DGA Reaches a Tentative Agreement with the AMPTP

The unthinkable has happened.

Not only has theTVaddict.com scooped Deadline Hollywood Daily (Hey Nikki, there’s no such thing as vacation in Hollywood!), the Director’s Guild of America (DGA) has tentatively reached a deal with the AMPTP following a mere six (no really, six!) days of negotiating.

In a statement released Thursday afternoon, the DGA announced that the new deal:

• Increases both wages and residual bases for each year of the contract.
• Establishes DGA jurisdiction over programs produced for distribution on the Internet.
• Establishes new residuals formula for paid Internet downloads (electronic sell-through) that essentially doubles the rate currently paid by employers.
• Establishes residual rates for ad-supported streaming and use of clips on the Internet.

Naturally, the speed at which this agreement was reached begs some obvious questions. Namely, how long until the WGA and AMPTP reach an agreement? Why has the WGA strike managed to last almost three months while the DGA negotiated an agreement in six days? And most importantly, can the WGA ‘borrow’ the DGA’s negotiating team to help reach and fair and equitable agreement faster.

Not to sound incredibly selfish or anything, but this TV Addict can’t take much more of this. For God sakes I watched a LIFETIME movie last week, a LIFETIME MOVIE!

[UPDATE] For statements from both parties, click here for the DGA, and here for the AMPTP

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  • LOL. A LIFETIME MOVIE. Was it “LIfe Support” with Queen Latifah? No, that was HBO. Sorry. =)

  • Oh, I think there are too many egos involved or pettiness between WGA and AMPTP. Why else certain groups get by and others don’t? Why certain award shows get writers and the golden globes comes across like a bad info commercial. lol Egos. Pettiness. Greed. Etc.

  • Ha ha, Daniel – look at you with the scoop 🙂 Nikke Finke is on vacation until the end of January so don’t expect that site to have much news.

  • Seth

    Because directors make infinitely more money doing their immediate job of directing than writers. Writers for television and movies are paid so disproportionately little for what they do that most live on residuals. And the AMPTP is screwing writers out of every major current (DVD) and future (Internet) residual scheme they’ve cooked up over the years.

    The Directors Guild, because its members on average are paid so much more, has always bent over backwards to give the AMPTP any deal they want. The longest DGA strike lasted hours, and that was only because it’s 3 hours later in NYC than in LA (the ‘striking’ only really lasted minutes). Don’t be swayed by the AMPTP PR that this is all WGA “egotism.” It’s all about the money, nothing more or less.

  • Seth,

    Thanks for the very informative post. If there’s one unfortunate side to this deal, it’s that it definitely makes the WGA negotiating team look incompetent.

    Here’s hoping the WGA leadership team is out in full force tomorrow, ensuring the public knows the difference between the WGA and the DGA.

  • SimplyKimberly

    I have gone into a semi-delusional state in which 24 really wasn’t due to start last Sunday and Monday. And now this news? I don’t even dare dream that the nightmare could be over if the WGA signs on to the same deal.

    Thank goodness I am a political-geek and have my fill of that, or else I would be right there with you cruising the low rent LIFETIME district.

  • Mel

    I’d look for similarities between the DGA deal and the independent WGA deals w/ Worldwide Pants, UA & I forget the third one — don’t kid yourself that those WGA deals didn’t pave the way for the DGA deal. Obviously Nick Counter likes the DGA negotiator better than the WGA guy. You can tell by the way he said “My way or My way!!” and took his toys and went home rather than play — and isn’t that just the way grown-ups ought to be conducting their business?
    I hope this deal does mean that enough face has been saved so that the deals can be done and people go back to work.

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  • According to United Hollywood, the heads of all the major agencies hashed out the details of the DGA summary and agreed that the WGA strike was responsible for this deal happening.

    Just to use one point as an example: One of the points over which the AMPTP walked out on Dec. 7 was the WGA’s request for distributor gross over producer’s gross. The DGA got distributor gross. So how can the WGA be the problem?

    *I* think the AMPTP expected the DGA to roll over and beg for their tummies to be rubbed, and when they didn’t (remember, there were informal talks to hammer out the details before they went into official negotiations, so 6 days was a VERY long time), the AMPTP saw the writing on the wall.

    It makes me very hopeful for the end of the strike, though the interests of writers aren’t all the same as the interests of directors.

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