

Los Angeles (February 29, 2008) The Hollywood Joint Wages and Working Conditions Committee of Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists today unanimously adopted the following resolution:

The Hollywood Joint SAG/AFTRA Wages and Working Conditions Committee, which represents the majority of working actors in this country and has worked so well together to create proposals that truly reflect the needs of middle class actors in all categories, reaffirms that:

The Joint SAG/AFTRA Wages and Working Conditions Committee, negotiating team and National Boards will diligently and patiently adhere to the wages and working conditions process; and

Only when the Chief Negotiators, the Joint Wages and Working Conditions Committee and the Joint National Board of Directors of SAG and AFTRA decide it is strategically the best time to negotiate with our employers will an official statement announcing such decision be made by our unions.

Unanimously adopted February 29, 2008.

*newsSAG aims for April start date

Guild faces mounting pressure to set talks

By DAVE MCNARY

Facing pressure to start contract talks as soon as possible, SAG has announced it won’t start formal negotiations with the AMPTP until April at the earliest.

In a message sent to members Thursday, SAG president Alan Rosenberg and national exec director Doug Allen said SAG plans to stress the issues of new media, compensation for middle-class actors and forced endorsement on product integration.

In the message, Rosenberg and Allen repeated their previous insistence that the guild needs to complete its process of holding “wages and working conditions” meetings to hammer out the details of its proposal and said that process would conclude March 31. They also retiterated that they need to complete discussions with AFTRA over the SAG-AFTRA joint bargaining arrangement before setting a date for talks.

“We want to begin formal negotiations as soon as we have the best chance to finish the negotiations with a fair agreement, acceptable to SAG members,” Rosenberg and Allen said. “That date will be as soon as possible, but not before we finish our member-driven W&W process and not until we are in a position to finish what we start.”

The SAG-AFTRA contract on feature film and primetime TV expires June 30; studio worries about an actors strike have resulted in execs refusing to schedule production start dates on films that can’t be completed by that date.

The SAG duo — who met informally last week with Disney topper Robert Iger — also said they plan to continue informal get-togethers with the moguls to lay the groundwork for the formal bargaining, noting that the DGA and WGA had taken a similar path earlier this year.

“We will also meet with management to work on the schedule and logistics of negotiations,” the message said. “Our lines of communication with management have been and will continue to be open.”

The message said that SAG’s preparation includes assembling up-to-date financial, economic and member earnings’ data. And Rosenberg and Allen insisted that the contract talks will include issues not dealt with in either the DGA or WGA contracts.

“The compression of compensation for middle class working actors and forced endorsement by product integration, for example, must be addressed in our negotiations,” they said. “Also, the impact of some of the new media provisions of the DGA or WGA contracts would fall more harshly on actors than on writers and directors.”

SAG was so closely aligned with the Writers Guild during the recent strike that many assumed the WGA deal would preclude an actors strike. Rosenberg and Allen have said repeatedly that SAG must maintain a strike threat in order to get the best possible deal, asserting that without that leverage, collective bargaining becomes “collective begging.”

However, Thursday’s message made no mention of the possibility a strike and attempted to assuage concerns that SAG’s stalling in setting talks. Top-tier meembers such as George Clooney and Tom Hanks have spearheaded a push to get SAG leaders to the bargaining table as soon as possible and to cool down their anti-conglom statements.

“The impact of the calendar on the industry, particularly its impact on movies not yet in production, affects actors and employers,” Rosenberg and Allen said. “It is important that our response to the urgency of the calendar is thoughtful, measured, and productive. We cannot ignore the calendar. Neither should we impose deadlines on ourselves, in essence bargaining against ourselves.”

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White Hunter, Black Heart. Moonves boasts about “bagging” the WGA!

April 19, 2008 (19:06) | 2008 | By: Arlin Miller

1204066533 69.230.212.110

Moonves: Pilots ‘vastly overrated’
By Paul J. Gough

Feb 27, 2008

NEW YORK — CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves said Tuesday that “pilots are vastly overrated” and that the impact of the writers strike has given the network the ability to reexamine its development process.

He also said that his company was not hurt financially by the writers strike and is not seeing any signs of recession.

Speaking to Wall Street analysts during the company’s quarterly earnings call, Moonves reached into his 20-plus years as a successful network programmer to say there has been a lot of wasted spending.

“It hasn’t necessarily been the most expensive shows that have hit it out of the ballpark,” Moonves said. “There’s some feeling that you don’t have to spend $5 million” on a pilot to know whether the show will be a success. He said that the 20th episode was a better indication than the first episode of a series.

“I don’t think you need to spend a huge amount of money to find those hits,” Moonves said. He said the network would operate more efficiently in the future with the changes being put into place now.

WOOF !Hmmm, and how can they spend less money? Ahhhh, well, unless SAG stakes out its jurisdiction and says no, they, like Disney, will produce their shows under an AFTRA Contract with inferior minimums and residual giveaways.

Moonves and CFO Fred Reynolds said the company had not been adversely affected financially from the three-month-long writers strike, which ended in time for the network to return original programming in the spring. CBS in fact saved around $70 million in the fourth quarter thanks to the strike. There will be a “significant” but as yet unstated amount of savings in the first quarter.

WOOF !Many of those who have seen the DGA and WGA contracts just shake their heads, and wonder why there was a strike in the first place, if that was what they were willing to settle for.

“During the short term we were able to manage operating costs at the network very well,” Moonves said. That includes significant reductions in operating expenses as well as terminating what Moonves called “costly” writing and producing deals. The network does not have any make-good issues either and scatter pricing is running about 30% more than what the network received in the upfront.

WOOF !But, but, if we just go into negotiations early and talk, we can work out a good deal with people/people like Les Moonves and his pals. As you can ascertain by Mr. Moonves comments, there are more important things than profit, and certainly, they don’t put profit before people.

Moonves looked forward to the upfront, which will tout CBS’ new schedule on air and online. He said that the network will benefit from a “faster, leaner development model” with fewer expensive pilots and greater efficiencies. Already 11 shows have been renewed.

WOOF !Greater efficiencies? And of course, the way they will increase those greater efficiencies is by cutting back on their exorbitant salaries. Right? Hmmm, so if they don’t cut back on their salaries, whose? Star’s like Hanks, Clooney, DiNero and Streep? Ahhh, noooo! Hey, how about the rank & file actor? Now, there’s a thought!

Moonves earns about $20 million per year in salary, stock and bonuses and has a long-term contract in place. And, according to a source close to the situation, CBS has no plans to restructure Moonves’ pay package. (3/16/07 NY Post)

WOOF !According to Deadline Hollywood, Les’ compensation is up over *money 30 Million now.

Meanwhile, Moonves said CBS isn’t being affected by a recession that some economists have suggested may have hit other segments of the U.S. economy.

WOOF !But, but, I thought Nick Counter wanted rollbacks because of tough times?

Despite growing fears that the economy is starting to affect the ad-supported media that makes up the bulk of the revenue of companies like CBS, Moonves said that there’s no evidence of it there. He pointed to Fox Broadcasting’s ability to receive an average of $2.7 million for a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl this month as evidence of strength in the economy.

WOOF !Doug, Alan, are you taking notes?

“That doesn’t tell me that there’s something drastically wrong with the economy when guys will pay that much for those spots,” Moonves said. He added that in a recession “the last thing you want to do is pull back from network television.”

One of the growing revenue streams is the upcoming March Madness online coverage. Moonves said the online product, which has been free for the past three years, delivered $10 million in revenue last year, and CBS is projecting it will take in $21 million this month with exactly the same cost of production.

WOOF !But, but this streaming is just for promotional purposes,and, hey, just cause they pick up a few bucks on the side, it’s is no big deal. Right?

“The great majority of that $21 million will drop to the bottom line,” Moonves said.

WOOF !And the bottom line, unless members are united in demanding their fair share, it ain’t gonna drop into their pockets.

Mr. Moonves gloating aside, The following letter best sums up the outcome of the writers strike.

Creds: got here in 1962, written for just about everybody, won the Writers Guild Award four times for solo work, sat on the WGAw Board twice, worked on negotiating committees, and was out on the picket lines with my NICK COUNTER SLEEPS WITH THE FISHE$ sign. You may have heard my name. I am a Union guy, I am a Guild guy, I am loyal. I fuckin’ LOVE the Guild.

And I voted NO on accepting this deal.

My reasons are good, and they are plentiful; Patric Verrone will be saddened by what I am about to say; long-time friends will shake their heads; but this I say without equivocation

THEY BEAT US LIKE A YELLOW DOG. IT IS A SHIT DEAL.

We finally got a timorous generation that has never had to strike, to get their asses out there, and we had to put up with the usual cowardly spineless babbling horse’s asses who kept mumbling “lessgo bac’ta work” over and over, as if it would make them one iota a better writer. But after months on the line, and them finally bouncing that pus-sucking dipthong Nick Counter, we rushed headlong into a shabby, scabrous, underfed shovelfulla shit clutched to the affections of toss-in-the-towel summer soldiers trembling before the Awe of the Alliance.

My Guild did what it did in 1988. It trembled and sold us out. It gave away the EXACT co-terminus expiration date with SAG for some bullshit short-line substitute; it got us no more control of our words; it sneak-abandoned the animator and reality beanfield hands before anyone even forced it on them; it made nice so no one would think we were meanies; it let the Alliance play us like the village idiot. The WGAw folded like a Texaco Road Map from back in the day.

And I am ashamed of this Guild, as I was when Shavelson was the prexy, and we wasted our efforts and lost out on technology that we had to strike for THIS time. 17 days of streaming tv!!!????? Geezus, you bleating wimps, why not just turn over your old granny for gang-rape?

You deserve all the opprobrium you get. While this nutty festschrift of demented pleasure at being allowed to go back to work in the rice paddy is filling your cowardly hearts with joy and relief that the grips and the staff at the Ivy and street sweepers won’t be saying nasty shit behind your back, remember this:

You are their bitches. They outslugged you, outthought you, outmaneuvered you; and in the end you ripped off your pants, painted yer asses blue, and said yes sir, may I have another.

Please excuse my temerity. I’m just a sad old man who has fallen among Quislings, Turncoats, Hacks and Cowards.

I must go now to whoops. My gorge has become buoyant.

Respectfully, Yr. Pal, Harlan Ellison

Can anyone doubt that Hanks, Clooney, and their gang showed up to their meeting with their producer proffered buckets of blue paint for all of our asses. *butt

Of Course, only time will tell, if in the end, we get it in the end, but as history is witness to, in the end, we usually do.

Nevertheless, a piece of advise for our SAG negotiators. With AFTRA negotiators and their “AFTRA First” USAN SAG negotiators at their side, best you wear not only belts–but also suspenders!

A.L Miller SW Editor & Chief WOOF !

All formatting is SW’s!

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A List actors meet with SAG President Rosenberg.

April 19, 2008 (19:06) | 2008 | By: Arlin Miller

A-list actors want action on contract

Determined to avoid another strike, major stars pressure their guild to stop posturing and start negotiating.

By Richard Verrier
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

February 23, 2008

Two of Hollywood’s biggest stars — George Clooney and Tom Hanks — dropped in at the home of Screen Actors Guild President Alan Rosenberg this week to deliver a message: Start negotiating.

With the writers strike fresh in their minds, the high-powered actors want to head off another labor disruption that could paralyze the film and television industry.

WOOF !And could paralyze, they’re production companies: Tom Hanks, Playtone Productions, and George Clooney, Smokehouse Productions.

So during a two-hour meeting Tuesday night, Clooney and Hanks — joined by Sally Field and Rob Lowe — urged Rosenberg and guild negotiator Doug Allen to tone down their rhetoric and get to the bargaining table, according to two people with knowledge of the meeting.

WOOF !Hmmm, one wonders why none of them has spoken out against the AMPTP for stonewalling actors on DVDs, Internet streaming and downloading, and other new media issues. Hmmm, again. Why? Because, in this town, career wise, it’s always a lot safer criticize your union than your employers and fellow producers.

The session was the latest in series of efforts by top stars to nudge guild leaders into early negotiations on a new SAG contract to replace one that expires June 30. Actors strongly supported the writers during their recent 100-day walkout, but are anxious to begin work again after Hollywood’s costliest work stoppage in two decades.

Separately, a large number of influential SAG members are pushing their guild to adopt restrictions on who would be allowed to vote on the film and TV contract.

WOOF !Right! Actors like Amy Brenneman, who have never gotten involved in their union, until now, and then only to take away fellow members right to vote. Some of the very members, by the way, that manned the picket lines in 2000the ones that Ms. Brenneman managed to avoid. But then she, of course, is more deserving of a vote than them, because she makes more money, right?

On Wednesday, a group of actors presented a petition to SAG leaders calling on the guild to implement so-called “qualified voting.” The petition was signed by more than 1,000 actors, including Kevin Bacon, Glenn Close, Ben Affleck and Ethan Hawke.

WOOF !Glenn, of course, not only wants to take away members right to vote, but she has enabled AFTRA to take away SAG members residuals with her AFTRA show “Damages!” Actually, credit Ms. Close with the hat trick, because by ensuring that SAG actors have to work under an inferior AFTRA contract, she, also, diminished their chances of qualifying for P&H! Way, to go Glenn!

Despite such big-name support, the proposal is likely to face stiff resistance from the guild’s national board because it could disqualify many if not most of the guild’s 120,000 members from voting on the principal contract.

“I’m totally against the idea,” Rosenberg said. “It disenfranchises . . . people who are already marginalized.”

Nonetheless, Rosenberg said the idea gained enough support to justify bringing it before the guild’s 71-member board, which has the authority to impose such restrictions.

WOOF !Such a vote should be on the record: And you can bet anyone who votes to take away members right to vote on referendums will never be elected again. You see, they could take away the referendum vote, but under labor law, they can’t take away their right to vote in an election for guild leadership.

Rosenberg declined to discuss the meeting at his house, other than to acknowledge that Clooney, Hanks and the others wielded tremendous influence in the guild.

WOOF !In regards to those members I have talked to and that have emailed me, Clooney and Hanks wield a lot less influence than our leadership may think. Especially, in light of their recent public pronouncements, which many feel have undermined SAG’s ability to get them a decent contract in upcoming negotiations.

“Their participation is crucial to our success,” he said.

The actors also declined to comment. Participants at the meeting agreed not to publicly discuss the session, according to the people with knowledge of the meeting.

Rosenberg called the session after Clooney, Hanks, Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep took out a full-page advertisement in Hollywood trade publications last week calling on the guild to begin negotiations immediately.

Concerns about the guild’s negotiating posture came to a head recently when Allen, SAG’s chief negotiator, and Rosenberg criticized a new Directors Guild of America contract that subsequently became the basis for the writers agreement.

The men vowed to press not only for improved pay in new media but for something neither writers nor directors won — an increase in residuals from the sale of DVDs.

WOOF !And they are going to do this after indicating that SAG’s memberships lack of resolve to strike. When you take the strike card off the table, it is no longer Collective Bargaining but Collective Begging.

But during Tuesday’s meeting Clooney and his colleagues objected to what they perceived as saber-rattling by Allen and Rosenberg, and stressed that actors were reluctant to endure another walkout, according to the people with knowledge of the meeting.

WOOF !Hmmm, so Clooney, Hanks and Fields now have the pulse of SAG’s membership. How, do they know what the rank and file are willing to endure to get a fair deal. Perhaps, what they meant to say was that actor/producers, such as Hanks,Clooney and DeNiro, were unwilling to endure another walkout. One thing, that SAG members can’t endure much longer are actor/producers like those at the meeting: ones that publicly weaken SAG’s bargaining power by publicly indicating the lack of resolve of SAG’s memberships. Especially since they have nothing to backup their rhetoric but their own fear and undeserved feelings of self-importance.

Hanks said he was concerned about the plight of actors who had been out of work during the writers strike.

WOOF !Bullsh*t! If Tom Hanks was truly concerned by the plight of actors, he would stop cutting their throats with public pronouncements weakening their bargaining position. And instead, he would roll up his selves and join in the process with fellow rank & file members–while encouraging fellow high profile members to join him.

Clooney grilled Allen about concerns he had heard from SAG members in New York that the leadership was too close to hard-line guild activists in Hollywood.

WOOF !So, now, Clooney is listening to AFTRA operatives in New York: You know the ones that put AFTRA ahead of SAG. Oh, by the way, someone should clue in George that those so-called hard-line activists where elected overwhelmingly by the Hollywood membership. It is clear that Mr. Clooney’s agenda is based on his own self-interest, not those of his fellow SAG members. And that his public stance only hurts their chances of getting a fair contract, while helping his pals at the AMPTP.

Field highlighted the urgency of beginning early talks.

The actress, who won an Oscar for her role as a fiery union leader in the 1979 movie “Norma Rae,” had previously butted heads with Rosenberg.

According to witnesses, the two fell into in a heated exchange at the end of the SAG Awards dinner last month when Field, star of the ABC drama “Brothers & Sisters,” pressed Rosenberg to fast-track negotiations and questioned his leadership. Rosenberg’s wife, “CSI” actress Marg Helgenberger, intervened to defend him, according to one of the witnesses. “He became very agitated,” said Field’s publicist, Heidi Schaeffer, who was not among the witnesses. Rosenberg declined to comment.

WOOF !Does Fields believe that those residuals she gets came from early talks and signaling to employers SAG’s lack of resolve to strike if necessary? I doubt it. In fact, in this case, it seems she is not thinking at all.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Rosenberg stressed that he wasn’t looking to go to war with the studios and said he and Allen already had begun informal discussions with studio chiefs, the sources said. The SAG officials met with Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert Iger on Friday and discussed a possible timetable for talks.

Guild leaders have said they won’t begin formal negotiations until they have completed a series of meetings with members, scheduled to run through mid-March, to identify their chief bargaining goals.

“Our lines of communication to management are open, have been and will continue to be,” Allen said. As to the timing of negotiations, he said: “We haven’t made that decision and when we do we’ll make an appropriate announcement.”

Allen would not discuss the petition on qualified voting, saying it was a matter for the board to decide.

The role of nonworking actors within SAG, and whether they exert too much influence, has long been a contentious issue within the union.

At SAG, any member in good standing can vote on the film and TV contract. Members qualify for membership if they have appeared in a principal or speaking role in a SAG film, video, television program or commercial. Also eligible are extras who have worked at least three days on a SAG-covered show in their lifetimes, and people who qualify to join through a sister union.

That has rankled many working actors, who complain that a majority of SAG’s members consistently earn less than $1,000 per year.

“I believe that the Screen Actors Guild will be strengthened at the bargaining table if only those members who have a stake in bargaining are the ones voting,” said actor Ned Vaughn, one of the organizers of the petition.

WOOF !By Ned Vaughn’s logic, only those currently sick should determine our health plan, and only those retired should have a say on our pension. Look, every member has a stake in these contracts. Perhaps if Mr. Vaughn bothered to read all the constitution rather than excerpting one part, he would realize every member is “affected by” every contract: SAG Constitution, Article X1, Section (5)

Section 5. Every member of the Guild shall be bound by the provisions of all collective bargaining contracts in effect between the Guild and motion picture producers as the same are or may hereafter be amended.

richard.verrier@latimes.com

According to IMDb here are the producing credits actor/producers George Clooney, Smokehouse Productions; Robert DeNiro, Tribeca Film Center; Tom Hanks Playtone Productions

Tom Hanks
1. They Marched Into Sunlight (2008) (announced) (producer)
2. Boone’s Lick (2008) (pre-production) (producer)
3. Where the Wild Things Are (2009) (post-production) (producer)
4. “The Pacific” (2009) (mini) TV mini-series (post-production) (executive producer)
5. City of Ember (2008) (post-production) (producer)
6. My Life in Ruins (2008) (post-production) (producer)
7. Mamma Mia! (2008) (post-production) (producer)
8. Surfer Dude (2008) (post-production) (producer)
9. “John Adams” (2008) (mini) TV mini-series (completed) (co-executive producer)
10. A Wilderness of Monkeys (2008) (completed) (executive producer) (producer)
11. The Great Buck Howard (2008) (producer)
12. Charlie Wilson’s War (2007) (producer)
13. “Big Love” (executive producer) (18 episodes, 2006-2007)

– The Happiest Girl (2007) TV episode (executive producer)

– Circle the Wagons (2007) TV episode (executive producer)

– Kingdom Come (2007) TV episode (executive producer)

– Good Guys and Bad Guys (2007) TV episode (executive producer)

– Dating Game (2007) TV episode (executive producer)

(13 more)
14. Evan Almighty (2007) (executive producer)
15. “Big Love: In the Beginning” (executive producer) (3 episodes, 2007)

– Meet the Babysitter (2007) TV episode (executive producer)

– Moving Day (2007) TV episode (executive producer)

– Post-Partum (2007) TV episode (executive producer)
16. Starter for 10 (2006) (producer)
17. The Ant Bully (2006) (producer)
18. Neil Young: Heart of Gold (2006) (producer)
19. Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D (2005) (producer)
20. We’re with the Band (2005) (TV) (producer)
21. The Polar Express (2004) (executive producer)
… aka The Polar Express: An IMAX 3D Experience (USA: IMAX version)
22. Connie and Carla (2004) (producer)
23. “My Big Fat Greek Life” (2003) TV series (executive producer) (unknown episodes)
24. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) (producer)
… aka Mariage la grecque (Canada: French title)
… aka Mariage grec, Le (Canada: French title: TV title)
25. We Stand Alone Together (2001) (TV) (executive producer)
… aka We Stand Alone Together: The Men of Easy Company (Europe: English title: DVD title)
26. “Band of Brothers” (2001) (mini) TV mini-series (executive producer)
27. Cast Away (2000) (producer)
28. “West Point” (2000) TV series (executive producer)
29. “From the Earth to the Moon” (1998) (mini) TV mini-series (executive producer)

George Clooney Producer
Producer:
In Production
2000s
1990s
1. Garland Bunting Project (2008) (announced) (producer)
2. Leatherheads (2008) (completed) (producer)
3. Michael Clayton (2007) (executive producer)
4. Ocean’s Thirteen (2007) (executive producer)
5. Sand and Sorrow (2007) (executive producer)
6. Wind Chill (2007) (executive producer)
7. The Half Life of Timofey Berezin (2006) (executive producer)
8. A Scanner Darkly (2006) (executive producer)
9. Rumor Has It… (2005) (executive producer)
… aka Rumour Has It… (Australia) (Canada: English title) (New Zealand: English title)
10. Syriana (2005) (executive producer)
11. The Big Empty (2005) (executive producer)
12. “Unscripted” (executive producer) (10 episodes, 2005)

– Episode #1.10 (2005) TV episode (executive producer)

– Episode #1.9 (2005) TV episode (executive producer)

– Episode #1.8 (2005) TV episode (executive producer)

– Episode #1.7 (2005) TV episode (executive producer)

– Episode #1.6 (2005) TV episode (executive producer)

(5 more)
13. The Jacket (2005) (producer)
14. Criminal (2004) (producer)
15. “K Street” (executive producer) (3 episodes, 2003)

– Week 3 (2003) TV episode (executive producer)

– Week 2 (2003) TV episode (executive producer)

– Week 1 (2003) TV episode (executive producer)
16. Far from Heaven (2002) (executive producer)
… aka Loin du paradis (France)
17. Welcome to Collinwood (2002) (executive producer) (producer)
… aka Safecrackers oder Diebe haben’s schwer (Germany)
18. Insomnia (2002/I) (executive producer)
19. Rock Star (2001) (executive producer)
20. Fail Safe (2000) (TV) (executive producer)
21. Kilroy (1999) (TV) (producer)

Robert DeNiro
Producer:
In Production
2000s
1990s
1980s
1. Frankie Machine (2009) (in production) (producer)
2. 20% Fiction (2009) (pre-production) (executive producer)
3. Public Enemies (2009) (pre-production) (executive producer)
4. 36 (2008) (pre-production) (producer)
5. What Just Happened? (2008) (producer)
6. The Good Shepherd (2006) (producer)
7. Rent (2005) (producer)
8. Meet the Fockers (2004) (producer)
9. Stage Beauty (2004) (producer)
10. About a Boy (2002) (producer)
… aka About a Boy oder: Der Tag der toten Ente (Germany)
… aka Pour un garon (France)
11. Prison Song (2001) (producer)
12. Holiday Heart (2000) (TV) (executive producer)
13. Meet the Parents (2000) (producer)
14. The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle (2000) (producer)
… aka Abenteuer von Rocky und Bullwinkle, Die (Germany)
15. Flawless (1999) (producer) (uncredited)
16. Entropy (1999/I) (producer)
… aka Entrophy (Australia: TV title)
17. Witness to the Mob (1998) (TV) (executive producer)
18. Wag the Dog (1997) (producer)
19. Marvin’s Room (1996) (producer)
20. Faithful (1996) (producer)
21. 9 (1996) (VG) (executive producer)
22. Panther (1995) (producer) (uncredited)
23. Frankenstein (1994) (associate producer)
… aka Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (USA: complete title)
24. A Bronx Tale (1993) (producer)
25. The Night We Never Met (1993) (producer) (uncredited)
26. “Tribeca” (1993) TV series (executive producer) (unknown episodes)
27. Mistress (1992) (producer)
… aka Hollywood Mistress (USA)
28. Thunderheart (1992) (producer)
29. Cape Fear (1991) (producer) (uncredited)
30. We’re No Angels (1989) (executive producer)

In that these three actor/producers have 80 productions between them, and being that they have signaled to the AMPTP, that SAG’s membership does not have the resolve to strike to get a fair contract, do you think that they are acting on behalf of SAG’s membership, or they’re own personal interests? *

One thing that cannot be contested. If these three high profile members, and their high profile supporters, were predecessors, rather than contemporaries, SAG’s membership would have neither residuals nor pension and health.

A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief WOOF !

All Formatting is SW’s.

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A Message to Hanks and Clooney from a Hollywood Legend!

April 19, 2008 (19:06) | 2008 | By: Arlin Miller

1203405639 69.230.189.191

A Message to a couple of current Hollywood stars from a legend, and Ralph Morgan Award winner, Scott Wilson.

Mr. Wilson made his mark on the Hollywood scene with his riveting performance in what has now become a movie classic, “In Cold Blood.” He has gone on to distinguish himself as an actors, actor, but beyond that as a dedicated Screen Actors Guild member.

So, when Mr. Wilson speaks we should all listen! What follows is a letter he sent to the LA Times in response to a letter published from high profile actors George Clooney and Tom Hanks.

First Mr. Clooney and Mr. Hanks letter to the editor of the Times then Mr. Wilson’s response.

Letter to the Editor Now the Spotlight is on the Actors
Feb. 15 L.A. Times

Re “Strike’s over, but viewers may be looking elsewhere,” Feb. 13

Our unions — the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists — are a contentious bunch, you bet. On the other side of the 2008 labor divide are the studios and television networks owned by billion-dollar corporations, each in never-ending competition with the other.

With those realities duly noted, a new three-year contract is to be negotiated between the two. Talks between the actors and the producers should begin now. Why? It’s obvious: Hollywood — the industry and the town — took a savage beating during the writers strike but is now heading back to work.

The actors are next up in the negotiation barrel. Some might think the agreements ratified by the Writers Guild of America and the Directors Guild of America are useful templates for the actors to follow. But the issues facing the actors are patently different, both of the bread-and-butter variety and the paradigm-shifting new-media realities that are affecting everyone in professional entertainment.

A strike by the actors is certainly a possibility this summer, but it is by no means inevitable. Talks between the producers and actors should begin as soon as possible so that those negotiations will produce the fair, progressive and responsible contract the actors deserve. Perhaps then our town — and everyone in the business of show — will be spared another work stoppage.

Tom Hanks
George Clooney
Los Angeles

Here is Mr. Wilson’s response

For George Clooney and Tom Hanks to characterize the real issues between SAG and AFTRA with the remark that “Our unions…are a contentious bunch” shows that either they are ill-informed or that they accept AFTRA’s raiding of SAG contracts by giving producers 10, 15, 20 and more play days a year, multiple plays a day, with zero residuals and therefore no contributions to the Pension and Health Plans.

Series regulars and guest actors on those shows consider losing residuals very much a bread and butter issue. I believe Tom and George would have thought the same thing at some point in their careers. So I assume they are unaware of AFTRA’s egregious behavior.

As for the comments about “billion-dollar corporations [being] …in never-ending competition with each other”, consolidation has obliterated the difference between supplier, distributor and exhibitor and, perhaps there is a “never-ending competition” for the services and product of those talented and smart enough to have reached the position attained by Tom, George and a few others, but certainly those “billion-dollar corporations” unite to hold down the income of all the other talent e.g. the loss of a meaningful quote system.

Like Tom and George, I am sure everyone wants to be spared another work stoppage, however, I believe the best way to achieve this, with the best possibility of gains for the membership, would be to stop negotiating through ads and letters to the press. Lets give the long-established process of wages and working conditions the opportunity to arrive at our collective positions.

Fraternally,
Scott Wilson

A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief WOOF !

All formatting is SW’s!

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They’re Back. Yes, former SAG President Melissa Gilbert and VP Mike Farrell are back, and they’re involved in a plan to undermine SAG’s negotiations. Read their email laying out exactly how it will be done.

April 19, 2008 (19:06) | 2008 | By: Arlin Miller

1203054759 69.230.216.142

There back! You remember them the Restore Respect leaders Melissa “Union Busters” Gilbert and Mike “Misanthrope” Farrell, and they are hard at work to undermine any chance of SAG getting a decent contract from the AMPTP.

The following email is being forwarded by Keri Tombazian. You, remember her, she’s the gal that stated, something along the line, that anyone that was the enemy of producers was not her friend.

On Feb 14, 2008, at 7:21 AM, Keri Tombazian wrote:

From our former SAG President, Melissa Gilbert.

The writer’s strike appears to be over, thank God, so the industry can begin to crank up again and put people back to work.

As you know, the potential fly in the ointment at this point is the possibility of an actor’s strike. Yes, that sounds crazy given what we’ve been through, but strike talk, tough talk about “a hard line,” has been the position of SAG’s President Alan Rosenberg and National Executive Director Doug Allen for over a year now.

Here’s what’s happening. First, George Clooney, Robert DeNiro, Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep are placing an ad in the trades. Next, Tom Hanks and George Clooney are submitting an op-ed piece to the L.A. Times. In both instances, they’re calling for SAG’s President Alan Rosenberg and the leaders of the AMPTP to JUST TALK NOW.

The next day, many highly visible actors will send letters, emails and make calls to Rosenberg, with a copy to NED Doug Allen, and also to members of the AMPTP, saying the same thing. A day later, more letters, email and calls, and so on.

No one wants to undercut our negotiators’ ability to make the best deal possible, but neither do we need to waste time with posturing and saber rattling. The pattern has been established by the hard work of the DGA and WGA, now it’s time for SAG to make it right for the actors.

There is precedent for starting informal talks. In fact the DGA began informal talks last summer. They went in formally last month and had a deal within six days.

If you want to help, send a letter or an email or call Alan Rosenberg, Doug Allen and the AMPTP members ( Peter Chernin, Les Moonves, Bob Iger, Barry Meyer etc.) as soon as George, Tom, Robert and Meryl’s ad is out. Tell them all that they need to sit down and JUST TALK NOW.

Alan Rosenberg: (323) 549-6675 SAG DougAllen’s email:
Hughie21@sag.org email DAllen@sag.org

If you have any questions or you need talking points don’t hesitate to contact one of us.

In Solidarity,

Melissa Gilbert and Mike Farrell
Melissa’s email: wicklowwest@aol.com Mike’s email: mikemje@sbcglobal.net

And here you thought this was some sort of spontaneous event, rather than an organized plan to undermine SAG negotiations by giving the AMPTP the impression that all of our high-profile members, have no stomach for strike, and want to get back to work, no matter how lousy the contract.

You don’t have to be rocket scientist to know that once you take the strike card off the table, it is no longer collective bargaining but rather collective begging.

But, hey, email Melissa and Mike and get those TALKING POINTS because this ain’t about informing the membership it’s about SELLING them on Melissa and gangs’ agenda. “Less Dues, More Muscle!” Ooops, wrong talking point.

Hmmmm, here’s a question for Melissa. If early bargaining is such a good idea, why did her and her Restore Respect/USAN pals end up getting some of the worst contracts in recent SAG History, including the 2004 extension with one of lowest increases in minimums–a Lousy 2.5%. Oh, and let’s not forget that the first giveback in residuals occurred under Melissa’s reign during one of those early negotiated Restore Respect/USAN contracts.

Here’s that ad that will precede the op-ed piece– that I’m sure, the LA Times will be more than happy to publish, much to the delight of the folks who keep their Calendar Section chuck full of all those glorious paid for movie ads.

Now, even if we give actor/producers George Clooney, Smokehouse Productions; Robert DeNiro, Tribeca Film Center; Tom Hanks Playtone Productions, the benefit of the doubt, and accept that their actions are motivated by concern for fellow SAG actors, rather than concerns about their production companies, it’s hard to believe that they are nave enough not to realize how their public statement urging early talks will hurt SAG’s chances of getting a fair deal.

Assuming they are not complete air heads, do they for a moment believe that those residuals and P&H benefits that helped them survive when they were starting out in this business, came from EARLY NEGOTIATIONS?

No, they came because our Predecessors were willing to stand up to employers, and yes strike to get them.

Dear Melissa, of course, would dismiss them as “hardliners,” but I bet Half-Pint sure enjoyed those residuals that those “hardliners” sacrificed to get for her.

It is the Ol’ Dog’s considered opinion that Clooney, DeNiro, Hanks, and Streep don’t give a rats ass about anyone but themselves. If they were so against waiting to negotiate, why weren’t they critical of the WGA? Huh? Their writer friends wouldn’t have liked it? Right!

So what they are, in essence, saying is, look, we’re tired, this is getting old, SAG take what the DGA and WGA got. Forget the fact that it might be a lousy contract, we want to get back to work.

Look, if these four really cared about their guild, they wouldn’t be publicly undermining SAG negotiation strategies, but rather they would have called SAG President Alan Rosenberg and said what’s the plan, how can we help get the best deal possible for our fellow SAG members.

But the sad truth of the matter is none of these public whiners are made of the same union cloth as a Cagney, Montgomery or Cantor.

Certainly, none of them will have a room named after them at the Screen Actors Guild. What, the AMPTP? Now, there’s a thought!

A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief
www.sagwatchdog.com

To leave on a positive note, yes, there are high-profile members that won’t sell out their fellow SAG members for a headline. And one of them is SAG Board Member, and Ralph Morgan winner, Scott Wilson, who along with long time board member, Yale Summers, has gone public with his feelings concerning recent events!

Their gutsy quotes, in the following Variety article, shows that there is still hope for our union, and that there are still heroes among us! If only, now, more of them would speak up!

AMPTP ready to bargain with SAG

Move follows announcement of celeb concerns

By DAVE MCNARY

Turning up the pressure on SAG to start contract talks as soon as possible, the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers has announced that it’s ready to begin bargaining.

SAG, which faces a June 30 contract expiration, responded by telling the AMPTP not to hold its breath — leaving the moguls baffled as to what to expect from the actors in the wake of the bruising 100-day WGA strike.

SAG national exec director Doug Allen remained noncommittal Thursday as to when the guild will be ready, repeating an earlier declaration: “We will be ready to begin negotiations at the time that most benefits our members.”

Allen also noted SAG’s currently engaged in its “wages and working conditions” process of holding meetings with members in which bargaining proposals are suggested and developed from the grassroots.

“We are not going to disregard our 34-year history of identifying the wishes and will of our members by subverting the W&W process,” Allen added. “Wages and working conditions meetings are being held now and will likely conclude in March.”

The AMPTP’s announcement came as Robert De Niro, Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep joined George Clooney in an effort to push SAG to launch contract talks as soon as possible to avert a strike.

“The difficulty is high, but nothing can be solved until both parties agreed to sit down together and just talk,” the quartet said in a display ad in Daily Variety.

“Not later, but now. There’s too much at stake to wait. It’s our hope that both parties can at least agree on that.”

Allen had said in an earlier statement Wednesday that the guild’s been seeking out high-profile members as it preps for the talks.

In another development Thursday night, WGA West president Patric Verrone emailed SAG members to thank them for their support during the WGA strike. He pledged that WGA members will return that support, and he urged SAG to support Allen and guild president Alan Rosenberg in the face of moves by the companies to foster dissent.

“Any union’s bargaining strength is a function of what management thinks of its members’ determination and its leadership’s approval,” Verrone said. “Alan and Doug have been thoughtful and tenacious leaders throughout their tenures, and I implore you to give them your faith, your resolve and your patience in the months ahead. The more you trust them to do their job, the better they can do it. What the Writers Guild accomplished this year was the result of our internal solidarity, as well as support from sister guilds and unions nationwide, led by yours.”

Meanwhile, AFTRA has disclosed that top execs at the performers unions are planning to be ready to start negotiations by March 31, but that depends on SAG and AFTRA sorting out details of joint bargaining.

Leaders of SAG and AFTRA will meet this weekend with AFL-CIO execs on joint-bargaining issues, two weeks after the labor federation granted AFTRA a direct charter.

The AMPTP did not elaborate on its statement Thursday. But a source familiar with the studios’ thinking said there’s nothing that prevents early discussions other than SAG’s willingness to engage, noting that the DGA — which also faced a June 30 expiration — was prepared and willing to negotiate a deal last month after the WGA talks collapsed in December.

The DGA’s deal, which was blasted by SAG leaders two weeks ago, wound up serving as the template for the WGA’s agreement, with many of the latter’s new-media provisions mirroring the directors’ deal. SAG has not yet commented on the terms of the WGA deal.
While the town’s upbeat amid the end of the WGA strike, worries about SAG have been percolating. The settlement of the WGA deal’s removed some of SAG’s leverage, but studios are staying cautious about moving ahead on feature development until the uncertainty surrounding the SAG deal has been sorted out.

And SAG leaders don’t want to back off from a strike threat. Allen has insisted that the guild has to go into negotiations with that threat in its arsenal.
“Having the capacity and will to strike when companies are intransigent is something a union has to have; otherwise, you’re engaged in collective begging,” Allen said last month.

In addition, the effort by Clooney to push for talks as soon as possible is rubbing some SAG board members the wrong way. Hollywood rep Yale Summers sent out an email message Thursday that blasted the move by the four stars as “disgraceful.”

“When our most successful performers, who don’t really need their union any more, rise up to say publicly that they want us to ‘settle’ quickly because they are strike-weary, they are deserting the actors they used to be as well as deserting those who may one day achieve a similar star status,” he said. “No one, from top to bottom, wants a strike! We will do whatever we can to avoid one. We cannot, however, allow our sole potential weapon to be removed from our meager quiver, leaving it empty! For those of you at the top, those for whom your union does not need to negotiate, to cry out to the press rather than coming to your union to air your concerns is disgraceful!”

WOOF ! Right on, Yale! *up

SAG board members based in Hollywood also are perturbed over recent efforts to institute “qualified voting” — an earnings requirement for members to vote on the SAG contract and whether to go on strike. Those behind that effort, which has gained support from Ben Affleck, Sally Field, Teri Hatcher and Charlie Sheen, contend that SAG members who don’t work have a disproportionate influence over members who do.

The group, which has gathered more than 800 supporters, had asserted that imposition of qualified voting would enable SAG to present the strongest possible position at negotiations.

But such an effort’s regarded as a longshot since it would probably require changing the SAG constitution — meaning that members would have to vote to disenfranchise themselves. In addition, Hollywood board member Scott Wilson — who won last year’s Ralph Morgan Award for service to the guild — said the effort’s misguided.

“It saddens me to think that, if what we read is true, some of our highest profile members may have forgotten where they came from and abandoned their roots,” Wilson said. “They take positions on issues that no longer affect them but have a devastating impact on rank-and-file members and, dare I say, they are ill informed on the issues.”

Wilson, whose credits run from “In the Heat of the Night” through “Junebug,” called qualified voting a “red herring” that distracts from issues such as AFTRA signing cable deals at lower terms than SAG.

“Qualified voting will not stop the international conglomerates that own the studios, networks and cable channels from seeking further rollbacks or denying fairer terms in collective bargaining,” he added. “Should we have a system that gives all the voting power to a small group of members over matters of importance to all members whether directly or indirectly?”

WOOF ! Like, I said a couple of SAG Heroes. *up

Read the full article at:
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All Formatting is the Watchdog’s!

“If there is no perception of a deadline, there’s little inducement for taking action, much less for accommodation and compromise.”

(Renowned negotiator Herb Cohen from his book “Negotiate This.)

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